Jason Anderson scored back-to-back wins in Supercross Round 7 in Minneapolis, Minnesota after Chase Sexton tucked his front wheel and crashed hard on the last lap.
After winning his heat, Sexton swept around the holeshot winner Cooper Webb to take the lead at the five-minute mark of the race. Sexton then raced unchallenged for the remainder of the race until the mistake took him off the bike as he appeared to be in route to his second win of the season, which would have tied him with Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson.
A problem for Tomac early in the race created a best-case scenario for Anderson to the radically close the points’ gap for the championship.
“I was really struggling all day.” Anderson told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “When I lined up for that main, my heat race had not gone as I had planned, and I knew I had to put myself in position. Even during the main, I was riding hard, but wasn’t feeling the groove like normal, so I had already bitten the bullet (and decided) that Chase was going to win the race.
“It was a bummer to see him go down, but I feel like I’ve been on the other side a couple of times this year and it’s racing.
“I’m thankful I’m okay and got the win and I hope he’s okay and able to be back up there with us next week and battle, because that battle is what the fans need.”
Heartbreak for Chase Sexton 💔
— Supercross LIVE! (@SupercrossLIVE) February 20, 2022
Sexton was unable to climb back onto his bike after the accident and dropped to 16th. Not that it would have mattered; Sexton’s front wheel twisted and would not roll. The bike needed to be carried from the track. Sexton walked off on his own power, albeit a little wobbly after the incident.
A problem for Tomac virtually erased his championship lead, which is now three points over Anderson.
Tomac got a poor start and was trailing the field when teammate Dylan Ferrandis stalled on the rise of a jump. To keep from crashing, Tomac was forced to stop his bike, but was unable to keep his feet on the pegs. Tomac had to walk his bike over the top of the jump and dropped to 20th in the order. He climbed into the top 10 at the midway point, but the gaps ahead of him were widening and it appeared he would settle for eighth.
Sexton’s hard crash and problems for Ken Roczen in the closing laps allowed Tomac to climb to sixth.
Webb also benefitted from Sexton’s crash. He was riding fourth until Malcolm Stewart crashed out of third and Sexton lost the lead. Webb crossed under the checkers second, which is his first podium since he finished second to Roczen in the season opener at Anaheim.
Marvin Musquin earned his first podium of the season.
“The last two weekends, Glendale and Anaheim 3, I would have been on the podium, but I crashed,” Musquin said after the race. “Today the other one crashed and I got on the podium. I’ll take it.
“They don’t come easy, the podiums, and I want to enjoy it even though I’m a little disappointed because I was right there and lost some ground at some point. It took me a while to figure out what to do in the whoops and I was fast on the rest of the track. I capitalized on Malcolm and Chase to get third.”
Stewart was on his way to a second podium of 2022 until he crashed near the end of the race. He overjumped an obstacle, tucked his front wheel and hit the ground, but was able to remount in the top five. He finished fourth to add to a top five streak that now stands at six consecutive races.
In fifth, Justin Barcia rounded out the top five, giving him four such finishes in the first seven rounds.
— Red Bull Motorsports (@redbullmotors) February 20, 2022
The 250 East riders took center stage for the first time in 2022 and Jett Lawrence apparently had cabin fever. He was originally slated to run the West series, but a minor injury during the off-season caused the team to swap positions with his brother, Hunter Lawrence.
Jett made the win look easy. It wasn’t.
“Today, I was like a little kid. I could not stop smiling; I was so excited,” Lawrence said from the top of the podium. “Even when the gate dropped for the Main Event while I was behind (Austin) Forkner. I was smiling the whole time.
“The boys rode fantastic. They kept me honest the whole time. I was keeping an eye on Forkner, thinking he’s keeping up right now. (I was) trying to get a little bit more of a safety gap. The track was awesome; it’s so technical.
“I made a few sketchy moments by casing (the jumps), oh my goodness. I may have a little mud in the pants after a couple of those.”
After Lawrence won, he pulled the top of a jump and incited the crowd by throwing his goggles and gloves into the stands.
The battle was intense between Lawrence and Forkner in the opening laps.
“It feels good, especially after that heat race with a few sketchy moments,” Forkner said of his second-place finish. “I’ll take that all season long.”
The reason for his enthusiasm was a fast start. Forkner earned the holeshot with Lawrence patiently riding behind for a couple of laps. When the time came to pounce, Lawrence’s pass was aggressive, but clean
“That start was how I started in 2020, 2019,” Forkner added. “It’s how I know how to start – coming out of the gate and not seeing anyone to the sides. That is probably what I’m most pumped about tonight.”
Cameron Mcadoo rounded out the top three.
Hailing from Rochester, Minnesota, Jeremy Martin earned a top-five finish in fourth in front of the home state crowd.
RJ Hampshire won the second heat before climbing to fifth at the checkers.
Pierce Brown won Heat 1 and barely missed the top five with a sixth-place finish, but it was a career performance nonetheless. Prior to Minneapolis, Brown never led a 250 lap in a heat or feature.
ROUND 1, Anaheim: Ken Roczen renews battle with Cooper Webb by winning the opener
ROUND 2, Oakland: Jason Anderson wins for first time since championship season
ROUND 3, San Diego: Chase Sexton (450s) and Michael Mosiman (250s) deliver first career wins
ROUND 4, Anaheim: Four races, four winners as Eli Tomac solidifies points lead
ROUND 5, Glendale: Eli Tomac wins back-to-back races in Arizona Triple Crown
ROUND 6, Anaheim: Jason Anderson ties Eli Tomac with two 2022 wins