Eli Tomac won the first two races of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Series at a pair of venues that have been among his worst in career average finishes and he swept his heat and the Main at San Diego and Anaheim to do so. This was Tomac’s 46th career Supercross win, placing him within two of Ricky Carmichael.
Tomac’s early season success is partly attributable to his new-found ability to earn better starts. At San Diego, he completed Lap 1 in third place, rode there for two more circuits and then followed Cooper Webb around Adam Cianciarulo. One lap later, Tomac was in the lead on Lap 5 and he never relinquished the top spot.
Two-time champ vs. two-time champ and Eli Tomac to the lead in San Diego!
— Motorsports on NBC (@MotorsportsNBC) January 22, 2023
Webb finished second to Tomac in back-to-back weeks, but he pressured the leader harder at San Diego than Anaheim. He led Lap 4 and was never completely out of touch with Tomac for the remainder of the race. When the pair hit traffic, Webb was slightly better at navigating the slower bikes and closed to within one second with time running off the clock.
Justin Barcia had a more dramatic weekend than he planned. In his heat, he was knocked over by Jason Anderson as the two riders battled for second. There is a lot of bad blood between the riders and Anderson waited to confront Barcia in the tunnel. Barcia’s Main was also marred by contact with another rider when he and Chase Sexton made contact early, sending Sexton to the ground.
Ken Roczen’s transition to Suzuki is not slowing him any. After finishing fifth in the season opener at Anaheim, he improved his Supercross results at San Diego with a second-place finish in his heat and a fourth in the Main.
Sexton had the bumpiest road into the top five. He crashed in his heat and was center punched by Aaron Plessinger. The contact completely collapsed his fuel tank. Unable to continue, he won the LCQ and still got a decent start in the Main. He started and finished fifth, but lost a lot of ground in the feature after contact with Barcia.
Jett Lawrence’s domination of the 250 class continues. He won his heat by more than five seconds in a nine-lap race and earned the holeshot in the Main. He was the fastest 250 qualifier and seemed to have a handle on the field for most of the race. Cameron McAdoo and RJ Hampshire were able to keep Lawrence honest throughout the race, however, and the final margin of victory was a little more than three and a half seconds.
Hampshire might have been able to challenge for the win if not for a bump from another rider early in the Main that sent him back to sixth at the end Lap 1. He moved around Robbie Wageman for the bottom step of the podium on Lap 9 and secured second from McAdoo with two laps remaining. Back-to-back second-place finishes has him within six points of Lawrence.
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McAdoo’s third-place finish in the Main kept the San Diego podium exactly like Anaheim. As with Sexton in the 450 class, McAdoo had trouble in his heat and was dropped outside of the automatic transfer position of ninth. The damage to his bike was not as great and he recovered to score a fifth-place result in that race.
Enzo Lopes’ early surge continues. In Anaheim, he was one position outside of the top five; his San Diego Supercross results were incrementally better and he led five of the first six laps of his heat while being embroiled in a battle with Hampshire. He finished fourth in the Main for his best result of the season.
Rounding out the top five is Pierce Brown. He failed to make the Main in Anaheim after crashing hard on the opening lap of his heat. He bruised his posterior and used the extra week provided by the Oakland cancelation to heal. On his way to the feature, he finished second in his heat behind Lawrence.
Hunter Yoder scored his first LCQ win by three seconds over Josh Varize. He was able to capitalize on that with a 14th-place finish in the Main.
2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings