DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Dylan Ferrandis was schedule to return to the Monster Energy Supercross series at Daytona International Speedway after missing three races while he waited to clear concussion protocol following a violent crash in Houston with four of 17 rounds in the books. Another heavy crash on Media Day, (see tweet below), will force him to miss at least one more race as he is not “not feeling 100% after yesterday’s crash,” according to the Star Racing Yamaha team.
Injuries in the Supercross series in 2022 stymied his results and with the SX title out of reach, he chose to skip the final four races of 2022 to focus on Motocross. That was a luxury he had before the two series unified to create a playoff style format of three races at the end of year called the SuperMotocross World Championship. Ferrandis was also injured in the outdoor series and set his sight on 2023.
“Every season is a reset,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports ahead of the opening round. “You start the first race with everybody at the same point, nobody has a point in the championship so everybody’s on the same page. So, for sure it’s a reset, but you also learn from the past season. I plan on not doing the same mistake and I want be better and the new Yamaha bike is a big step up for me and I’m sure it’s going to help me a lot to be better this season.”
The first three races of the season went remarkably well.
“I was at my peak,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports as he waited to take return to the track for a second session around portions of the Daytona International Speedway infield Supercross track. “I lost a lot of physical strength and confidence, but we will see. Supercross is a short season, but now we have this SMX so we will see how it goes.”
Accidents are a regular part of Supercross and Ferrandis had another hard crash during Media Day.
Massive crash for Dylan Ferrandis during media day today 😳
Even with the four missing Supercross races this season and his next-to-last finish in Houston, Ferrandis sits 15th in the points’ standings entering Daytona, 30 points above the rider 20th in the standings. At the end of the Pro Motocross season in August, the SMX series will guarantee starts to riders who are in the top 20 in combined points.
“It’s good to be back, especially here at Daytona,” Ferrandis said. “It’s such a great race.”
Lawrence led all 16 laps of both races after taking the holeshot in the second moto and grabbing the lead from Dylan Ferrandis in Turn 2 of Moto 1. Lawrence claimed a four-second lead in Moto 1 and five seconds in Moto 2, but as dominant as it seems on paper, there were some exciting moments during the weekend. In the second race, Lawrence wanted to build an advantage that would allow him to maintain his pace and he nearly high-sided a couple of times in heavy ruts.
In his second race back from a concussion, Ferrandis finished in the runner-up spot with a second in Moto 1 and a third in Moto 2. While his finish of second overall goes into the record books, Pro Motocross points are rewarded for each individual race and that meant Ferrandis lost eight points in championship battle to Lawrence. With Sexton failing to mount up for the race, Ferrandis advanced to second in the standings with an 18-point gap to Lawrence. Equally important, Ferrandis gained ground in the SuperMotocross World Championship (WSX) points and now has a gap of 44 over 21st-place Justin Starling.
Cooper Webb is also in his second round since returning from a Supercross injury suffered in Nashville at the end of their season. Claiming results of fourth and second in the two races, Webb earned 40 SuperMotocross points at Hangtown and closed in on Sexton in the WSX battle. Sexton entered Hangtown with a large enough lead that he could not be overtaken, but he is now only 38 points up and could face a difficult decision next week at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, Colorado if he wants to hold onto his lead.
Aaron Plessinger had an adventurous weekend in which he seemed to close on Lawrence in his second race before crashing and dropping to fourth. Coupled with a fifth-place finish in Moto 1, he earned 35 points and was credited with fourth overall.
Cashing in on confidence he gained in the final rounds of the Supercross season, Adam Cianciarulo earned his first top-five of the Pro Motocross championship after narrowly missing out last week with a sixth. He earned the distinction with consistent results of fifth in Moto 1 and fourth in Moto 2.
The Lawrence brothers made history last week as the first siblings to win in two Pro Motocross divisions on the same day. Fans should get accustomed to seeing this happen with some regularity as Hunter Lawrence posted identical results in Hangtown to those he had at Fox Raceway in the season opener.
In both races, Lawrence got off to a slow start in Moto 1 and had to claw his way back to the podium. He dominated Moto 2 in both rounds to earn the overall victories.
Justin Cooper did not allow Lawrence to gain much of an advantage in the Motocross points’ standings, however. Finishing second in both motos, the earned only one point less than Lawrence. His modest showing in Round 1 of the outdoor season has him 12 points out of first in the championship standings.
Haiden Deegan scored his first moto win in just his fourth start in the series. In the first race of the day, he had to withstand constant pressure from Cooper, but when his teammate closed in on him, Deegan reached down and found a little more speed. Now that he’s won one of these races, he has his sight set on challenging Lawrence for the title. Deegan is second in the Pro Motocross championship standings with a 10-point deficit to the leader.
RJ Hampshire rounded out the top five with a pair of fifth-place results and 32 points for the round. Even though the deficit is a whopping 61 points, Hampshire climbed to second in the SuperMotocross championship standings now that Jett Lawrence has moved to the big bikes.
Jalek Swoll struggled last week and finished 21st overall at Fox Raceway. This week, he finished on the cusp of 10th in both races with a ninth in Moto 1 and 11th in Moto 2. In the SuperMotocross standings, he has a lot of ground to make up. He currently sits 49th on the chart with a 70-point gap to Chance Hymas, who is on the bubble to earn a guaranteed position in the SMX Mains for the three playoff races that will be held on September.