As races begin to age out of the 45-day formula for NBC’s SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Daytona, Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac for the top spot with a near-perfect record of three-finishes during that span.
The primary reason for Sexton’s rise is that his disappointing San Diego round is no longer dragging him down with a 20th-place finish in his heat and fifth in the Main. The following week, Sexton finished fifth in one of the Triple Crown features; every other result in a heat or feature since then has been a podium finish and that level of perfection is unmatched by the field.
A lot has been written about Sexton’s propensity to crash while under pressure, but he rode a clean race last week in Daytona on arguably the toughest track Supercross visits.
While he couldn’t do it in the closing laps at Daytona, Cooper Webb also made his way around Tomac in the Power Rankings. Webb has not been quite as perfect as Sexton in regard to top-five finishes, but he has a worst result of seventh in one of the Anaheim Triple Crown features and a sixth in the Tampa Main. These three riders continue to lead the points standings and it is coming down to a three-rider battle for the championship, so the slightest differences have a huge impact.
MORE: More history made by Eli Tomac with seventh Daytona win
As for Tomac, despite winning both his heat and a record-extending seventh Daytona Supercross Main, he falls two positions this week. That’s because his rivals shed some of their baggage, while Tomac lost the advantage of his perfect sweep in San Diego. In the past 45 days, Tomac is weighed down by a 13th-place finish in one of the Anaheim features and a sixth-place finish overall that weekend. He also struggled one of the Arlington features.
In his last 16 races covering the heats and mains during the past 45 days, Jason Anderson finished outside the top five just twice. It would appear that being on probation has not robbed him of any speed, but it could play a slight role in dialing back his aggression in traffic. As Supercross enters the second half of their season, the points’ gap to the three leaders is going to change the dynamic considerably and could raise the sense of urgency for Anderson and the remainder of the field.
In that same span of races, Ken Roczen finished outside the top five three times, but the race that impacts his SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Daytona the most was an 11th-place finish in the Oakland Main. It will take a while for that to age out of the formula, but for the moment he has a sizeable gap over sixth-place Aaron Plessinger.
[1 Main Win; 4 Heat Wins]
[2 Main; 1 Heat Wins]
[5 Main; 6 Heat Wins]
[4 Main Wins]
[1 Heat Win]
Take a look at how Haiden Deegan’s 2023 rookie season stacks up against Jett Lawrence’s 2020 rookie season 📊#SupercrossLIVE #SuperMotocross pic.twitter.com/SU9W5ZG5ti
— Supercross LIVE! (@SupercrossLIVE) March 11, 2023
Hunter Lawrence had a perfect week in Daytona with a heat win and his first Daytona Supercross Main, joining his brother Jett Lawrence as the only brother combination to win the prestigious race. He showed how much he wanted the win by dropping Nate Thrasher to the ground early in the feature and then riding away to an almost 10-second lead over second-place. With that pair of victories, Hunter was also able to wrest the top spot from Jett in the overall SuperMotocross Power Rankings following the Daytona round and he has a massive lead over the next 250 East rider.
Jordon Smith avoided trouble and stayed out of Lawrence’s way in both his heat and the Main. Smith’s second-place finish in the six-lap preliminary race was followed by a fourth in big show. The points in the 250 class are not as tight for the lead as in 450s and Smith might have to settle for being the best rider who is not from Down Under.
Thrasher overcame the early race incident with Lawrence to climb to 10th by the halfway point of the Main, only to land on a Tuff Block and crash a second time. Frustrated, he remounted and rode forward to 10th again. The damage was done, but that is not his only disappointing round in 2023. His Power Ranking is also negatively impacted by a 15th-place finish in the Houston Main.
Max Anstie rebounded from a slightly disappointing Arlington round to climb back onto the podium. It did not appear that he would have a dominant performance when he slipped outside the top five in the heat, but his comfort level rose in the main event. Most importantly, he avoided contact in the opening laps and kept Lawrence honest before ultimately finishing 9.1 seconds behind the leader.
On the other hand, Anstie was 14 seconds ahead of third-place Haiden Deegan, who scored his first podium finish in just his fourth 250 start. The media center was abuzz after the race with his parents generating enough energy to power the city of Daytona Beach.
|1.||Hunter Lawrence – E
[3 Main; 4 Heat Wins]
|2.||Jett Lawrence – W
[3 Main; 3 Heat Wins]
|3.||Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main Win]
|4.||Jordon Smith – E
[2 Heat Wins]
|5.||Nate Thrasher – E
[1 Main; 2 Heat Wins]
|6.||Max Anstie – E||80.60||4||-2|
|7.||Haiden Deegan – E
[1 Heat Win]
|8.||Jeremy Martin – E
[1 Heat Win]
|9.||Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat Win]
|10.||Max Vohland – W||74.17||16||6|
|11.||Mitchell Oldenburg – W||74.00||10||-1|
|12.||Tom Vialle – E||70.60||7||-5|
|13.||Pierce Brown – W||69.83||12||-1|
|14.||Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat Win]
|15.||Chance Hymas – E||67.10||17||2|
|16.||Michael Mosiman – E||65.80||13||-3|
|17.||RJ Hampshire – W
[4 Heat Wins]
|19.||Derek Kelley – W||57.00||20||1|
|20.||Enzo Lopes – W||54.17||18||-2|
* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days.
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT DAYTONA: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 AT TAMPA: Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb close in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage