Chase Sexton’s Atlanta Monster Energy Supercross win allowed him to close the gap to championship leader Eli Tomac to 17 points and that is one of the numbers fans need to know heading into Round 14 in New Jersey. Tomac is statistically favored at this venue, but he is not immune to trouble.
Supercross races in the shadow of New York City for the first time since 2019 and for only the sixth time since 1991. Despite so few races at this location, there are three riders in the field with 450 class wins. Cooper Webb is the most recent winner from 2019. Ken Roczen (2016) and Tomac (2015) also have wins at this venue. Sexton won the most recent 250 class race there in 2019.
No rider has multiple wins in the current stadium.
Supercross statistician Clinton Fowler points out this week that the 2023 championship has a lot of similarities to 2006 when three racers, (Ricky Carmichael, Chad Reed and James Stewart), were also separated by 17 points through 13 rounds. That year, the championship was not decided until the 16th and final round when all three riders had a shot at the title.
Carmichael prevailed by only two points over Stewart and Reed, who were tied.
Fittingly, 2023 further connects to this season in that Tomac surpassed both Carmichael and Stewart for third and second on the all-time Supercross wins list. Tomac eclipsed Carmichael at Daytona and Stewart two rounds ago in Glendale, Arizona.
With Webb only six points behind Tomac in the Supercross championship battle entering New Jersey, the numbers suggest that Tomac will likely need to win at least once or twice more in the final four rounds if for not other reason than to deny Webb those points.
Tomac needs a strong start this week to keep from losing ground to Webb. Tomac has averaged an eighth-place running position at the end of Lap 1 in the four races he failed to podium. In the nine races he has finished that well, he averaged a second-place start and had five holeshots.
In five starts at this venue, Tomac holds the advantage with an average finish of 3.2 compared to Webb’s 7.5. Tomac has stood on the podium in all but one of five attempts while Webb has one podium in two starts.
But Tomac is not immune to mistakes in New Jersey. In 2017, he entered this round with a three-point lead over Ryan Dungey only to crash early in the race and finish eighth overall. Tomac ultimately finished second to Dungey by five points.
In addition to the fierce battle for the championship Justin Barcia, Roczen and Jason Anderson are embroiled in a fight for fourth.
Roczen has been a consistent contender throughout the season with only one result worse than seventh, but Barcia and Anderson have gone in opposite directions in 2023.
Through Daytona, Anderson had five top-fives and a worst finish of seventh. His average finish was 4.9. Since then, Anderson has two top-fives in five starts and an average finish of 9.8.
Barcia came to life beginning with Daytona. He had one top-five in seven starts and an average finish of 7.0 entering that race. Since then, he’s swept the top five, earned four podiums in six starts and boasts an average finish of 3.0. A single point separates Barcia from Roczen with Anderson still in reach at -25 points if those riders stumble.
In the 250 class, this will be the first time Jett and Hunter Lawrence race head-to-head in 2023 and their Supercross numbers are virtually deadlocked entering New Jersey.
They have raced against one another in two previous East/West Showdowns with Jett winning the Salt Lake City matchup in 2021. Hunter beat his brother in their most recent battle in 2022 at Atlanta, which is something he made known in last week’s post-race news conference. In both cases, the brother who lost finished third.
In 2023 both brothers have been all but unbeatable. Jett has five wins in six races with Hunter winning six times in seven.
The NBC Power Rankings gives Hunter a slight advantage to this point in the season, but New Jersey and the season finale in Salt Lake City are where the question will most likely be answered.
Last Five New Jersey Winners
2019: Cooper Webb
2017: Ryan Dungey
2016: Ken Roczen
2015: Eli Tomac
2014: Ryan Villopoto
2019: Chase Sexton
2017: Zach Osborne
2016: Malcolm Stewart
2015: Marvin Musquin
2014: Justin Bogle
By the Numbers
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