On a muddy track in New Jersey after a four-year hiatus from the New York City area, hometown rider Justin Barcia topped the Monster Energy Supercross results for his first win of the 2023 season.
Rain was forecast for most of Saturday, but it held off until the features lined up at the gate. The rapidly changing track suited Barcia, who finished third, 15 seconds behind Chase Sexton in his heat, and won by an equal margin over Eli Tomac in the main. Only four riders finished on the lead lap with sizeable margins between each, giving the race a “survival of the fittest” feel.
RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Results; Click here for 250 Results
Tomac’s day could have been much different. In the first qualification session, his hand was ripped from the throttle on a landing and he crashed hard. Limping to the tunnel, there were questions about whether he would be 100 percent at race time. He was less than stellar in his heat, which left those questions unanswered. Tomac finished 16 seconds behind Chase Sexton, which translated to a poor gate pick. That might have been a hinderance in dry conditions, but in deep mud he methodically worked his way through the field.
Ken Roczen led early before Barcia executed a block pass on Lap 6. Tomac caught him several laps later and battling vision problems after shedding his goggles earlier in the race, Roczen laid his bike down in the mud on Lap 13 and fell to third. He held on to that spot to score his second consecutive podium and fourth of the season. Roczen and Barcia entered the round separated by one point in a battle for fourth.
Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart
In fourth-place, Sexton was the only other rider to finish on the lead lap. He made up significant ground in the championship battle last week on both Tomac and Cooper Webb and entered the race with a 17-point deficit to the leader. He was positioned to close the distance even more until he was knocked down by a block pass by Barcia. Once he lost track position, Sexton was not able to regain it and the results show he left New Jersey trailing in the Supercross standings by 21 points.
Webb rounded out the top five after getting lapped by Barcia late in the race. Given the conditions, one has the suspicion he was not unhappy about having to circle the track one time fewer than the leaders, but the end result was that he no longer controls his own future. With a 12-point deficit to Tomac, it will not be enough to simply win the final three races. If Tomac consistently finishes second, the most Webb can make up is nine points.
Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points
The New Jersey Supercross round was billed as a showdown between Jett and Hunter Lawrence in the first East/West Shootout of 2023, but the mud called the results of the race into question.
Someone is always favored in conditions like this and in New Jersey that was the British rider Max Anstie, who has more experience riding in the wet because of his European racing background. Anstie took the early lead and stretched his advantage in the first two-thirds of the race as the riders behind him cautiously worked their way forward. Anstie’s Achilles Heel was the whoops, which broke down badly in the closing laps.
Click here for 250 West Heat | East Heat | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart
In the end, fans got to see the Lawrence brothers finish nose-to-tail, but it was not the race they expected.
Jett found his rhythm late in the race and with Anstie riding cautiously, he closed the distance quickly with time running off the clock. Mud tracks are one-groove affairs and Jett struggled to get enough momentum to pass the leader. Jett could afford to take a few risks, but with his main rival in the 250 West division riding third, he couldn’t take very many and let RJ Hampshire make up ground in the points.
Hampshire had something else in mind. In the final bowl turn of the last lap, he threw his bike in much too hard and slid through Jett. Both riders went to the ground, but they had enough of a margin on fourth that Jett was able to pick his Honda up and salvage second place. As he did so, slewing massively through the mud, he stalled the momentum of Maximus Vohland, which allowed his brother Hunter to nip that rider at the finish line for third.
After finishing second in each of their heats, Jett and Hunter ended the race only one position apart. Now the focus is on the final race of the season when they will get another opportunity to face off in the final East/West Showdown in Salt Lake City.
Hunter had an opportunity to wrap up the championship, but the solid performance by Anstie pushes that off to next week in Nashville.
Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 East Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points
Vohland was consistently good through the round with a third-place finish in the dry conditions of his heat and a fourth-place place result in the mud.
Rounding out the top five at New Jersey was Enzo Lopes with his sixth result of sixth or better in seven Supercross 250 West rounds. A 13th-place finish in the Anaheim 2 Triple Crown hurt Lopes’ championship chances and he is now third in the standings with 58-point deficit to first and 19 behind Hampshire in second.
After his banzai move, Hampshire was buried in the mud so deeply that he could not right his Husqvarna. He was credited as the first rider to finish one lap off the pace in 13th
Round 13: Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 12: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 11: Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, H Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win
2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings
Week 13: Justin Barcia leapfrogs the Big Three
Week 12: Eli Tomac gains momentum
Week 11: Cooper Webb, Tomac overtake Chase Sexton
Week 10: Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Sexton unseats Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s