The Monster Energy Supercross series wrapped up the 2023 season at Salt Lake City with a mixed bag of results altered by heavy attrition and injuries.
The two races leading up to the season finale were more dramatic than Supercross wanted with season-ending injuries to Cooper Webb in Nashville and Eli Tomac in Denver, but one thing was constant: Chase Sexton stood on the top of the podium both times. Ever since getting docked seven points at Detroit for jumping in a red cross flag zone, he was determined to eradicate mistakes from his Supercross results and Salt Lake City was the fourth time in the last five rounds that he won after riding a perfect race.
Sexton’s victory put an exclamation point on a championship that was actually determined last week when Tomac announced he would not be able to mount up for the finale because of a ruptured Achilles tendon.
RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Results; Click here for 250 Results
Aaron Plessinger returned to Supercross action in Salt Lake City after missing three rounds to injuries sustained in New Jersey prelims, but one would not know there had been any hiatus based on his results. Plessinger was well on his way to a convincing win in his heat when he braked too late entering a bowl turn and soared off course, taking down a robotic camera in the process. He redeemed himself in the main event by earning his second podium of the season. Plessinger’s first top-three finish came in Week 4 in Tampa.
Justin Hill has been consistently progressing up the chart during the past three weeks. He finished fifth at Nashville, fourth at Denver and earned the first 450 podium of his career at Salt Lake City. Hill was three seconds behind Plessinger at the end of the race and three seconds ahead of the fourth-place finisher Adam Cianciarulo.
Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart
Cianciarulo almost backed up his first season podium from Denver with another at Salt Lake City. After a great start, he ran second for the first nine circuits of the 20-lap race. Back-to-back top-five finishes will give Cianciarulo some confidence entering the outdoor season, which begins in two weeks on Memorial Day weekend in Pala, California.
Dean Wilson rounded out the top five with a fifth in Salt Lake City, which was his best Supercross result of the season. He’s been close in recent weeks and entered the final round with a five-race streak of top-10s and like Hill, he’s steadily improved over the past four weeks with each result better than the previous.
Justin’s brother Josh Hill also scored a season-high result of sixth in the Salt Lake City Supercross race.
Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points
Both 250 East/West Showdowns were plagued by wet tracks, although Salt Lake City held up much better than New Jersey. The precipitation was not as heavy this week, but it still created slick conditions that varied from lap to lap.
Jett Lawrence didn’t seem to mind and in his final race on a 250cc bike, he scored his 13th career win in this class and became the winningest Honda rider on a small bike. Lawrence’s 13 victory ties him for third with Jeremy McGrath on that chart. Notably, 12 of McGrath’s wins came on a Honda and one came with Yamaha, which opened the door for Lawrence to make even a little more history.
Lawrence had the opportunity to run the red plate for one weekend before moving to the 450 class. Since his 2022 250 championship came in the East division and he competed in the West this year, he ran his familiar 18 all season.
Click here for 250 West Heat | East Heat | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart
Last week in Denver RJ Hampshire scored his first win of the season and that taste of victory was sweet because he finally beat Lawrence during a season when the 2023 champion was almost unbeatable. Hampshire desperately wanted to repeat and stake his claim as the heir apparent now that Lawrence is moving up a class. Midway through the race, Lawrence caught Hampshire and pushed him wide to make the pass, but Hampshire held on for second.
Levi Kitchen rounded out the podium and made this race a perfect sweep for the 250 West riders. This was the fourth podium of 2023 for Kitchen and with three of those coming in the last four rounds, he ended with a lot of momentum.
Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points
Jo Shimoda was the top finisher in the 250 East class with his fourth-place finish. He missed most of the beginning of the season with an injury, but one must wonder what the year would have been like otherwise because in the four rounds he made, Shimoda scored three top-fives and swept the top 10.
In fifth, Jordon Smith rounded out the top five. This was his seventh top-five and sixth podium finish in the nine rounds he made. He failed to make the main event in Detroit.
The much anticipated battle between Jett and Hunter Lawrence failed to materialize when Hunter was involved in a Lap 1 crash. He rallied to finish a distant sixth.
Round 16, Chase Sexton, RJ Hampshire win
Round 15, Sexton, Hunter Lawrence win
Round 14: Justin Barcia, Max Anstie win
Round 13: Sexton, H 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 15: Eli Tomac is back on top
Week 14: Justin Barcia, most of top 20, hold steady
Week 13: 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