News 20 Oct 2020

Fast Thoughts: Chase Sexton

Team Honda HRC rookie on Fox Raceway win and his first 450MX campaign.

After stepping up to 450MX with Team Honda HRC in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, Chase Sexton has gained vital experience in the premier class to capture his first moto and overall victories in the the 2020 season finals at Fox Raceway.

Image: Octopi Media.

That Michael Jordan-inspired Alpinestars gear…

Definitely, wearing that gear put a little bit of added pressure – you can’t really wear Michael Jordan and then go out and get beat, so I put a lot of pressure on myself that second moto. I knew if I got a good start, I was basically going to have to either crash or go for the win. I kind of held back a little bit at the beginning and made a push towards the middle of the race and was really feeling good, had a really good flow with the track – it was pretty gnarly today and it was good. Adam, I finally pressured into a mistake, I’ve been behind him way too much this year and I’m really happy with how the day went. 3-1, it was a pretty good day, I’m really happy to get this first win out of the way. I couldn’t be more excited, it still doesn’t feel real, it’s been a long time coming and I’m excited for the future.

Recalling the 2020 outdoor season…

To be honest, I really didn’t know where I was going to stack up. I know this class is very difficult, obviously, it’s the premier class. So, I didn’t really know… my whole goal this year was to come out and show speed and show that I can run with the best guys. I feel like I did that pretty early and then I kind of crossed off a lot of what I wanted to do early in the season, then I felt like I had potential to win. So, from probably halfway on I just wanted to get a moto win and it took me 18 motos out of 18 to get it, so I’m really happy with how it went. Definitely felt like I had a successful rookie season and felt like I built every weekend, so we’re just going to try and keep that going.

Getting that first 450MX win at the final round…

I really wanted to end on a high note and I feel like I did the best job I could today of doing that, but also, I don’t really get to carry any momentum, but I guess mentally it really just helps me. It’s hard to really believe that you can win until you actually do it, so today I think really helped me in that, just believing that I can do it now since I have done it. I think that’s going to carry into the off-season and training and coming into Supercross next year. We have about three months off, so take a few weeks off and then go to work and keep that momentum just in training and the mindset that I can do this. Like Zach [Osborne] said, he won his first overall I think at Loretta’s and it turned into something great, so I think we’re just trying to win races and take this momentum into testing and next year.

Image: Octopi Media.

The track at Fox Raceway…

It turned into basically Pala on a Tuesday, is what I kind of thought. It’s been a little bit better, I actually really enjoyed it. I mean, it’s easy to say when you win – if I would have came out here and got sixth, I wouldn’t say it was probably the best track. First moto I didn’t really gel at all with the track, I didn’t really feel that great, then second moto I came out and kind of hung back a little bit and then found a really good flow of the track. I think that was key, with all the cupped holes and all the braking bumps and stuff, you just had to find a good flow and I feel like I found that second moto. It was definitely a difficult track, not much traction, pretty bumpy, small chatter bumps and it was definitely difficult, but I feel like we made a few bike set-up changes, going a little softer and I think that helped.

Gaining 450 experience outdoors before Supercross…

That was the whole plan behind it. Obviously, I could have raced the 250 this outdoor season, but for me and my future, the premier class is where I want to be and I had the opportunity to move up after Supercross. I feel like getting to know the team, them learning me and I’m learning them as well, it just puts us a lot further ahead than if I were to race motocross on the 250 this year. I feel like we learned a lot about each other, the team and I, and we definitely had our rough times throughout the season, struggling a little bit with bike set-up and whatnot. So, definitely glad we got this out of the way and we’re on a new bike for next year, so it’s going to be fun being able to test with them and learning a new bike. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten on a new one, so looking forward to that and I definitely feel like I made the right decision in going to the 450 for outdoors. I know a lot of people were criticising me, saying I moved up too early, but I always feel like I rode the 450 well and they saw something in me when they came down and I was riding the 450 practicing with Kenny [Roczen]. Glad we made that decision and happy to be on the team I’m on.