Features 21 Jan 2023

Racefeed: 2023 Supercross San Diego

Direct updates from tonight's round of the season at Snapdragon Stadium.

Follow the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship with direct updates from tonight’s round of the season at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego through Racefeed.

Image: Octopi Media.

250SX qualifying one:
The first 250SX qualifying session of the day saw new red plate-holder Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) set the pace as he did in the free practice session earlier, posting a late 51.980s lap-time. Lawrence led RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), who recorded a 52.216s, marginally quicker than Enzo Lopes (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) in a continuation of his trending form. It was Stilez Robertson (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) and Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) inside the top five, followed by Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM), Mitchell Oldenburg (Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda), Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) and Derek Kelley (AEO Powersports KTM).

450SX qualifying one:
Quickest in 450SX qualifying one was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson, the lone rider inside the 50s bracket – on multiple laps – with a benchmark of 50.639s, which was a full four-tenths faster than practice pace-setter Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing). A final lap surge bumped Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) up to third on the charts ahead of Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) and Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna). Positions six through 10 included Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM), Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki), Ken Roczen (Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki), Colt Nichols (Team Honda HRC) and Joey Savatgy (Rick Ware Racing Kawasaki).

250SX qualifying two:
Lawrence continued his trend as he topped the second and final 250SX West qualifying session with a staggering fast lap of 50.099s. It was a back-and-forth battle for the top spot with eventual second-place qualifier Hampshire, who landed at 50.361s in the end. TLD Red Bull GasGas’ Pierce Brown ended the session inside the top three over seven-tenths back, while position four, five and six on the charts were Lopes, Kitchen and McAdoo. The top 10 was completed by Robertson, Vohland, Kelley and Australian newcomer Wilson Todd (Fire Power Honda), who was on top in the B group.

450SX qualifying two:
A late lap from Stewart saw him rise to the top of the final 450SX qualifying session of the afternoon, lodging a 50.008s lap-time to edge Sexton by one-tenth of a second upon conclusion. Webb was third on the leaderboard with a 50.118s, while defending champion and current points-leader Tomac stopped the clocks in P4, directly ahead of teammate Ferrandis. First session fastest Anderson was sixth overall, with Cianciarulo and Nichols also inside the 50s. Filling the top 10 leading into the night show were Roczen and Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas).

250SX heat one:
It was Lopes who led the first portion of heat one before Hampshire made his way to the front, however, an incident involving Colby Copp (GasGas) saw a red flag come out on lap four. That resulted in a staggered restart with Lopes at the head of the pack, before Hampshire struck once again with two laps remaining and went on to win by 2.483s. Lopes held onto P2, with Anthony Rodriguez (Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda) third and Cole Thompson (Team Solitaire Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha) fourth. Also going through to the main were McAdoo, Todd, Dylan Walsh (Revo Grindstone Kawasaki), Dominique Thury (Team Solitaire Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha) and privateer Geran Stapleton (GasGas). Unfortunately for Vohland, he went down on the first turn of the restart and could only climb to 13th over the short duration.

250SX heat two:
A controlled effort from Lawrence saw him power ahead unchallenged to win by 5.343s, with Brown making an early move on a fast-finishing Kitchen and then managing to keep him at bay to the end. In fourth was Oldenburg, who made his way forward to position, followed by Robertson, Phil Nicoletti (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha), Robbie Wageman (BarX Suzuki), Dilan Schwartz (Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki) and Kelley, who was the final rider in transfer position. AJE Motorsport GasGas rider Mitchell Harrison crashed out just a couple of laps in.

450SX heat one:
Tomac managed one of his customary starts of the new year to holeshot the first 450SX heat race of the evening, going on to finish 2.579s in front of Anderson. An aggressive pass from Anderson on the final lap left Barcia on the ground, but he was still able to remount for third, followed by rookie standout Nichols, who in turn was able to keep ahead of Craig. Sixth was solid for Plessinger after going down with Sexton on the opening lap – the latter out of the race altogether with bike damage – and it was Joshua Cartwright (Kawasaki), Fredrik Noren (Kawasaki) and Alex Ray (Yamaha) filling positions seven through nine. Twisted Tea Suzuki’s Shane McElrath was running as high as sixth when he stalled, dropping to finish in P11 and heading to the LCQ for the second round in a row.

450SX heat two:
The second 450SX heat race saw Roczen hit the front from the outset and a quick opening lap enabled him to control things from there. It was a charge through the pack from P5 that saw Stewart make am assertive final lap pass on Roczen that handed him the win by 1.352s, with Cianciarulo putting in a strong performance for third, directly behind Roczen. Ferrandis crossed the line in fourth and Webb was fifth, as Savatgy, Justin Hill (Team Tedder Monster Energy KTM), Dean Wilson (Fire Power Honda) and Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Suzuki) will all go straight through to the main event.

250SX LCQ:
It was Kawasaki-mounted Hunter Yoder who won the 250SX last chance qualifier ahead of Joshua Varize (AEO Powersports KTM), Harrison and Dylan Woodcock (GasGas). While all four of those riders went to the upcoming main event, Vohland crashed and could only finish in eighth position, effectively ending the factory KTM rider’s night prematurely.

450SX LCQ:
Kawasaki privateer John Short led the first lap of the premier class LCQ before Sexton easily made his way through and won by 12.593s. A convincing ride from Short resulted in P2, ahead of McElrath for his first main event appearance of the year, and it was Justin Starling (GasGas) who was the last rider to make it through tonight.

250SX main event:
Red plate-holder Lawrence was once again the class of the field in San Diego, extending his points-lead with back-to-back victories to open his 2023 campaign. Lawrence holeshot and led every lap for a 3.613s win on this occasion, topping a fast-finishing Hampshire, who in turn made a move on McAdoo with two laps remaining. It was a first turn incident involving Kitchen, Todd and Harrison that ruined their races, but at the front it was all eyes on Lawrence. There was yet again a convincing performance from Lopes on his way to fourth position, with Brown returning after crashing out at Anaheim to earn P5. Positions six through 10 included Robertson, Oldenburg, Nicoletti after running up-front early on, Kelley and Thompson. Of the riders in the pile-up, Todd climbed to 17th, while both Kitchen and Harrison were ruled out altogether. Two rounds into the season, Lawrence now leads by six points over the consistent Hampshire, with McAdoo a further four points back in third – replicating the podium from the opener a fortnight ago as we now look ahead to Anaheim 2 next Saturday.

450SX main event:
Defending 450SX champion Tomac continued his perfect start to the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship in winning at San Diego’s new Snapdragon Stadium tonight. The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider too charge on lap five and went on to win by just 1.148s over a charging Webb, who put pressure on in the closing laps. While Tomac was convincing for a second-straight victory, Webb repeated his result from the opener and led his share of laps before Tomac went by and this time trailed him home to the end – not quite able to strike when it counted. Third marked the first podium of the season for Barcia equipped with the new generation MC 450F Factory Edition, benefiting from a mid-race mishap from Anderson while he was in podium contention. Directly behind in fourth was Roczen, as Sexton got through the night in fifth position. Ferrandis crossed the finish in sixth for another consistent result, as Anderson eventually claimed a lowly P7. After leading the opening laps, Cianciarulo was eighth, from Plessinger in ninth after being outside the top 15 on lap one, and Savatgy completed the top 10. The hard luck story of the main event was Stewart, going down multiple times and eventually settling for 15th after qualifying quickest this afternoon and winning his heat race in spectacular fashion. Leading into Anaheim 2 next Saturday night, Tomac now leads by six points over Webb, with Sexton still within reach, a further seven in arrears.