Features 28 Jan 2023

Racefeed: 2023 Supercross Anaheim

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

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

Image: Octopi Media.

250SX qualifying one:
As he did in free practice earlier, Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) led the way in 250SX qualifying one with a 58.247s lap-time, which put him half a second ahead of the chasing pack. The big news, however, was Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Cameron McAdoo crashing mid-session in the whoops, unable to remount or turn any more laps. Second on the time-sheets was RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), also in the 52s, with Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) third. Next best was Enzo Lopes (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha), ahead of McAdoo, Stilez Robertson (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas), Derek Kelley (AOR Powersports KTM), Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) and Mitchell Oldenburg (Smartop MCR Honda).

450SX qualifying one:
It was a relatively uneventful first 450SX qualifying session, as Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) set the benchmark at 58.017s, which placed him 0.490s ahead of Ken Roczen (Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki), with Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) third on the board. After going P1 in practice, Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) was fourth this time out, directly ahead of Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki). Positions six through 10 included Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) despite a late mishap, an improved Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM).

250SX qualifying two:
Lawrence went even quicker in the final qualifying session to become the first rider into the 57s all day, his eventual best being a 57.998s, which was 0.844s ahead of Lopes in Q2. It was Hampshire’s time of 58.784s from the earlier session that secured him second on combined times though, ahead of Lopes. Fourth overall was Brown, who was one of few riders that lowered their time this afternoon, with Kitchen’s best from earlier positioning him P5. Sixth was Robertson, followed by McAdoo due to his time from the first session, Oldenburg, Vohland and Kelley. Understood to be nursing a shoulder injury, McAdoo did return to the track after crashing in the whoops earlier, only posting a 1m06.119s before the session was out.

450SX qualifying two:
Much like Team Honda HRC teammate Lawrence did in the session prior, Sexton extended his advantage as premier class qualifying concluded this afternoon. A flying 57.564s lap-time was seven-tenths clear of Anderson’s 58.283s, while Roczen was third on the charts. Top of the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing riders in Q2 was Ferrandis ahead of teammate and points-leader Tomac, but Tomac’s time from the earlier session was quicker overall. Off the back of two podiums to open the season, Webb was also right there in P6, with Barcia’s time from Q1 placing him seventh, Cianciarulo eighth, a resurgent Craig ninth and Plessinger completing the top 10. Top rookie Colt Nichols (Team Honda HRC) and Joey Savatgy (Rick Ware Racing Kawasaki) were bumped back to 11th and 12th on combined times.

250SX race one:
A flawless ride from Hampshire to open tonight’s Triple Crown saw him holeshot and power to a controlled 1.038s victory over Brown, who also enjoyed one of his best performances of the season in P2. While Hampshire led from the outside with Lawrence giving chase, it was a mistake from the latter in the mid-stages of the race that saw him bumped back outside the top-five, only to charge back to third by race’s end. He wasn’t quite able to complete a move on Brown for position on the final lap. Behind the leading trio, Kitchen claimed fourth, with Oldenburg behind him in fifth position. Sixth through 10th were Robertson, Vohland, McAdoo after he was able to race through pain from his qualifying crash, Cole Thompson (Team Solitaire Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha) and Kelley.

450SX race one:
It was a drama-free first race of the Triple Crown round for Sexton as he stormed to a flag-to-flag 5.190s win over Roczen, with red plate-holder Tomac a further five seconds back in P3. His teammate Ferrandis fought to fourth position, while Anderson was fifth after making late contact with Webb that saw the former two-time champion go down. That handed sixth to Cianciarulo – who ran inside the top three for the race’s opening portion – and Webb remounted for seventh, directly ahead of Plessinger, Craig and Savatgy. In 11th was Barcia, who fell in the early laps while circulating in sixth, costing him in the first of three finals for tonight.

250SX race two:
Chaos reigned supreme in the second race of the night, leading to Robertson taking a surprise win of sorts over Kitchen and longtime leader Phil Nicoletti (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha). First, Lawrence went down on the opening lap, eventually clawing his way all the way forward to sixth across the line. The drama didn’t stop there though, with opening race winner Hampshire affected by a bad start and then an off-track excursion, before crashing out altogether when his hand slipped off through the sand section. Up front, Nicoletti led the first seven laps only for both Robertson and Kitchen to make their way past, which is how they would finish. Fourth was Oldenburg, with Kelley fifth and Lawrence sixth after making a late move on McAdoo. Behind them came Vohland, who went down while in podium contention, Lopes and Anthony Rodriguez (Smartop MCR Honda). Kitchen, Robertson, Oldenburg and Lawrence are the progressive points leading into race three.

450SX race two:
Anderson hit the front out of the gates and was essentially unchallenged from there, pulling a lead of 1.589s and placing himself in contention for the overall tonight. While Anderson was in control, Tomac took some time to make his way by Roczen for second position, and that’s where the trio would finish. Fourth was Webb – unable to make a final lap pass on Roczen – and first race winner Sexton took fifth following an error of his own early on. Ferrandis was consistent for P6, from Plessinger despite a fall while inside the top three, Barcia, Savatgy and Craig. One point splits Tomac, Roczen, Anderson and Sexton going into the final outing.

Supercross Futures main event:
An anticipated first Supercross Futures round of the year saw Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider Daxton Bennick rise to the occasion, winning over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna duo Casey Cochran and Talon Hawkins. New Zealander Cole Davies (Altherm JCR Yamaha) was fourth, with Haiden Deegan fifth after going down in the early stages. Top-qualifier Julien Beaumer (Yamaha) had to settle for P16 after his handlebars dropped early on.

250SX race three:
Lawrence finally executed like he knows how in the third and final race of the night, but it was too little, too late as a runner-up result from Kitchen was enough to seal the overall. While Lawrence cruised to an advantage of 12.433s to cap-off his night, it was a clean effort from Kitchen that handed him a first-career 250SX win, edging Lawrence by a single point and second race winner Robertson completed the podium tonight. Fourth in the race was Vohland after getting the better of a gritty McAdoo, while Oldenburg, Kelley, Brown, Rodriguez and Dylan Walsh (Revo Kawasaki) were the top 10. Hampshire returned for the final encounter, only to go down in the whoops and cross the finish 13th in the end. What all that means is that Lawrence will carry a 16-point lead over McAdoo into Oakland when the western region resumes next month, while Hampshire is a further point back in third position.

450SX race three:
A deserved ride from Sexton saw him earn the final race win of the evening and the overall as a result. It was Anderson who led the field over the first four laps until Sexton inched by, going on to by 1.234s over Webb in the end to clinch a decisive first main event victory of the season. Race three saw top-qualifier Sexton top Webb and Anderson, while the major talking point was Tomac crashing in spectacular fashion when challenging for the podium, only to remount for 13th position. Fourth was Roczen following a troubled start, followed by Ferrandis, Barcia, Plessinger, Cianciarulo, Savatgy and Craig. The round podium was Sexton from Anderson and Roczen in his first podium since returning to Suzuki. In terms of the series, Tomac still leads after salvaging sixth tonight, four points up on both Sexton and Webb leading into Houston next Saturday, 4 February.