Features 18 Mar 2023

Racefeed: 2023 Supercross Rd10 Detroit

Direct updates from round 10 of the season at Ford Field.

Follow the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship with direct updates from tonight’s 10th round of the season at Ford Field in Detroit through Racefeed.

Jason Anderson gets up to speed on the 2023 Detroit Supercross track inside Ford Field.

Image: Octopi Media.

250SX qualifying one:
Hunter Lawrence made his Team Honda HRC machine the fastest bike to open timed qualifying inside Detroit’s Ford Field. Navigating the tacky but surprisingly slippery track at 53.6s on his best lap, the 250SX East points leader held off Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith by a margin of 0.401s. Fire Power Honda rider Max Anstie turned in the third-fastest time, a further two-tenths of a second off Lawrence’s chart-topping pace. Chris Blose and Nate Thrasher of Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing completed the top five, ahead of Jeremy Martin (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha), Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), Jace Owen (Phoenix Racing Honda), Cullin Park (Phoenix Racing Honda), and Coty Schock (Phoenix Racing Honda).

450SX qualifying one:
Team Honda HRC led the way in the first A-group 450SX session as the 2023 Detroit Supercross pressed forward, with Chase Sexton taking his Honda CRF450R to the top with a 52.77s time. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson was 0.214s slower to land second on the timesheet, followed by 2022 Detroit winner and reigning champion Eli Tomac of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing. Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) and Ken Roczen (Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki) rounded out the top five, while Christian Craig was next in sixth for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. Red Bull KTM riders Cooper Webb and Aaron Plessinger were seventh and ninth, split by Anderson’s factory Kawasaki stablemate Adam Cianciarulo in eighth. Dean Wilson added a Fire Power Honda to the top 10, 2.276s off Sexton’s pace.

250SX qualifying two:
Backing up his opening-session speed, Lawrence rocketed to the head of the field as the gate dropped for the second round of 250SX A-group qualifying in Detroit, immediately putting space between Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and Anstie behind. Just before the session’s halfway mark, Lawrence executed a flawless lap with scorching speed through the whoops; it translated into a 52.391s lap time, putting 0.467s between his Honda and the Star Racing-prepared Yamaha of Smith. Lawrence improved to 51.999s, with the gap to Smith, in the end, standing at 0.262s. Thrasher, Deegan, and Anstie completed the top five ahead of Martin, Blose, Jeremy Hand, Owen, and Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) in the top 10. On a more favorable track during the B session, AJ Catanzaro turned in a 53.707s lap, which would’ve placed him eighth ahead of Hand in the A session. Hometown rider Marshal Weltin of Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki was 15th.

450SX qualifying two:
A 51.668s lap time enabled Sexton to hold the top spot early in Detroit’s final 450SX A-group outing, displacing Indianapolis winner Roczen who was initially the quickest. Anderson eclipsed Roczen for the second position, while Sexton improved to 51.439s to finalize another perfect day of qualifying in the premier class. Anderson was just 0.052s off Sexton at the checkered flag and two-tenths clear of Roczen. Cianciarulo, Tomac, Webb, Craig, Barcia, Plessinger, and Wilson filled the final top 10 spots.

250SX heat one:
Yamaha duo Smith and Deegan shot to the head of the field immediately following the night’s first gate drop in Detroit. With Deegan in the lead and Smith fast approaching, the two kicked off a remarkable sequence of close racing that ended with Thrasher on the ground. ClubMX rider Martin slipped by Deegan for the lead as the rookie sorted himself out following contact with Smith and pulled to a 5.652s lead at the checkered flag. Deegan secured second ahead of Schock, Brock Papi, Owen, Weltin, Michael Hicks (TiLube Honda Racing), Caden Braswell (Phoenix Racing Honda), and Catanzaro filled the remaining transfer positions. While attempting to recover from his crash after running into the back of Deegan, Smith had a massive crash at the end of the whoops and a further fall on the challenging dragon’s back. He was scored 20th and will head to the LCQ.

250SX heat two:
Thrasher pulled away from the field early, pulling a sizable lead over points leader Lawrence. Aboard his red-plated Honda CRF250R, Lawrence steadily reeled in Thrasher but never came close enough to mount a pass attempt. The gap between the two at the checkered flag was 1.312s. Vialle brought his factory KTM across the line in third, 13.46s later. Blose, Park, Anstie, Hand, Henry Miller, and Hawkins were the other riders to punch their tickets directly to the 250SX East main event for the night. Luke Neese ran second during the race’s opening laps but finished 10th.

450SX heat one:
Anderson took the early lead in the first premier class race of the night and never gave it up, beating a charging Barcia to the finish by 2.452s. Cianciarulo moved forward to third after initially running sixth, while Webb recovered from a mid-pack start — and contact with Wilson plus a few privateer entrants — to finish fourth. Justin Hill, Wilson, Grant Harlan, Kevin Moranz, and Freddie Noren secured the race’s remaining transfer spots. Unfortunately, Josh Hill was the first to miss out by finishing 10th.

450SX heat two:
Last week’s winner Roczen executed a solid start to lead the final heat race of the night. With just over a minute to go, fastest qualifier Sexton turned an alternate rhythm through the track’s first section into a pass for the lead. With Roczen, Plessinger, and Tomac losing time to Sexton but well ahead of fifth-placed Craig, Plessinger darted past Roczen over the dragon’s back and into the final corner during a surprise last-lap attack to swipe second, forcing Roczen to settle for third. While Roczen, Tomac, Craig, McElrath, Bloss, and Clason finished in positions 3–8, Josh Cartwright and Kyle Chisholm made contact two corners from the finish. Both riders fell, but Cartwright recovered and finished ninth. While Chisholm attempted to restart his kickstart-equipped Suzuki, Justin Starling darted past for the ninth position and final transfer spot. John Short, Hunter Schlosser, and Chisholm finished in the first positions outside the transfer bubble and will return for the LCQ.

250SX LCQ:
Josiah Natzke, Gage Linville, Lance Kobusch, and Lane Allison filled the four transfer spots as the field filed through the first few lanes. Star Racing Yamaha’s contender Smith was buried in the pack, scored 15th after the opening lap. Smith then stalled his bike during the second lap and completely lost touch with the field. He charged to fifth and made contact with Jack Chambers in the final corner, ending up on the ground for the third time of the night while Chambers crossed the line to earn the last gate in the main event successfully. Smith picked up his Yamaha and finished seventh and won’t be seen in the main event. Natzke and Luke Neese were fifth and sixth, also failing to qualify.

450SX LCQ:
Starling led early over Chisholm, while Josh Hill was notably well outside the transfer positions following a poor start. The AMA soon called a complete restart of the race after the gate was found to have malfunctioned. After the second start, Starling was racing for the final transfer position instead of comfortably leading. Chase Marquier, Chisholm, and Hill ran ahead, with Joan Cros chasing for the lead group with hopes of qualifying. Chisholm passed Marquier for the lead with a minute and a half still on the clock, then went on to win by just under a second and a half. Hill held third while Starling held off Cros for fourth, finalizing the lineup for Detroit’s 450SX main event.

250SX main event:
With the holeshot and a comfortable victory, Lawrence completed a perfect day inside Ford Field and increased his 2023 win tally to five. Lawrence assumed the early lead ahead of Martin, Thrasher, Deegan, and Blose in the top five. Podium contender Anstie fell on the opening lap and fell several lanes behind the field before continuing aboard his Fire Power Honda. Due to apparent bike problems, he slowly lapped the track before retiring from the race. While Lawrence continued to lead, Martin was passed by Thrasher, then later gave up the final podium position to Deegan. That marked the final pass for position near the front, with Lawrence closing out the victory by a margin of 7.685s. Thrasher and Deegan completed the podium, with Martin and Blose holding their positions in the top five. Vialle, Park, Schock, Miller, and Hicks comprised the remainder of the top 10.

450SX main event:
Plessinger entered the Detroit round having led seven laps in his 450SX career and led 21 of the 23 inside Ford Field before dramatically crashing out. Clearly in physical pain and struggling to remount his smoking KTM 450 SX-F FE, Plessinger came within a single lap of becoming the 66th rider to win a 450SX main event. Instead, what was nearly a win for the fan-favorite KTM rider by a margin of about 8s became an unexpected triumph for Sexton. Webb followed Sexton over the finish line jump one final time, 6.335s behind, and immediately began signaling to the scoring tower, pointing in Sexton’s direction. Soon after the race, the AMA handed a seven-point penalty to Sexton for jumping on a red cross flag. Sexton maintains the race victory, but the benefit of winning was significantly diminished due to the penalty and because his championship rivals Webb and Tomac landed on the podium in second and third. A competitive race for Barcia, including an exciting multiple-corner sequence with Sexton, culminated in a fourth-place finish for the GasGas rider. Roczen held fifth throughout the main, keeping the leaders in sight and finishing as the last rider within 30s of Sexton at the checkered flag. Craig and Justin Hill finished sixth and seventh, ahead of Kawasaki teammates Cianciarulo and Anderson, who recovered from significant crashes to finish eighth and ninth. Josh Hill completed the top 10. Plessinger is officially scored 13th.