Features 5 Apr 2024

Rated: Triple Crown performances

Grading how the 450SX championship contenders fared in Triple Crowns.

The three Triple Crown races spread amongst the 17 rounds of Monster Energy Supercross throw a curveball to the championship fight every year. The format forces top riders to not only up their intensity across three shorter races, but also remain consistent all night long to capture a solid overall result. With Triple Crowns now behind us for 2024, we review how the top five 450SX contenders fared in this Rated feature.

Image: Octopi Media.

Rider: Jett Lawrence
Triple Crown Points: 55
Rating: 8/10
Rundown: Triple Crowns were not one of Jett Lawrence’s strong suits over his years of dominating in the 250SX class, thus a keen eye was placed on how he’d do in them once moving up to the big bikes. His first ever go at Anaheim 2 was a little rough and he came out with sixth place result. But his next attempt in Indianapolis resulted in the second ever 450SX Triple Crown sweep. Things were trending well in St. Louis too until he and Justin Barcia came together violently in the final race of the night. There’s a good chance without that contact that he scores the most points total across all three Triple Crowns, but the eighth place overall in St. Louis was a tough pill to swallow. However, aside from his crash in Race 3 back at Anaheim 2 when he was in second place all by himself, Lawrence proved to be a bit more stable in Triple Crown races aboard a 450. He should have a better grade, but alas, two of his three worst finishes of 2024 so far have come at Triple Crowns with only a ninth-place finish in the mud of San Francisco scoring him worse.

Rider: Cooper Webb
Triple Crown Points: 64
Rating: 9/10
Rundown: Everyone was a little inconsistent in 450SX at Triple Crowns this year, but Cooper Webb went 1-5-2 at the three rounds to claim the Triple Crown Championship in 2024. Yes, that is a real thing. Webb won Anaheim 2 without winning a single race, but that’s sort of the name of the game with Triple Crowns is balancing potential race winning speed with consistency. Things likely would have gone much better for him in Indianapolis aside from hitting Cade Clason while he was lapping him causing Webb to go down hard in the first race. That left him with a bad gate pick for the second race and it sort of snowballed into an average night from there. He was simply consistent once again in St. Louis while others had mistakes and he picked up a second-place finish overall. Webb didn’t win a single race from nine starts in Triple Crowns this year, but he still won an overall and picked up more points than anyone else. That consistency could prove pivotal when it comes to deciding a champion at the end of the year as he outscored Jett Lawrence by nine points in Triple Crowns in 2024

Rider: Chase Sexton
Triple Crown Points: 54
Rating: 8/10
Rundown: One thing Sexton did right in Triple Crowns as the defending champion was be consistent. He had some bad starts, early falls, and other hiccups, but he still managed to reasonably salvage his night each time. Unlike Webb though, Sexton’s performances were not good enough to battle for the win overall at the three Triple Crowns. He did finish third overall in Indianapolis with 3-3-2 scores but was just slightly off Jett Lawrence and Ken Roczen through most of the night. He finished top five in all three Triple Crowns but even he would likely lament some missed opportunities at these races. He was very fast but ‘crashy’ with Honda during his championship run and has seemingly been more measured with KTM. But that approach just didn’t garner the results needed to say Triple Crowns were beneficial to Sexton in 2024.

Image: Octopi Media.

Rider: Eli Tomac
Triple Crown Points: 57
Rating: 8/10
Rundown: Tomac is the undisputed Triple Crown king as his results over the years at Triple Crowns have been remarkable. Now his lone win since returning from injury in 2024 has come at a Triple Crown with a sweep this past weekend in St. Louis. Even early in the year when things didn’t quite seem to be rolling at the same Eli Tomac level everyone was used to, Tomac still won the third race at Anaheim 2 and collected a second-place overall finish. It was a glimpse for everyone that Eli Tomac was perhaps back again. The lone blemish in Triple Crowns for Tomac then came at Indianapolis where he finished up seventh overall on the night. However, we now know Tomac was battling a slight ankle tweak at the time that could have contributed to a string of bad results for the two-time champion. Either way, the win at St. Louis proves it was overall another successful year of Triple Crowns for Tomac.

Rider: Ken Roczen
Triple Crown Points: 47
Rating: 7/10
Rundown: Looking at Roczen’s scores from Triple Crowns this year of 7-2-12, it really looks like ‘alright-great-terrible’. Disregarding Roczen’s tough weekend at St. Louis, Anaheim 2 was really a matter of Roczen’s early season bad luck dragging him down a bit. He started the year by somehow crashing or stalling his bike early in a lot of races and many of them were out of his control. He again got another bad start in the second race at Anaheim 2 and charged all the way into the top five before crashing again, which ultimately spoiled his night. In reality, Roczen had race winning speed at the Triple Crowns this year, but lacked the consistency, and that really hurt him in the points. From Anaheim 2 onward, two of his three worst results have come at Triple Crowns. If you flip the script and give Roczen the points and results that Cooper Webb had in that same stretch, Roczen would only be 24 points off the championship lead. Instead, he’s a distant 42 markers back with not much time left on the season.