Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton grabbed his third win of the year at Round 13 of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season.
The Supercross series returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway for great racing on the high-speed Georgia track. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia earned second place on the high-speed track that stretched out in front of the grandstands of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen took third at the uncustomary-daytime Supercross round that paid points toward the 17-round Monster Energy Supercross season and also the inaugural 31-round SuperMotocross World Championship. In the return of Eastern Regional 250SX Class racing, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence took his sixth win in seven rounds in the regional series.
Chase Sexton earned his fourth career 450SX Class victory. With the win, the Honda rider pulled back into the championship points chase. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Ken Roczen grabbed the holeshot in the 450SX Class Main Event but Chase Sexton wasted no time getting into the lead before the racers had reached the second corner. After one lap Sexton was out front ahead of Roczen, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson, Justin Barcia, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb, and Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsport’s Josh Hill, with points leader Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac in eighth place. Three minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race Barcia was into third and Webb was up to fifth and soon applying heavy pressure on Anderson for fourth. Six minutes into the battle Sexton was inching away from Roczen and Barcia; the top three had separated themselves from Webb and Tomac who held fourth and fifth.
Twelve minutes into the race the top three were still close enough to be in the same track section together. Barcia was the rider on the move and pressuring Roczen for second. With six and a half minutes left on the race clock Barcia took over the spot, but by then Sexton was four seconds up the track. Sexton put down some smooth, fast laps and stretched out the lead as the two riders ahead of him in the points still ran fourth and fifth.
Late in the race, Tomac made a drive and got up to Webb’s rear wheel just as Webb’s teammate, Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger, caught up to the two riders. But with two laps to go, Webb distanced himself from Tomac, and Plessinger lost touch; the big battle between the points front runners didn’t materialize. When the Monster Energy AMA Supercross flames fired off on the infield, Chase Sexton took his tenth career win and closed the points gap in the title chase to 17 with four races remaining.
Honda’s Hunter Lawrence had a scare early but recovered to dominate the 250SX Class Main Event and stretch his points lead to 45. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event, Hunter Lawrence snagged the holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Talon Hawkins, and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Coty Schock. Deegan jumped immediately into the lead but Lawrence shouldered his way back around as the racers charged up the face of the track’s bridge jump. Two minutes into the 15-minute plus one lap race the top four, Lawrence, Deegan, Smith, and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nate Thrasher were pulling away in a four-way battle when Lawrence got wildly out of shape in a rhythm section. Lawrence made an incredible save that took him off the track, and Deegan took over the front spot.
Within a couple laps Lawrence had recovered and taken back the top spot, leaving Deegan to fend off his charging teammate Smith. The last time the Yamaha teammates had faced off there was blocking, contact, and a crash; but fans did not see a repeat as Smith got smoothly around Deegan with eight and a half minutes left on the race clock. Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda, in his first race back from injury, was recovering nicely from a poor start and put his Kawasaki into the top five at the race’s midpoint. Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin crashed hard in a rhythm section while running seventh, and late in the race Thrasher had a fall exiting one of the track’s two whoop sections. At the checkered flag Lawrence grabbed another win, Smith held strong in second, and Deegan earned a third podium in his rookie season.
The next race drops that gate inside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22nd. The event returns to the nighttime, stadium-format racing but bring the unique 250SX Class mash-up of the season’s first of two East/West Showdowns.
Atlanta’s speedway-venue layout was a look ahead at what the SuperMotocross Playoffs and Final events promise to provide to wrap up the all-new series in September. The 31-round series combines the complete Monster Energy AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross seasons with the three SuperMotocross rounds to crown one 450cc class champion who will earn a one million dollar championship bonus. The 250cc class champion will take home a $500,000 bonus.
Like every SuperMotocross round, racing is streamed live and complete on Peacock. Select events are also broadcast across NBC, USA Network, and CNBC channels. For race times, the full 31-round schedule, video highlights, rider power rankings, and more, please go to SupercrossLIVE.com.
450SX Class podium (racers left to right) Justin Barcia, Chase Sexton, and Ken Roczen.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
250SX Class podium (racers left to right) Haiden Deegan, Hunter Lawrence, and Jordon Smith.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.