INDIANAPOLIS, IN – March 12, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen earned a thrilling victory in front of the 62,728 screaming fans who packed Lucas Oil Stadium for Round 9 of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season.
Lucas Oil Stadium lit up during opening ceremonies but the real fireworks took place during the closing minutes of the night’s 450SX Class Main Event. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia took second place after intensely pressuring for the lead in the final laps of the race. Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb finished third on an especially challenging track filled with deep, soft ruts. Webb’s finish gives him the season’s points lead and the red plate, by a single point, for both the Supercross season as well as toward the inaugural 31-round SuperMotocross World Championship series. In Round 5 of Eastern Regional 250SX Class racing, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence earned his fourth win of the season.
Ken Roczen grabbed his fourth win inside Lucas Oil Stadium. He kept his cool, and the lead, under intense pressure on one of the season’s most challenging tracks. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
When the gate dropped for the 450SX Class Main Event Ken Roczen crossed the Holeshot stripe first and immediately jumped into the lead. After one lap was in the books Roczen led Cooper Webb, Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsport’s Justin Hill, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson, and Justin Barcia. After a slow start, points leader Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac had moved up to eleventh place.
Sexton went to work on Webb for second as the top four riders slowly pulled away from the rest of the field. Less than two minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race Sexton moved past Webb and set his sights on Roczen. The lead was down to less than one second when Sexton caught a rut on a jump and crashed. The incident gave Roczen a little breathing room on Webb. Sexton remounted back in twelfth place.
Seven minutes into the Main Event Barcia applied heavy pressure on Webb for second place. Barcia took the spot after the two racers came together exiting the whoops. Neither rider went down, and Webb stayed tight on Barcia while the two tried to reel in Roczen, who was over three seconds ahead.
As the race clock reached three minutes remaining Barcia had the lead down to just one and a half seconds and the volume of the Indianapolis crowd was intense. Barcia got right on the rear fender of the Suzuki, dropping the gap to .7 seconds as the two racers took the white flag. Roczen held his composure through the final lap, earning his first win of the season. The victory makes Roczen a four-time winner in Indy, the winningest active racer at the venue. It was Roczen’s first win since 2022, and Suzuki’s first win since 2016 – which incidentally was earned by Roczen. Barcia took a close and hard-fought second place, his best result of the season. Webb crossed the checkered flag in third, earning enough points to take the red plate and the points lead heading into Round 10 next weekend in Detroit.
Hunter Lawrence almost made the win look easy on one of the toughest, and most-rutted tracks of the season. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
When the gate dropped for the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Hunter Lawrence took the lead with a Holeshot over Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Chris Blose, Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Marshal Weltin, and Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nate Thrasher moved up to fourth early in the opening lap and reached third position before the lap was over. On lap two Thrasher put his Yamaha into second place and the crowd was primed to see an intense battle. The two riders collided the weekend before and Thrasher held some extra motivation to catch and pass the Honda rider.
Martin was the rider on the move early; after losing several spots on the opening laps he charged into fourth place just before race’s midpoint. He was the fastest rider on the track on that lap but was still about eight seconds back from the third place spot held by Smith. With just under seven minutes left on the race clock Lawrence had a scary moment when he came together with a lapped rider. Hunter’s right hand came off the handlebar but he stayed up and seemed to be no worse for the wear. As the clock wined down Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan crashed in the whoops, giving up his fifth place spot.
When the flames lit at the finish Lawrence pulled in his fourth win of the season and stretched his points lead to 22. Thrasher earned second place points without ever getting into striking distance of the lead. Thrasher’s teammate Smith took third place and Martin crossed the line in fourth.
This week the series takes a short hop north to Detroit, Michigan for Round 10 at Ford Field on Saturday, March 18th. The domed stadium is sure to provide more great racing as the athletes pass the midpoint of the 17-round Monster Energy AMA Supercross season. Each Supercross round also pays points toward the brand-new SuperMotocross World Championship which pits the top Supercross and Motocross racers against one another for two Playoff races and one Final in September. The 450 Class winner will take home a cool one million dollars and go down in the history books as the first champion of the SuperMotocross League. The 250 Class racers will battle for the 250 Class title, with a $500,000 championship payout to the winner of that division and an equal spot in the sport’s history books.
The action from Indianapolis and previous rounds is already available in video highlights at SupercrossLIVE.com. The site also provides story features, race results, racer power rankings, as well as ticket sales to upcoming events. Every Supercross and SuperMotocross event is streamed live on Peacock, with select rounds broadcast on NBC, USA Network, and CNBC. For details and more please go to SupercrossLIVE.com.
450SX Class podium (racers left to right) Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen, and Cooper Webb.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
250SX Class podium (racers left to right) Nate Thrasher, Hunter Lawrence, and Jordon Smith.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
2023 Indianapolis Photo Gallery
450SX Class Highlights – Indianapolis
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Highlights – Indianapolis
Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Feld Motor Sports – Senior PR Manager – Supercross
Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting specialized arena and stadium-based motorsports entertainment. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, and the SuperMotocross World Championship. Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is a subsidiary of Feld Entertainment, Inc. Visit monsterjam.com, SupercrossLIVE.com, and feldentertainment.com for more information.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross is the most competitive and highest-profile off-road motorcycle racing championship on the planet. Founded in America and sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) since 1974. Over 17 weeks, Supercross attracts some of the largest and most impressive crowds inside the most recognizable and prestigious stadiums in North America to race in front of nearly one million live fans and broadcast to millions more worldwide. For more information, visit SupercrossLIVE.com.
The SuperMotocross World Championship™ is the premier off-road motorcycle racing series that combines the technical precision of stadium racing with the all-out speed and endurance of outdoor racing. Created in 2022, the SuperMotocross World Championship combines the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the AMA Pro Motocross Championship into a 31-event series that culminates in a season-ending two round playoff and SuperMotocross World Championship Final. Visit SuperMotocross.com for more information.
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year. The AMA also provides money-saving discounts on products and services for its members. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, the AMA honors the heroes and heritage of motorcycling. For more information, visit americanmotorcyclist.com.
Source: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.