Jett Lawrence Tops 250SX Class Racers in East/West Showdown
Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton nabbed the final win of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross indoor stadium season to cap his first 450SX Class championship with a victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 49,871 fans inside Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Rice-Eccles Stadium hosted its 22nd Monster Energy Supercross, and its fourth Supercross season finale, in Utah’s inspiring “State of Sport” spirit. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger took the race’s runner-up spot at the Supercross Championship Final Presented by Utah Sports Commission. And Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsport’s Justin Hill took third place and his career-first 450SX Class podium to conclude the Supercross season and also earn points toward the inaugural 31-round SuperMotocross World Championship. In the 250SX Class season finale, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence earned his sixth victory of the season in the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown that pit both regions against each other for the second time in 2023.
Chase Sexton used speed and determination to take his first Supercross Championship. He finished the season on top with a nearly 20-second win at the finale in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
On the podium, the AMA awarded Chase Sexton the Monster Energy Supercross Champion title. He entered the race with the championship mathematically won but received the official #1 plate after the race. With Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence and Jett Lawrence wrapping the two 250SX Class championships at previous rounds, 2023 marked only the third time ever, and second time for Honda, that a manufacturer has captured all three Supercross championships in the same season. The 2023 season marks the 50th Anniversary of Supercross racing in America.
When the gate dropped Chase Sexton grabbed the holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, FXR General Grind & Machine’s Justin Starling, Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance’s Kyle Chisholm and Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen. Roczen was on the move early but just a few turns in he injured his knee in a rutted corner. Roczen’s injury took him out of the race and he lost a chance to earn the two points needed to secure third overall in the championship.
Cianciarulo was into second place just a few laps into the race with Chisholm right behind. Just over three minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race Aaron Plessinger took over third and set his sights on Cianciarulo while Justin Hill was into fourth place and on the charge. As the race clock ticked past 12 minutes Plessinger moved past Cianciarulo to take over second, and a lap and a half later Justin Hill was around Cianciarulo and into third place.
As Sexton stretched out his lead up front, Cianciarulo mounted a charge to take back third. But with five minutes left on the race clock the final positions appeared settled. Chase Sexton took his sixth win of the season and brought Honda its first Supercross title since 2003. Sexton’s late-season surge was one of the sport’s great title comebacks, with parallels to David Bailey’s 1983 season that also included a third-to-first drive in the final five races of the season.
Jett Lawrence took the win in what is likely his final 250SX Class race. He moves up to race the 450SX Class next year. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
In the final 250SX Class race of the season, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Coty Schock grabbed the holeshot but Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire was quickly into the lead ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle, Jett Lawrence, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Levi Kitchen, and Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie as heavy rain came down in the stadium. Hunter Lawrence found himself with a mid-pack start and then got tangled up when Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Enzo Lopes crashed. As Hampshire, Jett Lawrence and Kitchen slotted into the top three spots, Hunter Lawrence and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan worked their way up from outside the top ten.
Three minutes into the 15-minute plus one lap race Jett Lawrence began applying pressure on Hampshire for the lead. At the same time, back on the track, Deegan broke into the top ten. Two minutes later Jett Lawrence was in striking distance of the front spot as his brother Hunter Lawrence climbed into the top ten. As the race clock ticked down to eight and a half minutes Jett Lawrence charged through the whoops and cut under Hampshire in the following corner. The riders made contact; Lawrence accelerated away clean but the disturbance led to a Hampshire mistake down the next rhythm lane.
From there Jett Lawrence was unchallenged for the lead. The win gives the Australian racer the distinction of being the winningest Honda rider in the 250SX Class, surpassing racing legends Eli Tomac, Jeremy McGrath and Hunter Lawrence. Hampshire held second to the checkered, and Kitchen took the final 250SX Class podium of the season.
With the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross indoor stadium season wrapped up, the racers have a two week break before the start of the 11-round AMA Pro Motocross outdoor season. Points earned from the Supercross season will combine with points earned in the motocross season to determine the top 20 riders who will gain entry into the all-new SuperMotocross World Championship. Riders in spots 21-30 in overall points, as well as single event winners not in the top 20, will get a spot on the line in the Last Chance Qualifier to battle for the final two spots on the 22-rider starting gate. In September two Playoff races and one Final, with increasing points payouts, will determine the first SuperMotocross World Champion and deliver a $1,000,000 win bonus to that rider. The 250 class racers will battle for a $500,000 win bonus. It’s the first ever playoff season for the sport and delivers a three-race post season that will be all-new for the fans, teams, and racers.
Before the Monster Energy Supercross season closes its books, one great event is yet to conclude: the 2023 St. Jude Love Moto Stop Cancer Supercross Auction. The online auction offers unique, autographed, one-of-a-kind memorabilia donated by the teams, partners, and athletes. The auction runs until Monday, May 15th at 8:00 PM ET. All money raised goes directly to the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the St. Jude mission of Finding Cures. Saving Children. To bid on the auction items please go to: St. Jude Love Moto Stop Cancer Supercross Auction.
All rounds of the 2023 SuperMotocross World Championship will be streamed live on Peacock; rounds 29 and 31 will also be broadcast live on USA Network. Both Playoffs and the Final will be re-broadcast on CNBC. For the full race schedule and ticket sales, as well as 2023 Supercross highlight videos, recap race reports, and post-race press conferences, please go to SupercrossLIVE.com.
450SX Class podium (racers left to right) Aaron Plessinger, Chase Sexton, and Justin Hill.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
450SX Class Results
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM
- Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM
- Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
- Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Honda
- Josh Hill, Huntersville, N.C., KTM
- Shane McElrath, Oakland, Fla., Suzuki
- Justin Starling, Riverview, Fla., GASGAS
- Devin Simonson, Laurinburg, N.C., Kawasaki
- Grant Harlan, Decatur, Tex., Yamaha
450SX Class Championship Final Standings
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (372)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (339)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (304)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (304)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (267)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (242)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (236)
- Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM (212)
- Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (210)
- Dean Wilson, Menifee, Calif., Honda (200)
250SX Class podium (racers left to right) Levi Kitchen, Jett Lawrence, and RJ Hampshire.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
East/West Showdown Results
- Jett Lawrence, Zephyrhills, Fla., Honda (West)
- RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (West)
- Levi Kitchen, Havana, F., Yamaha (West)
- Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (East)
- Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Yamaha (East)
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (East)
- Max Anstie, Cairo, Ga., Honda (East)
- Haiden Deegan, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (East)
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Godley, Tex., Honda (West)
- Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Kawasaki (West)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Final Standings
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (241)
- Haiden Deegan, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (183)
- Max Anstie, Cairo, Ga., Honda (182)
- Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Yamaha (159)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (143)
- Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Yamaha (132)
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (120)
- Tom Vialle, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (120)
- Cullin Park, Clermont, Fla., Honda (117)
- Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda (94)
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Final Standings
- Jett Lawrence, Zephyrhills, Fla., Honda (223)
- RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (186)
- Levi Kitchen, Havana, Fla., Yamaha (156)
- Enzo Lopes, Chesterfield, S.C., Yamaha (149)
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Godley, Tex., Honda (131)
- Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (121)
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (101)
- Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (98)
- Derek Kelley, Riverside, Calif., KTM (87)
- Cole Thompson, Brigden, Ont., Yamaha (87)