News 12 Mar 2023

Wire-to-wire Indianapolis victory extends Lawrence points lead

Roczen delivers first Suzuki win since 2016.

Hunter Lawrence finalizes his victory at the 2023 Indianapolis Supercross.

Image: Octopi Media.

The fourth 2023 Monster Energy Supercross victory for Hunter Lawrence and the ninth of his career arrived as he led from the gate drop to the checkered flag in Indianapolis, preceding a similarly dominant victory for Ken Roczen in the premier class.

The 250SX East points-leading Team Honda HRC rider launched into the lead by the end of the short start straight and was unchallenged — by anything beyond the track itself — on his way to beating rival Nate Thrasher of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing to the finish by 7.97s.

A competitive night for Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki fill-in Chris Blose extended to the main event as he slotted in behind Lawrence through the opening lap, followed closely by the Star Racing-prepared factory Yamaha machines of Thrasher, Jordon Smith, and Haiden Deegan.

Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha rider Jeremy Martin pursued this lead group in fifth and was promoted to fourth when Daytona podium finisher Deegan fell midway through the whoops section.

Also benefiting from Deegan’s mistake, Max Anstie (Fire Power Honda) secured fifth as Lawrence, Thrasher, Smith, and Martin remained in position ahead, with 15s separating Thrasher and Smith and more than 22s between Smith and Martin.

Deegan, Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM), and Phoenix Racing Honda teammates Cullin Park and Coty Schock completed the top 10.

After 21 laps on the rough and rutted Lucas Oil Stadium track in Indianapolis, Lawrence heads to Detroit’s Ford Field with a 22-point lead over his 250SX East competitors. Anstie holds second in the standings while Thrasher and Smith occupy third and fourth, 32 and 33 markers back from Lawrence, respectively.

The 2023 Indianapolis Supercross marked Ken Roczen's first victory indoors since the 2022 Anaheim 1 season opener.

Image: Octopi Media.

By translating a holeshot into the main event victory inside Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, Roczen delivered Suzuki its first Monster Energy Supercross win since he came out on top aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450 in East Rutherford 2,507 days ago.

Roczen’s 0.739s margin of victory over TLD Red Bull GasGas rider Justin Barcia was the difference as he won for his first time since last year’s Pro Motocross visit to Thunder Valley.

The feat is also the Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki rider’s first Supercross win since the 2022 season opener at Anaheim.

First to the first turn after the night’s final gate drop, Roczen faced initial pressure from fastest qualifier Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC), but that dissipated when Sexton went over the handlebars on the on-off table that followed the track’s treacherous whoops section.

On a severely deteriorating track, Barcia stalked Roczen, particularly during the race’s closing two minutes. The two opted for opposing rhythms through certain sections, with Barcia closing to within a single bike length at one point entering the whoops.

An off-track excursion near the whoops for third-placed Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) further dialed the focus on the two-rider battle for the win, with Roczen ultimately holding Barcia off by just over seven-tenths of a second at the checkered flag.

Webb was 8.852s in arrears of Barcia to claim the final step of the podium, and nearly half a lap ahead of Webb’s KTM stablemate Aaron Plessinger in fourth.

Monster Energy Kawasaki teammates Jason Anderson and Adam Cianciarulo finished next in fifth and sixth, with Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), former points leader Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), Justin Hill (Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports), and Sexton filling the rest of the top 10.

A nearly mid-pack start for Tomac limited his ability to move forward on the rutted circuit and he faced further adversity when Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson crashed in front of him in the whoops.

Webb’s run to third, paired with unideal outings for Tomac and Sexton, means the No. 2 KTM 450SX-F FE will carry more than just Red Bull branding when it appears next in Detroit; the two-time premier class champion’s machine will also don red number plates as he moved ahead of Tomac in the standings by one.

Webb and Tomac have amassed 202 and 201 points thus far in 2023. Sexton will race next inside Ford Field in Detroit looking to grow his collection of 189.

Detailed results