News 19 Mar 2023

Lawrence cruises to fifth 2023 victory in Detroit

Crash ends dominant run for Plessinger two corners from 450SX white flag.

Hunter Lawrence finishes first in the 2023 250SX East main event inside Detroit's Ford Field.

Image: Octopi Media.

A perfect day in Detroit for Hunter Lawrence culminated in his fifth 250SX East victory of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season, moments before Aaron Plessinger crashed two turns from the white flag to end an otherwise dominant run in the Motor City.

Lawrence turned the holeshot into a win by a margin of 7.685s after also leading both qualifying sessions and winning his heat race earlier in the program.

Assuming the early lead ahead of Jeremy Martin (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha), Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing, Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), and Chris Blose (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) in the top five, Lawrence went unchallenged on his way to the 10th Supercross win of his career.

With podium contender Max Anstie and his Fire Power Honda on the ground during the opening lap, plus Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith failing to qualify through his heat and LCQ, the battle for the final two podium positions was set up between Martin, Thrasher, and Deegan.

Thrasher passed Martin for second, and Martin later gave up the final podium position to Deegan. That marked the final pass for position near the front, with Lawrence closing out the victory by a margin of 7.685s.

Thrasher and Deegan completed the podium, with Martin and Blose holding their positions in the top five.

Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM), Cullin Park (Phoenix Racing Honda), Coty Schock (Phoenix Racing Honda), Henry Miller (Ti-Lube Storm Lake Honda), and Michael Hicks comprised the remainder of the top 10.

With the 250SX West region due to pick back up in Seattle next weekend, Lawrence and the rest of the East region competitors will race next April 15 inside Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Chase Sexton benefitted from a late-race crash from an otherwise-dominant Aaron Plessinger in Detroit.

Image: Octopi Media.

As for the premier-class action in Detroit, a near-last-lap crash for Plessinger put Chase Sexton in position to secure his second 450SX victory of the 2023 Supercross season.

Plessinger entered the Detroit round with seven career laps led on a 450, and led 21 of the 23 inside Ford Field before dramatically crashing his Red Bull KTM.

Clearly in physical pain and struggling to remount his smoking KTM 450 SX-F FE, Plessinger came within a single lap of becoming the 66th rider to win a 450SX main event. Instead, what was nearly a win for the fan-favorite KTM rider by a margin of about 8s became an unexpected triumph for Sexton and Team Honda HRC.

Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) followed Sexton over the finish line jump one final time, 6.335s behind, and immediately began signaling to the scoring tower, pointing in Sexton’s direction. Soon after the race, the AMA handed a seven-point penalty to Sexton for jumping on a red cross flag.

Sexton maintains the race victory, but the benefit of winning was significantly diminished due to the penalty — and because his championship rivals Webb and Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) landed on the podium in second and third.

A competitive race for Justin Barcia, including an exciting multiple-corner sequence with Sexton, culminated in a fourth-place finish for the TLD Red Bull GasGas rider.

Ken Roczen held fifth throughout the main aboard his Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki, keeping the leaders in sight and finishing as the last rider within 30s of Sexton at the checkered flag.

Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and Justin Hill (Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports) finished sixth and seventh, ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki teammates Adam Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson, who recovered from significant crashes to finish eighth and ninth. Josh Hill (Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports) completed the top 10.

Plessinger is officially scored 13th after rolling over the finish line on his damaged motorcycle, missing his goggles and helmet visor.

Webb maintains the points lead heading to Seattle in a week’s time, leading by three over Tomac. Sexton still holds third, 17 points back from Webb.

Detailed results