Lawrence wins 250SX West revival in Seattle
Sexton crashes while leading, promoting Tomac to historic 50th career win.
A fourth 2023 Monster Energy Supercross win for Jett Lawrence and the sixth for Eli Tomac put the two back atop their respective classes as West Coast racing returned in Seattle.
Lawrence prevailed in the 250SX West division as a five-week break for the class drew to a close, leading 14 of the main event’s 18 laps en route to winning by a margin of 2.712s.
After the gate drop, Stilez Robertson (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) and Hunter Yoder (Partzilla PRMX Racing) ran side by side through the opening rhythm section with Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) and Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) close behind.
Robertson led the first lap, but soon faced pressure from points leader Lawrence. Soon after succumbing to a pass for the lead by Lawrence, Robertson crashed heavily at the end of the whoops under pressure from McAdoo and RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and laid near his bike to the side of the track with an apparent shoulder injury.
Hampshire passed McAdoo for second while Lawrence began detaching with the lead at the head of the field. At the same time, local favorite Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) ran fourth ahead of Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha representative Enzo Lopes.
McAdoo worked past Hampshire for second and cut a few seconds out of Lawrence’s lead as the young Honda rider ran into traffic. When approaching the white flag, Hampshire lunged past McAdoo in a bowl turn to reclaim the second position, finalizing the podium positions.
Just half a second split Hampshire from McAdoo at the checkered flag. Lopes maintained his position for fourth, while Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) was elevated to the top five with Robertson’s crash.
Kitchen, Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas), Carson Mumford (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Mitchell Oldenburg (Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda), and Cole Thompson (Team Solitaire Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha) filled the bottom half of the top 10, with Robertson officially scored in last place.
Having amassed 127 points in five races, Lawrence holds an advantage of 23 over Hampshire in the 250SX West standings. McAdoo is third, three further back.
The 450SX racing inside Lumen Field proved to be impactful as Tomac drew even with Cooper Webb in the points standings with the 50th victory of his career.
With Tomac’s victory over Webb by a margin of 4.798s, the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider also tied James Stewart on the sport’s all-time wins list.
Kevin Moranz, the consistently great-starting privateer, grabbed the holeshot with room to spare and successfully led the race’s first lap. With a charging Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) behind, Moranz went over the berm in a bowl turn and got stuck on the tough blocks, falling to the back of the field.
Sexton assumed the race lead with Ken Roczen (Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki) close behind, along with Tomac, Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki), and Webb (Red Bull KTM).
A mistake for Cianciarulo and a quick run through the whoops for Tomac promoted the points leader and reigning champion into third, and he then set his sights on Roczen in second. With just over 14 minutes remaining, Tomac rocketed past Roczen, but the two traded positions two additional times after mistakes from the other on the fading track.
With 10 and a half minutes on the clock, Sexton fell victim to the challenging conditions and went over the handlebars, falling to fourth from the lead. Tomac assumed the lead, with Webb just over 2s behind. Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) and Sexton got by Roczen for third and fourth before Roczen fell victim to a surge from Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki), dropping from a podium spot to sixth.
A late-race charge toward Tomac was not to be for Webb as the KTM rider settled for second, finishing just under 5s back from Tomac at the checkered flag.
Earning extra reason to celebrate on his birthday, Barcia captured his third podium of 2023 with his fourth top-four result in as many rounds. Sexton ended the night in fifth, failing to back up his Detroit victory and losing more championship ground.
Roczen, Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM), Cianciarulo, Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), and Justin Hill (Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports) comprised the remainder of the top 10.
One red plate will become two as the series returns to action April 8 in Glendale. Tomac and Webb will both carry red number backgrounds inside State Farm Stadium as they carry 248 points into the season’s 12th round. Sexton’s Seattle fate has him 22 points back heading to Arizona after a weekend off.