Lawrence finalises 250SX West championship in Denver
Sexton secures 450SX points lead along with penultimate round win.
Team Honda HRC captured its second 2023 Monster Energy Supercross title as Jett Lawrence met the requirement of finishing 10th or better at Denver’s Empower Field at Mile High to secure the 250SX West championship, while an injury for Eli Tomac promoted Chase Sexton to the championship lead with one round to go.
Lawrence started well outside of the lead group in the 250SX main event but charged forward to third to finalize his run to the title.
Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) led the majority of the main event, fending off increased pressure from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire.
Seemingly eliminating his chance to win, Hampshire attempted an outside pass on Kitchen, but the Yamaha rider pushed him ride and forced Hampshire to check up before a double out of a 90-degree turn — a situation made worse as he accidentally clicked his Husqvarna FC 250 RE into neutral.
Hampshire rode alongside the whoops off the track before rejoining and mounting a new charge toward Kitchen. He successfully caught and passed Kitchen and earned his first win of the 2023 Supercross season by a margin of 1.353s seconds.
Lawrence finished 21.231s further back in third and laid down his Honda CRF250R after the checkered flag to salute the crowd and the bike itself as a clear send-off of his 250 career.
Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Enzo Lopes had his sights firmly set on the podium, but fell victim to Lawrence’s charge and settled for fourth. Mitchell Oldenburg (Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda) completed the top five.
A tip over after contact with Lopes while battling for third limited Max Vohland’s ability in the main event, leading to a sixth-place result for the Red Bull KTM rider. Derek Kelley (AEO Powersports KTM) finished just behind in seventh while Carson Mumford (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Cole Thompson (Team Solitaire Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha) and Robbie Wageman (BarX Suzuki) rounded out the top 10.
This 250SX West group will participate in the season finale at Salt Lake City, Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium in the season’s second East/West Showdown in a week’s time on May 13.
Tomac’s injury changed the outlook of the 2023 Supercross visit to Denver as well as the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship season as Sexton won the race and assumed the points lead with one round remaining.
With local favorite Tomac out of sight of the Denver fans receiving medical attention to his left leg, Sexton faced no further challenge en route to his fifth 450SX main event win of 2023.
The feat marks Sexton’s second consecutive victory after the Team Honda HRC caught and passed Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Tomac last time out in Nashville.
Ken Roczen (Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki) charged forward from last place after a first-turn crash to finish second, 8.361s in arrears of Sexton at the checkered flag.
Despite losing second to Roczen, Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) held on for third to secure his first Supercross podium since January 2021 in Houston.
Justin Hill (Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports) and Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance) were fourth and fifth, leading Dean Wilson (Fire Power Honda), Josh Hill (Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports), Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance), Grant Harlan (Rock River Yamaha), and privateer Justin Starling in the top 10.
In addition to Tomac, Kevin Moranz and Team Honda HRC’s Colt Nichols left the race early, with Nichols notably receiving medical attention for multiple minutes after a crash.
Supercross heads next to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah to wrap up its 2023 season on Saturday, May 13. There, Sexton will be crowned the 2023 450SX champion, as he leads injured riders Tomac and Webb by seven and 42 points, respectively.