Lawrence becomes first 450SMX champion with Los Angeles victory
Deegan captures 250SMX overall as rookies sweep SMX titles.
The 2023 SuperMotocross World Championship season finale at the historic Los Angeles Coliseum saw rookie sensation Jett Lawrence add two more moto wins and the 450SMX championship to his list of successes throughout the year, while Haiden Deegan earned the night’s overall win in 250SMX along with a SuperMotocross title of his own.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) snuck through the opening corner first as moto one for the premier class at the finale event kicked off.
Sporting a retro look on his No. 9 Kawasaki KX450SR, Cianciarulo led the opening lap before giving way to his Monster Energy Kawasaki stablemate Jason Anderson moments before a violent crash for fellow front-runner Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) brought out a red flag.
Anderson was tasked with keeping Ken Roczen (Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki) behind following the staggered restart and did so until the sixth lap when the German rider launched past Anderson on the inside in a bowl turn with 13 minutes on the clock.
Roczen led two laps until he was passed for the lead by Lawrence, whose charge forward began when he passed his teammate Chase Sexton for third in the moto’s early moments and continued with a move on Anderson a few corners after Roczen’s.
Initially showing an ability to keep pace with and challenge Lawrence for the lead, Roczen ultimately lost touch with the undefeated 450MX Pro Motocross Championship winner and settled for second by 1.561s at the end.
Sexton held on for third, 6.316s back.
Anderson ended up fourth, followed by a quiet run to fifth for Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing newcomer Cooper Webb. Garrett Marchbanks (Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha) finished a solid sixth ahead of Cianciarulo, Colt Nichols (Rick Ware Racing Madd Parts Kawasaki), Ty Masterpool (HBI Racing Kawasaki), and Dean Wilson (Fire Power Honda) in the top 10 positions.
A first-turn crash for Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) and a later fall for Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) saw those two join Barcia at the bottom of the results for the first 450SMX race of the season-ending night.
Sexton launched into the lead following the final gate drop of the year, surrounded by his closest competition with $1 million on the line. Cianciarulo, Lawrence, Webb, Anderson, and Roczen also benefitted from solid starts and set their sights on Sexton, with every position weighing heavily given the triple points on offer.
A significant shakeup arrived when Sexton violently crashed out from the lead, entering the high-speed sand section on the ninth lap. Lawrence avoided Sexton’s downed motorcycle and assumed the race lead.
Though Roczen chased him until lapped riders interrupted the German Suzuki rider’s progress with the year’s final checkered flag nearing, Lawrence led the final 10 laps of the season as he finalized a 1.644s victory. He secured the first-ever 450SMX title simultaneously, ultimately finishing 17 points clear of Roczen in the final standings.
Webb found the final podium position behind Roczen in this season-ending moto as well as the overall results for the Los Angeles SMX.
Cianciarulo finished a solid fourth to secure fourth overall with 7-4 results on the night. Nichols earned fifth overall with eighth in moto one and fifth in moto two as he beat Plessinger, Marchbanks, Freddie Noren (HEP Suzuki), Masterpool, and Nicoletti in the top 10 in the final race of the year.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan has clinched the 250SMX title after claiming the overall with consistency at the Los Angeles 2023 SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) Final.
With red plate-holder Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) ruled out of contention during the afternoon, 17-year-old Deegan remained composed to deliver 5-2 results and the crown.
It was Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) who won the battle to and through the opening corner after the night’s first gate drop in 250SMX moto one, but Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) soon passed the young Husqvarna rider and took over the lead himself.
Jordon Smith, surging forward on his Yamaha, had just his teammate Deegan between himself and race leader Vialle once he passed Swoll for third.
In quick succession, Smith passed Deegan and Vialle to assume control of the race. Frantic battling continued, with Deegan and RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) trading back and forth and Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) charging from a sixth-place start. The action funneled into separate duels between Smith and Hampshire for the win and Shimoda and Deegan for fourth.
Smith expertly defended a lunge to his inside from Hampshire in a 180-degree bowl turn approaching the checkered flag and successfully closed out the moto win by a margin of 1.278s over Hampshire. Vialle took the checkers third, followed by Shimoda, who kept Deegan at bay after a pass involving heavy contact.
The fast-starting Swoll ended up sixth, followed by Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing), Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas), Maximus Vohland (Red Bull KTM), and Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) in the top 10.
A trio of factory-prepared Yamaha machines exited the first turn at the front of the field as the final 250 race of 2023 got underway.
Shimoda pursued Kitchen, Deegan, and Cooper as the field settled into an order, giving Deegan the upper hand in his battle with Shimoda for the inaugural 250SMX title.
Though Deegan didn’t find a way past Kitchen for the race lead, finishing 1.469s behind in second was enough to capture the overall win and the SuperMotocross title in the class.
Cooper found the final podium spot in the year’s concluding moto, followed by Shimoda in fourth, whose 4-4 results on the night earned him second overall behind Deegan.
Brown, Hampshire, Vohland, Swoll, Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), and Smith completed the top 10, with Smith reaching 10th after being put on the ground midway through the opening lap. Hampshire earned third overall after Deegan and Shimoda on the results for the finale with 2-6 moto scores. Cooper finished seventh and third for fourth overall, followed by Kitchen with 10-1 finishes for the fifth overall position.
Deegan’s successful night in Los Angeles put the young rookie five points clear of Shimoda in the final SMX standings as the series’ first 250SMX champion.