Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA — January 8, 2023
Last night, the first round of the new SuperMotocross World Championship fired out of the starting gates at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The Supercross opener from the traditional first stop on tour provided fans with an anticipated duel of superstars back on the track after the winter layoff. It did not disappoint.
Reigning Supercross champion Eli Tomac looked to defend his title against two-time Supercross champion Cooper Webb, 2018 Supercross champion Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen, Chase Sexton, Malcolm Stewart, and Justin Barcia in the 450SX Class. Barcia has won three out of the last four 450SX Class season-opening races. The Western Regional 250SX Class features defending Eastern Regional 250SX Class champion Jett Lawrence, who is hoping to fend off Austin Forkner, Cameron McAdoo, and RJ Hampshire.
250 SX Heats
Heat one saw RJ Hampshire(24) show he was a rider to be contended with as he grabbed the holeshot and began to pull away from the pack early. Jett Lawrence(18) got off to a poor start, mired in the middle of a group of riders charging into the first turn. He did recover to run fourth at the end of lap one.
By mid-race, Lawrence had worked his way into the second position. However, he trailed the leader by two and a half seconds. As the timed portion of the moto counted down to one minute to go, Lawrence had cut the lead to just over a second.
Hampshire held his ride together and pulled away over the final two laps to grab the victory.
Enzo Lopes(56) was the surprise leader early in the second heat, with Cameron McAdoo(48) chasing him for the top spot. Pierce Brown(33) took a wicked spill in turn one of lap one and was done for the evening just seconds into the event. Austin Forkner(55) did not get the start he was looking for and found himself 14th in the early going.
McAdoo hounded Lopes and finally made the pass for the lead at mid-race. By that time, Forkner had worked his way into a qualifying position and charged to the front. McAdoo and Lopes finished one-two, with Forkner recovering to take the third position.
Defending Supercross Champion Eli Tomac(1) served notice he is back to repeat and competing in top form. He took the holeshot in heat one and quickly moved away from the challengers who would chase his title.
Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis(14) showed the strength of their Yamaha YZ450F bikes, running an unchallenged second. Adam Cianciarulo(9), Joey Savatgy(17), and Jason Anderson(21) rounded out the top five. The surprise run of the heat came from Aaron Plessinger(7) moving up to fourth and replacing Savatgy while the other positions remained the same.
Heat two featured Chase Sexton(23), the number one qualifier in the 450 class, and he displayed that top speed running away with the moto. Cooper Webb(2), Malcolm Stewart(27), Marvin Musquin(25), and Ken Roczen(94) staged a furious battle early, with Roczen moving into second and locking down that spot. The other three rounded out the top five in order.
250SX West Main Event
Hampshire looked to put himself out front again on the gate drop but had a minor bump with Folkner. It was not minor for the Kawasaki KX250 rider as Folkner bobbled, lost control, and crashed out before making it to the first timing line. He was listed as a DNS (did not start).
Lawrence took the holeshot and led wire to wire. McAdoo followed, with Hampshire relegated to fifth after the contact at the start. Lawrence stretched his lead to six seconds with two laps to go. While Hampshire fought back to earn a podium position with a next-to-last lap pass over Mitchell Oldenburg(49).
250SX West Results and Point Standings
|1||18||Jett Lawrence||Zephyrhills, FL||Honda CRF250R||1||26|
|2||24||Rj Hampshire||Minneola, FL||Husqvarna FC 250 RE||2||23|
|3||48||Cameron Mcadoo||Sioux City, IA||Kawasaki KX250||3||21|
|4||49||Mitchell Oldenburg||Godley, TX||Honda CRF250R||4||19|
|5||34||Max Vohland||Granite Bay, CA||KTM 250 SX-F FE||5||18|
|6||56||Enzo Lopes||Chesterfield, SC||Yamaha YZ250F||6||17|
|7||43||Levi Kitchen||Havana, FL||Yamaha YZ250F||7||16|
|8||69||Phillip Nicoletti||Bethel, NY||Yamaha YZ250F||8||15|
|9||40||Stilez Robertson||Bakersfield, CA||Yamaha YZ250F||9||14|
|10||41||Derek Kelley||Riverside, CA||KTM 250 SX-F||10||13|
|11||79||Dylan Walsh||Wildomar, CA||Kawasaki KX250||11||12|
|12||53||Derek Drake||Lake Elsinore, CA||Suzuki RM-Z250||12||11|
|13||83||Cole Thompson||Brigden, ON||Yamaha YZ250F||13||10|
|14||111||Anthony Rodriguez||Tallahassee, FL||Honda CRF250R||14||9|
|15||59||Robbie Wageman||Newhall, CA||Suzuki RM-Z250||15||8|
|16||162||Maxwell Sanford||Pasadena, MD||Honda CRF250R||16||7|
|17||508||Hunter Yoder||Menifee, CA||Kawasaki KX250||17||6|
|18||93||Jerry Robin||Hamel, MN||GASGAS MC 250F||18||5|
|19||702||Hunter Cross||Discovery Bay, CA||KTM 250 SX-F||19||4|
|20||85||Dilan Schwartz||Alpine, CA||Suzuki RM-Z250||20||3|
|21||173||Hunter Schlosser||El Paso, TX||Yamaha YZ250F||21||2|
450 SX Main Event
Tomac failed to jump out front early in the 450SX Main. Justin Barcia(51) took the early lead, with Tomac in second. Roczen, Stewart, Sexton, and Anderson were all within striking distance. Tomac made a move for the top spot, but could not complete the pass. In the process and Roczen moved into second.
The position upgrade was short-lived as Tomac took the position back and quickly began pressuring Barcia for the lead. Barcia succumbed to the pressure when he caught a rut and veered off track. I looked as if Tomac would pull away as Stewart moved up to challenge Roczen. Their personal battle allowed Tomac to stretch his lead. Sexton and Anderson vied for the fourth position.
Stewart worked his way around Roczen and brought Sexton with him. Then the improbable happened. Tomac missed the bridge jump and went down on top of the platform. Four challengers passed before Tomac could get back up to speed.
Anderson takes a spill coming out of a corner, and Tomac gains one spot back. While Stewart stretches his lead to three seconds at the halfway point. If Stewart can hold on, it will be his first main event victory in the 450 class.
Sexton begins to put some heat on Stewart. The pair collide in a corner forcing Stewart outside the tuff block barriers. Fortunately, he was able to retain the second spot for the moment.
Mounting one of his classic late race charges, Tomac runs down Roczen to take over third. Dylan Ferrandis(14) replaced Roczen in fourth. With just under four minutes to go, Tomac catches Stewart and makes the pass. He still trails the leader Sexton by three seconds.
Sexton makes a mistake in the rhythm section, which allows Tomac to reach the leader’s rear wheel. Sensing the opportunity, Tomac quickly makes the pass to regain the lead.
Malcolm Stewart’s nice run comes to an end as he takes a flyer over the handlebars in a wicked crash and ends up going from the front of the pack to the back. Unable to continue, Stewart finishes 22nd, last on the field.
Tomac builds his lead to four seconds. Now it is Cooper Webb making a big run in the closing laps. Webb replaces Ferrandis in the final podium spot. He then passes Sexton for the second position. Eli Tomac wins his first season opener at Anaheim and sets sail on a repeat of his 2022 championship.
450SX Results and Point Standings
|1||1||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||Yamaha YZ450F||1||26|
|2||2||Cooper Webb||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F FE||2||23|
|3||23||Chase Sexton||Clermont, FL||Honda CRF450R||3||21|
|4||14||Dylan Ferrandis||Tallahassee, FL||Yamaha YZ450F||4||19|
|5||94||Ken Roczen||Clermont, FL||Suzuki RM-Z450||5||18|
|6||45||Colt Nichols||Murrieta, CA||Honda CRF450R||6||17|
|7||21||Jason Anderson||Rio Rancho, NM||Kawasaki KX450SR||7||16|
|8||7||Aaron Plessinger||Hamilton, OH||KTM 450 SX-F FE||8||15|
|9||9||Adam Cianciarulo||New Smyrna Beach, FL||Kawasaki KX450||9||14|
|10||17||Joey Savatgy||Clermont, FL||Kawasaki KX450SR||10||13|
|11||51||Justin Barcia||Greenville, FL||GASGAS MC 450F||11||12|
|12||25||Marvin Musquin||Corona, CA||KTM 450 SX-F FE||12||11|
|13||28||Christian Craig||Clermont, FL||Husqvarna FC 450 RE||13||10|
|14||15||Dean Wilson||Menifee, CA||Honda CRF450R||14||9|
|15||46||Justin Hill||Yoncalla, OR||KTM 450 SX-F||15||8|
|16||78||Grant Harlan||Decatur, TX||Yamaha YZ450F||16||7|
|17||751||Josh Hill||Huntersville, NC||KTM 450 SX-F||17||6|
|18||60||Justin Starling||Riverview, FL||GASGAS MC 450F||18||5|
|19||80||Kevin Moranz||Topeka, KS||KTM 450 SX-F||19||4|
|20||47||Fredrik Noren||Indian Trail, NC||Kawasaki KX450SR||20||3|
|21||73||John Short||Pilot Point, TX||Kawasaki KX450SR||21||2|
|22||27||Malcolm Stewart||Haines City, FL||Husqvarna FC 450 RE||22||1|