Detroit Supercross Goes to Chase Sexton in Dramatic Fashion

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Ford Field, Detroit, MI — March 18, 2023

After Indianapolis threw a wrinkle into the 450SX Supercross Championship Race, the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series bring Round 10 to Ford Field in Detroit. There is a new rider sporting the “red plate” as Cooper Webb moved one point ahead of Eli Tomac after last week’s race. It is the first time all season that the defending champion will start a race without the coveted plate emblematic of the points lead. Tomac would like to take it back. It won’t be easy.

Tomac admitted he was not at full strength last week at Indy. He was suffering from a stiff neck that inhibited his ability to give it his all on the bike.

Roczen Wins at Indy

In addition to battling Webb, Tomac will have to fend off Ken Roczen, rejuvenated after his Indy victory. Roczen pulled off the ninth closest 450SX Class victory since 2003 with a .739 second margin over Justin Barcia in Indianapolis. Roczen now has 21 wins tying him with Cooper Webb for 10th on the all-time 450SX Class wins list. He also breaks Suzuki’s historic seven-season losing streak (Roczen, East Rutherford 2016) and passes Ryan Dungey for third on Suzuki’s all-time 450SX Class wins list.

Barcia is starting to make noise. His narrow defeat to Roczen just stoked the fire for him to get that sixth Supercross win added to his resume. Chase Sexton has dipped a little in the past two weeks but only trails the top pair by a mere 12 points. Will the motor city twist the moto standings more this week?

Hunter Lawrence continues to dominate the 250SX East class. Does anyone have anything for the season’s runaway leader?

250SX Heats

In Heat One, Haiden Deegan(238) grabbed the holeshot and quickly built a lead on the field. His teammate Jordan Smith(58) was the only rider who could hang with Deegan, and when they met up on the track, the two began to beat on each other.

Their fight allowed Jeremy Martin(6) to catch and pass the lead pair. Deegan recovered to hold second, while Smith crashed three more times and will have to work his way through the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to make it to the main event. When teammates take themselves out of contention for a race win, that indicates a problem with team chemistry. Coty Schock(285) finished third.

Heat Two saw Hunter Lawrence(96) get off to a bad start, he was eight across the holeshot line. Nate Thrasher(29), the only rider that looked as if he might be able to put some pressure on the points leader, pulled out to a big lead.

At the halfway point of the moto, Lawrence had moved into the second spot. However, he trailed Thrasher by three seconds. Lawrence cut the deficit to a second behind Thrasher with a minute to go in the timed portion of the moto. The margin shrunk to 6/10ths of a second at the white flag. But Thrasher stretched it out over the final lap.

Tom Vialle(128) took the third position.

In the 250SX LCQ, Jordan Smith came out in the middle of the pack. Unfortunately, he stalled the bike two laps in and dropped to the rear of the pack and was out of contention for a pass into the main event. Or was he? Fighting through the entire field, he caught the fourth-place rider, Jack Chambers(192), on the final corner. Chambers took Smith out as he was trying to make the pass on the outside.

450SX Heats

Jason Anderson(21) made it look easy at the start of the first Heat for the 450SX riders. Pulling away from the pack, he put almost three seconds on Justin Barcia(51) by the end of lap one.

Adam Cianciarulo(9) trailed the leader by over eight seconds by the mid-point of the moto. Cooper Webb(2) is also in the first Heat and got off to a horrible start falling back in the pack. Webb fought his way to fourth but had nothing for the leaders who held their positions to the checkered flag.

Eli Tomac(3), Chase Sexton(23), and Ken Roczen(94) lined up for Heat Two. Roczen continued his hot streak running off to the lead early. Sexton moved to second, and Tomac started in sixth.

Sexton closed on Roczen with Aaron Plessinger(7) and Tomac, making it a four-rider race. Sexton caught and passed the leader with a minute to go in the timed portion. Roczen, Plessinger, and Tomac separated from each other. With a late surge, Plessinger was able to pass Roczen.

250SX East Main Event

Hunter Lawrence rode to the front and began to pull away from the start. Jeremy Martin, Nate Thrasher, and Haiden Deegan tried to keep the leader in sight, but the interval grew between the top four riders.

Hunter Lawrence / Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports

Thrasher was able to get around Martin and take over second. However, by the time he made the pass, he was almost five seconds behind Lawrence.

Deegan began to close on Martin as they worked through lapped traffic. With just under six minutes to go, Deegan made the pass. Thasher erased a second off Lawrence’s lead, but time was running out.

Lawrence rebuilt the advantage, and everyone rode out the final few laps spaced an almost equal distance from each other. It was the second podium for Deegan in his young career.

250SX East Main Event Results

POS. # RIDER BIKE TEAM/SPONSORS
 1 96 Hunter Lawrence Honda CRF250R Team Honda HRC
 2 29 Nate Thrasher Yamaha YZ250F Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
 3 238 Haiden Deegan Yamaha YZ250F Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
 4 6 Jeremy Martin Yamaha YZ250F Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha
 5 57 Chris Blose Kawasaki KX250 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
 6 128 Tom Vialle KTM 250 SX-F FE Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
 7 67 Cullin Park Honda CRF250R Phoenix Racing Honda
 8 285 Coty Schock Honda CRF250R Phoenix Racing Honda
 9 66 Henry Miller Honda CRF250R Ti-Lube, Storm Lake Honda, Innovation Concrete Inc, Rangeline
 10 460 Michael Hicks Honda CRF250R TiLube Honda Racing, Storm Lake Honda, FXR, 6D, X Brand
 11 62 Jace Owen Honda CRF250R Phoenix Racing Honda
 12 243 Caden Braswell Honda CRF250R Phoenix Racing Honda
 13 91 Jeremy Hand Honda CRF250R Valley Ford Truck, Dean Hushon Insulation, Wiseco, SKDA, 6D
 14 247 Brock Papi Kawasaki KX250 Mosites Motorsports Makripodis Olive Oil Kawasaki, Oneal, LS2
 15 339 Talon Hawkins Husqvarna FC 250 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
 16 330 A J Catanzaro Honda CRF250R The Moto Academy, Honda
 17 192 Jack Chambers KTM 250 SX-F Rocky Mountain ATV MC, Rides Unlimited Racing
 18 300 Lane Allison Kawasaki KX250 Cornerstone Builders, Pro Circuit, NoToil, Scott, ODI
 19 602 Gage Linville Honda CRF250R FirePower Honda
 20 95 Lance Kobusch Honda CRF250R STR Racing, 100%, Dunlop, Canvas
 21 50 Marshal Weltin Suzuki RM-Z250 Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki
 22 63 Max Anstie Honda CRF250R Fire Power Honda

 

250SX East Standings

POS. # RIDER HOMETOWN TOTAL POINTS
 1 96 Hunter Lawrence Wesley Chapel, FL 151
 2 29 Nate Thrasher Livingston, TN 116
 3 238 Haiden Deegan Tallahassee, FL 111
 4 6 Jeremy Martin Rochester, MN 109
 5 63 Max Anstie Cairo, GA 104
 6 58 Jordon Smith Ochlocknee, GA 92
 7 57 Chris Blose Phoenix, AZ 88
 8 128 Tom Vialle Murrieta, CA 85
 9 285 Coty Schock Dover, DE 72
 10 67 Cullin Park Clermont, FL 67
 11 62 Jace Owen Mattoon, IL 63
 12 832 Chance Hymas Pocatello, ID 60
 13 66 Henry Miller Rochester, MN 55
 14 31 Michael Mosiman Minneaola, FL 51
 15 339 Talon Hawkins Temecula, CA 47
 16 91 Jeremy Hand Mantua, OH 41
 17 460 Michael Hicks Fenton, MO 39
 18 99 Hardy Munoz Kissimmee, FL 32
 19 243 Caden Braswell Shalimar, FL 31
 20 50 Marshal Weltin Ubly, MI 30
 21 247 Brock Papi Clermont, Fl 28
 22 330 A J Catanzaro Tampa, FL 16
 23 125 Luke Neese Jamestown, NC 15
 24 170 Devin Simonson Laurinburg, NC 12
 25 192 Jack Chambers Auburndale, FL 12

 

450SX Main Event

It was Adam Cianciarulo and Aaron Plessinger who moved to the front early. Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac trailed. Barcia, Sexton, Roczen, and Anderson composed the second group.

Plessinger rode past, into the lead, and built a three-second gap on the pack. At the midpoint of the moto, Plessinger had doubled it.

Behind him, the standings seemed to scramble every lap. Sexton rode into second, Webb took over third, Barcia fourth, and Tomac sat fifth. Roczen began to put pressure on Tomac, and the points are sure to jumble as well.

Cooper Webb(2) and Justin Barcia(51) battle at Detroit / Photo Credit Feld Motor Sports

With seven minutes left, Tomac passed Barcia, but he was not drawing close to Webb or Sexton, and Plessinger continued to manage his advantage.

Plessinger has never won a 450SX main and only counts three podiums to his credit. Tampa was his third earlier this year.

In a heartbreaker, Detroit would not be his first victory. On the final lap, Plessinger’s foot slipped off the footpeg of his bike, and he crashed hard, coming completely off the bike.

Sexton took the win, with Webb finishing second, just ahead of Tomac in third. Webb added two more points to his lead over Tomac.

Plessinger could not get back on his ride and finished a disappointing 13th.

Next week the series returns to the West Coast, with Seattle hosting the event.

450SX Main Event Results

POS. # RIDER BIKE TEAM/SPONSORS
 1 23 Chase Sexton Honda CRF450R Team Honda HRC
 2 2 Cooper Webb KTM 450 SX-F FE Red Bull KTM
 3 1 Eli Tomac Yamaha YZ450F Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
 4 51 Justin Barcia GASGAS MC 450F Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing
 5 94 Ken Roczen Suzuki RM-Z450 Progressive Insurance Ecstar Suzuki
 6 28 Christian Craig Husqvarna FC 450 RE Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
 7 46 Justin Hill KTM 450 SX-F Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports
 8 9 Adam Cianciarulo Kawasaki KX450SR Monster Energy Kawasaki
 9 21 Jason Anderson Kawasaki KX450SR Monster Energy Kawasaki
 10 751 Josh Hill KTM 450 SX-F Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports
 11 44 Benny Bloss Yamaha YZ450F Yamaha,Truck Central LLC, FXR, Arai, Alpinestars, Pod
 12 68 Cade Clason Kawasaki KX450 Partzilla Prmx Racing
 13 7 Aaron Plessinger KTM 450 SX-F FE Red Bull KTM
 14 519 Joshua Cartwright Kawasaki KX450 Psychic Motorsports/T3 Civil/Ronnie Prado Company, Cardinal
 15 78 Grant Harlan Yamaha YZ450F Rock River Yamaha
 16 80 Kevin Moranz KTM 450 SX-F Tank Masters, Red Line Oil, Next Level KTM
 17 12 Shane McElrath Suzuki RM-Z450 Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance
 18 60 Justin Starling GASGAS MC 450F FXR, General Grind & Machine, JSR Motorsports
 19 47 Fredrik Noren Kawasaki KX450SR MaddParts.com, Big Buildings Direct, Ronnie Prado Company
 20 219 Chase Marquier Kawasaki KX450 Partzilla Prmx Racing
 21 15 Dean Wilson Honda CRF450R Fire Power Honda
 22 11 Kyle Chisholm Suzuki RM-Z450 Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance

 

450SX Standings

POS. # RIDER HOMETOWN TOTAL POINTS
 1 2 Cooper Webb Newport, NC 225
 2 1 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO 222
 3 23 Chase Sexton Clermont, FL 208
 4 94 Ken Roczen Clermont, FL 182
 5 21 Jason Anderson Rio Rancho, NM 180
 6 51 Justin Barcia Greenville, FL 174
 7 7 Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH 164
 8 28 Christian Craig Clermont, FL 136
 9 9 Adam Cianciarulo New Smyrna Beach, FL 107
 10 46 Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR 103
 11 15 Dean Wilson Menifee, CA 95
 12 17 Joey Savatgy Clermont, FL 85
 13 45 Colt Nichols Murrieta, CA 84
 14 32 Justin Cooper Tallahassee, FL 76
 15 12 Shane McElrath Oakland, FL 69
 16 751 Josh Hill Huntersville, NC 67
 17 14 Dylan Ferrandis Tallahassee, FL 56
 18 44 Benny Bloss Oak Grove, MO 49
 19 80 Kevin Moranz Topeka, KS 40
 20 11 Kyle Chisholm Valrico, FL 38
 21 78 Grant Harlan Decatur, TX 36
 22 519 Joshua Cartwright Fort Worth, TX 36
 23 60 Justin Starling Riverview, FL 36
 24 68 Cade Clason Cameron, NC 33
 25 47 Fredrik Noren Indian Trail, NC 27