For the fourth time this season, Team Honda HRC topped both classes in an AMA Pro Motocross round, with Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence taking the honors in the 450 and 250 divisions at Indiana’s Ironman National.
The overall-win sweep keeps both riders in strong contention for a National Championship heading into the final round, where Jett only needs to score nine points; Sexton is only one point down to Eli Tomac, although he’ll need to better his title rival by two points to take the championship, as the tiebreaker is based on total number of moto wins through the season.
Roczen grabbed the 450 moto 1 lead shortly after the first turn, while Sexton began working forward after starting outside the top 10. Roczen fought off Tomac for several laps, while Sexton worked his way into third, and after the Illinois native moved by his teammate on lap 7 of 17, he was 2.5 seconds down on Tomac. Sexton eventually closed to Tomac’s rear tire and pushed him for the latter part of the race, and although he was able to briefly take the lead, he ultimately had to relinquish it and settle for second. Following a late fall, Roczen finished seventh. Sexton and Roczen battled for the lead off the start of moto 2, with Sexton securing the position on lap 2. The German held off Tomac in second for five laps, and Sexton rode to an 11-second win, with Roczen eventually settling for sixth.
The 250-class racing began with Jett running sixth in the early going, but when things settled down he began a relentless charge that carried him to the lead by the halfway mark. From there, he rode comfortably to a winning advantage of nearly seven seconds. Hunter suffered a poor start and charged to a third-place finish, but he was penalized two points for jumping during a wheels-on-ground signal. A poor start had Jett outside the top 10 in the early going of moto 2, while Hunter was in the top three. By lap 11, the brothers were second and third, and that’s how they stayed to the finish.
The Ironman round featured a Scouting Moto Combine competition for top amateur riders, and Honda’s Chance Hymas qualified on top and swept both moto wins. The Idaho native is planning to make his pro debut in the 250 class during the AMA Pro Motocross finale at Fox Raceway.
Chase Sexton was the fastest rider in the Ironman round’s 450 qualifying sessions, nearly a second better than the next-best racer, while Ken Roczen qualified fourth-fastest. In the 250 ranks, Jett and Hunter Lawrence qualified second and third, respectively.
Temperatures were on the hot side for the second week in a row, ranging from 88 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit during the motos.
Jett Lawrence turned the fastest lap time of 250 moto 1, and Hunter had the fastest lap of the second moto. In 450 racing, Sexton posted the fastest moto 1 lap time.
The Ironman race marked the fourth time this season that Sexton has notched a 450 overall win, and the sixth time in his career. Moto 2 was also the 10th 450 moto win of his career. Meanwhile, the event marked the eighth time this year that Jett Lawrence posted an overall win, and the 13th time in his career. Moto 1 was also the 19th 250 moto win of his career. In addition, the Ironman round was the fourth time this season that Team Honda HRC swept the overall wins in both classes.
The Yoshimura Award of Excellence for the Ironman round went to Shane Drew, the crew chief for Team Honda HRC’s 450 effort, supporting riders Ken Roczen and Chase Sexton.
In the 450-title battle, Sexton sits just one point behind Eli Tomac with two motos remaining, and Roczen is fourth. Jett Lawrence has a commanding 41-point advantage in the 250 class, and Hunter Lawrence is in third, only seven points behind second place.
Just one round remains in the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross series: this weekend’s Fox Raceway 2 finale in Pala, California. During the season opener at that same venue three months ago, Team Honda HRC riders took the top two positions in all four motos.