Third overall in 450SX for Sexton, with win in final race. Roczen goes 4-6-7 and finishes fifth in 450SX class.
The first AMA Supercross Triple Crown event of the season saw Team Honda HRC rider Chase Sexton finish third overall in Glendale, Arizona, helped by a first-place result in the last of three 450SX races, while teammate Roczen finished fifth overall. In the 250SX West class, Hunter Lawrence took his first win of the season with consistent 2-1-2 finishes.
Roczen ran in second early in the first 450SX race, but he slipped two positions before the finish. Meanwhile, Sexton suffered a couple of tip-overs and turned in an 11th-place result. Sexton and Roczen had their CRF450R race machines in the top five for the majority of the 12-minute-plus-one-lap second race. Sexton made smart passes for a third-place finish, while Roczen was sixth at the finish. Sexton secured the holeshot in the final race and built a four-second lead before eventually reaching the checkered flag with a 2.5-second margin. Roczen suffered a poor start and climbed to seventh by the finish.
Lawrence was impressive all day in the 250SX West class, topping daytime qualifying aboard his CRF250R and charging hard in the night program. The young Australian battled over second in the first race, eventually securing the position. In the second race he avoided a dramatic incident involving Vince Friese and points-leader Christian Craig to take the win. The final race saw Lawrence complete lap one in third and then race to a runner-up finish, which was enough for the overall victory.
This race marked the first Triple Crown event of the season and the second time in a row that Glendale used the unique three-race format, which combines results from three races to decide overall positions and award championship points.
The last event in Glendale was in 2020, when Ken Roczen won all three motos – the only sweep that either class has witnessed in a Triple Crown event.
This was Chase Sexton’s first 450SX Triple Crown event, and it marked the sixth premier-class indoor podium result of his career.
Hunter Lawrence’s 250SX win was the second of his career, and it kept his perfect string of 2022 podium finishes going. It was also his ninth career podium result in just 16 starts. In addition, his win was the third of the season for Team Honda HRC, with Roczen having topped the 450SX class at round 1 and Sexton having done likewise at round 3.
During Friday’s media day, Lawrence participated in a Beyond the Track interview via Zoom with host Daniel Blair.
Glendale marked the third 250SX Futures race, and Red Rider Luke Kalaitzian notched a respectable second-place finish aboard his CRF250R.
Free practice saw Roczen and Sexton finish third and sixth, respectively, in the 450SX class, while Hunter finished with the second-fastest lap time in the 250SX West class.
In 450SX qualifying, Roczen was the fourth-best rider with a 1’01.842”, while Sexton was fifth at 1’01.863”. SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MCR Honda riders Justin Brayton and Mitchell Oldenburg were ninth and 14th, and SGB Unlimited rider Cade Clason was 21st.
In the 250SX class, Lawrence finished on top in both daytime qualifying sessions, his best lap being a 1’03.118” in the second outing, while SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MCR Honda’s Vince Friese was seventh at 1’04.019”.
Lawrence wore the same Alpinestars gear that he had worn at the previous race in a collab with Daniel Ricciardo. Also in a nod to the Australian Formula 1 driver, Lawrence celebrated on the podium by chugging champagne from his boot. While Ricciardo is closely associated with this celebration (called a “shoey”), it has also been done by Australian MotoGP racer Jack Miller.
The top three finishers from each class, including Sexton and Lawrence, participated in the post-race press conference in the stadium’s press room.
Lawrence’s win put him just eight points behind Christian Craig in the 250SX West title chase, in second. In the 450SX class, Sexton is also second, 11 points behind Eli Tomac. Roczen is seventh in the same class.
Team Honda HRC will now head back to California for round 6 at Anaheim 3, after which the 250SX West class will take a five-week break, as the 250SX East Region kicks off in Minneapolis February 19.
250SX West Standings
|1||Christian Craig||28||Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha||Yamaha||122|
|2||Hunter Lawrence||96||Team Honda HRC||Honda||114|
|3||Michael Mosiman||29||Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing||GasGas||99|
|4||Jo Shimoda||30||Monster Energy ProCircuit Kawasaki||Kawasaki||87|
|5||Nate Thrasher||49||Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha||Kawasaki||79|
|6||Vince Friese||62||Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda||Honda||76|