The ninth round of the 2022 AMA Supercross series was also the 52nd Daytona Supercross at Daytona International Speedway, where Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence took a 250SX East heat-race win before charging to a dominant main-event victory
In the main event, Lawrence took over the lead by turn 2 and quickly established a decent gap. The young Australian rode flawlessly to the checkers with a winning margin of over 14 seconds, taking sole possession of the points lead and the red plate. It was the fifth 250SX win of his career, the second in the three East Region rounds held so far this year, and the fourth in his last six indoor races going back to last season.
In the 450SX class, Chase Sexton and Ken Roczen both earned third-place finishes in their respective heat races before Sexton secured the same result in the main event – the seventh premier-class podium of his young career – while Roczen finished seventh. Sexton enjoyed a decent main-event start aboard his CRF450R and gained valuable positions early on as a result of a Jason Anderson/Malcolm Stewart collision. For the first six laps, Sexton pursued the leading Cooper Webb, and although the 22-year-old lost a spot to eventual-winner Eli Tomac with 11 and a half minutes on the clock, he continued to ride the rough track with poise and control, taking the checkered flag in third place. Sexton now sits fifth in the title chase. Meanwhile, Roczen enjoyed a decent main-event start and ran as high as fifth early on before slipping to seventh place.
With all four Team Honda HRC riders having home bases in Florida, the squad headed straight from the Arlington round to the Sunshine State, where they tested and prepared south of Daytona during the week. West Region rider Hunter Lawrence was on hand at Daytona to support his younger brother Jett and the team.
Having been closed to fans last year due to the pandemic, the garages, paddock and pit road were reopened once again, and the post-race activities were reintroduced.
Daytona’s Media Day riding session took place at the speedway on Friday, with Team Honda HRC riders Ken Roczen, Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence all participating.
This year’s race marked the 52nd consecutive supercross appearance at Daytona International Speedway, where Honda has the most premier-class wins of any manufacturer, at 17.
Daytona experienced warm weather conditions over the weekend, with temperatures around 70º F at the time the evening program began.
This was Jett Lawrence’s first Daytona event, and it marked the ninth indoor podium result of his career.
Sexton was invited to participate in a trackside interview for Race Day Live. The Illinois native also participated in a jersey swap with Olympic BMX athlete Felica Stancil who, like Sexton, wears number 23.
In morning qualifying, Roczen turned the fourth-fastest 450SX time, a 1’11.254 ” lap in the final session, with Sexton was seventh-quickest. SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda rider Justin Brayton was 14th-best and teammate Vince Friese was 17th-best, with SGB Unlimited Honda’s Cade Clason 21st.
The CRF250R is the bike of choice in the 250SX East class, with 14 of the 40 riders to qualify for Daytona’s night program Riding Red, as well as nine of the 22 riders in the main event. Once again, Lawrence notched the fastest lap times in both 250SX East Region timed qualifying sessions, with a best of 1’11.947” in the final outing. Fire Power Honda’s Jordon Smith was fourth, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Kyle Peters seventh, Fire Power’s Jarrett Frye 12th, MotoConcepts’ Mitchell Oldenburg ninth and Phoenix riders Cullin Park and Josh Osby 20th and 23d, respectively. SGB’s Luke Neese was 24th and TiLube Honda’s Grant Harlan was 27th.
The 250SX East class saw Lawrence ride to a win in heat race 2, despite mistakenly slowing on the track a lap early, thinking the race had ended. Meanwhile, teammates Sexton and Roczen both finished third in their respective heat races.
The top three overall finishers from each class, including Sexton and Lawrence, participated in the post-race press conference on Saturday evening.
Lawrence now holds a five-point advantage in the 250SX East title chase, while Sexton and Rozcen sit fifth and ninth in the 450SX class, respectively.
Team Honda HRC will now travel to Detroit for round 10 of the premier class racing and round 4 of the 250SX East Region class.
250SX East Standings
|1||Jett Lawrence||18||Team Honda HRC||Honda||73|
|2||Cameron Mcadoo||48||Monster energy ProCircuit Kawasaki||Kawasaki||68|
|3||Stilez Robertson||50||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||52|
|4||Enzo Lopes||80||Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing||Yamaha||50|
|5||Pierce Brown||44||Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing||GasGas||47|
|6||Jordon Smith||90||Fire Power Honda||Honda||75|
|11||Mitchell Oldenburg||54||Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda||Honda||33|
|16||Kyle Peters||52||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||20|
|17||John Short||72||Volkswagen of Waco, Jones Powersports||Honda||20|
|19||Cullin Park||140||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||13|
|22||Jarrett Frye||39||Fire Power Honda||Honda||9|
|23||Grant Harlan||65||Tilube Storm Lake Honda||Honda||8|
|24||Coty Schock||37||Phoenix Honda Racing||Honda||8|
|25||Jeremy Hand||63||SGB Unlimited Honda||Honda||7|
|26||Lance Kobusch||194||STR, 100%, Dunlop, Canvas||Honda||7|