Following an unexpected week off, AMA Supercross returned to action at a new venue—San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium—where Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence was once again flawless in the 250SX West class, dominating all 19 laps and taking the win aboard his CRF250R.
After scoring the holeshot, the Australian managed his lead, riding within himself but turning up the pace whenever the gap started to shrink. In the end, his winning margin was 3.6 seconds, capping off a perfect day on which he had also been the top qualifier and a heat-race winner.
The 450 class was more about damage control for the squad, as Chase Sexton suffered a heat-race crash and was forced to advance to the main event via the last-chance qualifier. Colt Nichols took the main-event holeshot on his CRF450R, and Sexton—despite being saddled with a poor start position—was fifth out of turn 1. Lap 2 saw Sexton get knocked to the ground by another rider and complete the next lap in ninth place. He advanced to sixth by lap 9, then took another position on lap 15, and that’s where he stayed for the final 10 laps. Meanwhile, Nichols struggled following his stellar start and ended the day in 12th.
Rain has been an issue in Southern California for much of the new year, so in an effort to find good dirt for testing during the week leading up to race day, Team Honda HRC spent time at a pair of private tracks—Carson Mumford’s on Tuesday and Derek Kelley’s on Wednesday. Press day was canceled on Friday in order to give Dirt Wurx more time to prepare the track, which was good for Saturday.
Race day itself featured dry weather, though evening temperatures were chilly—50º Fahrenheit and 77% humidity for both main events.
Jett Lawrence was perfect in 250SX West daytime qualifying, topping both timed sessions and turning a best lap that was .262 seconds better than the next-best rider. Chase Sexton was second-best in 450 qualifying, with Colt Nichols eighth.
Lawrence also topped his 250SX West heat race, finishing over five seconds ahead of second place. Other Red Riders to advance from the heats included SmarTops/MotoConcepts Racing’s Mitchell Oldenburg and Anthony Rodriguez, as well as Fire Power Honda’s Wilson Todd.
Sexton’s 450 heat race didn’t go as planned, as he went down at the end of the whoop section, then had his bike run into and damaged. He dominated the last-chance qualifier, but was stuck with a poor gate pick. Nichols finished fourth in heat 1, and Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson was eighth in heat 2.
Both main-event holeshots went to Red Riders—Lawrence and Nichols in 250SX West and 450SX, respectively.
Lawrence’s San Diego success marked the ninth 250SX main-event win of his career, and the 16th podium.
Following the race, Lawrence took part in the official press conference.
Through two rounds, Lawrence has a maximum 52 points—six ahead of his closest competitor in the 250SX West title chase. Sexton is third in the 450SX points battle, 13 behind the leader. Nichols sits 10th in the premier division.
Next, Team Honda HRC returns to Anaheim for the year’s third AMA Supercross round, on January 28. It will be the season’s second stop at Angel Stadium, and its first Triple Crown.
|1||Jett Lawrence||18||Team Honda HRC||Honda||52|
|2||Rj Hampshire||24||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||46|
|3||Cameron Mcadoo||48||Monster Energy ProCircuit Kawasaki||Kawasaki||42|
|4||Enzo Lopes||56||Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha||Yamaha||36|
|5||Mitchell Oldenburg||49||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda||Honda||35|
|6||Stilez Robertson||40||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||31|
|15||Anthony Rodriguez||111||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda||Honda||17|
|19||Maxwell Sanford||162||Concrete Plants Inc||Honda||7|
|22||Wilson TODD||102||Firepower Honda||Honda||6|