Chase Sexton extends premier-class podium streak with third-place finish
Chance Hymas finishes a career-best sixth place in the 250SX East race
For the third time in the four rounds run thus far, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence scored the 250SX East victory on Saturday night. This time it was at legendary Daytona International Speedway, and it extended his lead in the title chase to 14 points. Meanwhile, Chase Sexton qualified fastest and notched his seventh podium result in eight 450SX rounds, keeping him in title contention.
The 250SX East main-event start saw Lawrence exit turn 1 in third place and quickly put an aggressive pass on Nate Thrasher before taking the lead from Tom Vialle just before the end of lap 1. From there, the Australian powered his CRF250R to the win, finishing with a cushion of nearly 10 seconds on fellow Red Rider Max Anstie, of the Fire Power Honda squad. After completing lap 1 in 17th place, Lawrence’s teammate Chance Hymas put on an inspired charge through the pack, eventually finishing an impressive sixth—the best result of his young career.
In the 450SX main event, Sexton exited turn 1 in third place and fought hard throughout the race, holding the position to the finish.
Following last week’s race in Arlington, a number of Team Honda HRC technicians traveled directly to Florida, where they tested with the riders in the unique conditions that Daytona is known for.
Longtime Honda rider and 2018 Daytona Supercross winner Justin Brayton served as the Grand Marshal for this year’s race. As part of his official duties, he participated in press day and rode a lap aboard a CRF450RWE for the TV track description.
Team Honda HRC hosted a group of motorcycle YouTubers in the pits on Saturday morning. Represented were Yammie Noob, Meghan Stark, Chase on Two Wheels, Her Two Wheels and Life of Burch, all of whom got a tour of the team tech truck and participated in a track walk. In the days following the race, the YouTubers were scheduled to check out Daytona Bike Week on Honda Rebel 1100T DCT cruisers.
Team Honda HRC riders Chase Sexton, Colt Nichols, Hunter Lawrence and Chance Hymas all participated in Daytona press day on Friday.
While not quite as convenient as the Tampa Supercross, Daytona was still a home race for Sexton and Lawrence, just one and a half hours from the former’s Clermont house and two and a half hours from the latter’s Wesley Chapel residence.
As has been a relatively common occurrence this season, Team Honda HRC riders topped qualifying in both classes at Daytona, with Sexton best in 450SX and Lawrence fastest in 250SX East. Nichols was 13th in the first premier-class qualifier but crashed and sat out the rest of the event. Hymas was a career-best third in the first 250SX East qualifier and ninth in the combined times.
Lawrence and Hymas put in a strong showing in the second 250SX East heat race, battling near the front throughout. Lawrence put a late pass on Jordon Smith to take the win, with Hymas posting a career-best third. Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cullin Park, TiLube Honda’s Michael Hicks and Valley Ford-sponsored Red Rider Jeremy Hand finished sixth through ninth. Phoenix riders Coty Schock and Jace Owen advanced through the first heat, and Caden Braswell (also a Phoenix rider) made it through the last-chance qualifier. Nine of the 22 riders in the main event were CRF250R-mounted.
Sexton finished third in the second 450SX heat after recovering from a poor start that had him seventh off the start. Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson was seventh in the first heat race.
Lawrence posted the fastest lap time in the 250SX East main event.
Sexton and Lawrence both took part in the post-race press conference at Daytona.
Lawrence’s Daytona win extended his 250SX East title-chase lead to 14 points. Sexton now sits 10 points behind Tomac in the 450SX championship battle, and five behind Cooper Webb.
Sexton’s third-place finish extended his personal podium-streak record to six straight. It was also the 18th premier-class podium finish of his career.
Lawrence’s 250SX win was the eighth of his career, and it put him on the list of Honda-mounted Daytona support-class winners with Keith Turpin, Brian Swink, Doug Henry, Davi Millsaps, Trey Canard, Justin Barcia and his brother Jett Lawrence.
With the first four 250SX East rounds in the books, Hymas will now sit out the remainder of the AMA Supercross series, following a plan set by the team prior to the season. The rookie will now turn his attention to preparing for his first full AMA Pro Motocross season.
The day after the Daytona Supercross, Sexton attended the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was the opening round of the 2023 IndyCar series. Sexton paid a visit to the paddock of the Honda-powered Chip Ganassi Racing squad and made a guest appearance on the NBC broadcast.
Next up for Team Honda HRC is the Indianapolis Supercross, to take place March 11.
250SX East Standings
|1||Hunter Lawrence||96||Team Honda HRC||Honda||99|
|2||Max Anstie||63||Fire Power Honda||Honda||85|
|3||Haiden Deegan||238||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Honda||74|
|4||Jordon Smith||58||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||71|
|5||Jeremy Martin||6||Muc-Off FXR ClubMX||Yamaha||71|
|6||Nate Thrasher||29||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||70|
|7||Chance Hymas||832||Team Honda HRC||Honda||60|
|11||Coty Schock||285||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||44|
|12||Jace Owen||62||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||39|
|13||Cullin Park||67||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||37|
|16||Henry Miller||66||Ti-Lube, Storm Lake Honda, Innovation Concrete Inc, Rangeline||Honda||30|
|17||Jeremy Hand||91||Valley Ford Truck, Dean Hushon Insulation, Wiseco, SKDA, 6D||Honda||24|
|19||Michael Hicks||460||TDMX Graphics||Honda||16|
|21||Caden Braswell||243||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||14|
|22||Luke Neese||125||Red Research Group, Honda of Lynchburg||Honda||13|
|27||A J Catanzaro||330||The Moto Academy, Honda||Honda||5|