Chase Sexton scores come-from-behind win in premier division. Hunter Lawrence dominates 250SX East Region class.
Having come tantalizingly close on a number of occasions this year, Team Honda HRC finally completed an AMA Supercross win sweep at round 10 in Detroit, with Chase Sexton topping the premier division and Hunter Lawrence ruling the 250SX East Region category.
To earn his premier-class main-event win, Sexton had to pass some of the class’s top riders. Following an eighth-place start, he quickly moved up a spot, then passed Ken Roczen for sixth on lap 2. He displaced Adam Cianciarulo for fifth two laps later, moved around Eli Tomac on lap 8 and got Cooper Webb for third on lap 10. One lap later he came out on top of a scrap with Justin Barcia to assume second place, and he set out after Aaron Plessinger, who had a lead of over eight seconds. Sexton shrunk the gap to as low as 3.5 seconds before Plessinger crashed two laps from the end, helping the CRF450R to take the win.
Meanwhile, the 250SX East main event saw Lawrence snare the holeshot and check out. Five minutes in, he had an advantage of more than three seconds over second place, and he added another second by the 10-minute mark. At the finish, the Australian was 7.6 seconds ahead, for his fifth win in six rounds.
Team Honda HRC rider Colt Nichols sat out Detroit to continue recovering from his Daytona crash, but he’s expected to be back for Seattle next week.
With pit space being tight at Detroit, there is no option for teams to put up their truck canopies, and there is no Fan Fest. With outside temperatures in the 20s, Team Honda HRC worked out of the technical truck.
As has been the norm for much of this season, Team Honda HRC riders topped daytime qualifying in both classes, with Chase Sexton best in 450SX and Hunter Lawrence quickest in 250SX East.
Lawrence suffered a poor start in 250SX heat 2 but quickly moved up to second. He eventually closed the gap on the leading Nate Thrasher but couldn’t make the pass before the finish. Other Red Riders to advance from his heat were Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cullin Park, Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie, Valley Ford’s Jeremy Hand and TiLube/Storm Lake Honda’s Henry Miller. Meanwhile, five CRF riders advanced from heat 1: Phoenix’s Coty Schock, Jace Owen and Caden Braswell, as well as TiLube’s Michael Hicks and Moto Academy’s AJ Catanzaro. Fire Power’s Gage Linville and STR Racing’s Lance Kobusch made it in through the last-chance qualifier.
More than half of the riders on the 250SX East main-event start gate–12 of 22–were aboard CRF250R race machines.
Sexton exited turn 1 of 450SX heat 2 in fourth place and quickly advanced to second. After stalking Ken Roczen for four laps, he made the move for the lead and pulled away to win by nearly three seconds. Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson advanced through heat 1.
Lawrence posted the fastest lap time in the 250SX East main event.
The last time Honda’s factory team won the premier and support classes was at the 1993 Indianapolis round, where Jeremy McGrath and Doug Henry did the honors. Honda’s support-class effort was later handled by Factory Connection, and at the 2020 Atlanta round, Ken Roczen and then-Factory Connection rider Sexton topped 450SX and 250SX East, respectively.
Sexton and Lawrence took part in the post-race press conference and media scrums.
Lawrence’s lead in the 250SX East title chase has ballooned to 35 points–well over a full race. Meanwhile, Sexton still sits in third, but due to a seven-point penalty incurred for jumping on a red-cross flag, he lost ground and is 17 behind the leader.
As indicated by NBC during the broadcast, Hunter Lawrence’s Detroit performance moved him into a tie with brother Jett for career 250SX wins (10 each), and also for top-five finishes (22 each). Both brothers have 27 starts, and Hunter has one more podium than Jett (19 compared to 18). NBC also pointed out that Hunter has led every main-event lap since Daytona (51 laps straight).
Sexton’s victory gives him 19 podiums in the premier-class, as well as three wins.
Sexton’s win put Honda in a tie with Yamaha for most premier-class AMA Supercross wins in Michigan, with 20 (including races at both Pontiac Silverdome and Ford Field). It also added him to the list of Honda-mounted Ford Field winners, with Davi Millsaps and Eli Tomac.
Lawrence’s success stretched Honda’s support-class-best Michigan win record to 13, five of which have come at Ford Field (Josh Grant, Justin Bogle, Malcolm Stewart, Jett Lawrence and Hunter Lawrence).
Next up for Team Honda HRC is the Seattle Supercross on Saturday. It’s a West Region round, which means Jett Lawrence will take over from Hunter.
250SX East Standings
|1||Hunter Lawrence||96||Team Honda HRC||Honda||151|
|2||Nate Thrasher||29||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||116|
|3||Haiden Deegan||238||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Honda||111|
|4||Jeremy Martin||6||Muc-Off FXR ClubMX||Yamaha||109|
|5||Max Anstie||63||Fire Power Honda||Honda||104|
|6||Jordon Smith||58||Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing||Yamaha||92|
|9||Coty Schock||285||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||72|
|10||Cullin Park||67||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||67|
|11||Jace Owen||62||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||63|
|12||Chance Hymas||832||Team Honda HRC||Honda||60|
|13||Henry Miller||66||Ti-Lube, Storm Lake Honda, Innovation Concrete Inc, Rangeline||Honda||55|
|16||Jeremy Hand||91||Valley Ford Truck, Dean Hushon Insulation, Wiseco, SKDA, 6D||Honda||41|
|17||Michael Hicks||460||TDMX Graphics||Honda||39|
|19||Caden Braswell||243||Phoenix Racing Honda||Honda||31|
|22||A J Catanzaro||330||The Moto Academy, Honda||Honda||16|
|23||Luke Neese||125||Red Research Group, Honda of Lynchburg||Honda||15|
|29||Gage Linville||602||Fire Power Honda||Honda||4|
|30||Lance Kobusch||95||STR, 100%, Dunlop, Canvas||Honda||3|