- Sexton advances to second in 450SX title chase
- Jett Lawrence extends 250SX West points lead, with second
In a timely display of speed and race craft, Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton notched his first victory of the young AMA Supercross season, taking two 450SX race wins at the Anaheim 2 Triple Crown event, which awarded overall points based on results in three separate races. Sexton’s 1-5-1 performance—the second premier-class victory of his career—advanced the Illinois native from third to a tie for second in the title chase, just four points behind the leader. Meanwhile, Jett Lawrence weathered crashes en route to 3-6-1 250SX West finishes, and although the resulting second-overall result was his first non-win of the year, the young Australian actually extended his points lead significantly, from six to 16. Colt Nichols—who had scored holeshots in the season’s first two 450SX main events—experienced uncharacteristically poor getaways at Anaheim 2, and his 12-14-11 finishes netted 12th overall.
Sexton took the 450SX race 1 holeshot and led all 14 laps to score the win. Race 2 saw the CRF450RWE rider start fourth, only to fall on lap 3. He completed the next lap in eighth and climbed to fifth by lap 5, and that’s where he sat at the finish. Sexton started third in race 3 and immediately overtook Cooper Webb. After stalking Jason Anderson for four laps, he took over the lead and built a cushion to take a comfortable win.
After having led every 250SX West main-event lap through the first two events, Lawrence was forced to deal with traffic at Anaheim 2. Race 1 saw him start fourth and then crash from second on lap 4, remounting in time to finish the lap sixth. The CRF250R rider fought forward to third at the finish. Following an eighth-place race 2 start, Lawrence went down in lap 1 traffic and began a charge through the pack that ended with a sixth-place finish. Lawrence finally got a strong start in race 3, taking the holeshot and leading to the finish.
- On Friday, all three active Team Honda HRC riders—Chase Sexton, Colt Nichols and Jett Lawrence—participated in press day for Anaheim 2.
- Honda IndyCar driver Marcus Ericsson attended Anaheim 2, and paid a visit to the Team Honda HRC pits, where he had an opportunity to meet Nichols and Lawrence. Ericsson, who drives for Chip Ganassi Racing, is a former Formula 1 driver who also won last year’s Indianapolis 500.
- Team Honda HRC ran special liveries for Anaheim 2, with white Cycra plastic and purple and aqua Throttle Jockey graphics. The look, which had debuted during press day for the opener, is a nod to the CRF110F and CRF50F trail bikes that are available in the same colors. (Interestingly, Sexton’s previous 450SX win also came with white bodywork, at last year’s San Diego Military Appreciation event.)
- Honda displayed a CRF110F and CRF50F in the team pits, along with the Baja 1000-winning CRF450X of SLR Honda.
- Also for Anaheim 2, Lawrence had a special collaboration with street-fashion brand Anti Social Social Club, a project that saw the Australian wearing a special Alpinestars colorway for each of the evening’s three 250SX West races. Sexton also wore special Alpinestars gear, as his outfit featured a design that was a replica of a race suit worn by the late rally driver Ken Block.
- Team Honda HRC was untouchable in daytime qualifying, with Sexton topping the 450SX class and Lawrence best in 250SX West. The duo were the only riders to dip into the 57-second lap-time zone.
- Anaheim 2 was the year’s first 250SX Futures round, and a number of up-and-coming Red Riders competed, including Fire Power Honda’s Gage Linville, SLR Honda riders Parker Ross and Jaxon Pascal, and STR’s Nate Freehill. Linville was the top Honda finisher, in seventh.
- The Anaheim 2 national anthem was performed by Buckethead, who is a friend of Sexton (both use the same trainer, Peter Park). The guitarist spent time with Chase in the Honda pits during the day and wore a Sexton jersey during his performance.
- Team Honda HRC riders had the fastest lap times in five of six races at Anaheim 2. Sexton was quickest in 450SX races 1 and 3, and Lawrence topped the time sheets in all three 250SX West races.
- SmarTop/MotoConcepts Racing Honda rider Mitchell Oldenburg rode to a commendable fourth-overall result in the 250SX West class.
- Sexton and Lawrence both took part in the post-race press conference.
- Anaheim 2 was Sexton’s second AMA Supercross premier-class win, his 13th podium and his 21st top-five finish. Lawrence’s second-place overall 250SX result was his 17th podium.
- Sexton’s win moved him into a title-chase tie for second with Cooper Webb, as both riders have 65 points, putting them within four of Eli Tomac’s 69. Lawrence’s second-place result actually significantly extended his 250SX West points lead, from six to 16.
- Just like last year, Sexton’s first win of the season came three rounds in.
- Next, AMA Supercross heads to Houston for the first East Region round of the year, February 4, which means Jett Lawrence will take a break while bother Hunter Lawrence makes his season debut aboard his CRF250R.
Chase Sexton 23“It was kind of exciting—all of us were within one point coming into the last race, so any of the four of us could’ve won. I got a good start, I had some good lines and I felt really good through the whoops. It’s fun to be back in this position in the points; I knew I had to stop the bleeding coming into this weekend. I’m stoked on the bike changes we made this week, and I’m really looking forward to Houston and going back East.”
Colt Nichols 45“I was looking forward to the Triple Crown, just because I had been getting out of the gate really well, but today I couldn’t quite pull it together on the starts. I was on the ground a little bit tonight as well, and didn’t quite have it; it was a bit frustrating, from practice on. We need to be a little better. We’re struggling to find comfort in some areas, and I was too timid in some spots and too aggressive in others. We’ll figure it out.”
Jett Lawrence 18“The first two mains were pretty much chaos—I had some bad starts, made some mistakes, and that was pretty much it. Luckily, in the third one I was able to get a good start and stay out of the carnage for once. I’m looking forward to having some time off, playing some golf and getting ready for Oakland.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“We needed a good day like today. Even though a sweep of 250 and 450 wins keeps avoiding us, we had a great day towards the championships. Even with Jett getting second, being 16 points ahead is huge. And Chase made up a ton of points after having an awesome day qualifying and capitalizing on others’ misfortunes. The whole team is super excited—a lot of weight off our shoulders.”