- Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie takes dramatic debut win in 250SX race
- Jett and Hunter Lawrence stretch points leads with 250SX podium finishes
- Chase Sexton and Colt Nichols take fourth and 16th in 450SX main event
When a rain-and-lightning storm hit the East Rutherford Supercross just before the 250SX East-West Showdown was scheduled to start, the event turned into something of an unknown, and while the eventual winner was something of a surprise, the bike was the same one that had topped 11 of the 13 races run until that point. Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie rode his CRF250R flawlessly in the sloppy conditions to earn his debut AMA Supercross victory, and he was followed across the finish line by fellow Red Riders Jett and Hunter Lawrence, the Team Honda HRC racers stretching their respective points leads in the West and East Regions. In the 450SX division, Chase Sexton tallied a fourth-place finish aboard his CRF450RWE, while Colt Nichols ended the long night in 16th place.
When the delayed 250SX main event finally ran, Anstie emerged from turn 1 with the lead, and while the Lawrence brothers were both in the top 10, they and the rest of the pack were immediately covered in muck. Jett and Hunter completed lap 1 fourth and fifth, respectively, and Jett was up to third by lap 3. He took over second just past the halfway point and closed on the leading Anstie, nearly passing him two turns before the finish, only to be taken down in the final turn by another rider attempting a last-second pass attempt. Jett remounted in time to retain second, and Hunter took advantage of the opportunity to finish third.
In the 450SX main event, Sexton got a good jump and took the holeshot but was quickly overtaken by Ken Roczen. Sexton was then knocked down by another rider, but he remounted and completed lap 1 in eighth place. He steadily advanced through the pack, climbing to fourth place by the checkered flag, while Nichols survived to take 16th.
- After a close call last week at Atlanta that saw him get out of shape in a set of rollers, Hunter Lawrence needed a midweek trip to the emergency room for an injured groin. The Australian also elected to stay off the bike during the week.
- Race organizers used the East Rutherford round to raise awareness for the work done by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Team Honda HRC had special “Love Moto Stop Cancer” graphics prepared by Throttle Jockey, and Renthal prepared special gold-colored, Limited Edition-Hard Ano handlebar and sprockets.
- Race day was also the birthday of American Honda Manager of Sports & Experiential Brandon Wilson, who was on hand for the event.
- Belleville, New Jersey, dealership Motorcycle Mall had a dealer activation booth in the Team Honda HRC pits at the New Jersey Supercross, where they displayed Honda powersports products, engaged with fans and customers and held a giveaway.
- The Lawrence brothers were the fastest riders in qualifying for their respective 250SX classes, with Jett topping the West region (and also taking the best 250SX time overall, by nearly seven-tenths of a second), while Hunter was best in the East region. In the premier-class ranks, Chase Sexton was third-best in qualifying, with Colt Nichols 10th.
- The Lawrence brothers both finished second in their respective 250SX heat races. Jett started sixth in the West heat, slipped back to seventh and then mounted a charge that carried him all the way to the runner-up spot, just behind the winner. Hunter started third in the East heat, quickly moved up to second and ultimately finished just behind the winner. Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie was seventh, followed by Phoenix Racing Honda’s Jace Owen and TiLube/Storm Lake Honda’s Michael Hicks. Red Riders took the top three spots in the last-chance qualifier, with Phoenix’s Coty Schock and Cullin Park sandwiching Red Research Group’s Luke Neese.
- Sexton was first out of turn 1 in the second 450SX heat race, and he pulled steadily ahead to win by over eight seconds. Meanwhile, Nichols had finished a solid fourth in the first premier-class heat, with Honda-mounted, Valley Ford Truck-sponsored Jeremy Hand eighth.
- Anstie’s win added him to the list of Red Riders to top the support class in East Rutherford–a list that includes Brian Swink, Justin Bogle, Malcolm Stewart and Chase Sexton. Anstie’s victory also grew Honda’s record as the manufacturer with most East Rutherford support-class wins, to five.
- Both Lawrence brothers took part in the post-race press conference.
- In the 250SX East title chase, Hunter Lawrence now has a lead of 49 points—nearly two races!—with a very realistic chance of clinching the crown next week in Nashville. Jett Lawrence has a 39-point lead in the 250SX West points battle and could clinch his championship in Denver the following week. In the premier division, Sexton still sits third, 21 points behind the leader and 10 behind second place.
Chase Sexton 23“Mud races are always kind of an unknown, but it’s still a bummer the way this one went down. I was riding well all night and got a good start, so I was excited to see what I could do. Anyone who has crashed in those conditions knows it's hard to ride well after that because mud is everywhere, but I just did the best I could. All we can do is get back on the horse and come back fighting next week in Nashville.”
Colt Nichols 45“It was a wild and chaotic night here in New Jersey. With the rain delay and the track pretty much being underwater, all bets were off. I just struggled all night; I couldn't get going, and being on the ground didn’t help—just a super difficult night in the mud.”
Jett Lawrence 18“The ending of the race changed pretty quickly. I tried to cut down on Max [Anstie] but ended up spinning. I figured that was gone but at least I had second locked up. In the last turn I just saw this giant wave come towards me; I had no chance to react. Luckily, I kept the bike running and could get going right away. Tonight was a race where taking a risk for two points could cost you 20 points, so I just wanted to race my race and stay off the ground. We’re happy to make it through to the checkered flag.”
Hunter Lawrence 96“My mechanic had put on the board ‘P5, calm,’ so I knew to just take it easy where I was. The worst thing to do in a mud race is to fall—your gloves get all muddy and slippery and just make riding a nightmare. I saw RJ and Jett start to battle a little, and just capitalized on how it all unfolded somehow. I’m pretty happy to stay off the ground and finish the race.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“We’ve gotten away with a lot of close calls in what seems like the last few years when it comes to lightning and rain, but not tonight! Speaking of lightning, our riders were fast all day and night, especially Jett in the heat race, when he had the fastest lap of anyone all night, with a 46.5! Even in the mains there was lightning, with other riders trying to strike us down left and right, and that cost us a lot of points with Chase. I mean when it struck, it was like, ‘Bam Bam!’—and down Chase went! After his dominating heat race, we were hoping to make up some more points—pretty frustrating. We’ll try again next week. I want to give a big shout-out to the entire team for all the hard work that went into tearing down and cleaning up after the race in the rain—it was rough!”