- 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.
Chase Sexton 23“Speedways are cool to come to. You have to be very precise, but you can also gain a lot of speed and push the rhythm at the speed you’re comfortable with. Daytona is just a different animal though. My speed’s good; I’ve just got to limit the mistakes. I’ve got to keep pushing and get to these guys at the front. It’s good to be on the podium, but we all want to win.”
Colt Nichols 45“It was a tough day at work in Daytona. I took a hit in Q1 and landed on my noggin pretty good. The team and I decided it would be best to sit out the rest of the day and get myself right. Thank you to my team and the people in my corner. It’s been a rough few weeks, but I’ll be back.”
Hunter Lawrence 96“The bike was great; we didn’t really change anything all day. It’s cool when you can just trust in your setup and not try to reinvent the wheel. Early in the main, I just kept getting roosted in the sand and had to race hard to get to the front. I just didn’t look back after that. This was where I got my first heat-race win too [in 2021], so it’s pretty cool to capture a main-event win here.”
Chance Hymas 832“Today was alright. I qualified third in the first practice, but they made a ton of changes during the day and it felt like a new track. I got to run up front with Hunter in the heat race, which gave me some confidence. In the main, I got bottled up on the inside in the first corner and was basically dead last at that point. I’m happy to have worked my way up to sixth by the end of the race. Overall, my riding was good and improvements were made, even if we aren’t where we want to be yet.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“It was a busy week, testing down at the riders’ facilities and trying to make improvements. It was successful and we learned a lot, which should help us the rest of the series. Once again, we qualified fastest in both classes which was awesome. Unfortunately, Colt had a pretty hard get-off, and it made sense to let have him take the night off, which I know was a bitter pill for him to swallow. Hunter crushed it in the main, and it was great to see Chance ride through the pack and be strong the entire race. I think Chase once again had everything he needed to win, and he was clearly the fastest on the track, but he couldn’t get into a rhythm and settled for third, which is still great to be on the podium.”