- Podium finish in 450SX for Sexton
- Roczen takes seventh in 450 main
The ninth round of the 2022 AMA Supercross series was also the 52nd Daytona Supercross at Daytona International Speedway, where Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence – in his first racing appearance at the World Center of Racing – took a 250SX East heat-race win before charging to a dominant main-event victory. In the main event, Lawrence took over the lead by turn 2 and quickly established a decent gap. The young Australian rode flawlessly to the checkers with a winning margin of over 14 seconds, taking sole possession of the points lead and the red plate. It was the fifth 250SX win of his career, the second in the three East Region rounds held so far this year, and the fourth in his last six indoor races going back to last season.
In the 450SX class, Chase Sexton and Ken Roczen both earned third-place finishes in their respective heat races before Sexton secured the same result in the main event – the seventh premier-class podium of his young career – while Roczen finished seventh. Sexton enjoyed a decent main-event start aboard his CRF450R and gained valuable positions early on as a result of a Jason Anderson/Malcolm Stewart collision. For the first six laps, Sexton pursued the leading Cooper Webb, and although the 22-year-old lost a spot to eventual-winner Eli Tomac with 11 and a half minutes on the clock, he continued to ride the rough track with poise and control, taking the checkered flag in third place. Sexton now sits fifth in the title chase. Meanwhile, Roczen enjoyed a decent main-event start and ran as high as fifth early on before slipping to seventh place.
- With all four Team Honda HRC riders having home bases in Florida, the squad headed straight from the Arlington round to the Sunshine State, where they tested and prepared south of Daytona during the week. West Region rider Hunter Lawrence was on hand at Daytona to support his younger brother Jett and the team.
- Having been closed to fans last year due to the pandemic, the garages, paddock and pit road were reopened once again, and the post-race activities were reintroduced.
- Daytona’s Media Day riding session took place at the speedway on Friday, with Team Honda HRC riders Ken Roczen, Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence all participating.
- This year’s race marked the 52nd consecutive supercross appearance at Daytona International Speedway, where Honda has the most premier-class wins of any manufacturer, at 17.
- Daytona experienced warm weather conditions over the weekend, with temperatures around 70º F at the time the evening program began.
- This was Jett Lawrence’s first Daytona event, and it marked the ninth indoor podium result of his career.
- Sexton was invited to participate in a trackside interview for Race Day Live. The Illinois native also participated in a jersey swap with Olympic BMX athlete Felica Stancil who, like Sexton, wears number 23.
- In morning qualifying, Roczen turned the fourth-fastest 450SX time, a 1’11.254 ” lap in the final session, with Sexton was seventh-quickest. SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda rider Justin Brayton was 14th-best and teammate Vince Friese was 17th-best, with SGB Unlimited Honda’s Cade Clason 21st.
- The CRF250R is the bike of choice in the 250SX East class, with 14 of the 40 riders to qualify for Daytona’s night program Riding Red, as well as nine of the 22 riders in the main event. Once again, Lawrence notched the fastest lap times in both 250SX East Region timed qualifying sessions, with a best of 1’11.947” in the final outing. Fire Power Honda’s Jordon Smith was fourth, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Kyle Peters seventh, Fire Power’s Jarrett Frye 12th, MotoConcepts’ Mitchell Oldenburg ninth and Phoenix riders Cullin Park and Josh Osby 20th and 23d, respectively. SGB’s Luke Neese was 24th and TiLube Honda’s Grant Harlan was 27th.
- The 250SX East class saw Lawrence ride to a win in heat race 2, despite mistakenly slowing on the track a lap early, thinking the race had ended. Meanwhile, teammates Sexton and Roczen both finished third in their respective heat races.
- The top three overall finishers from each class, including Sexton and Lawrence, participated in the post-race press conference on Saturday evening.
- Lawrence now holds a five-point advantage in the 250SX East title chase, while Sexton and Rozcen sit fifth and ninth in the 450SX class, respectively.
- Team Honda HRC will now travel to Detroit for round 10 of the premier class racing and round 4 of the 250SX East Region class.
Ken Roczen 94“Daytona is always one of the most fun races to go to. The track is brutal, and overall the vibe of the place is just always very special. I just love the venue, and I love coming here. I had a really good day throughout the day. I was somewhat up front with the other guys in practice and qualifying, and I was enjoying my riding. Nothing different on the result board, but it was fun.”
Chase Sexton 23“That’s the gnarliest track I’ve raced at since I went to the big class – definitely a different animal! I didn’t really have that great of a start, but I kind of made my way to where I needed to be. I felt like I was going good at the beginning, and then the track broke down. [Eli Tomac and Cooper Webb] kind of stayed the same, and I got a little bit worse; I just wasn’t really flowing. Eli got by me and then [Justin] Barcia was behind me. In the middle of the race I started riding a little bit better; I started finding a little bit of a flow and started clicking off decent laps. I’m happy to be back on the podium after a few rougher weeks.”
Jett Lawrence 18“Even apart from winning, I think the first time here at Daytona is just a great experience to have, with the fans being right there. It’s as close as we get to feeling like a NASCAR race; it’s even in the same area, although we might not be going as fast. I can say that as a kid, I was always dreaming of riding the Daytona track, and today topped it off with a win. The bike’s been feeling very forgiving and wanting to go fast, which is nice. Stilez [Robertson] was right there for a long time in the main; I could see him out of the corner of my eye, and it was keeping me focused. I’m pretty pumped to get the win. It was definitely a nice, calm weekend – a lot better than last weekend; at least I can go to sleep easier tonight.”
Hunter Lawrence 96Did Not Attend Race - West Coast Series
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager"Today was a step in the right direction for us as a team. Jett was able to get back on track to where he should be and was incredible all day; I don’t think anyone had a chance, to be honest. The 450 guys were a threat all day, and it was great to see Kenny looking like himself in practice and the heat. Chase was able to make some good moves on the first lap of the main and rode well but unfortunately had a few small issues that kept him from fighting for the win, although a podium was a great finish after the last few weekends he’s had. We’re doing everything we can to try to help all of our riders succeed, and I think it’s starting to pay off. One thing we’re not going to do is give up, and we’ll always give every one of our riders 100% effort. This week was pretty cool for me, because I stayed in Florida and was able to meet Chase’s family, Jett and Hunter’s family, and see Kenny’s dad and family friend Rolf, who we have a long relationship with.”