The typically rough and rugged conditions of the Daytona Supercross—celebrating 50 years of running—greeted riders for round ten of the AMA Supercross Championship. The unique Daytona track, a bit of a hybrid between supercross and motocross, created the usual mix of challenges, but GEICO Honda men Chase Sexton and Jeremy Martin battled to podium finishes with second and third place results, respectively. Rookie teammate Jo Shimoda threw in another solid result with seventh.
Sexton wasn’t able to run down race leader Garrett Marchbanks, but the second-place finish extends his 2020 250 East Region points lead.
“Never pleased to finish second, but overall I was struggling pretty much all day, just with bike setup and not really feeling comfortable with the track,” said Sexton. “It was more outdoorsy than I really expected. On a supercross setup we just didn’t really feel comfortable. Just kind of struggled. In the heat race I had a crash, ran over a rider and then got back to third. I really felt like I rode pretty well. For the main event, that put me in not a very good spot on the gate. I was pretty far outside. Just tried to give the best effort I could and got into the corner first, but I went too far wide. Made a few quick passes. Garrett was out front. I knew he was going to be tough to beat. He was riding good all day. I put my head down and tried to close the gap a little bit, but overall he was riding really well. I can’t take anything away from him. I just didn’t have it tonight. Going back into Indianapolis, my home race, with an extended points lead feels good.”
Martin is always strong at Daytona, so he wasn’t happy with third despite logging a come-from-behind charge. He passed RJ Hampshire for a podium late in the race.
“Man it felt so good to be pinning it on my GEICO Honda at the Daytona International Speedway,” said Martin, who actually claimed second in the 450 class at the race in 2017. “The speed was there all day to grab a win but I couldn’t get out of the gate in the main event. I wheelied off the start and lost some ground. I ended up going off the track in the sand section on lap one due to Jordan Smith having a crash. I blew off the track and had to jump some tough blocks. Put on a massive charge to get back onto the box for third overall. Definitely disappointed with my performance.”
Shimoda backed up last weekend’s fifth with a solid seventh. He tried to track down fellow rookie Pierce Brown for sixth but ran out of time.
“The whole practice, in timed qualifying, I didn’t get in good laps, but I felt loose all day,” said Shimoda. “I was a little bit tight in the beginning of my heat but got fourth. In the main event I started okay but [Shane] McElrath crashed in front of me and I got stuck behind him which put me behind a lot of riders. I was able to get to seventh and I was catching up to sixth, but then I went off the track with three laps to go. Had to settle for seventh.”
The team heads to Lucas Oil Stadium for Supercross in Indianapolis this Saturday.
GEICO Honda Results
3. Jeremy Martin
7. Jo Shimoda