- Reigning AMA Supercross champ wins both motos in Charlotte
- Jett Lawrence posts a runner-up finish in 450 moto 2 for fourth overall
- Eighth overall for Hunter Lawrence in 250 class
With Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence having taken the 2023 450 titles in AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross, respectively, Team Honda HRC seemed to have its bases covered heading into the inaugural SuperMotocross race, held at Charlotte’s zMax Dragway. That’s the way it played out, as Sexton returned to his winning ways, taking the overall victory with impressive 1-1 moto scores. Although Lawrence struggled with his settings in moto 1, he rode impressively in the second outing, and his 7-2 moto scores earned him fourth overall. In the 250 class, Hunter Lawrence suffered from poor starts and inopportune falls, tallying 9-7 moto scores for eighth overall.
Sexton nailed a strong moto 1 start aboard his CRF450RWE and secured the lead on lap 2, then rode smoothly to secure the win. Meanwhile, Jett Lawrence started sixth and lost a position before a lap-6 fall dropped him back to 10th. He was able to reach seventh by the finish. In moto 2, Sexton was in third place by the completion of lap 1, and he took over the second spot a few laps in, then set about tracking down the leading Ken Roczen. Sexton took over the top spot with six laps remaining and never looked back, earning the overall victory and establishing a healthy points lead. Jett was only eighth one lap in, but he was much faster than in moto 1, moving into the top five with just five laps gone. He was into podium position two laps later, and with three laps remaining, he put an amazing pass on Roczen to secure second place, which he held to the finish.
An 11th-place start presented a challenge for Hunter Lawrence in the first 250 moto, and an early crash made things even worse, with the newly crowned AMA Pro Motocross 250 Champion sitting 21st after lap 2. He was up to 15th by lap 6, and a burst of speed on the penultimate lap helped him to reach his finishing position of ninth. A turn 1 fall left Hunter in 19th place in moto 2, but he was up to 15th by the end of lap 1. He broke into the top 10 on lap 10, and he crossed the finish line in seventh place.
- All three active Team Honda HRC riders participated in Friday’s activities, including free practice and a press conference. Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence notched the top two times in the 450 class, while Hunter Lawrence was second-quickest in the 250 ranks.
- Honda of North Carolina worked a pop-up activation booth in the Team Honda HRC pits at zMax Dragway, where they displayed Honda powersports models and engaged with fans and customers.
- In Saturday qualifying, Jett and Chase went 1-2 in the 450 class, while Hunter was again second-fastest in the 250 ranks.
- On Saturday, Chase Sexton was presented with the ring that goes to the AMA Supercross 450 Champion.
- Sexton turned the fastest lap times in both 450 motos.
- While this was the first-ever SuperMotocross race, several Supercross races have been held in Charlotte in the past, and Honda has the most premier-class victories (now six, including Chase’s win this weekend). At Memorial Stadium, Jean-Michel Bayle and Jeremy McGrath both won twice while riding red, and McGrath also notched a win at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1996.
- After his win, Chase Sexton participated in the post-race press conference.
- Riders carried points into the first round based on their performance in AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross, and Chase Sexton sat in first place in the 450 title chase coming in. Following his win at the opener, he now has a 12-point lead over Jett Lawrence, in second. In the 250 ranks, Hunter is three points behind co-leaders Joe Shimoda and Haiden Deegan. The unique SuperMotocross format pays double points at next week’s race near Chicago, and triple points are awarded at the Los Angeles finale.
Chase Sexton 23“I definitely had a point to prove after the outdoor season; I was pretty disappointed with it. I was really happy when I got back on supercross testing because I felt like I picked up right where I left off. It calmed my nerves and let me focus on my riding. My preparation was good, and I was confident coming into today that I was going to be good. I know when I’m comfortable that I should be winning races. We’re not done yet–two more races to go, so let’s keep this thing rolling.”
Jett Lawrence 18“The first SMX didn’t go the best. I just didn’t have my starts down and need to go back to working on that. It was a tricky start, and I didn’t execute all day. The start was so key, since this track was so one-lined. The first race I didn’t have the best setup, but we made some changes before the second race and I was able to ride a lot better. I just have to put myself in a better position off the start in Chicago.”
Hunter Lawrence 96“It was a rough day in the office–we sucked. Two crashes today wasn’t ideal, especially one in each moto. It was a sub-par day. We need to go back and be perfect in the next two.”
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“This weekend was exactly what it was advertised to be, a hybrid version of Supercross and Motocross, which presented its own challenges. Chase dealt with it the best and had a great race, showing why he is the Supercross champ! For the next two races, we’ll work on refining our starts so that we can give ourselves a better opportunity to win in both classes.”