- Sexton wins one race and rides smart in 450SX division
- Lawrence extends points lead with two 250SX East wins
Between Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence, Team Honda HRC won the first three races at the St. Louis Triple Crown AMA Supercross, and although overall wins weren’t in the cards, both riders finished second and made headway in their respective points chases.
Sexton nailed the 450SX race 1 holeshot aboard his CRF450R and was never seriously challenged, winning with four seconds to spare, and then the Illinois native completed the first lap of race 2 in fourth place before moving into third and holding that position until the checkers. Sexton’s worst start of the evening came in the night’s final race, leaving him seventh after lap 1, but he rode fast and safe to secure third by lap 5 and maintain the spot to the end.
In the first 250SX race, Lawrence suffered a terrible start and crossed the line eighth, but he quickly began picking off riders. He got some help when RJ Hampshire went down while leading, and the Australian was in front by lap 8. From there, Lawrence rode the final four laps in command, winning by more than five seconds. Race 2 was marked by a red flag, and following the restart, Lawrence assumed the lead with seven laps remaining, then took another win with a six-second margin. A bad start in race 3 was followed by an early crash when Lawrence ran into the back of another rider, leaving him dead last. He made it up to fifth by the finish, earning second on the night. Also of note was SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda rider Mitchell Oldenburg, taking a commendable third-overall result on the night.
- Team Honda HRC riders Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence both participated in Media Day activities on Friday, giving them a chance to try out the track and the famously excellent St. Louis dirt.
- Lawrence recorded a short TV interview on Saturday that was played during the opening of the TV broadcast. In addition, Jett and Hunter Lawrence were featured in a segment that followed them in a golf game near their home in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
- With his birthplace three and a half hours north in La Moille, Illinois, Sexton considers St. Louis to be one of his home races, and he had several guests on hand. Although he had attended the St. Louis round as a spectator in the past, this was his first time competing at the venue.
- Team Honda HRC test rider Trey Canard missed St. Louis as he had a TED Talk appearance the night before, in St. George, Utah. Canard spoke on the topic of overcoming trauma.
- In daytime qualifying, Lawrence posted the second-best 250SX East time, just .3 seconds off the leader. Other CRF250R riders to qualify directly to the night program included SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg (fourth), Fire Power Honda’s Jordon Smith (seventh), Phoenix Racing Honda’s Kyle Peters (11th), SGB Unlimited Honda’s Jeremy Hand (12th), STR’s Lance Kobusch (15th), Fire Power Honda’s Jarrett Frye (17th) and Moto Academy’s AJ Catanzaro (18th). Jones Powersports’ John Short made it through the Last Chance Qualifier.
- Sexton ended 450SX qualifying as the sixth-best rider, one ahead of MotoConcepts’ Justin Brayton and only .145 seconds behind the top-qualifying rider. Other qualifying Red Riders included MCR’s Vince Friese (ninth), SGB’s Cade Clason (18th), and LCQ rider Alex Ray, of SGB Unlimited.
- As reported by Racer X’s Mitch Kendra, St. Louis saw Sexton become the first rider to ever score individual Triple Crown race wins aboard 450 and 250 machinery.
- Phoenix Racing Honda’s Kyle Peters broke his C5 and C6 vertebrae during a crash in the second 250SX race and had to undergo surgery. Best wishes from Honda to the reigning AMA Arenacross Champion for a speedy recovery.
- Both Sexton and Lawrence participated in the post-race press conference on Saturday evening.
- Even without a win, Lawrence extended his 250SX East points lead by 23, to 34, due in part to Cameron McAdoo missing the race due to injury. Three rounds remain in the East Region. Although Sexton didn’t advance from seventh in the 450SX class, he gained ground on most of his rivals.
- The next race for Team Honda HRC is the Atlanta Supercross, and since it is also a 250SX East-West Showdown, Team Honda HRC will be fielding all three active riders – Chase Sexton plus Hunter and Jett Lawrence.
Ken Roczen 94Did Not Attend Race - Recovery Break
Chase Sexton 23“It was good to come out and get a win in the first race. I felt good on the bike all day. I did some outdoor riding on our week off and then did a little supercross testing last week. We found some things, and I just felt more comfortable. My starts fell off the last two races, and everyone was on it; I had to kind of catch back up in that third one. Overall, it was a good step, and I’m happy to be healthy after all the crashes I’ve had. I’m just looking forward to building and going back to Atlanta Speedway.”
Jett Lawrence 18"“I was looking forward to maybe going for a clean sweep, even if RJ [Hampshire] was for sure making it hard on me. I didn’t really do any practice starts on Thursday and was thinking I should be okay, but I guess I wasn’t. I thought I gave that guy enough room in race 3, but I guess you just have to be a little more cautious; I blame myself. RJ deserves it tonight; he was there each time and put himself in good positions. I wish I could’ve kept the win streak going, but it is what it is. I still got second, thankfully, and we’re just going to keep on charging. Hopefully we can finish it off sooner than later.”
Hunter Lawrence 96Did Not Attend Race
Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager“Tonight was great for us. Of course it could’ve been even better, but we’re definitely walking out of here in a good position. Jett proved that he should’ve been the guy, but he had some unfortunate luck on the start of the last race. He had to come from way behind and still managed to get up to fifth, even while trying to ride as conservatively as possible. Chase made a huge stride with his confidence, and with rebuilding since the crashes that he’s had, especially that big one in Seattle. We made some improvements with the bike, and he made some improvements with himself, which was a good combination. It was close to wins in both classes, but we’ll take second.”