ATLANTA, Ga. — It’s race day for Monster Energy AMA Supercross at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The 13th round of the season is set to begin at 3 p.m. (ET), with qualifying taking place late morning. This Saturday’s race brings the series to the second speedway-style track of the season — the first being Daytona Int’l Speedway — and marks the third consecutive year Supercross has raced on the in-field of Atlanta.
This story will be updated throughout the day. Scroll down for the most recent results.
Between the premier 450SX class and 250SX East championship, there are several storylines to follow.
Star Racing Yamaha’s Eli Tomac secured sole possession of the 450SX points lead with his win last weekend at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. — notching a record-breaking 51st career victory in the process. He is now the second winningest rider in Supercross history, while Jeremy McGrath remains first with an astonishing 72 victories.
As for the championship battle, things have tightened up in the 450SX class.
Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb is hot in the hunt, only seven points behind Tomac, while Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton is 25 points behind in third. Of the three riders, Tomac and Webb are the only ones who have reached victory lane in Atlanta — Tomac (2021), Webb (2019, ’21).
Also, the 250SX East series is back in action, meaning that Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence, Star Racing Yamaha teammates Nate Thrasher and Haiden Deegan, and Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha Jeremy Martin will be some of the key players to watch.
250SX East — Lawrence Dominates Early In Qualifying
Defending Atlanta winner Lawrence dominated the opening qualifying session, with a fast lap of 1 minute, 31.461 seconds. The No. 96 rider was over a second faster than Thrasher, who made a last-lap effort to secure second. Thrasher’s fast lap was 1 minute, 32.869 seconds.
Deegan finished in third place, half-a-second behind Thrasher.
Notably, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda is returning to competition this weekend after sitting out the early rounds of the season with a shoulder injury. He logged a solid fourth-place finish in qualifying.
Star Racing Yamaha’s Jordon Smith was fifth.
450SX — Tomac Leads First Qualifying Session
Sexton put his No. 23 Honda in the lead early on during the first 450SX qualifying session of the day.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo was first to knock Sexton off the top of the timesheets, turning a 1-minute, 31.738-second lap time four minutes into the 10-minute session. Troy Lee/Red Bull/GASGAS rider Justin Barcia then threw down a 1:32.747 lap time, which bumped him up to third on the chart.
Defending Supercross champion Tomac hovered in fourth for a majority of the session before logging a 1-minute, 31.259-second lap time that placed him on top of the timesheets with under three minutes to go.
From there, it was a flurry of fast laps for the 450SX riders.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson found his groove late in the session, moving to second place with a 1-minute, 31.274-second lap time. H.E.P. Motorsports’ Ken Roczen followed suit, earning third on the No. 94 Suzuki.
Sexton slipped to fourth, while Webb qualified fifth. Cianciarulo finished sixth and Barcia ended up seventh.
250SX East — Thrasher Earns Fast Qualifier
Thrasher carried momentum into the second qualifying session of the day, stealing the holeshot during the practice start. The No. 29 Star Racing Yamaha rider was the first to drop his time into the 1-minute, 30-second range.
His teammate, Smith, jumped to the top with a 1-minute, 30.508-second lap time with four minutes to go. Lawrence continued to regain ground as the clock wound down and managed to drop his time into the 1:29’s.
But at the end of the session, it was Thrasher who earned the fast-qualifier award.
Lawrence was second, Smith finished third and Shimoda came in fourth. In his first year riding at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martin qualified fifth on his No. 6 ClubMX Yamaha.
450SX — Sexton Scores 11th Fast-Qualifier Award Of The Season
Barcia and Roczen both launched to the front during the 450SX practice start, but it was the No. 51 GASGAS rider who shot to the top of the timesheets at the end of lap one.
During the middle of the session, a lineup of stout competitors traded for the top spot, bouncing around from Cianciarulo to Sexton to Anderson. Notably, Josh Hill momentarily held second place in the session with a 1-minute, 33.541-second lap time.
With three minutes to go, Sexton set a fast lap of 1 minute, 28.064 seconds, which held through the remainder of the session. The No. 23 thus earned his 11th fast-qualifier award of the season.
Cianciarulo snuck into second-place during the final moments of qualifying, turning a 1-minute, 28.156-second lap at the speedway. Anderson, Webb and Barcia completed the top five. Roczen, Tomac, Dean Wilson, Aaron Plessinger and Benny Bloss filled out the top 10.
250SX East — Heat Race 1 Goes To Lawrence
When the gate dropped on the first 250SX East heat race, it was Deegan who shot out front and into the lead.
The No. 238 Star Racing Yamaha rider made easy work of the first turn and instantly began building a comfortable gap on Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle in second. Shimoda, who had his No. 30 Kawasaki in a prime position in third, was the first to have trouble, as he tucked the front end and went down in the third turn.
For a few laps, it was smooth sailing for Deegan and the rest of the field — that is, until Lawrence began creeping up. Vialle and Lawrence were neck and neck approaching the finish line on lap three, with Lawrence taking the advantage as they made their way over the tunnel jump.
A straightaway ahead of them, Deegan landed off track and bit the dust, relinquishing the lead to Lawrence. Within a matter of three turns, Lawrence had moved from third position to first. Talon Hawkins slid into third, keeping Deegan at bay in fourth.
Shimoda rebounded from his early crash to finish fifth. Michael Hicks, Caden Braswell, Luke Neese and T.J. Albright also transferred straight out of the heat race to the main event by finishing in the top nine.
250SX East — Heat Race 2 Belongs To Thrasher
The second 250SX East heat race was much less chaotic.
Smith rounded turn one in the lead, but Thrasher and Martin were close behind, ready to pounce at his first mistake. Thrasher pulled the trigger midway through the first lap, passing Smith and pushing him back to second. Martin followed in third.
The Yamaha riders ran 1-2-3 for the remainder of the six-minute heat.
Fire Power Parts Honda Racing’s Max Anstie rode a clean race in fourth, while fill-in Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Chris Blose finished fifth. Henry Miller, Jace Owen, Marshal Weltin and Jeremy Hand also finished in transfer positions.
450SX — Webb Steals Heat Race 1 Win
Roczen was credited with the holeshot on his No. 94 Suzuki during the first 450SX heat race, but it didn’t take long for the No. 9 Kawasaki rider of Cianciarulo to creep by Roczen and into the lead.
Cianciarulo had Webb and Roczen in tow as the field made their way around the speedway-style track to complete lap one, but as Cianciarulo sped down the straight near the finish line, his Kawasaki went for a wild ride and flung him hard into the dirt.
The Kawasaki rider wasted no time in remounting his steed, but unfortunately, he’d already lost several positions.
Webb capitalized on the opportunity, attacking the open track ahead of him on his No. 2 KTM machine. He maintained a two-second gap on Roczen, who was second, for most of the race. The next rider on track, Josh Hill, was 15 seconds back by the final lap.
Cianciarulo rebounded to finish fourth, while Honda riders Colt Nichols and Dean Wilson came in fifth and sixth. Bloss, Fredrick Noren and Shane McElrath completed the top nine transfer positions.
450SX — Anderson Holds On In Heat Race 2
Tomac got an obvious jump on the field when the starting gate dropped on the second 450SX heat race, but the defending champion was cut off by the No. 51 of Justin Barcia as the pair rounded the first corner. The move pushed Tomac back into the mid-pack, while Anderson, Justin Starling and Sexton filed in behind Barcia.
Anderson wasted no time in passing the No. 51 around the outside of the fourth corner, while Starling held his ground in third. Sexton attempted to come up the inside of Starling heading into the whoop section, but Starling refused to let off the gas and Sexton was forced to check up.
The No. 23 Honda HRC rider patiently waited a turn before completing the pass on Starling on the finish-line stretch.
Anderson and Barcia put on a show out front, as Barcia was only a few bike lengths behind the No. 21 Kawasaki rider. Meanwhile, Tomac was gaining ground and had Starling in his sights by the third lap. Tomac finally made a pass stick in the whoop section before the finish line.
The leading trio tightened on lap four, as Sexton inched closer and closer to Barcia and Anderson. Barcia was hounding Anderson’s rear wheel, no doubt feeling pressure from the No. 23 behind him. But despite multiple pass attempts from Barcia, Anderson kept the green machine in the lead, refusing to relinquish the position to “Bam Bam.”
Anderson took the checkered flag with flare, throwing his arm into the air to celebrate as he crossed the finish line.
Post-race update: The AMA has credited the heat race victory to Barcia, as Anderson went off-track on the opening lap and did not slow down, which is against competition rules. Anderson officially finished second.
250SX East & 450SX LCQ Results
Coty Schock, Cullin Park, Hardy Munoz and Gage Linville transferred out of the 250SX East LCQ race.
Aaron Plessinger, Cade Clason, Josh Cartwright and Jared Lesher completed the top four in the 450SX LCQ.
250SX East — Lawrence Breezes To Main Event Victory In Atlanta
In a repeat of his heat race performance, Deegan grabbed the holeshot in the 250SX East main event. However, the lead was short-lived as Lawrence took Deegan high in the corner after the finish line and shut the door on the rookie rider.
Smith temporarily settled into third as Lawrence and Deegan battled back and forth.
Not even one lap in, Deegan made a move past Lawrence on the backstretch of the track, while Smith and Thrasher jostled for third position. For a few turns, there was practically a four-wide battle brewing amongst Deegan, Lawrence, Smith and Thrasher.
Lawrence repeatedly showed Deegan a wheel, attempting a pass, as the field continued on to the second lap of the 15-minute main event. However, the No. 238 rider kept the Honda HRC machine at bay for another half-lap before a mistake in the sand section forced Deegan to settle in behind Lawrence.
The 17-year-old lost another position on the fourth lap when he and Smith drag raced down the finish-line stretch for second place, with Smith taking the position. From there, the group settled into a comfortable rhythm. With five minutes to go, it was Lawrence leading Smith, Deegan, Thrasher and Shimoda
Unfortunately, Martin crashed out and was forced to end his day early.
Thrasher also experienced bad luck, as he lost control of his No. 29 steed in the whoop section and hit the dirt hard with three minutes to go. It took several minutes for Thrasher to move off the track, which he eventually did with the help of the attending Alpinestars medical crew.
Lawrence scored a breezy victory, while Smith and Deegan finished two-three behind him.
In his first race back from injury, Shimoda came in fourth, respectably.
450SX — Sexton Sets Sail At The Speedway, Earns Fourth Career SX Win
Roczen nabbed another holeshot at Atlanta Motor Speedway, translating his heat race success earlier in the day to the 450SX main event. The Suzuki rider led the field to the finish-line stretch, but Sexton elbowed his way past Roczen on the tunnel jump. Anderson also made minor contact with Roczen as the three riders exited the corner, Sexton leading.
Notably, Barcia and Cianciarulo enjoyed strong starts off the gate, moving into fourth and fifth-place on the opening lap.
Sexton immediately set sail out front, while Roczen remained within striking distance. Anderson and Barcia carried on their battle from the heat race, as the No. 21 attempted to defend third-place. In all the chaos, Webb managed to slip past Cianciarulo to secure fifth.
In the whoop section before the finish line, Anderson’s lack of momentum and Barcia’s remarkable whoop speed resulted in the No. 51 making a successful pass on Anderson. It wasn’t long before the No. 2 of Webb was hot on the tail of the Kawasaki rider, knocking on the door for fourth-place.
Notably, brothers Josh and Justin Hill were running eighth and ninth at that time.
Tomac was slowly making progress after his bad start, which originally placed him around the 10th-place mark. As he had his sights set on the rear fender of the orange No. 2 bike, he watched as Webb passed Anderson in the sand rollers.
Half-a-lap later, Tomac also passed the No. 21.
As Tomac reeled in Webb, Sexton was busy riding his own race out front, nearly 10 seconds ahead of the battle for fourth-place. Roczen was the closest threat to Sexton — about three seconds back — but the No. 94 Suzuki had “Bam Bam” Barcia to contend with.
With seven minutes to go, Barcia put forth an attack Roczen couldn’t fend off, and the No. 51 GASGAS machine moved into second position, due to his speedy skimming of the whoops. Roczen safe in third, still 10 seconds ahead of Webb in fourth.
Sexton remained untouchable from his pass for the lead on lap one to the finish line, securing his fourth career victory and his first at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Barcia and Roczen will join Sexton on the podium. Webb and Tomac finished fourth and fifth, while Plessinger recovered nicely from his LCQ appearance, finishing the main event in sixth.