SALT LAKE CITY — Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton nabbed the final win of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross indoor stadium season to cap his first 450SX class championship in front of a sold-out crowd of 49,871 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger took the race’s runner-up spot at the Supercross Championship Final Presented by Utah Sports Commission. And Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsport’s Justin Hill took third place and his career-first 450SX class podium.
In the 250SX class season finale, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence earned his sixth victory of the season in the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown that pit both regions against each other for the second time.
On the podium, the AMA awarded Chase Sexton the Monster Energy Supercross Champion title. He entered the race with the championship mathematically won but received the official No. 1 plate after the race.
With Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence and Jett Lawrence wrapping the two 250SX Class championships at previous rounds, 2023 marked only the third time ever, and second time for Honda, that a manufacturer has captured all three Supercross championships in the same season. The 2023 season marks the 50th anniversary of Supercross racing in America.
When the gate dropped Chase Sexton grabbed the holeshot ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, FXR General Grind & Machine’s Justin Starling, Twisted Tea Suzuki Progressive Insurance’s Kyle Chisholm and Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen. Roczen was on the move early but just a few turns in he injured his knee in a rutted corner. Roczen’s injury took him out of the race and he lost a chance to earn the two points needed to secure third overall in the championship.
Cianciarulo was into second place just a few laps into the race with Chisholm right behind. Just over three minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race Aaron Plessinger took over third and set his sights on Cianciarulo while Justin Hill was into fourth place and on the charge.
As the race clock ticked past 12 minutes Plessinger moved past Cianciarulo to take over second, and a lap and a half later Justin Hill was around Cianciarulo and into third place.
As Sexton stretched out his lead up front, Cianciarulo mounted a charge to take back third. But with five minutes left on the race clock the final positions appeared settled. Chase Sexton took his sixth win of the season and brought Honda its first Supercross title since 2003.
Sexton’s late-season surge was one of the sport’s great title comebacks, with parallels to David Bailey’s 1983 season that also included a third-to-first drive in the final five races of the season.
In the final 250SX class race of the season, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Coty Schock grabbed the holeshot but Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s R.J. Hampshire was quickly into the lead ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle, Jett Lawrence, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Levi Kitchen, and Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie as heavy rain came down in the stadium. Hunter Lawrence found himself with a mid-pack start and then got tangled up when Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Enzo Lopes crashed. As Hampshire, Jett Lawrence and Kitchen slotted into the top three spots, Hunter Lawrence and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan worked their way up from outside the top ten.
Three minutes into the 15-minute plus one lap race Jett Lawrence began applying pressure on Hampshire for the lead. At the same time, back on the track, Deegan broke into the top ten. Two minutes later Jett Lawrence was in striking distance of the front spot as his brother Hunter Lawrence climbed into the top 10.
As the race clock ticked down to eight and a half minutes Jett Lawrence charged through the whoops and cut under Hampshire in the following corner. The riders made contact; Lawrence accelerated away clean but the disturbance led to a Hampshire mistake down the next rhythm lane.
From there Jett Lawrence was unchallenged for the lead. The win gives the Australian racer the distinction of being the winningest Honda rider in the 250SX class, surpassing racing legends Eli Tomac, Jeremy McGrath and Hunter Lawrence. Hampshire held second to the checkered, and Kitchen took the final 250SX podium of the season.