Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton put together a near-perfect day at Atlanta Motor Speedway, earning fast qualifier in the morning and scoring his fourth career Monster Energy AMA Supercross victory in the afternoon.
By lap one of the main event, it was clear that Sexton had something to prove.
“I got through a whole mental barrier for me, just to lead that whole race and ride solid, especially with how gnarly the track was,” Sexton said. “That was a fun race, and it was much-needed.”
H.E.P. Motorsports’ Ken Roczen nabbed his second holeshot of the day, translating his heat race success to the 450SX class main event. The Suzuki rider led the field to the finish-line stretch, but Sexton elbowed his way past Roczen on the tunnel jump.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson also made minor contact with Roczen as the three riders exited the corner, Sexton leading. Notably, Troy Lee/Red Bull/GASGAS rider Justin Barcia and Anderson’s teammate, Adam 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 Kawasaki rider attempted to defend third-place. In all the chaos, Red Bull KTM’s Cooper 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.
Points leader Eli Tomac was slowly making progress after his bad start, which originally placed him around the 10th-place mark on his No. 1 Star Racing Yamaha machine. 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.