Supercross

Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence on Top At Oakland AMA Supercross

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Photo of Eli Tomac at  round two of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship
Tomac’s win was his 48th Supercross victory, putting him into a tie for third-most all-time wins with Ricky Carmichael.

Eli Tomac took the checkered flag with a thrilling final lap defense inside RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California for the re-scheduled Round 2 of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season.

After a last-lap blitz Cooper Webb finished less than one second behind Tomac while Chase Sexton took the final podium spot after leading much of the race as the 17-round season puts six races in the books for 2023. The rescheduled race brought the Western Regional 250SX Class riders back into action and Australian Jett Lawrence used patience to get the win in a dramatic race.

Chase Sexton grabbed the Holeshot in the 450SX Class Main Event with Christian Craig, Tomac, Webb, and Aaron Plessinger following. Webb wasted no time getting into second with Tomac right behind and Ken Roczen jumping into fourth. As the top three began to distance themselves from the pack, Monster Jason Anderson took over fourth place. Five minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race Sexton held a 2.2-second lead over Tomac, who’d gapped Webb by four seconds.

Photo of Cooper Webb at  round two of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship
Cooper Webb turned the heat up on the closing laps to reclaim second and closed the gap to Tomac tp within one second as they crossed the finish line. Photo: Align Media

The front three ran that formation for several laps. Behind them, Plessinger put himself into fourth place and Roczen, Anderson, and Justin Barcia scrapped for fifth. Up front, Sexton slowly stretched out his lead past five seconds. A near-crash may have gotten into Sexton’s head and led to an actual crash; with just over six and a half minutes left on the race clock, he slipped sideways off a small single and crashed into a corner marker. Tomac took over the lead while Sexton remounted in second place.

But Sexton’s troubles weren’t over. Webb was on the move, and with 48 seconds left on the race clock Webb used a unique line down the track’s final rhythm section to get past Sexton. When the riders took the white flag, Webb was 4.3 seconds behind Tomac.

Photo of Chase Sexton at round two of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship
Chase Sexton once again put himself in a winning position with eh 450 main holeshot but let the win slip away with another small crash.

Then it was Tomac’s turn to make an unforced error. On the final lap he landed awkwardly into the face of a small jump, got off-balance, and veered off the track. Tomac recovered but looked off-time for the final lap while Webb laid down a fierce charge. Webb had his fast line in the rhythm section that Tomac wasn’t doing, and as the two riders approached the final turn Webb’s faster line came up just short giving him the pass. Tomac took the win less than a second ahead of Webb. Tomac’s win was his 48th Supercross victory, putting him into a tie for third-most all-time wins with Ricky Carmichael, who called the race from the announcer’s booth.

Photo of Jett Lawrence at  round two of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship
Jett Larence took his third Western Regional 250SX Class win out of four rounds to extend his points lead to 20 points.

In the Western Regional 250SX Class, RJ Hampshire grabbed the Holeshot ahead of Cameron McAdoo, Jett Lawrence, Lawrence’s Australian compatriot Matt Moss held down fourth in his first race this season, and Enzo Lopes fifth. Moss disappeared off timing screens at the end of the first lap and was classed as a DNF after hurting his thumb.

“I was feeling really good all night, finished 3rd in my heat,” Moss said. “Got an ok start…I was sitting in 4th when I landed awkwardly on my thumb. I could barely hang on. Disappointing but overall happy with my speed, a few things to work on…. looking forward to getting back behind the gates at the next round.”

Photo of RJ Hampshire at  round two of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship
RJ Hampshire (24) took the holeshot when the gate dropped for the main event. Unfortunately, a slow-speed crash left him in second spot, which is where he finished.

The top three put down fast times and without battling each other pulled a gap on the rest of the field. Two minutes into the 15-minute plus one-lap race only two seconds separated the top three. When McAdoo dropped his front end in the whoops Lawrence capitalized on the mistake. The Honda rider took over second place and set his sights on Hampshire 2.6 further up the track.

Pierce Brown had pushed forward from a bad start and soon was on McAdoo’s rear wheel. Five minutes into the race Hampshire had extended his lead to 3.2 seconds while Lawrence, McAdoo, and Brown were clumped together in a battle for second. Then Hampshire lost the front end in a tight corner and gave up his advantage. He remounted as the pack of three was on him and pushed into the third place spot immediately.

From there Lawrence gradually pulled clear of the three racers behind him. A battle heated up directly behind that pack for fifth place between Max Vohland, Levi Kitchen, and Lopes. Hampshire reached second as Brown attacked McAdoo for third. Brown took the spot, but a mistake allowed McAdoo to block pass his way back by, taking Brown down in the process. Brown remounted right into a battle with Levi Kitchen for fourth.

Photo of Cameron McAdoo at  round two of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship
Cameron McAdoo rose to the challenge and finished third.

Jett Lawrence had pulled more than a 15 second lead at the end of the race. He grabbed his third win in only four rounds of the division’s season. Hampshire landed the second place spot, and McAdoo took third. It’s worth noting both Hampshire and McAdoo are recovering from injuries and look to have more for Lawrence when the Western Regional 250SX Class resumes on March 25th.

The race series moves east next Saturday night, February 25th, to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the second Triple Crown format race of the year. The event pits the racers against one another in three separate Main Events to determine the night’s overall finishing order. The Texas race reactivates the Eastern Regional 250SX Class racers as well as hosts another SX Futures race of young talents competing to earn their pro racing license.

450SX Class Results
1 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha
2 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM
3 Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
4 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM
5 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki
6 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
7 Christian Craig, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
8 Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., Kawasaki
9 Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
10 Justin Cooper, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha

450SX Class Championship Standings
1 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (139)
2 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (132)
3 Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (132)
4 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (111)
5 Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (104)
6 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (104)
7 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (97)
8 Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., Kawasaki (82)
9 Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (75)
10 Christian Craig, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (75)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results
1 Jett Lawrence, Zephyrhills, Fla., Honda
2 RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna
3 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki
4 Levi Kitchen, Havana, Fla., Yamaha
5 Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS
6 Enzo Lopes, Chesterfield, S.C., Yamaha
7 Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM
8 Mitchell Oldenburg, Godley, Tex., Honda
9 Cole Thompson, Brigden, ON, Yamaha
10 Mitchell Harrison, Leesburg, Fla., GASGAS

Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1 Jett Lawrence, Zephyrhills, Fla., Honda (101)
2 RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna (81)
3 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (80)
4 Mitchell Oldenburg, Godley, Tex., Honda (69)
5 Levi Kitchen, Havana, Fla., Yamaha (63)
6 Enzo Lopes, Chesterfield, S.C., Yamaha (63)
7 Stilez Robertson, Bakersfield, Calif., Yamaha (52)
8 Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (52)
9 Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (51)
10 Dylan Walsh, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki (49)

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