It (was) race day here in Atlanta for round 14 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. There’s so much going on today and we’re here to cover it all. First up, track conditions.
by Ryan Nitzen
A huge storm rolled in last night and soaked the course. The track workers did a great job with prep but early practices definitely slick and muddy. They’ve also cut down some of the jumps that were originally part of the layout. If you saw some of the crash videos from press day you know why. This round is also an East/West Showdown meaning the best riders from the east and the west coasts will face off in tonight’s main event. Let’s get to it.
Justin Barcia grabbed the holeshot in the 450SX main event over Chase Sexton and Eli Tomac. He led the race early on but mistakes throughout dropped him to sixth at the finish.
Last week’s winner Marvin Musquin hit the deck on lap one and dropped down to the back of the pack. He battled his way back up to 10th.
Chase Sexton pushed his way behind to the lead after a few laps and battled with Justin Barcia at the front. Sexton moved to first place and controlled the lead for the first half of the race. Unfortunately, he tucked the front end after the fast sand section and fell back while handing the lead over to Jason Anderson.
Anderson was the man on the move today. He quickly moved into third in the early stages and then to the lead after Sexton fell. From there he proceeded to check out from the pack and took the victory.
Eli Tomac started off slow but came on strong as the race wore on. The points leader rounded lap one in fifth after missing an important rhythm section early on. He moved into podium territory after capitalizing on other rider’s mistakes. With Tomac in third, he then locked into a battle with Cooper Webb for the second spot. These two put on a great show for a few laps with Tomac ultimately taking the upper hand. Once he moved into second, Anderson was too far gone and Tomac settled for the bridesmaid position.
After Sexton’s crash he was forced to claw back up through the pack. A number of mistakes held him back as he battled with Malcolm Stewart and later with Cooper Webb. Sexton caught a second wind late in the race and launched past Webb for the final podium. Sexton’s late-race rally credited him with third at the line.
450SX Results (Top 10)
|1.||Jason Anderson||(Hon)||15 Laps|
The best riders of the east and west regions faced off for the 250 Showdown. Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda grabbed the holeshot and the early lead over RJ Hampshire and both Lawrence brothers. Hampshire and Hunter Lawrence quickly jumped into a battle but Hampshire slid out whil trying to block. This moved Jett Lawrence into third.
Just after Jett moved into podium territory he tucked the front in the whoop section and went down. This mistake dropped him to 14th in the running order.
Hunter Lawrence came out on top tonight. He tracked down Shimoda and launched the wall jump to make the pass. From there he was untouchable and went on to take the win over the combined east and west field. Despite the hype around Jett and Christian Craig, it was the other Lawrence brother who came out on top.
Craig got off to a top five start and quickly moved as other riders hit the deck. He passed Forkner with a great run through the whoops and set his sights on the lead. A tip over late in the race ruined his chances for the win but he still managed to finish a solid second. He retains the points lead in the 250SX West.
Jett Lawrence cut his work out for himself after a crash early in the race. He put his head down again in the main and pushed through the pack all the way to the finish. Jett set the fastest times of the race and was on a tear as he battled through to a podium finish. He finished third on the day.
250SX Showdown Results (Top 10)
|1.||Hunter Lawrence||(Hon)||12 Laps|
|3.||Jett Lawrence||(Hon)||+08.069 1|
Chase Sexton put his Honda HRC machine on pole today with the fastest time in the 450SX class. Jason Anderson held tight for second, only 0.1 seconds behind Sexton. Last week’s winner, Marvin Musquin, posted the third best time of the 450’s.
450SX Combined Qualifying (Top 10)
The top 20 from the east and the west will race individual heat races before a combined LCQ. From there they will face off in the main event. Points for the Showdown are just like a normal race and not determined by which coast a rider is on. We are running a shorter program today due to the weather. Riders only got one session to learn the track and qualify for the night show.
Jett Lawrence put down the fastest lap of both 250 sessions and was over a second faster than anyone in his group. Austin Forkner returns to action today and posted the second fastest time of the east coast riders. Mitchell Oldenburg is fresh off a podium last weekend and grabbed the third quickest time in qualifying.
250SX East Combined Qualifying (Top 10)
250SX West Combined Qualifying (Top 10)
Note: The Monster Energy SuperX will be making a stop this Saturday, April 23 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA after a two-year absence