Lawrence Extends 250SX East Points Lead with Detroit Win
- Perfect showing sees Jett Lawrence top practice, heat and main
- Hard crash in chaotic 450SX main ends Sexton’s night early
The Detroit round of the 2022 AMA Supercross series saw Jett Lawrence continue his dominance of the 250SX East Region, riding his CRF250R to his third win in four events, and his second in a row. After topping timed qualifying and the second heat race, Lawrence secured the lead on the first lap of the 250SX East main event and – apart from a bid by Pierce Brown when they hit lapped traffic about seven minutes in – was never challenged, winning by nearly six-and-a-half seconds. It was the sixth indoor 250 victory of the young Australian’s career, as well as the 10th podium. The win extended Lawrence’s lead in the title chase to nine, and Honda’s support-class win record in the Detroit-Pontiac area to 12. Also posting solid results in the class were Fire Power Honda’s Jordon Smith and SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg,
in fifth and sixth, respectively.
By the time the gate dropped for the 450SX main event, the short track was quite treacherous and, over the course of 27 laps, it would claim a number of top riders – Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton unfortunately among them. The Illinois native completed the first lap in sixth place and, after dropping back to ninth a few laps in, he set about improving his situation. He dispatched a number of riders, and by lap 16 he sat fifth, pressuring Cooper Webb. When Webb made a mistake in a rhythm section, Sexton had nowhere to go and plowed into him, sending both riders down hard. Sexton was taken to the Alpinestars Medical Unit where he received stitches to a cut lip, but amazingly, further damage was limited to general soreness and friction burns to his back. MotoConcepts’ Justin Brayton and Vince Friese were the top-finishing Red Riders, in fifth and
sixth, respectively, with SGB Unlimited Honda’s Cade Clason also making the top 10.
- Detroit marked the first AMA Supercross round of the year without Ken Roczen on hand. As announced last week, the German is taking time off to focus on improving his health. In the meantime, Team Honda HRC has a two-rider team for most races, with the Detroit roster comprising Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence in 450SX and 250SX East, respectively, in Detroit. Of course, Hunter Lawrence will be back for 250SX West rounds.
- Sexton was a last-minute addition to Media Activities on Friday, giving him a bit of time on the track. Jett Lawrence did not take part.
- Temperatures were chilly for race day, with a high of 27º Fahrenheit and the evening program kicking off with the mercury touching 18º – a marked contrast from the warm weather at Daytona the previous week. With no Fan Fest in the pits, the squads didn’t set up their canopies, and Team Honda HRC’s mechanics wrenched on the bikes inside the technical truck.
- Following last week’s visit to the sprawling Daytona circuit, the Detroit track was extremely tight, resulting in very low lap times. Sexton rode well in 450SX daytime practice, topping two of three sessions and notching a best time of 43.701” – second best and just over a tenth behind Malcolm Stewart. SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Justin Brayton and Vince Friese were 10th and 12th, SGB Unlimited Honda’s Cade Clason and Alex Ray were 17th and 18th and STR Racing’s Cheyenne Harmon was 28th.
- Daytime qualifying in the 250SX East class was ruled by Lawrence, despite an off showing in the first timed session. After making changes to this suspension setting, Lawrence notched a best of 43.856” and was the class’s only rider to drop below the 44” mark. Fire Power Honda’s Jordon Smith was just three spots back, MotoConcepts’ Mitchell Oldenburg was seventh, Moto Academy’s AJ Catanzaro was 14th, SGB’s Jeremy Hand 16th, STR’s Lance Kobusch 18th, Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cullin Park 20th, Luke Neese 21st, TiLube Honda’s Hunter Yoder 22th, Grant Harlan 23rd, Jones Powersports’ John Short 26th and Fire Power’s Jarrett Frye 28th. A total of 13 of the 40 riders to make the night program were CRF250R-mounted.
- Phoenix Racing Honda’s Kyle Peters was forced to miss the Detroit round after injuring his hand and ribs in a crash at Daytona.
- Lawrence ruled the second 250SX East heat race, taking the lead on lap one and staying in front until the end to win by over three seconds. Other Red Riders to transfer straight to the main in the class were Oldenburg, Park, Short and Hand. Smith topped the Last Chance Qualifier.
- After taking the holeshot in 450SX heat 1 and leading most of the way, Sexton crashed in the whoops on the penultimate lap, but he was able to remount in time to finish second. Brayton and Friese were fourth and fifth, respectively, with Ray eighth. Heat 2 saw Clason finish ninth.
- Lawrence participated in the post-race press conference on Saturday evening.
- Lawrence now holds an eight-point advantage in the 250SX East title chase, while Sexton now sits sixth in the 450SX standings, nine points outside of the top five. Despite missing the Detroit round, Ken Roczen is still ninth in 450SX points.
- Team Honda HRC will now travel to Indianapolis for round 11 of the premier class racing and round 5 of the 250SX East Region class.
- Eli Tomac (Yam)
- Malcolm Stewart (Hus)
- Justin Barcia (Gas)
- Marvin Musquin (KTM)
- Justin Brayton (Hon)
- Vince Friese (Hon)
- Shane McElrath (KTM)
- Justin Bogle (Suz)
- Brandon Hartranft (Suz)
- Clade Clason (Hon)
450SX Championship Points (after 10 of 17 rounds)
- Eli Tomac: 229
- Jason Anderson: 187
- Malcolm Stewart: 187
- Justin Barcia: 184
- Cooper Webb: 173
- Chase Sexton: 164
- Marvin Musquin: 164
- Dylan Ferrandis: 141
- Ken Roczen: 133
- Dean Wilson: 119
250SX East Region Results
- Jett Lawrence (Hon)
- Cameron McAdoo (Kaw)
- Pierce Brown (Gas)
- RJ Hampshire (Hus)
- Jordon Smith (Hon)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (Hon)
- Phillip Nicoletti (Yam)
- Stilez Robertson (Hus)
- Enzo Lopes (Yam)
- Joshua Varize (Hus)
250SX East Region Championship Points (after 4 of 9 rounds)
- Jett Lawrence: 99
- Cameron McAdoo: 91
- Pierce Brown: 68
- Stilez Robertson: 67
- Enzo Lopes: 64
- Jordon Smith: 63
- RJ Hampshire: 60
- Phillip Nicoletti: 58
- Mitchell Oldenburg: 50
- Jeremy Martin: 42
Chase Sexton 23
“Overall, the Detroit Supercross was a pretty rough race for me. I had a crash in the heat race trying to go around a lapped rider, and in the main event, Cooper and I got together, which ended my night. It was unfortunate, but thankfully I’m healthy apart from a few scrapes and bruises. I’m looking forward to Indianapolis, which I consider one of my home races, and I’m excited to get back out there and make up for it.”
Jett Lawrence 18
“That one was really tricky. The track’s pretty tight and basic, but it got chewed up pretty gnarly, especially in those rhythms; it would catch you off guard now and then. It was a lot more difficult than our last couple weekends. I felt like the times were really, really close, so the boys definitely kept me on my toes. Pierce [Brown] surprised me; normally every guy revs it in the air, but he was silent – scared the living daylights out of me on the inside [laughs]. The biggest thing was just making sure I clicked my lap times off and focused on myself, because
you never know when I make a silly mistake and one of these boys capitalizes on that. I had fun in that one. I’m very grateful, and hopefully I can keep marching on.”
“Tonight was another bittersweet one for us as a team. The track was deceivingly difficult and sketchy by the end of the main event. Because of the short lap times, it broke down even more than normal, and the lapped riders were an issue in every race. Jett was amazing again and rode super smart. He pushed when he needed to and was conservative on parts of the track that could bite. Chase was also incredibly fast all day and was going to be a threat to win. Once he got a rhythm going he was moving forward and riding well until his unfortunate incident with Cooper.
Hopefully Cooper is okay, and luckily Chase was able to come away with minimal injuries and should be able to race next weekend no problem.”
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