Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac took a hard-earned Monster Energy AMA Supercross victory at the 53rd running of the Daytona Supercross, stretching his record number of wins at the venue to seven.
Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb was close but had to settle for second place at Round 8 on the unique track built into the trioval of the Daytona International Speedway. Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton had some close calls but no crashes to finish third on the high-speed Supercross track. In the fourth round of the 10-round Eastern Regional 250SX Class series, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence took the Daytona win in convincing style.
When the gate dropped for the 450SX Class Main Event, Tomac grabbed the Holeshot but Webb took an outside line in the second corner and snatched the lead. Sexton held third place with Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia applying pressure to take over the spot. After one lap Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson had made his way into fifth, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire sat sixth in his first 450SX Class Main Event after winning his Heat race.
With the rain coming down Webb held command of the race. Then approximately seven minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race Webb and Tomac had a fierce exchange. The two racers traded the lead four times in one section, with Webb retaining the front spot after the two riders bumped entering a rutted, elevated corner. Tomac was sent wide, but not off the track. The incident allowed Sexton to close the gap and suddenly the top three in the points all had a shot at the Daytona win.
Nine minutes in, Webb hit neutral entering the high-speed rhythm just after the finish line. Tomac jumped past and locked down the lead. The front four, Tomac, Webb, Sexton, and Barcia were still close, with less than four seconds separating the four riders.
Then Sexton made a big mistake in one of the rutted rhythm sections. Barcia tried to capitalize, Sexton blocked, and the riders came together right before a triple jump. The contact sent Barcia off the track but not down. Less than a lap later Sexton stalled his bike braking for the tight, elevated corner. Barcia tried to jump past on the corner’s exit and the riders came together again. The second incident went worse for Barcia and he found himself down on the Florida soil. Barcia was able to remount in time to stay in front of Anderson in fifth.
In the late laps Webb made a push to get back to Tomac. The KTM rider closed the gap down to 1.4 seconds as the racers reached the white flag. But Tomac laid down a mistake-free final lap and kept his Yamaha up front. When Tomac crossed the checkers he stretched his all-time Daytona win record to seven and took sole possession of third in all-time 450SX Class wins, just one behind James Stewart who was in the broadcast booth calling the race alongside Ricky Carmichael and Daniel Blair.
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie jumped out in first with the Holeshot but down the first straight Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nate Thrasher took over the lead. One turn later Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle took the top spot from Thrasher. Lawrence was up near the front and as the racers went through the sand section for the first time he collided with Thrasher. Lawrence got the position and Thrasher went down and fell back to last place. Lawrence sped forward, blitzing past Vialle and into the lead on the first pass through the whoops.
Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin held third with Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Chris Blose behind and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan in fifth. Then Vialle crashed hard in the short rhythm after the whoops, giving up his second place spot. Four and a half minutes into the 15-minute plus one lap race, with light rain coming down, Deegan moved confidently past Martin to take over third place. With 8:22 left on the race clock Thrasher reached tenth and looked to have the speed to reach the top five. Half a lap later Thrasher landed on a Tuff Blox, crashed hard, and looked out of the race; but Thrasher re-joined and worked his way back up to tenth by the finish.
The win by Lawrence matched his brother’s victory in 2022, making the Lawrence brothers the first in the sport’s history to each have a Daytona Supercross win. This augments their other ‘first’ this season as being the only brother duo to simultaneously lead both the Eastern and the Western Regional 250SX Class points. Anstie earned his second runner-up finish of 2023 and rookie Haiden Deegan earned his career-first podium finish in only his fourth professional Supercross race.
The series heads to Indianapolis next weekend where Lucas Oil Stadium will host Round 9 of both the 17-round 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season as well as the brand-new 31-round SuperMotocross World Championship series. The inaugural series incorporates Supercross, Pro Motocross, and three hybrid-style events to crown one SuperMotocross World Champion in each bike displacement class. The 2023 seasons combine for the largest total purse of any off-road motorcycle racing series with a 10 million dollar purse.
450SX Class Results
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha
2. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM
3. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
5. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki
6. Justin Cooper, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha
7. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki
8. RJ Hampshire, Minneola, Fla., Husqvarna
9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM
10. Christian Craig, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (186)
2. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (181)
3. Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (176)
4. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (148)
5. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (138)
6. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (135)
7. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (132)
8. Christian Craig, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (103)
9. Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., Kawasaki (85)
10. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (84)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
2. Max Anstie, Cairo, Ga., Honda
3. Haiden Deegan, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha
4. Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Yamaha
5. Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Yamaha
6. Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda
7. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki
8. Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda
9. Cullin Park, Clermont, Fla., Honda
10. Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (99)
2. Max Anstie, Cairo, Ga., Honda (85)
3. Haiden Deegan, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (74)
4. Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Yamaha (71)
5. Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Yamaha (71)
6. Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (70)
7. Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda (60)
8. Tom Vialle, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (53)
9. Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (53)
10. Michael Mosiman, Minneaola, Fla., GASGAS (51)
- From Monster Energy Supercross/Feld Motor Sports, Inc.