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This Week in SuperMotocross: Supercross Round 5

January 31, 2024

450SX Class Recap: Anaheim 2

Cooper Webb

Wonder Webb: Cooper Webb earned his 22nd 450SX Class victory (10th all-time), and fourth Triple Crown overall victory by scoring 2-2-5 race finishes in Anaheim 2. The nine points Webb scored are the highest Triple Crown score to win an overall in either class, tying Austin Forkner’s 250SX Class Triple Crown victory in 2018 (4-2-3). Webb nailed down his 100th podium and 200th top-10 in his AMA career with the win. His 41st AMA victory ties him with Jett Lawrence for 16th all-time and his 98th 450SX Class top-10 ties him with Johnny O’Mara for 20th on the all-time list.

Eli Tomac

16 Years: Eli Tomac (5-7-1) scored his record 14th Triple Crown race victory and settled for a runner-up overall behind his teammate Webb. His 122nd top-five finish ties Ryan Dungey for fifth on the all-time 450SX Class list and the two-time Champ is right in the title mix (-10). Webb and Tomac finishing 1-2 is the first time since Irving 2008 that Factory Yamaha filled the top two steps of a 450SX Class podium (Chad Reed and Josh Hill). JGRMX Yamaha did complete this feat in 2012 Daytona with James Stewart and Davi Millsaps but was not the Factory Yamaha team. Yamaha now has 185 450SX Class victories.

Aaron Plessinger

Red-Plate Plessinger: KTM’s Aaron Plessinger (6-4-3) will once again hold the red-plate with teammate Chase Sexton (1-11-2) right on his heals (-4) as the series heads East. Plessinger now has back-to-back 450SX Class podiums for the first time in his career and six total in his 450SX Class career. He now has 45 AMA podiums in 196 starts. Plessinger’s 15 450SX Class top-five finish tie him for 60th on the all-time list with popular retired athletes Zach Osborne, Darrell Shultz, and Ryan Hughes.

Jett Lawrence

Notes: Jett Lawrence (6th) Made his 85th AMA start and earned his 80th top-10 (250 & 450) with a 7-3-4 Triple Crown finish at A2. He is only -8 off the red plate going into Detroit. Dylan Ferrandis (9th) Made his 35th 450SX Class start and 25th top-10 finish. It was his 135th AMA start and 115th AMA top-10 finish. Malcolm Stewart (10th) Scores Husqvarna’s first top-10 finish of the 450SX Class season. Stewart now has 53 450SX Class top-10 finishes and 102 AMA top-10s. Luke Kalaitzian (22nd) After only two last place 250SX Class finishes to his name, Kalaitzian earned an LCQ transfer to his first 450SX Class start in Anaheim 2.

450SX Class: Detroit Market Historical Facts

History Lesson: The first 450SX Class round held in the Detroit Market was on March 26-27, 1976 in the Pontiac Silverdome. The 1976 season held five rounds with 18 combined motos; with the three middle rounds of Houston, Irving, and Pontiac hosting two motos each on Friday and Saturday nights. Pierre Karsmakers went 1-2 on Friday and won the first moto on Sunday, giving him the best chance to take the overall going into the weekend’s final moto. The Dutchman was holding a clinching position of third place when his pipe broke in half in the final moments of the race, losing four positions and the overall victory.  Marty Smith capitalized and won the final moto on a Honda giving him the weekend’s overall with 4-1-2-1 finishes. Jimmy Weinert’s (2-4-4-6) third place overall put him in a position to win the title four months later in the L.A. Coliseum finale.

Supercross Temple Destroyed: Pontiac hosted Supercross in the historic Silverdome almost every season from 1976-2005 (sans 1985). Multiple rounds were held each season from 1977-1993 and 2000 which gives the Silverdome 46 450SX Class rounds. The last remnants of the Silverdome were brought down in 2018, but it stands as holding the third most 450SX Class rounds behind Angel Stadium and Daytona International Speedway.

Motor City: Ford Field in Detroit was built in 2002 and took over hosting Supercross in 2006, with James Stewart taking the first victory. 2024 will be the 11th time Ford Field hosts a 450SX Class round and the 57th time between the Silverdome and Ford Field. The winner of the Ford Field 450SX Class has only won the title in 3/10 seasons including Eli Tomac in 2022 and Chase Sexton last season. Pontiac’s 450SX Class winner took home the Championship exactly half of the time (23/46).

Silverdome Bob: Bob Hannah holds the record for most consecutive 450SX Class wins at any venue, and he earned that record in Pontiac. Hurricane Hannah won six straight Main Events in the Silverdome from 1977-1979 (two per). Hannah earned 1/3rd (9/27) of his 450SX Class wins in Pontiac after tacking on three more later in his esteemed career. Jeremy McGrath tied his record by winning six straight in Minneapolis from 1994-1999 and Eli Tomac could join this group with a sixth straight Daytona victory in 2024.

Manufacturer Detroit Market Wins/Ford Field Wins (Last Win)

  • Yamaha: 20/1 (2022)
  • Honda: 20/3 (2023)
  • Kawasaki: 11/4 (2019)
  • Suzuki: 4/1 (2014)
  • Husqvarna: 1/1 (2016)

Top Winners in Detroit Market

  • 1. Bob Hannah: 9 (1977 X2, 1978 X2, 1979 X2, 1981, 1983-1984)
  • 2. Jeremy McGrath: 6 (1993-1994, 1996, 1999, 2000 X2)
  • 3. Damon Bradshaw: 4 (1990-1991, 1992 X2)
  • 3. Eli Tomac: 4 (2015, 2017, 2019, 2022)
  • 5. Chad Reed: 3 (2003-2005)
  • 5. James Stewart: 3 (2006-2007, 2014)

450SX Class: First Time Winners in Detroit Market

  • Marty Smith: 1976 (Silverdome)
  • Nathan Ramsey: 2002 (Silverdome)

250SX Class Recap: Anaheim 2

Levi Kitchen

Triple Crown Kitchen and Smith Tied Atop Standings: Levi Kitchen stole a share of the red-plate from Jordon Smith with his second career 250SX Class victory. Both of his victories have been Anaheim 2 Triple Crown rounds. He has 15 250SX Class starts and seven podiums after the win. Kitchen and Smith have both been on the podium three times this season. Smith (9-3-2) earned his 40th career AMA top-five finish with his fifth overall finish.

RJ Hampshire

Hampshire in the Hunt: RJ Hampshire (2-1-7) scored a runner-up overall finish in Anaheim 2 and is only -8 off the red-plated duo. Hampshire was making his 60th 250SX Class start and secured his 16th podium. He tied Shane McElrath and Ryan Morais for 19th on the all-time 250SX Class starts list and ties Osborne, Christian Craig, and Blake Wharton for ninth on the all-time 250SX Class top-five list. Hampshire was making his 165th AMA start and earned his 70th AMA top-five finish.

Nate Thrasher

First Time for Everything: For the first time in Supercross history both 450SX and 250SX Classes have four different winners through the first four rounds. After not happening from 1977-2020 the 450SX Class has done this in three of the previous four seasons (2021, 2022, & 2024). There has never been five different 450SX Class winners in the first five rounds. It is the fifth time in 250SX Class history with four winners in the first four rounds, and first time since 2005. 250SX Class racing has seen five different winners or more to start a season twice, seven different through seven rounds in 1993 and seven in 2000. With the series going to the Eastern Regional for round five, this will be the third time in 250SX Class history with five different winners through five rounds.

Notes: Jo Shimoda (4th) Shimoda (9-3-2) was making his 35th 250SX Class start and scored his 22nd top-five finish. He was making his 85th AMA start and nailed down his 50th career top-five finish. Phil Nicoletti (10th) Nicoletti (7-4-18) made his 187th AMA start and scored his 70th career top-10 finish. It was his 25th 250SX Class top-10 finish. Billy Laninovich (22nd) Became the oldest rider to make a Supercross Main Event start in the history of the sport. At 40 years old he is two years older than previous record holder Chad Reed who was 38 when he finished his career in the 2020 Salt Lake City rounds. Reed still holds the record in 450SX Class racing, specifically. Laninovich was making his 99th career AMA start and 51st 250SX Class start, which is right outside of the top-25 on the all-time 250SX Class starts list.

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Preview

Monster Energy Yamaha Loads Up in East: Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing is planning a complete takeover of the Eastern Regional with five riders announced to be on the gate in Detroit. Returning 250SMX Champion Haiden Deegan will sport the purple plate while searching for his first 250SX Class win.  Stilez Robertson (three podiums in three seasons) is looking for a breakout performance and looking for his first victory, plus Enzo Lopes (38 starts, six top-fives). Nick Romano and Daxton Bennick are expected to make their 250SX Class debuts in Detroit with high expectations.

KTM, Honda, GASGAS, and Husky Sport One Man Squads: Redbull KTM’s Tom Vialle will return to orange after a solid rookie season with six top-10s in a full 10 race season. Honda’s Chance Hymas was given a cup of tea in last season’s 250SX Class with solid results (4/4 in top-10 finishes). Guillem Farres is set to debut onboard a Husqvarna while teammate Casey Cochran is still looking to become eligible through the Supercross Futures system. Pierce Brown brings his four career podiums in 26 250SX Class starts back to GASGAS in what could be a renaissance season.

Pro-Circuit Kawasaki’s Green Gang: Mitch Peyton’s Kawasaki squad is one of the most experienced crews racing the Eastern Regional. Austin Forkner has 12 250SX Class wins which is the fifth most all-time, only four away from tying record holder James Stewart. He has the most 250SX Class wins without a title to his name. Cameron McAdoo brings 43 starts, two wins, and 17 podiums back to Pro-Circuit where he has been a perennial title-contender when healthy. Seth Hammaker has also been a title contender before injuries derailed him. He has a victory, five podiums, and seven top-fives in only 11 250SX Class starts across two seasons.

Other Potential Top Finishers: Jeremy Martin and his Club Yamaha is the most experienced athlete in the Eastern Regional this season. He has six wins and 20 podiums in 59 career starts. Martin has the second most top-five finishes in the history of 250SX Class racing with 40, only six behind all-time leader Martin Davalos. Triumph Racing debuts with Jalek Swoll and Evan Ferry in what could be a Cinderella-esque squad battling for top-10s or better this season. Max Anstie and his Fire Power Honda round out a very solid “others” list and definitely is a dark-horse Championship contender.

250SX Class: Detroit Market Historical Facts

History Lesson: The first 250SX Class round held in the Detroit Market was on April 13, 1986, and Ron Tichenor won on a Kawasaki. Honda’s Keith Turpin traded leads with Tichenor a few times in the race, but Tichenor pulled away with a six second victory. The Silverdome hosted a separate round on Sunday and this time Turpin wouldn’t be denied the victory. Turpin won the Eastern Regional 250SX Class title two weekends later in Texas Stadium with Tichenor 22-points behind in second place.

Almost Déjà Vu: Tichenor and Turpin returned as the cream of the crop in Eastern Regional 250SX Class racing the next season in 1987. After tight points racing to begin the season, Pontiac was set to hold a double-header as the fifth and sixth round of the eight round Eastern Regional season. Going into Texas Stadium the week beforehand Turpin held a two-point advantage over Tichenor, but scored zero points handing a comfortable points lead to Tichenor (+16). For the second consecutive season the now Suzuki teammates and Championship rivals split the Saturday/Sunday double header. Tichenor’s eighth place on Saturday gave Turpin seven points back in the title hunt, but even with finishing the season out with consecutive victories Turpin fell one-point shy of back-to-back Eastern Regional 250SX Class titles.

40th Anniversary: The double headers continued through the 1993 season and stood as important mid-season point standings battles for the Eastern Regional 250SX Class. The Pontiac Silverdome ended up with 29 250SX Class races from 1986-2005 before Ford Field began hosting the 250SX Class race in the Detroit Market. The 2024 Ford Field 250SX Class round is the Detroit Market’s 40th all-time and 11th in Ford Field.

Championship %: 250SX Class Detroit Market winners have gone onto win the title in 20/39 races (51%), but only 3/10 (30%) in Ford. The Lawrence brothers completed this feat in their respective Eastern Regional title runs in the previous two years.

Manufacturer Detroit Market Wins/Ford Field Wins (Last Win)

  • Honda: 13/5 (2023)
  • Suzuki: 9/1 (2007)
  • Yamaha: 8/0 (2003)
  • Kawasaki: 7/3 (2019)
  • KTM: 2/1 (2017)

Top Winners in Detroit Market

  • 1. Brian Swink: 3 (1991, 1992 X2)
  • 1. Stephane Roncada: 3 (1997, 2000 X2)
  • 3. Ron Tichenor: 2 (1986-1987)
  • 3. Keith Turpin: 2 (1986-1987)
  • 3. Damon Bradshaw: 2 (1989 X2)
  • 3. Denny Stephenson: 2 (1990 X2)
  • 3. Doug Henry: 2 (1993 X2)

250SX Class: First Time Winners in Detroit Market

  • Ron Tichenor: 1986
  • Mike LaRocco: 1988
  • Mike Brown: 1994
  • Brock Sellards: 1999
  • Branden Jesseman: 2002
  • Ivan Tedesco: 2003
  • Jordon Smith: 2017 (Ford Field)

Past Winners in Ford Field

450:

  • 2006: James Stewart, Kawasaki
  • 2007: James Stewart, Kawasaki
  • 2008: Davi Millsaps, Honda
  • 2014: James Stewart, Suzuki
  • 2015: Eli Tomac, Honda
  • 2016: Jason Anderson, Husqvarna
  • 2017: Eli Tomac, Kawasaki
  • 2019: Eli Tomac, Kawasaki
  • 2022: Eli Tomac, Yamaha
  • 2023: Chase Sexton, Honda

250:

  • 2006: Josh Grant, Honda
  • 2007: Ryan Dungey, Suzuki
  • 2008: Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
  • 2014: Adam Cianciarulo, Kawasaki
  • 2015: Justin Bogle, Honda
  • 2016: Malcolm Stewart, Honda
  • 2017: Jordon Smith, KTM
  • 2019: Austin Forkner, Kawasaki
  • 2022: Jett Lawrence, Honda
  • 2023: Hunter Lawrence, Honda