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This Week in SuperMotocross: Supercross Round 9

March 6, 2024

450SX Class Recap: Daytona Beach

Jett Lawrence

Jettona: Jett Lawrence nailed the third win of his rookie season and extended his points lead with a convincing victory in Daytona over the Speedway’s winningest rider, Eli Tomac. Lawrence now as 43 AMA wins, good for 14th on the all-time list behind Broc Glover (45 wins). His third 450SX Class win ties him with Larry Ward and Marty Smith for 40th on that list. Honda now has 231 450SX Class wins which is the most of any brand in Class history. Lawrence’s third win is good for 16th on Honda’s all-time 450SX Class wins list tied with Eli Tomac, Chad Reed, Davi Millsaps, and Smith.

Eli Tomac

Beast of the Beach Beaten: Seven-time Daytona Supercross winner Tomac scored his 99th career 450SX Class podium but fell short of a sixth consecutive and eighth total win in the World Center of Racing. Tomac also scored his 125th 450SX Class top five finish and tied Jeff Ward for eighth on the all-time 450SX Class starts list with his 171st. Tomac is now 16 points behind Lawrence in the standings. Last season’s Champion Chase Sexton was 10 points behind the points leader after Daytona 2023.

Chase Sexton

Chased Down by Eli: Sexton lost his runner-up ride late to a surging Tomac, dropping to -13 in the point standings. Sexton now has 28 career 450SX Class podiums, already good for 21st all-time in 52 starts. He has 45 podiums between both classes. The #1 plated KTM superstar is stuck in a Yamaha sandwich, three points behind Cooper Webb and three points ahead of Tomac.

Cooper Webb

Notes: Cooper Webb (4rd) Scored his 75th career 450SX Class top five finish. He has 102 top 10s in 113 starts. Ken Roczen (5th) 92nd top five finish is good for eight all time. 141st start only one behind Andrew Short for 14th. Jason Anderson (9th) 142nd 450SX Class start tied Short for 14th all-time. Benny Bloss (10th) Scores BETA’s first top 10 finish. Bloss now has six in 61 450SX Class starts. Adam Cianciarulo (12th) 150th AMA start in return to 450SX Class racing. Ty Masterpool (16th) First career 450SX Class start after a successful 450 Motocross campaign over the summer.

Alabama Historical Facts

History Lesson: Alabama has hosted four rounds of AMA racing in the state’s history. In the first ever Motocross season in 1972, Talladega Speedway hosted the 450 Class finale and the eighth round of 500 Class racing. Gary Bailey won the 450 overall but Gary Jones had already secured the title. Brad Lackey won the 500 Class and wrapped the title up later in the season. The series returned to Talladega in 1973 for the penultimate 450 Class round and a mid-season 500 Class round. Gary Jones secured his second of three in a row 450 Class titles and Pierre Karsmakers won the 500 Class, eventually winning that Championship as well.

More Alabama Racin’: In 1984 Talladega hosted a 450SX Class round and Jeff Ward won on a Kawasaki. That would be the final MX/SX race held in Talladega to date. In 2004 the Women’s Motocross Championship made a stop for round four of six in Montgomery’s Monster Mountain. Tarah Geiger went 1-2 for the overall victory over eventual series Champion Jessica Patterson’s 3-1.

Return to Alabama: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama opened in October 2021 and is set to be the 64th different 450SX Class venue, and 58th different 250SX Class venue. College Football’s University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers have used the stadium since it opened in 2021. Garth Brooks’ concert in 2022 set the Stadium’s attendance record at 50,000.

Championship %: The winner of a 450SX Class inaugural venue round has won the title in 32/63 (51%) attempts.

250SX Class Recap: Daytona Beach

Tom Vialle

Valliant Vialle: Tom Vialle scores his first 250SX Class win becoming the 123rd different 250SX Class winner. He now has two American victories since coming over to the U.S. before the 2023 season, the other being in the 250 Motocross Championship. Vialle had just earned his first Supercross podium the week before, when another first-time winner took the checkers (Haiden Deegan). Vialle is the 13th different rider to earn a 250SX Class win on a KTM and the brand now has 41 250SX Class wins. With Lawrence and Vialle taking Daytona, it was only the second time in Supercross history where Americans were shut-out from winning Daytona (2009, Chad Reed and Christophe Pourcel, also Australian/French). KTM hadn’t won a 250SX Class race since Shane McElrath in the 2019 A2 Triple Crown.

Cameron McAdoo

Two for McAdoo: Cameron McAdoo’s comeback from 15th after the first race to the top of the Eastern Regional is almost complete after the Kawasaki rider’s second straight runner-up finish. He trails Max Anstie by one point going into Birmingham. McAdoo now has 16 podiums in 46 250SX Class starts.

Max Anstie

Still Red: After 2-6-8 finishes, Anstie remains the Eastern Regional red plate holder going into Birmingham. Anstie scored his 10th 250SX Class top 10 finish in 29 starts. The Englishman will look to stave off a slew of opportunistic athletes behind him, as the top-10 are only separated by 17 points in the standings. The top three in points have zero wins between them (Anstie, McAdoo, and Pierce Brown).

Seth Hammaker

Notes: Seth Hammaker (3rd) Sixth podium in 14th 250SX Class start with a third place. After a 21st in the Opener, Hammaker has worked back into eighth in the points. Haiden Deegan (4th) Much quieter evening after the fireworks of his first victory. Still nabbed his eighth top five finish in 13 career 250SX Class starts. Pierce Brown (5th) Three straight top five finishes has Brown quietly positioned as a Championship contender. He now has 15 top five finishes in 29 250SX Class starts. Jeremy Martin (12th) 60th 250SX Class start moves him into a tie for 20th all-time with McElrath and Ryan Morais. Martin sits on 149 AMA starts and 99 top fives going into Birmingham. Tyler Stepek (19th) Made his first career Supercross start after 34 career Motocross starts.

Past Alabama AMA Winners

Talladega Superspeedway

  • 1972 (450 Class): Gary Bailey, Bultaco
  • 1972 (500 Class): Brad Lackey, Kawasaki
  • 1973 (450 Class): Gary Jones, Honda
  • 1973 (500 Class): Pierre Karsmakers, Yamaha
  • 1984 (450SX Class): Jeff Ward, Kawasaki

Monster Mountain Motocross

  • 2004 (WMX Class): Tarah Geiger, Honda

SMX Playoff Locations and Notes

Playoff 1: zMAX Dragway, Charlotte: zMAX returns to the schedule in the second running of the SuperMotocross World Championship post-season structure as the only returning venue. zMAX was also the Opener to last year’s Finals doubling as the first ever Playoff race in the sport’s history. Fans were treated to an incredible show as Jo Shimoda grabbed hold of a share of the red plate with his Overall victory. Chase Sexton swept the 450cc Class and held a 12-point lead going into Playoff 2. With points doubling for the second round, Jett Lawrence was able to make up 10 points in Chicago and eventually take the 450cc Class SMX title.

Playoff 2: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth: Action returns to DFW for the second time in 2024 with this first-time venue. “Dallas-Fort Worth” has held SuperMotocross racing in Dallas, Arlington, and Irving, but never Fort Worth. Last season Chicagoland’s second round was worth double points and proved crucial to the Championship. Texas Motor Speedway is set to be the double point round and watch out for Cooper Webb who is the all-time winningest rider in the DFW.

Finals: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: The SuperMotocross World Championship Finals will have a triple points finale in Vegas, the location of over half of 450SX Class Championship season finales (26/50). Sam Boyd Stadium was the host site for all those exciting nights, but this finale will be the second drag strip of the Playoffs and pose a much different challenge than the football stadium layout of Sam Boyd Stadium. Last season Lawrence used the triple points to usurp Sexton in the standings and take the first ever 450cc SMX title. Triple points were even more important in the 250cc SMX Class, as Haiden Deegan’s 5-2 over Shimoda gave him a five-point swing in the final tally.