News and stories about powersports racing this week.
Cooper Webb Wins a Wild Night in Texas with Arlington Supercross Victory
Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb earned a dramatic win at round seven of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season inside AT&T Stadium. The race was the second Triple Crown-format event of the 2023 season that combines three Main Event race results to determine the overall finishing order for the night. The event pays points toward both the 17-round Supercross season and the brand-new, 31-round SuperMotocross World Championship.
Texas race fans enjoyed the 43rd year of a Supercross event in the Arlington/Dallas metro area. They saw Cooper Webb become the winningest rider in the city’s history with five victories at the venue. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton took the second place spot with a night of big highs and some frustrating lows. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac went home with third place points at the event directly following his announcement that he will postpone his retirement and compete in the entire 2023 SuperMotocross World Championship series. In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nate Thrasher took the victory with plenty of action and drama en route to 2-2-3 race finishes.
Cooper Webb won his third Triple Crown event and moved within two points of taking the red plate and the season points lead. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Race 1 of the 450SX Class held enough thrills to be its own event. Eli Tomac grabbed the Holeshot with Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen, Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia, and Team Honda HRC’s Colt Nichols right behind. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson crashed in the first corner and Sexton was caught up in it. The incident put Sexton well back in the field, showing in 11th position after the first lap. Up front Roczen was keeping Tomac honest. By the midpoint of the race Roczen was alternately gaining and losing ground on Tomac while Sexton had worked up to fifth and Webb was moving forward and up to seventh. With under two minutes left on the race clock Sexton forced his way past Barcia to take third while further up the track Roczen was only .7 seconds behind Tomac. Webb reached Barcia in the final laps, but Barcia was able to hold off the KTM rider. At the checkered flag Roczen had proven he had the speed to run up front in Texas, but the most impressive ride came from Sexton, who had been rapidly closing on the leaders when he ran out of time in the short 12-mintue plus one lap race.
Jason Anderson got off to a much better start in Race 2 with a Holeshot and a clear track ahead. Webb was in second at the Holeshot stripe and Roczen held third ahead of Sexton, Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger, and Tomac. On the opening lap Sexton put his Honda into third but then one turn later slid out before the whoops and gave up the spot to Tomac. Just over four minutes into the race Sexton was on Tomac, who had two close calls while blitzing the whoops. It took a couple laps for Sexton to take back third. Anderson was out to a comfortable lead four seconds ahead of Webb. Sexton was less than two seconds behind Webb and if the first race were any indication Sexton looked poised to reel in both riders. But both Anderson and Webb were flying, and Sexton was never able to get within striking distance. At the checkered flag Anderson won comfortably, Webb took second, Sexton finished third, and Tomac held fourth. Going into the final race Tomac was in the lead for the overall event win with five points, Sexton held six points, Webb was at seven, Roczen had eight, and Anderson sat with nine.
The 450SX Class delivered a dramatic Race 3. Tomac got the Holeshot, Sexton was second at the Holeshot stripe with Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Justin Cooper third, Barcia fourth, and Webb fifth. Soon Tomac, Sexton, and Barcia held the top three spots and distanced themselves from the pack. As the race clock ticked down toward eight minutes Barcia got out of shape in the whoops and overshot the berm of the following corner. At nearly the same time Sexton washed out his front end and crashed just one turn further up the track. Sexton got going in time to stay in second but then had Anderson and Webb right on his rear fender. Tomac then crashed in the flat turn after the bridge jump. He remounted in fourth while Sexton took over the race lead and was poised to win the overall for the event. Then Anderson got wild in the whoops and Webb tucked under him to take over second; but Webb was 2.2 seconds behind. Then with 1:34 left on the race clock, a lapper unintentionally pushed Sexton wide, and Webb capitalized. Webb seized the lead and rode perfect to the end. Webb took the race win and the Triple Crown overall. It was Webb’s third Triple Crown win, his last coming in 2019. Sexton garnered second for the night and Tomac took third overall even though he’d fallen back to sixth in the final race. The night’s points tightened up the battle for the title. Tomac leaves Texas with the red plate, but Webb is back only two points and Sexton is back only five.
Nate Thrasher (29) was fast and consistent on the Texas soil to grab his fourth career Supercross win.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class kicked off the night’s racing with Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie grabbing the Holeshot in 250SX Race 1. Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence was quickly into the lead with Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle following, pushing Anstie back to third. A few corners later Nate Thrasher dove into second while Anstie passed Vialle back to reclaim third. Lawrence and Thrasher slowly inched away from the pack as Thrasher edged closer to Lawrence’s rear tire in the opening laps. After whittling the gap down to just .7 second a mistake by Thrasher gave Lawrence some breathing room. Anstie held third until the end of the 10-minute plus one lap race. Behind him, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith was the rider on the move, reaching fourth place with just under two minutes left on the race clock. At the finish it was Lawrence, Thrasher, Anstie, Smith, and Vialle.
In the second 250SX Class race Jordon Smith nailed the Holeshot ahead of Hunter Lawrence, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan, and Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas. Nate Thrasher was sixth at the start stripe but on the opening lap he moved up and made an aggressive contact pass on Lawrence in the corner after the whoops. Lawrence lost two positions while the Yamaha teammates ran first and second. Lawrence got into third place before the race’s midpoint and steadily reeled in the Yamaha riders. Soon the top three were within one second of each other, but a mistake from Thrasher sent him sideways over the bridge jump and Lawrence ran into him and went down. With just over a minute left on the race clock the incident put Thrasher out of striking distance for the win. Lawrence picked up his bike and salvaged third. Heading into the final race, Lawrence looked to have the advantage with track speed, but the points were tied between Lawrence and Thrasher with Smith only one point out.
Race 3 was wild from start to finish. Nate Thrasher took the holeshot and early lead while Hunter Lawrence crashed in the first turn. Anstie then hit Lawrence and the Hondas pinned Lawrence down adding extra delay as the pack roared away. Up front Thrasher led Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Michael Mosiman, Jordon Smith, Tom Vialle, and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Jace Owen. Lawrence and Anstie started slicing through the pack while up front Smith pressured Mosiman for second. With under four minutes left on the race clock Mosiman crashed under the tunnel and Smith ran into him giving second place to Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin. Thrasher was gone out front with more than a nine second lead. But Thrasher had been racing with an injured ACL in his knee and that possibly contributed to a big crash in the whoops. Thrasher remounted in third, a position would give him the overall event victory. On the final lap Smith crashed hard in the whoops but remounted to finish fifth and earn second overall. Lawrence crossed the line in sixth to take third place overall for the night.
The series returns to Florida next weekend for one of the most physically demanding races of the year, the DAYTONA Supercross. Round 8 of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series and the 2023 SuperMotocross World Championship takes place on a Supercross track carved out of the Daytona International Speedway trioval infield. The unique track design will be a look ahead to the three hybrid-track SuperMotocross events in September. Playoff 1 and Playoff 2 pay increasing points that combine with the triple-payout points of the SuperMotocross World Championship Final held inside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 23rd.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series and the SuperMotocross World Championship rounds are all streamed live on Peacock, with select events also broadcast domestically on NBC, USA Network, and CNBC. International coverage can be found through SuperMotocross.tv. Tickets for the DAYTONA Supercross as well as the other nine remaining Supercross events are on sale now. To purchase tickets, read race results and feature stories, and find airtimes on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, and CNBC go to SupercrossLIVE.com.
Class podium (racers left to right) Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb, and Chase Sexton.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
450SX Class Results
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (5-2-1)
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (3-3-2)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (1-4-6)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (8-1-3)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (2-6-4)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (6-5-5)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (4-7-7)
- Christian Craig, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (7-8-8)
- Justin Cooper, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (11-9-9)
- Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM (10-11-10)
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Yamaha (160)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (158)
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda (155)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Kawasaki (130)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki (122)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, KTM (121)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (113)
- Christian Craig, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (90)
- Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., Kawasaki (85)
- Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (84)
250SX Class podium (racers left to right) Hunter Lawrence, Nate Thrasher, and Jordon Smith.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (2-2-3)
- Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Yamaha (4-1-5)
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (1-3-6)
- Tom Vialle, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (5-9-2)
- Max Anstie, Cairo, Ga., Honda (3-4-9)
- Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Yamaha (6-12-1)
- Michael Mosiman, Minneaola, Fla., GASGAS (7-6-7)
- Haiden Deegan, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (15-5-4)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (8-8-8)
- Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda (9-7-16)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (73)
- Max Anstie, Cairo, Ga., Honda (62)
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (57)
- Haiden Deegan, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (53)
- Jeremy Martin, Rochester, Minn., Yamaha (53)
- Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Yamaha (52)
- Tom Vialle, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (52)
- Michael Mosiman, Minneaola, Fla., GASGAS (49)
- Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Honda (43)
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., Kawasaki (37)
COOPER WEBB AND RED BULL KTM CAPTURE ARLINGTON TRIPLE CROWN VICTORY
ARLINGTON, Texas – A second victory of the season in tonight’s Arlington Triple Crown round of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship has moved Cooper Webb to within two points of the red plate, as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Aaron Plessinger claimed sixth overall and Tom Vialle earned a career-best fourth in the 250SX East category.
After qualifying in fifth position, Webb was at his finest across the three-race format to progressively improve and deliver 5-2-1 finishes, which was enough to secure him a second win of the year. He’s now earned five podiums in seven rounds, including the top step of the podium in Tampa and Arlington this month.
The opening Race saw two-time 450SX champion Webb charge forward through the pack to fifth position, before a stronger start in the second encounter saw him lead the opening lap on his way to the runner-up result. Race three was a spectacular one, where he rode his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to an important win from behind, securing him the overall at round seven.
Cooper Webb: “I’m extremely happy to get another win here in the season! Dallas is always a good one for me, so to come here and do well in the Triple Crown is super-cool. The first Race wasn’t my best one, we improved for the second one and then, in the last Race, obviously some mistakes of other riders helped me out, but overall I’m stoked to execute and get another win! I knew I had to get to the front in that final one in the end to get the overall, so that was what I was going for and I felt good, had a great pace going and was comfortable, so it was a good round for us. We’ll see where this carries us for the rest of the season, but I’m feeling confident and know what I can get better at – we’re all riding well and it’s definitely a dog-fight at the moment.”
Plessinger put forward a consistent performance on his way to P6 in Texas. The 27-year-old was sixth in the first outing and then recorded fifth-place results in both Races two and three, constantly factoring toward the front of the pack. Those results marginally positioned him outside of the top-five overall, now also sitting sixth in the point-standings.
Aaron Plessinger: “I felt good all day in practice and then when the first Race came around, I’m not really sure what went on. I didn’t feel like I had much in me, couldn’t really push that hard, and in that first main event I didn’t have it for whatever reason. I tried to get as much fuel in me as I could before the second one and felt a lot better – likewise for the third one. It was good to turn things around in the night show with 6-5-5 for sixth overall. I’ll take it heading into Daytona and I’m excited for that!”
French rookie Vialle was able to pick up his best result in what was his third AMA Supercross start, also marking his maiden Triple Crown appearance on his KTM 250 SX-F. The 22-year-old was seventh in qualifying and scored fifth in Race one, then ninth in the second outing. His best was yet to come, benefiting from a top-five start in Race three and going on to take the checkered flag in second place. That was enough for P4 overall and he’s now seventh in the championship.
Tom Vialle: “Today was good. I felt comfortable in practice, qualifying in seventh and that was my best so far – I felt great on the track. In the first Race I was P5, but struggled a little bit with the start on the second one and finished ninth. The third Race was much better, finishing second in that one and I was really close to the winner at the end, so I was happy. We’ve made good improvements in these past weeks, we’re getting closer and fourth is a positive result. Now I’m looking forward to next week in Daytona.”
Next Race: March 4 – Daytona, Florida
Results 450SX Class – Arlington Triple Crown
1. Cooper Webb (USA), KTM, 5-2-1
2. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 3-3-2
3. Eli Tomac (USA), Yamaha, 1-4-6
6. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM
10. Justin Hill (USA), KTM
13. Josh Hill (USA), KTM
18. Kevin Moranz (USA), KTM
Standings 450SX Class 2023 after 7 of 17 rounds
1. Eli Tomac, 160 points
2. Cooper Webb, 158
3. Chase Sexton, 155
6. Aaron Plessinger, 121
13. Justin Hill, 62
17. Josh Hill, 34
20. Kevin Moranz, 26
Results 250SX East Class – Arlington Triple Crown
1. Nate Thrasher (USA), Yamaha, 2-2-3
2. Jordon Smith (USA), Yamaha, 4-1-5
3. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 1-3-6
4. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM, 5-9-2
Standings 250SX East Class 2023 after 3 of 9 rounds
1. Hunter Lawrence, 73 points
2. Max Anstie, 62
3. Nate Thrasher, 57
7. Tom Vialle, 52
CHRISTIAN CRAIG CONTINUES CLIMB UP SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
Christian Craig moved up two spots in the championship standings to eighth position after finishing the Triple Crown with a 7-8-8 score for eighth overall.
Steady progress has been the way forward for Christian Craig and the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team this season. As Christian continues to climb the AMA Supercross standings aboard his FC 450 Rockstar Edition, the Triple Crown format in Arlington provided plenty of bonus seat time to size up the competition.
“On paper it was better, but I still struggled a bit in the mains,” Craig said. “I need to get a start and run up front with those guys and learn that pace more. Starting in the back’s not going to help. Other than that, we went 7-8-8. I need to be better, and we’ve got Daytona coming up so we’ll keep working. I’m moving up in the points, but still want more.”
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team 250 rookie Talon Hawkins, who was a late replacement for the injured Jalek Swoll, the 2023 season has been one of challenges. With a 13-15-11 score, he finished in 13th spot for the night. He’s now focused on improving his qualifying performance and is working with the team to put a proven plan into place.
“Qualifying is definitely something I need to work on,” Hawkins said. “I’m going out to Baker’s Factory this next week and I’m going to be there for a while. We’re going to work on some high-intensity training. I know I need it, and I’m excited to implement that style of training. The rest of the day went pretty good. I ended up with a P13 overall. I’m pretty pumped about that. It’s a good base, and I know where to build from here. I’m hoping to get some top-ten finishes. That’s what I want, and I know I can do it. I’ve just got to put it together and ride the way I know how to ride.”
Next Event (Round 8): March 4, 2023 – Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Round 7 Results: Arlington
1. Nate Thrasher (Yamaha) 3-2-3
2. Jordon Smith (Yamaha) 4-1-5
3. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 1-3-6
13. Talon Hawkins – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 13-15-11
22. Hardy Munoz (Husqvarna) 22-18-21
1. Cooper Webb (KTM) 5-2-1
2. Chase Sexton (Honda) 3-3-2
3. Eli Tomac (Yamaha) 1-4-6
8. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 7-8-8
250MX East Rider Point Standings
1. Hunter Lawrence – 73 points
2. Max Anstie – 62 points
3. Nate Thrasher – 57 points
14. Talon Hawkins – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 26 points
16. Hardy Munoz, 21 points
450MX Rider Point Standings
1. Eli Tomac – 160 points
2. Cooper Webb – 158 points
3. Chase Sexton – 155 points
8. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, 90 points
BARCIA AND MOSIMAN DELIVER SEVENTH OVERALL RESULTS IN TRIPLE CROWN SUPERCROSS ACTION
Round seven of the AMA Supercross Championship featured a return to Texas, where everything is bigger. That includes the stadiums, the expectations, and the potential for highs and lows.
- The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing Team took on the added challenge of the Triple Crown format during their visit to Arlington
- Justin Barcia ran among the leaders for much of the night’s action
- Michael Mosiman showcased his passing prowess throughout the three mains
Justin Barcia showed much more speed aboard his MC 450F Factory Edition than a 4-7-7 score for the three mains might suggest. In the first race, he was running in the third spot for much of that race before slipping to fourth. Then, in the final main, he was once again in third and challenging the leaders for several laps before an off-track excursion dropped him to ninth position. He then worked his way back to seventh at the checkers. Justin’s seventh overall on the night leaves him in seventh in the 450 standings.
Justin Barcia:“It was a disappointing night. I rode really good in the first race. The second race was a bit average, and in the third race, I was near the front of the pack, and just had one big mistake. I just lost it, had the crash, and went over the berm. Man, our speed is so good, and the bike’s so good. My starts were solid tonight, so there are a lot of positives, but I need to be better.”
Michael Mosiman finished the night’s trio of 250 class main events with a seventh overall via 7-6-7 finishes. While disappointed in his starts in the first two mains, he did get to showcase his passing skills aboard the MC 250, picking up eight spots in the first race, and three spots in the second main. In the night’s final race, he used some great moves in the first turn to jump into second place, which is where he was running when he had an untimely crash.
Michael Mosiman: “Man, it felt like after the last two races that we really went to work and made some adjustments on the bike and it was a lot better on the practice track. It really felt like we had got some momentum on our side back at home and it was going to carry that into the weekend, but we came here and were searching a little bit for comfort and feel. I had a couple of bad starts and I just need to grow my confidence. All we can do is take the positives and move on. I’m happy with my start in the third main and running near the front. It’s disappointing, but I’m glad we righted the mistakes of the first two and were able to put it up towards the front in the last one.”
Next Event (Round 8): March 4, 2023 – Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Results – 2023 AMA Supercross Championship, Round Seven
250SX East – Main Event 1 Results
1. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 14 laps; 2. Nate Thrasher (Yamaha) +02.873; 3. Max Anstie (Honda) +13.492 … 7. Michael Mosiman (GASGAS) +35.146
250SX East – Main Event 2 Results
1. Jordon Smith (Yamaha) 14 laps; 2. Nate Thrasher (Yamaha) +05.291; 3. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) +16.655… 6. Michael Mosiman (GASGAS) +30.090
250SX East – Main Event 3 Results
1. Jeremy Martin (Yamaha) 13 laps; 2. Tom Vialle (KTM) +01.712; 3. Nate Thrasher (Yamaha) +02.867… 7. Michael Mosiman (GASGAS) +22.135
450SX – Main Event 1 Results
1. Eli Tomac (Yamaha) 16 laps; 2. Ken Roczen (Suzuki) +01.306; 3. Chase Sexton (Honda) +03.433; 4. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) +08.458 … 22. Justin Starling (GASGAS)
450SX – Main Event 2 Results
1. Jason Anderson (Kawasaki) 16 laps; 2. Cooper Webb (KTM) +02.778; 3. Chase Sexton (Honda) +03.771 … 7. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) +20.194; 19. Justin Starling (GASGAS)
450SX – Main Event 3 Results
1. Cooper Webb (KTM) 16 laps; 2. Chase Sexton (Honda) +00.989; 3. Jason Anderson (Kawasaki) +08.954 … 7. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) +21.717; 20. Justin Starling (GASGAS)
Championship Standings – After Six Rounds
1. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 73 points; 2. Max Anstie (Honda) 62; 3. Nate Thrasher (Yamaha) 57 … 8. Michael Mosiman (GASGAS) 49
1. Eli Tomac (Yamaha) 160 points; 2. Cooper Webb (KTM) 158; 3. Chase Sexton (Honda) 155; … 7. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) 113; 21. Justin Starling (GASGAS) 20
Suzuki’s Ken Roczen Grabs Top Five Overall and Second Place Race Result at Arlington Supercross
BREA, CA, February 27, 2023 — Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen took Race 1 to the wire, but settled for second place in the unique three-race Triple Crown-format at Arlington Supercross inside AT&T Stadium. Roczen’s fifth place overall on the night solidified him and his Suzuki RM-Z450 in fifth place in the championship standings after seven rounds of the 17-round Monster Energy Supercross season.
Twisted Tea Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance’s Shane McElrath matched his best result of the season with his RM-Z450 race bike. Kyle Chisholm topped his season-best after winning the LCQ aboard his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 in the Triple Crown format’s daytime qualifying program. And Twisted Tea Suzuki’s Marshal Weltin delivered consistent rides with his Suzuki RM-Z250 in the three 250-class races to take home championship points from the Texas race.
Ken Roczen (94) was back battling for race wins at Arlington.
Ken Roczen was flowing with his Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z450 from the start of the Arlington round. After qualifying second-fastest in qualifying, the German racer hounded the leader throughout the first 12-minute plus one lap Race 1. Roczen rode smart and steady on the slick, red dirt Texas track to deliver a fifth-place overall result. This breaks the tie to now lock Roczen in fifth place in championship points.
“I was able to put it on the board pretty much in every practice session, which is something that I haven’t been able to do this year, so that was great,” said Roczen of his fourth and second position in his two-timed qualifying sessions. “In the races, I had two really good starts. In the first race, I found myself in second, battling for the lead the whole time; I was able to bring it home in second. For the second race, I went a little bit deep into the first turn, but came out in third. On the opening lap, another rider made a mistake before the whoops, and we got together, and we both almost crashed. I lost a position there. We were riding well, but these guys are all fast, and it was tough to pass. Going into the third race we were feeling fairly good, but I messed up the start and wasn’t far upfront. I made some passes and a couple of riders crashed, and I was able to come home in fourth place in the final race. Unfortunately, if I could have passed one more rider I would have finished on the overall podium. We were riding a lot better today. The team has been doing a really good job and putting in a lot of work, so I’m really appreciative and can’t wait for next weekend.”
Shane McElrath (12) had his season-best result in the Triple Crown format that rewards consistency.
Shane McElrath and his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 seemed to build speed as the three-race event played out. McElrath ultimately earned his best result of the season at Arlington and is looking ahead to stronger finishes in the upcoming standard-format Supercross races.
“The track was tough,” reported McElrath. “It felt good to really race every single race. I mean, I fell off a little at the end of each one, but we’re making big strides overall, and I’m excited about the progress and learning we’re making. We’re just working together as a team and that’s what I’m really excited about.”
Kyle Chisholm (11) delivered one of the first victories of the event with a win in the daytime LCQ.
Kyle Chisholm grabbed a top-four start in the LCQ, which takes place just after daytime qualifying to seed the 22-rider Triple Crown field. Chisholm put his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 into second place on the opening lap, then took over the lead with one minute left on the race clock.
“Got through Arlington. I had a little crash there at the end so I’m sore, but overall I had some good moments,” said Chisholm. “I just missed advancing by a couple of tenths of a second and I had to go to the LCQ. But we made the most of that. It’s never fun to be in the LCQ, but if you’re going to be in it, might as well get the win, right? So that was good. At night in the third race I was working my way up, and with just a few laps to go I got a little squirrely in the whoops, hit some Tuff Blox, and went down pretty hard. I’m sore, not really hurt, more just mad at myself. I just want to be a little closer to the front. I’m looking forward to Daytona. I like that race.”
Marshal Weltin (50) had a strong race night and showed more top speed in qualifying.
Marshal Weltin once again was flying in qualifying on his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z250, finishing first then second in his two qualifying sessions. His overall qualifying time was good for a direct transfer to the show where he posted his best result in the third 250-class race.
“I had some better qualifying results, got into the show, and ended up healthy,” reported Weltin. “I checked off some boxes, but I want more. Working with the team’s been great, everyone’s very responsive so I’m stoked to be able to make progress this week.
“The Triple Crown in Arlington, Texas was okay,” said Larry Brooks, Team Manager of the Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance team. “It was a decent weekend. Both classes are stacked very deep. So, I think it’s just baby steps for the team, and we just keep improving and every weekend we get a little bit better. That’s been happening so we’re happy.”
Next up for the Suzuki riders and team members is the storied Daytona Supercross and the unique supercross track built on the Daytona International Speedway tri-oval infield. All the Suzuki racers created good momentum in Arlington and are ready to put their RM-Z horsepower to good use as the supercross season approaches the midpoint.
For more team news, and the latest from the Supercross season and SMX World Championship series, please visit SuzukiCycles.com/Racing/Motocross and HEPMotorsports.com.
Photos by BrownDogWilson Photography
Tomac Finishes Third at Arlington Triple Crown
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac won the first of three main events at last night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Triple Crown at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The reigning 450SX Champion finished third overall in the challenging conditions with a 1-4-6 score and leaves with a two-point lead as the series approaches the halfway point. Rookie Justin Cooper earned another top-10 finish, ending the night ninth overall with an 11-9-9 tally.
Tomac had a good start to the day, qualifying fourth at the seventh round of the championship. He enjoyed a superb first main event, grabbing the holeshot and taking the win. The Coloradan didn’t get the start he was hoping for in the second main event, but he quickly made his way to third and ultimately crossed the line fourth. In the final race, Tomac grabbed his second holeshot of the evening and was looking to take another victory. Unfortunately, just before the halfway mark, he had a tip-over and rejoined in fourth. He then managed his race to secure a podium finish in the tricky track conditions, crossing the line sixth to finish third overall and maintain his spot on top of the points standings.
Cooper continued to make progress in his fourth race aboard the YZ450F despite challenging conditions at the AT&T Stadium. He qualified 14th but had a solid start in the first main event and was 10th after the first lap, crossing the line 11th. The New Yorker started the second main event in 11th and worked his way to ninth to improve his gate position. In the third main event, he got a great start in third but was shuffled back to seventh and ultimately finished ninth to end the night ninth overall.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team heads to Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday, March 2, for Round 8 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the SuperMotocross World Series at the iconic Daytona International Speedway.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It was a mixed day. We went out there with a really good start in the first main and basically just rode a good race and led the whole thing. That was a perfect start for us. In the second main, I didn’t get the best start and struggled a little bit, and ended up fourth. In the third one, once again, I put myself in a great position and just made a small mistake on the back side of the tunnel jump and lost traction. It was a tricky track that way. It was a track that looked like it had good traction but, at the same time, could be slick. So I’m bummed to make that mistake but also happy to end up on the podium and still be in the points lead.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It was another tough one for me, but we kept pushing and made some progress throughout the night. Ninth wasn’t the result we were looking for, but it was another good learning experience in tricky conditions. We’ll just keep working.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 450 Team Manager
“It’s unfortunate that the result doesn’t show how he rode because all day was a really good day. Eli was riding well. The first main event was really good. In the second main event, we had a little bit of a struggle but recovered really well in that third main event. Unfortunately, the track was a little slippery, and the wheels came out from underneath us. After that, he just kind of took a second to regroup, but we still ended up on the podium and still have the points lead.”
Thrasher Tops 250SX East Podium in Arlington
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Nate Thrasher returned to the top step of the podium last night at the first Triple Crown of the season for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Tennessee rider notched a 2-2-3 score in the challenging conditions to take the first win of the season and advance his position in the title fight. His teammate Jordon Smith bounced back from a tough night in Tampa to take the runner-up spot with a 4-1-5 tally. Haiden Deegan came back from a tip-over in the first main event to finish his first-ever Triple Crown in eighth with a 15-5-4 result. Daxton Bennick rode a superb race to earn back-to-back victories in the Supercross 250SX Futures class.
Thrasher showed speed straight away and led the way for the team with second in qualifying. He got a good start in the first main event and quickly made his way to the runner-up spot, where he would ultimately finish. In the second main event, he got another good start and advanced to third, and then passed Deegan on the second lap. He tried to pass Smith but was also trying to protect the runner-up spot and went on to take another second-place finish. Tied for first going into the final main event, Thrasher grabbed the holeshot and then built a comfortable gap up front. Unfortunately, he went down in the whoops in the final laps but rejoined in third to claim the overall victory. His first win of the season also marked the fourth of his career and advanced him from seventh to third in the championship standings.
Smith qualified fourth for a decent gate pick in the first main event but got hit from behind in the first turn and found himself back in 10th after the first lap. The North Carolinian put his head down and charged back to fourth. Learning from that first start, Smith came out swinging with the holeshot and led from start to finish. He got another good start in the final main event in third, and around the halfway point, he was on the heels of the rider in second. Unfortunately, the rider went down under the tunnel jump, and Smith had nowhere to go. He rejoined in fifth, where he would finish, securing second overall and his second podium of the season.
In just his third pro race of his career, Deegan put in a good showing in tough conditions at the AT&T Stadium. He had decent qualifying in 10th and found himself 14th after the opening lap of the first main event. The Californian was making his way forward but had a tip-over and ultimately finished 15th. He then got a great start with the less-than-ideal gate pick and slotted into second behind his teammate Smith, crossing the line fifth at the end of the 10-minutes-plus-one-lap race. In the final main event, Deegan was sixth after the first lap but rode a smart race in the challenging conditions to make his way to fourth and end the night eighth overall.
The young Bennick put in another superb ride in the 250SX Futures class. He topped the timesheets in both qualifying sessions and grabbed the holeshot in the main event. The North Carolinian set the pace up front and earned his second-consecutive victory in the amateur series by a seven-second margin.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team heads to Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday, March 2, for Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship and the eighth round of the SuperMotocross World Championship at the iconic Daytona International Speedway.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It was a good night. I started off with a second in the first main, and I felt really good with my speed. In the second main event, I didn’t ride my best. I tightened up a little bit and was in a sandwich between Jordon and Hunter (Lawrence). I made a couple of runs on Jordon but couldn’t quite get by, and then I had to protect my position because Hunter was behind me. So it was tricky, but I was happy to get another second. We went into the last one in a good position, I was kind of in the lead, but we were all pretty even. I just had to go out there and win and execute it perfectly at the start. I got out front, and I had a 10-second lead, and I just kind of backed it down a little bit. Then I got tangled with a lapper, but it is what it is. I just need to be a little better.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It was a good bounce back from Tampa. I didn’t get a good start in the first main. I had a pretty good jump but got hit in that first turn. The first turn tonight was gnarly with how fast you were coming in – the outside guys could sweep and the inside guys were coming straight – so you had to be careful in the first turn. We made some adjustments for the second and third main, which worked out pretty well. It was a pretty hectic night, especially that third main event. Everything else wasn’t too bad, but that third main was crazy! It felt really good to get a race win, and being second on the podium was good as well. It’s always nice getting a 1-2 for the team.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I had a super fun time at my first Triple Crown. I had a little bit of an unfortunate first race, but we are continuing to learn, which is the goal. I’m super excited for Daytona next week!”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It was a really good night. I qualified first in both my practices and won the main event for the Futures class. I’m pumped about it! It was a really good day. The track was really challenging, so it made it fun and made me ride really smart, so yeah, it was good.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager
“I’m very happy with how the weekend went. I don’t think we could have done much better. Daxton won the futures final, and Nate and Jordon ended up first and second overall in the Triple Crown format. Going into the final race, Nate was tied for the lead, and Jordon was one point down from there, so we were in a good position. In the final race, all three guys got great starts, and with things happening all over the track, we ended up 1-2 overall. It was awesome! “Deegan had great starts in all three races. Small mistakes kept him off the podium tonight, but he’s learning fast and definitely, has what it takes to be a podium guy. We will keep gaining experience every race and hope to see him up there soon.”
Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence Improve Title Chances at Arlington Triple Crown SX
Although the Arlington Triple Crown was the first AMA Supercross round of the season at which neither class was won by a Team Honda HRC rider, both Chase Sexton and Hunter Lawrence actually improved their situations in their respective title chases. Sexton entered the round seven points behind Eli Tomac in the premier class and reduced the gap to five with a second-overall finish, while Lawrence–third overall in Texas–leaves the event having expanded his lead on fellow Red Rider Max Anstie from eight to 11.
Sexton suffered a terrible start in the first 450SX race and had to work his way forward after completing lap 1 in 11thplace. With his CRF450RWE, Sexton steadily picked off riders, ultimately climbing to third by the finish. Nichols started well and finished ninth. Sexton started fourth in race 2 and passed Tomac on lap 9, then challenged Cooper Webb for second before settling for third. Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson was 10th, and Nichols finished 16th after crashing in the whoops. Race 3 saw Sexton emerge from turn 1 in second behind Tomac and dog him until crashing in a corner with eight minutes left. He remounted in time to take advantage of a Tomac fall a couple of minutes later, only for a lapped rider to block him shortly after, allowing Webb into the lead. Sexton held on to finish a close second. Wilson ended the race 11th, with Nichols another four positions back.
The first 250SX East race saw Lawrence put his CRF250R into turn 1 first and lead every lap for the win. Fire Power Honda’s Anstie was third, with Hymas ninth. Lawrence emerged from turn 1 in second in the next race, then slipped to third and was bumped back to fifth. He recovered to enter a three-way battle for the lead before he and Nate Thrasher made contact, sending Lawrence to the ground. The Australian remounted in time to finish third, with Anstie one position back and Hymas seventh. Heading into race 3, Lawrence and Thrasher were tied on points, but Lawrence went down in turn 1 and was trapped under two bikes. He sat in 18th place after lap 1, and despite riding with a broken clutch perch, he worked his way up to sixth by the finish. Anstie was ninth, one ahead of Phoenix Racing Honda’s Jace Owen, with Hymas 16th.
- While Colt Nichols currently lives in Southern California, he’s originally from Muskogee, Oklahoma. With his hometown about four hours north of Arlington, Nichols had several guests on hand for the race.
- American Honda held a National Sales staff summit to coincide with the Arlington race. In addition to meeting for work-related matters, the managers met the Team Honda HRC riders, participated in a track walk and watched the racing from a suite.
- On Friday, Nichols took part in Friday’s media-day activities, getting some time on the Arlington track.
- During daytime qualifying, Hunter Lawrence set the fastest lap time of the 250SX East riders, and was the only rider to dip into the 46-second range. Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie was third, with Chance Hymas ninth. Chase Sexton was the third-fastest rider in the 450SX division, with Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson seventh and Nichols 12th.
- Although Jett Lawrence is on a break along with the rest of the 250SX West division, he made the trip to Arlington, where he hosted 150 fans to a Friday-night event at Texas Live!, with free dinner, donuts and country music. Jett also made a guest appearance in the broadcast booth during the night show.
- Half of the riders in the 250SX East night program–11 of 22–were CRF250R-mounted.
- Sexton posted the fastest lap time in the third 450SX race, and Lawrence did likewise in the second 250SX East race.
- Arlington marked the 17th 450SX podium finish of Sexton’s career, and the 16th 250SX podium finish of Lawrence’s career.
- Sexton and Lawrence both took part in the post-race press conference at Arlington.
- With the Daytona Supercross up next week (March 4), several Team Honda HRC technicians left directly from Arlington to spend the week in Florida testing with the riders.
Chase Sexton 23
“I felt like I elevated my speed all day. I didn’t qualify the fastest in practice, so that gave me some motivation in the night show. In the last race I washed the front in a corner, but with my pace, I still felt like Eli was within reach. I just put my head down until he made that mistake. Unfortunately, I ran into some lappers but I just need to be able to read them better. Overall, I felt really solid in every main event–it was some of the best riding I’ve had. Obviously, I didn’t get the win, but everyone has to face the same thing. Lots of positives to take into next weekend.”
Colt Nichols 45
“Another Triple Crown, and a very rough night in the office for me. I wasn’t agreeing with the track and had some mistakes and crashes. I had some bad starts and just put myself in poor positions. Luckily, we get to try again in seven days in Daytona; I really like that place and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve just got to wipe it clean from tonight and focus on next weekend.”
Hunter Lawrence 96
“I was sitting in a good spot coming into the third race. Unfortunately, on that start I just ran out of real estate on the inside and got pinched; it’s never a good thing when you end up under your bike in the first turn. I just focused on damage control and not making a bonehead mistake or being worse off. There’s still a lot of racing to go; I’ve just got to go back and be better next weekend. That’s the beauty of it–you get to go again.”
Chance Hymas 832
“This weekend wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. I struggled in qualifying, just wasn’t feeling comfortable enough to push to my limit. My first two mains were pretty good, just need to limit my mistakes and get a little meaner. Third main I ended up crashing and getting 16th. Tenth overall is nothing to be stoked about, but I’m happy to get out of it healthy. Now to get ready for Daytona.”
“It was another busy day, with four riders in the truck. Everybody was in a good mood and happy to be racing inside a dome; even though it was cold outside, the racing inside was hot! It’s the first race of the season we haven’t won in either class, but we were contending all day–and we extended our points lead in the 250 class, and closed the points gap in the 450 class.”
JASON ANDERSON BRINGS CLASS-LEADING SPEED TO ARLINGTON SX TRIPLE CROWN
The Lonestar state welcomed Monster Energy Supercross to Arlington, Texas with a packed house in AT&T Stadium where Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jason Anderson charged through the Triple Crown format to earn fourth overall in the 450SX class (8-1-3). In the 250SX Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Chris Blose linked together three consistent races to secure ninth overall (8-8-8). Meanwhile, Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo was sidelined from racing after aggravating his wrist during a practice riding session on Friday.
From the outset of the first practice session, it was evident that Anderson felt confident on the Arlington SX track. The No.21 KX™450SR rider was the first one out on the track and led the field through the free practice session with impressive pace. In the first qualifying session, Anderson explored a variety of different lines around the track while still logging the second fastest lap time. In the final session, Anderson matched his intensity with his awareness of where on the track to push the limits and secured Pole Position with the fastest lap of the day (46.280).
Anderson launched his Kawasaki KX™450SR out of the gate at the start of 450SX Race 1 to contend for the lead entering Turn 1. Amid the close quarters racing at the front of the field, Anderson contacted the rear wheel of another rider and soon found himself on the ground. The No.21 rider quickly remounted and began a lion-hearted charge forward from last place. Anderson proceeded to draw the crowd’s attention as he presented a masterclass on the art of passing while overtaking multiple riders per lap. In the short 10-minute plus one lap race, Anderson passed the majority of the riders on track to salvage an eighth-place finish.
In 450SX Race 2, Anderson positioned himself at the tip of the spear entering Turn 1 and skillfully flat-tracked his way around the inside. The New-Mexico native soon found the rhythm that earned him seven Main Event wins in 2022, as he made a decisive pass for the lead and set sail away from the competition. Anderson extended his lead lap-by-lap and set the fastest lap time of the racing program on Lap 6 (46.640). The No.21 KX™450SR rider dominated 450SX Race 2 from start to finish and crossed the checkered flag with a convincing margin of victory.
Anderson again proved the power of his KX™450SR with a strong start in 450SX Race 3. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider ran in fifth position his first time across the finish line and had his sights set forward. Anderson matched his form of the two previous races as he overtook several of his top championship rivals in the opening laps. By Lap 8, Anderson moved into second position and was postured to make a push toward the leader. In the closing laps, amid lapped riders and a chaotic battle at the front of the field, Anderson got off line in the deteriorating whoop section which nearly sent him off track and ultimately shuffled him back to third place where he would finish out the race. Anderson’s admirable performances in all three races resulted in a fourth-place overall finish (8-1-3) and proved that the No.21 rider is on form to win races in 2023.
“From practice all the way through the final race tonight, I felt strong on my KX™450SR and I know we’re in a great spot to contend for wins. A small mistake through the first turn of that first race really cost me in the overall standings, but I salvaged what I could and bounced back for Race 2. We will keep putting in the work during the week and aim to be in the battle again in Daytona.”
– Jason Anderson
In 250SX Class qualifying, Blose attacked the track with confidence as he looked loose and fast through the opening laps. Displaying his prowess for whoops, Blose charged through the long set at the center of the track with impressive speed and consistency. With only a few weeks since he officially joined the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team, Blose proved to be clicking well with the Kawasaki KX™250 as he logged the eighth fastest lap of the 250SX Class (48.053).
At the start of 250SX Race 1, Blose held a tight inside line through Turn 1 to emerge inside the top 10. As the chaos of the opening lap began to settle, the No.57 KX™250 rider gained control of sixth place. Making the most of the fresh track condition, Blose logged laps even quicker than his qualifying pace and moved his way into fifth place. After several laps of battling with some of the top championship contenders, Blose settled back to eighth position and maintained a steady pace through to the checkered flag.
In 250SX Race 2, Blose again rivaled inside the top 10 through the opening lap before gaining control of eighth place. Blose pushed his way forward to move into seventh and challenged the riders ahead before the rider behind was able to sneak past and Blose found his rhythm in eighth. The Arizona-native hit his marks lap after lap as the track broke down and the whoops became increasingly difficult. With a smooth race from start to finish, Blose secured eighth place at the checkered flag.
In the final 250SX race of the night, Blose attempted to take the inside line through Turn 1 but was shut out by the competition. Without a clear line through the opening rhythm lane, Blose had to checkup and found himself in 16th position before he began clawing his way toward the top 10. With swift passes and creative line selection, Blose proved his racecraft by marching through the field. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider solidified his impressive come-from-behind performance by persistently attacking the deteriorating track to secure eighth place at the finish line. Blose’s 8-8-8 race finishes earned him ninth overall and consolidated his hold on 10th in the championship standings.
“I had three consistent races tonight for another top-10 overall finish. I would like to challenge further up the running order, but I’m still improving with the team, and with the limited time we’ve had so far, we’re establishing solid building blocks. I’m looking forward to another week of working with everyone at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and we’ll give it another shot at Daytona.”
– Chris Blose
Solar-Fit Returns as Official Solar Contractor of Progressive AFT
Progressive American Flat Track is pleased to announce that Solar-Fit is back as the Official Solar Contractor of Progressive AFT for the 2023 season.
Solar-Fit is Florida’s most trusted solar energy experts, delivering outstanding installations, prices, and customer service for nearly a half century. Solar-Fit provides state-of-the-art solar energy equipment that allows commercial and residential clients to own their energy future rather than continuing to rent their electricity. The potential savings for Solar-Fit customers is measured in the tens of thousands of dollars over 20 years.
“The Solar-Fit team is proud to be a part of this outstanding motorsports series again this year,” said Solar-Fit founder and CEO Bill Gallagher. “We are looking forward to the upcoming events in our hometown and across the country. Few things can rival the excitement of watching these brave athletes push the limits, both physically and of their machines. Thank you Progressive AFT for bringing racing fans together to enjoy the action and for your friendship through the years.”
Based in Daytona Beach, Solar-Fit has been serving customers in Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns, Clay, Putnam, Nassau and Duval Counties since 1975 and has been ranked as one of America’s “Top Solar Contractors” by Solar Power World.
“We’re proud to team with Solar-Fit again this season,” said Gene Crouch, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. “The company combines a local focus with world-class capabilities. We greatly appreciate their support of the series and our season opening Daytona Short Track doubleheader event.”
In addition to its role as the Official Solar Contractor of Progressive AFT, Solar-Fit is also sponsoring its home round, the season-opening DAYTONA Short Track I & II at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 10.
For more information visit https://solar-fit.com.
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
How to Watch:
FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2023 season, all races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports.
Drag Specialties Offering $67,000 In Contingency Money For Mission King Of The Baggers
MotoAmerica, North America’s premiere motorcycle road racing series, is pleased to announce that Drag Specialties will begin year two of its three-year deal as an official partner of the MotoAmerica Mission King Of The Baggers Championship. In addition to its sponsorship, Drag Specialties will again offer a continency program for the V-twin class.
Last year, Drag Specialties posted $52,000 in contingency money and that has gone up to $67,200 for the expanded 14-round championship with a payout of $4800 per event. The winner of Mission King Of The Baggers race is eligible to take home $2000; second place will earn $1250; third will take home $750; and fourth and fifth will earn $500 and $300, respectively.
“We had a successful first season of our multi-year sponsorship with MotoAmerica,” said Hylton Beattie, Global Motorsports Director for Drag Specialties. “The Mission King Of The Baggers class is exciting to watch, the fans love it and the series continues to grow every year with 14 races scheduled for the 2023 season. We also share the same customers as MotoAmerica so our sponsorship of the Mission King Of The Baggers goes hand in hand with the growth of our business.”
“We have a wonderful relationship with Drag Specialties and working together to make Mission King Of The Baggers better than ever has been great for both MotoAmerica and Drag Specialties,” said Lance Bryson, MotoAmerica’s Director of Sponsorship. “The 2023 season promises to be bigger and better than ever with more races, more big V-twins on the grid and more of our stars competing in the class.
We can’t wait to get things rolling at Daytona.
The Drag Specialties contingency payout requirements are as follows: Logos must be unobstructed, visible, and applied at all rounds; an authorized Drag Specialties patch is to be worn on either upper sleeve or front upper chest of the riders’ leathers; and three-inch Drag Specialties decals must be present on either of the bikes side panels or tail section.
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Cometic Gasket Sign Multi-Year Partnership with Jared Mees
Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, the Official Lubricant of Progressive American Flat Track (AFT) and Cometic Gasket, the sport’s Official Gasket, have reached multi-year agreements to sponsor eight-time Champion Jared Mees.
Beginning with the March 9-10 Daytona Short Track doubleheader, Mees will join an exclusive fraternity of legendary riders, including Scott Parker, Ricky Graham, and Randy Goss to carry the Klotz livery in Progressive AFT competition.
“Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, an iconic American brand, is thrilled to partner with a multi-time champion and iconic Progressive American Flat Track rider in Jared Mees,” said Brad Kruckenberg, president of Klotz Synthetic Lubricants. “Klotz is proud to be the Official Lubricant of Progressive American Flat Track and further expand our presence in the sport by partnering with a rider of Jared’s pedigree.”
Founded by Chairman Emeritus John C. Klotz Jr., in 1959, Klotz developed the original “Special Formula” synthetic lubricant. Over six decades later, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants continues to prove its superiority on the dyno and the race track.
In that same spirit, Klotz has spent the last 60-plus years formulating lubricants, fuels, fuel stabilizers, octane boosters, aerosols, and cleaners to service the needs of racers, performance enthusiasts and end-users who demand superior products for their cars, boats, motorcycles, karts, and RC machines.
Klotz separates itself from the pack with in-house chemical engineers and formulators who integrate only the most advanced additive packages, ensuring quality is never compromised for the bottom line.
Mees, along with crew chief Kenny Tolbert were instrumental in helping Klotz develop and validate its latest V-Twin engine lubricant.
Klotz was acquired by the principals of Cometic Gasket, Inc., in January 2021. Mees previously carried the Cometic colors for several seasons in Progressive AFT competition.
“I’m extremely excited to reunite with the Gorman family through both the Klotz and Cometic brands,” said Mees. “Klotz has been around for a long time and had a big presence in the sport during the amazing era of Scotty Parker and Ricky Graham. Klotz is proud American company with a high-performance lubricant that mixes perfectly with the American muscle of the Indian FTR750. Cometic has been my go-to gasket for years. I can’t wait to get the season started and hopefully kick start the relationship with a win at the Daytona Short Track.”.
Progressive American Flat Track Racing kick starts the 2023 season at the Daytona Short Track doubleheader Thursday, March 9 and Friday, March 10 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
AMA Arenacross National Championship Series Signs Deal with AX Promotions
The American Motorcyclist Association announces a three-year deal with AX Promotions, who will serve as promoter for the AMA Arenacross National Championship Series.
“We are excited to have a promoter with a vision to restore the series to its former luster,” said AMA Deputy Director of Racing Mike Burkeen. “Their resources and commitment promise to take the series to the next level.”
Robby McQuary, who serves as the principal partner for AX Promotions, shared his excitement to be part of the series he raced in.
“AX Promotions and the AMA are dedicated to a long-term vision of developing this spectacular discipline over the next decade,” McQuary said. “The AMA Arenacross Championship has a huge potential for growth not only in attracting a new generation of riders, but also providing professional racers a Friday evening primetime opportunity to engage with fans. It is our ambition to grow the sport further and multiply the current Arenacross fan base over the next three years.”
Among the exciting evolutions of the series is the launch of a phone app that allows fans to vote for a head-to-head race, support riders financially, and more.
Arenacross is motocross racing on tight indoor tracks in front of an arena full of fans. The AMA Arenacross National Championship Series consists of the best Arenacross racers across multiple classes based on skill, age and displacement.
For the 2023 season, each round will span three days. The AMA Arenacross AX Class competes on Fridays, while the amateur and youth classes run separately on Saturdays and Sundays.
The AMA Arenacross National Championship Series runs until April, with its final round taking place March 31-April 2 in Lexington, Ky.
For more information about AMA Arenacross, visit https://americanmotorcyclist.com/motocross-arenacross/.
NEVER-SAY-QUIT SPIRIT SEES TADDY TAKE THIRD AT SUPERENDURO ISRAEL
It’s never over until you reach the checkered flag! Putting in one heck of a ride, Taddy Blazusiak dug deep to grab third overall at the penultimate round of the FIM SuperEnduro World Championship in Jerusalem, Israel. In what proved to be an up-and-down night on the track, Taddy kept himself and his EC 350F in the fight, earning a 4-3-3 scorecard to bag a much deserved slice of podium pie!
- Taddy earns well-deserved podium finish in Israel!
- Polish star battled through the night for a 4-3-3 results
- With one round remaining the fight is on for third in the championship
In the SuperPole, Taddy was feeling strong on the tight and slippery Jerusalem track. Putting his years of superenduro experience to good use, he completed an inch perfect lap, that provisionally put him into the lead. Eventually taking third he secured an important championship point.
Fired up for race one, Taddy got a great jump out of the starting gate and entered the first corner wheel-to-wheel with Billy Bolt. Second out of the first turn he slipped to third at the end of lap one, fighting hard to hold position. With a couple of mistakes creeping in to his riding, Taddy finally placed fourth.
Looking to make the best of the reversed start order for race two, Taddy dug deep on lap one to make up positions. Up to fourth place, he got halted in a multi-rider pile up on the tire mound, which dropped him back to seventh. Regrouping, the EC 350F rider put on a charge and began working his way back up the order. With true never surrender grit, the Polish star snatched third position on the final lap.
As the gate dropped for the third and final race of the night, a place on the podium was very much up for grabs. Starting fourth, Taddy put himself on the back foot when he became tangled with a group of riders in the rock gardens. Refusing to quit, he shrugged off the error and raced his way back into contention. Lap after lap he picked riders off to finish third and with it ended his night in a hard fought, and well-deserved, third overall.
With the final round of the season on home soil in Poland in two weeks’ time, Taddy has kept the fight alive for a top-three championship result. Only seven points separate him from rival Cody Webb, and you can bet on Taddy coming out swinging in Gliwice on March 18.
Taddy Blazusiak: “In what was a tough night, I’m super happy to come away with third overall. I didn’t seem to make it easy on myself and I had to fight like a lion to get this podium. My fitness and speed is there, but I seem to keep putting myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the final race there was a bit of confusion when a couple of us riders crashed. Overall, with one round remaining we’re still in the fight for third in the championship. It’s a home race in Poland too, so I’m looking forward to that and will do my best to end this year on a high.”
Results: SuperEnduro, Round 4
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 63pts
2. Jonny Walker (Beta) 53pts
3. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 44pts
Prestige Race 1
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna)
2. Jonny Walker (Beta)
3. Cody Webb (Sherco)
4. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS)
Prestige Race 2
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna)
2. Jonny Walker (Beta)
3. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS)
Prestige Race 3
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna)
2. Jonny Walker (Beta)
3. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS)
Championship Standings (After round 4)
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 247pts
2. Jonny Walker (Beta) 211pts
3. Cody Webb (Sherco) 152pts
4. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 145pts
TOBY PRICE TAKES FIM WORLD RALLY-RAID CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH THIRD AT ADDC
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price has delivered an outstanding ride on the fifth and final day of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, taking the stage win to secure himself a third-place overall result. His hard-fought podium finish moves the Australian into the lead of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship standings.
After opening the stage on day four, through the toughest conditions seen at this year’s race, Toby Price came into the final day of the ADDC lying sixth overall and with a seventh-place start position. The two-time Dakar Champion had no option but to use the tracks left in the sand ahead of him to push as hard as he could and try to make up the maximum time on his rivals over the 206-kilometer timed special. And that’s exactly what he did!
Leading on time for the entire stage, Price steadily increased his advantage over the field to ultimately finish close to two and a half minutes ahead of the second-placed rider, Jose Ignacio Cornejo. That gap was crucial as it was Cornejo who Price edged out of podium contention by a mere two seconds after well over 17 hours of racing.
Toby’s podium result at round two, added to his runner-up finish at the Dakar Rally, move him into the lead of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship standings. However, with three rounds left to contest, there’s still a long way to go, starting with round three, the Sonora Rally in Mexico, from April 22-28.
Toby Price: “I had to push really hard today. Opening on the long day four really knocked me back in the overall such were the conditions. I knew my only choice today was to push hard, and so I went as hard as I could possibly go for the whole 206 kilometers! To only just make the podium by two seconds is crazy. It shows the level of the riders at the moment in rally, with the results often coming down to seconds and not minutes – I think that’s really good for the championship. Lastly, the bike and the whole team have been great here in Abu Dhabi, working so hard to give us the tools we need. There’s a little bit of a gap now but then it’s on to Mexico for the next round.”
Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “Toby did an incredible job today. We hoped for a podium, but also knew it would be a huge ask on this shorter, final stage. However, Toby put in an incredible ride to take third place by just two seconds – a true testament to his skill and speed. The race here in Abu Dhabi has been a big success with the whole team doing great work as always. We’re already looking forward to the next round.”
Provisional Results – Stage 5 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 2:24:45
2. Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 2:27:08 +2:23
3. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 2:27:14 +2:29
4. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 2:27:46 +3:01
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 2:28:07 +3:22
Provisional Standings – Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023 after 5 of 5 stages
1. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 17:13:39
2. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 17:17:57 +4:18
3. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 17:18:52 +5:13
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (CHI), Honda, 17:18:54 +5:15
5. Ross Branch (BWA), Hero, 17:19:56 +6:17
Provisional 2023 FIM World Rally-Raid Championship Standings after 2 rounds
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 46
2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Honda, 42
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), KTM, 38
4. Luciano Benavides (ARG), Husqvarna, 35
5. Skyler Howes (USA), Husqvarna, 34
LUCIANO BENAVIDES FINISHES SECOND OVERALL AT 2023 ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE
Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Luciano Benavides has claimed second place at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Opening the fifth and final stage, Benavides was able to lose the minimum of time to the chasing riders, earning himself just under five minutes in bonuses to secure his podium result. Skyler Howes, who placed an excellent third on today’s stage, completed the event in sixth overall.
After putting in day after day of impressive rides at this year’s ADDC, including two stage wins, Luciano Benavides has arguably delivered his best performance of the event by leading out the 206-kilometre final timed special from start to finish to secure his podium result. With the top five separated by just seven minutes going into the final day, and Benavides trailing the leader by just under three minutes, the Argentinian knew he would have to pull out all the stops.
Following a delayed start due to fog, Luciano set off into the stage, leaving behind tracks in the sand that his rivals could follow. Such was the 27-year-old’s progress over the open desert, although he was eventually caught, he maintained an super-strong pace from the front to ultimately complete the special in seventh place, under five minutes behind the eventual stage winner after well over two hours of racing. Overjoyed with his result, Benavides now looks ahead to round three of the championship where he hopes to carry his momentum into Mexico.
Continuing his consistent run of stage results, Skyler Howes finished day five as third fastest, bringing his FR 450 Rally home two and a half minutes behind the eventual stage winner. Fighting back from a difficult opening prologue qualifier, which resulted in Howes leading out the first full stage, the American has delivered five days of solid rides in the Liwa desert at this year’s ADDC to ultimately claim sixth place overall – just over six minutes down after over 17 hours of racing.
Although the Dakar podium finisher would have liked to continue his run of top three results in Abu Dhabi, Skyler is pleased with his performance and the experience gained at the 100 percent sand event, and now looks ahead to round three of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship – the Sonora Rally in Mexico – where he topped the results with a dominant win last year.
Luciano Benavides: “I’m so happy to take second place here in Abu Dhabi. I pushed so hard today and opened all the way – it was a tough and exhausting day. There was quite a lot of pressure this morning to do the stage at full gas, it was the only choice I had. But I think I did a good job and I’m happy with the result. To come away from the race with a podium and two stage wins is amazing. Of course, I want to win, but I think this is the best way to keep building race by race and the win will definitely come. I think I’m fourth in the championship now, so I’ll keep on giving my all and see what happens in Mexico.”
Skyler Howes: “It’s been a good day for me today, I did my best and made it safely to the finish line of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Obviously, it would have been nice to finish a little higher up the order. There have been a couple of places where I could have done things better, but I’m happy with my riding here in the desert and I’ve gained a lot of experience for the future. We head to Mexico and the Sonora Rally next, which is a really special event for me, and I won it last year, so hopefully and can do the same again this season.”
Norbert Stadlbauer – Rally Team Manager: “Both of our riders did an incredible job here at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Luciano came away with two stage wins and second overall, while Skyler showed impressive consistency over the whole event to claim sixth, despite a difficult start to the event. The whole team have worked really hard and play a huge part in these results. We now hope to carry this pace into Mexico for round three of the world championship.”
2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Stage 5 Provisional Classification
1. Toby Price (KTM) 2:24:45
2. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 2:27:08
3. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 2:27:14
4. Ross Branch (Hero) 2:27:46
5. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 2:28:07
6. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 2:29:20
7. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 2:29:27
2023 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 5]
1. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 17:13:39
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 17:17:57
3. Toby Price (KTM) 17:18:52
4. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 17:18:54
5. Ross Branch (Hero) 17:19:56
6. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 17:20:02
2023 FIM World Rally-Raid Championship – Provisional Standings [After Round 2]
1. Toby Price (KTM) 46 points
2. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 42 pts
3. Kevin Benavides (KTM) 38 pts
4. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 35 pts
5. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 34 pts
6. Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 25 pts
DOMINANT PERFORMANCE FROM BILLY BOLT AT ISRAEL SUPERENDURO
Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt has taken his fourth straight overall win of the 2023 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship with an outstanding display of riding at round four in Jerusalem, Israel. The Brit now heads into the final round of the series in Poland with a healthy 36-point lead.
Getting the evening’s racing underway with the SuperPole hot lap, Billy was keen to keep his unbeaten run of form going on his FE 350, making it four consecutive SuperPole wins. As the only rider to dip under the 33-second marker, he topped the time sheets and with it secured three important championship points.
With the track proving tight and one-lined in places, the world champ focused on grabbing the holeshot for the opening prestige class race. Timing the drop of the gate to perfection, he was immediately out front on his FE 350. Although later admitting to making numerous mistakes, Billy built up a firm two second lead over rival Jonny Walker and was able to claim his first race win of the night in Jerusalem.
Race two saw the Husqvarna star begin from row two of the reversed-grid start. But it proved to be of little consequence for Billy. Already up to second position on lap one, he took over the race lead on lap two and began to put on a master class of riding. Clocking in clean, fast laps, he quickly checked out. Despite colliding with a back marker midway through the race, Billy raced on to secure win number two.
Pleased with his own performance in race two, Billy unquestionably found his flow in race three. Third off the start, he took control of the race lead on lap one and was never headed. Building up a 13-second advantage, the Brit was clearly in a class of his own as he made light work of the slippery track. With 12 laps complete and the night’s fastest race time, he took the win and yet another maximum SuperEnduro points haul.
With just one round remaining in the 2023 FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Billy will arrive in Poland on March 18 with a 36-point championship lead as he looks to claim his third consecutive world title indoors.
Results: FIM SuperEnduro World Championship, Round 4
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 63pts; 2. Jonny Walker (Beta) 53pts; 3. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 44pts…
Prestige Race 1
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 12 laps, 7:07.417; 2. Jonny Walker (Beta) 12 laps, 7:09.577; 3. Cody Webb (Sherco) 7:20.577…
Prestige Race 2
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 12 laps, 7:09.924; 2. Jonny Walker (Beta) 12 laps, 7:22.187; 3. Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) 12 laps, 7:40.133…
Prestige Race 3
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 12 laps, 6:59.341; 2. Jonny Walker (Beta) 12 laps, 7:16.869; 3. Taddy Blazusiak 11 laps, 7:20.708…
Championship Standings (After round 4)
1. Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) 247pts; 2. Jonny Walker (Beta) 211pts; 3. Cody Webb (Sherco) 152pts…