Lawrence, Sexton and Nichols on San Diego

Following an unexpected week off, AMA Supercross returned to action at a new venue—San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium—where Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence was once again flawless in the 250SX West class, dominating all 19 laps and taking the win aboard his CRF250R. After scoring the holeshot, the Australian managed his lead, riding within himself but turning up the pace whenever the gap started to shrink. In the end, his winning margin was 3.6 seconds, capping off a perfect day on which he had also been the top qualifier and a heat-race winner.

The 450 class was more about damage control for the squad, as Chase Sexton suffered a heat-race crash and was forced to advance to the main event via the last-chance qualifier. Colt Nichols took the main-event holeshot on his CRF450R, and Sexton—despite being saddled with a poor start position—was fifth out of turn 1. Lap 2 saw Sexton get knocked to the ground by another rider and complete the next lap in ninth place. He advanced to sixth by lap 9, then took another position on lap 15, and that’s where he stayed for the final 10 laps. Meanwhile, Nichols struggled following his stellar start and ended the day in 12th.

Sexton: “San Diego was a little bit eventful for me. I qualified second but had a big crash in the heat race and had to DNF. I went to my first LCQ ever but was able to get through there. I made the main event and was riding good but got taken down by another rider and fell back to 10th. I made my way back to fifth, but it was definitely a mediocre night. At least we’re healthy and we can try to come out swinging for A2.”

Nichols:“The night was difficult, to say the least. Once again, I got off the gate really well. I have a lot of confidence with this bike getting off the gate, which is reassuring, and something good I’ll take from tonight. After that, there weren’t a whole lot of positives. I just didn’t really have much intensity. I felt like I was just riding around, not really racing the track. I just need to be a little smarter, get some time under our belt. Overall, we live to fight another day—on to Anaheim.”

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Lawrence:“This track was much more predictable compared to Anaheim; it was more racing this week compared to the last race, where we were more trail riding, and I had a blast being back at normal speed. My biggest thing is putting myself in a good position to podium or win every round—just going the smarter route, trying to make it through the night.”

Lars Lindstrom: “It was nice to have a dry race even after all the rain. Jett rode awesome all day, being fastest in both qualifiers and winning both the heat and the main; he was in total control. The 450 heat race was pretty scary, with Chase having a good get-off and a DNF. Luckily, he was okay and was able to win the LCQ. In the main event, both riders got good starts. Colt wasn’t aggressive enough in the first couple of laps, which he’s working on. Another rider took Chase out, and we can’t be in a position to let that happen. It’s a decent result for the night for what it could’ve been, but we need to be better.”

Words and images: Honda