Lawrence, Sexton, Hymas and Nichols on Daytona

For the third time in the four rounds run thus far, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence scored the 250SX East victory on Saturday night. This time it was at legendary Daytona International Speedway, and it extended his lead in the title chase to 14 points. Meanwhile, Chase Sexton qualified fastest and notched his seventh podium result in eight 450SX rounds, keeping him in title contention.

The 250SX East main-event start saw Lawrence exit turn 1 in third place and quickly put an aggressive pass on Nate Thrasher before taking the lead from Tom Vialle just before the end of lap 1. From there, the Australian powered his CRF250R to the win, finishing with a cushion of nearly 10 seconds on fellow Red Rider Max Anstie, of the Fire Power Honda squad. After completing lap 1 in 17th place, Lawrence’s teammate Chance Hymas put on an inspired charge through the pack, eventually finishing an impressive sixth—the best result of his young career.

In the 450SX main event, Sexton exited turn 1 in third place and fought hard throughout the race, holding the position to the finish.

Sexton align

Sexton: “Speedways are cool to come to. You have to be very precise, but you can also gain a lot of speed and push the rhythm at the speed you’re comfortable with. Daytona is just a different animal though. My speed’s good; I’ve just got to limit the mistakes. I’ve got to keep pushing and get to these guys at the front. It’s good to be on the podium, but we all want to win.”

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Nichols: “It was a tough day at work in Daytona. I took a hit in Q1 and landed on my noggin pretty good. The team and I decided it would be best to sit out the rest of the day and get myself right. Thank you to my team and the people in my corner. It’s been a rough few weeks, but I’ll be back.”

Lawrence: “The bike was great; we didn’t really change anything all day. It’s cool when you can just trust in your setup and not try to reinvent the wheel. Early in the main, I just kept getting roosted in the sand and had to race hard to get to the front. I just didn’t look back after that. This was where I got my first heat-race win too [in 2021], so it’s pretty cool to capture a main-event win here.”

Hymas: “Today was alright. I qualified third in the first practice, but they made a ton of changes during the day and it felt like a new track. I got to run up front with Hunter in the heat race, which gave me some confidence. In the main, I got bottled up on the inside in the first corner and was basically dead last at that point. I’m happy to have worked my way up to sixth by the end of the race. Overall, my riding was good and improvements were made, even if we aren’t where we want to be yet.”

Lindstrom: It was a busy week, testing down at the riders’ facilities and trying to make improvements. It was successful and we learned a lot, which should help us the rest of the series. Once again, we qualified fastest in both classes which was awesome. Unfortunately, Colt had a pretty hard get-off, and it made sense to let have him take the night off, which I know was a bitter pill for him to swallow. Hunter crushed it in the main, and it was great to see Chance ride through the pack and be strong the entire race. I think Chase once again had everything he needed to win, and he was clearly the fastest on the track, but he couldn’t get into a rhythm and settled for third, which is still great to be on the podium.”

Words and images: Honda