Sexton on his win, Hunter on his title
Team Honda HRC collected its third win-sweep of the season at the Nashville Supercross, and this one was even better than the first two. Not only did Chase Sexton and Hunter Lawrence top the 450SX and 250SX East classes, respectively, but Lawrence also clinched his first-ever AMA championship one round early. To top it all off, Colt Nichols notched a fourth-place result in the premier division–the best of his career.
Sexton got a fifth-place start in the 450SX main event and was in third the first time across the line. By the end of lap 3 he had powered his CRF450RWE by Justin Hill through the whoops, and then he set his sights on title-rival Eli Tomac. He closed in on the reigning champ and moved by at the halfway point. From there, the Illinois native rode flawlessly on a treacherous track, ultimately winning by 14.5 seconds. Meanwhile, Nichols enjoyed a strong start, slipped back a few spots, then rebounded to move up to fourth place by the finish.
Lawrence nailed the 250SX East main-event holeshot aboard his CRF250R but was quickly passed by Jordon Smith. The Australian waited patiently before taking advantage of a lap-6 pass opportunity and assuming the lead. Masterfully navigating the dry, slippery, technical conditions that rewarded his technical prowess, Lawrence pulled ahead to win by 3.9 seconds and celebrate with his family and team.
Sexton: “You really have to be on your game on tracks like this; you have to approach everything with confidence. This track was so gnarly, especially towards the last couple of laps, and it forces you to keep your focus. Getting started on outdoor testing has been like a breath of fresh air, and I feel more confident in the rough stuff. Two more rounds to go, and hopefully we get some more wins under our belts and keep building momentum.”
Lawrence: “I didn’t even dream of this as a kid, as I didn’t know it was possible. The sport isn’t that big in Australia, so you don’t realize you can have a career doing this. Funny that in 2020 in this same state, I was thinking seriously about quitting. Just being knocked down over and over again with injuries, at that point I figured I would get a normal job and just support Jett. This is definitely redemption, to have been at the lowest point I’ve been at, so close to where I captured my first championship. It’s so special to get this one, and I hope to get many more with this same group.”
Nichols: “Nashville treated me better than the last few weekends have. The day didn’t start off that great; we had a so-so qualifying. The team made some changes, and that seemed to give me more comfort. I was able to get a good start in the main event and take advantage of some other guys’ mistakes. I just rode a smooth, steady race and got my best finish of the year. Overall, it was a really good weekend for us, and I’m leaving very happy.”
Lindstrom: “Wow, what a day—such a solid day for all of our riders! In the 450s, it was awesome to see Colt up front; hopefully we can have the same at the next two rounds. Chase is riding with the confidence and perfection that we knew he’s had all season. Hunter only had to score three points to wrap up the championship, but instead he rode like the champion he is and won the race convincingly. To see where he is now, compared to where he started in 2019, is nothing short of amazing. We’re all so proud of him and incredibly happy to see him clinch his first Supercross championship.”
Words and images: Honda