Sexton searches for answers as another crash costs him a win

It was deja vu for poor Chase Sexton in Oakland. For the second week in a row, it was another lead with lots of speed that ended in another crash with only minutes to go until the chequered flag.

After getting a fairly robust scolding from Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart in the booth in Tampa, with Ricky saying you can’t make the same mistake twice, to do it again so soon and then once again have to face questions from the media, it’s at the point were you almost have to feel sorry for Sexton, who once again answered the questions with patience and honesty despite his frustration at the situation.

But why are these crashes happening? He has the speed, and looks like the full package right up until the end of the race approaches..

“Up until the crash, I felt so comfortable and so smooth,” opined Sexton in the press conference. “I had a really good flow going. I wish I could tell you what happened. I landed and there was a two-wheel slide and there was nothing I could do. After that, it’s really hard to get back into the flow with a track like that.

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“It’s hard to say,” he said when asked once more to explain the crash. “I did the same thing I did the lap before and I didn’t end up on the ground. It is tough. It’s tough mentally to analyze what happened. It happened so fast, and at that point there’s no saving it. Gotta go back and try to be better. You can’t blame the bike. I need to look back and go back to work.”

I then asked Chase if the mistake earlier in the lap, that saw him almost go down on the dragon’s back, affected his rhythm or concentration but Sexton denied it played a part: “I don’t think that played any part. Like I said, I jumped the jump exactly how I did prior to that. It happened so fast.

“After that, I changed my line to jumping the dragon’s back, which was slow,” he admitted. “It’s something I’ve learned over the last few years. It’s better to be on your bike than be off of it. I was just trying to not make anymore huge mistakes and just make it to the finish line.”

During the day on Race Day Live, Ricky Carmichael was asked once again about Sexton’s mistake in Tampa, he repeated that he was brought up by him mum to never make the same mistake twice, he then added that if he was trying to help someone but if you don’t know why you crashed, then it’s hard to help.

Unfortunately for Sexton, that was the situation he found himself in on Saturday, a crash he couldn’t explain, except to say that he must do better. When it came to what he could do about it, Chase, who despite everything is only 7 points out of the championship lead and very much in a title hunt, said: “My riding and everything has been super good. First 10 minutes I felt really in a comfort zone, I wasn’t over ridding, I was hitting my marks. It happens and it’s unfortunate. But I’m still here. I’m still in it and I still have an opportunity to come out next week and prove myself and fix the wrongs that I made.

“I think for me it’s riding rougher tracks during the week and trying to replicate what I’m racing on. It’s very tough. But that’s the only way we can get better. If I need to adjust the bike or myself, that’s where we need to do it: for the last ten minutes of the main event. That’s what I’m focused on, and like I said, positivity is going to be the fix.”

Sexton is owning the mistakes, but he is still searching for answers as to why they are happening in the first place.

Article: Jonathan McCready

Images: Feld Entertainment Inc.