Championship, Double Win for Team Honda HRC at Nashville SX

2023-07-24 12:40
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.


The Nashville Supercross featured an early schedule, which meant the Team Honda HRC crew left their hotel at 5:40 a.m.
For Supercross weekend in Music City, Hunter Lawrence did an amazing collaboration with Gibson Guitar. On Friday, he starred in a meet-and-greet at Gibson Garage, where he signed autographs for fans and was presented with a special guitar. Then on race day, Lawrence wore special Alpinestars gear inspired by the 1979 signature Les Paul guitar of Tool guitarist Adam Jones. Jones is also a visual artist and animator who has created cover art for the band’s albums and directed many of their videos. Lawrence is a huge fan of the band, and he also wore a helmet featuring artwork by Jones.
Chase Sexton, Colt Nichols and Lawrence took part in Media Day Friday, although rain during the week meant that there was no riding, in order to protect the track for race day.
Team Honda HRC hosted former Redondo Beach Police Department motorcycle officer Bill Turner at Nashville. Turner, who recently retired, is a longtime friend of several team members and Honda associates, and he was heavily involved in an Africa Twin-based police-bike project that the RBPD is spearheading. During a small ceremony in the Honda pits, Turner was presented with a special plaque that featured several factory CRF components.
Jett Lawrence was on hand in Nashville to cheer his brother on to his championship.
Several Honda managers made the trip from the company’s Alpharetta, Georgia, Powersports Division headquarters, and watched the race from a suite.
Former Honda and Factory Connection team manager and mechanic Dan Betley was also in Nashville, and he visited some of his friends and former colleagues in the Team Honda HRC pits.
Everyone at Honda and HRC sends their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Wills Fedrick. The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Paddock Manager lost his life during the week leading up to the race. Fedrick was invariably a huge help in the pits, and a pleasure to spend time with. He’ll be missed.
During morning qualifying, Team Honda HRC once again topped the combined times in both classes, with Sexton best in 450SX and Lawrence quickest in 250SX East. Nichols ended up 10th in the premier division.
The second 250SX East heat race saw Lawrence exit turn 1 in third (behind two other Hondas) and move into the lead on the first lap. From there, he rode perfectly to the win, with Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie two seconds back. The fifth-through-seventh spots were taken by Phoenix Racing Honda riders Jace Owen, Caden Braswell and Coty Schock, followed by Moto Academy’s AJ Catanzaro. The first heat advanced three Red Riders: Red Research Group’s Luke Neese, Valley Ford Truck’s Jeremy Hand and Phoenix’s Cullin Park. TiLube/Storm Lake Honda’s Henry Miller and Michael Hicks made it through the last-chance qualifier, making it 12 CRF250Rs out of 22 bikes in the main event.
Sexton suffered a poor start in the second 450SX heat race but was up to third by the end of lap 1. A lap-6 pass on Ken Roczen moved him into second, which is where he finished. Colt Nichols was fourth in the first heat race.
Sexton’s 450SX win is his fourth this year and the fifth of his career. Lawrence’s victory in 250SX is his seventh of the year (in just nine races!) and the 12th of his career.
Sexton and Lawrence both participated in the post-race press conference.
Team Honda HRC now heads west to Denver for the penultimate AMA Supercross round of the year, in Denver. Jett Lawrence has an opportunity to clinch the 250SX West title a round early (he currently has a 39-point lead). Meanwhile, Sexton’s win, combined with the injury to Cooper Webb, moved him up to second in the premier division, and he’ll be shooting for another win in order to eat into Eli Tomac’s 18-point advantage.

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450SX Results

Chase Sexton (Hon)
Eli Tomac (Yam)
Ken Roczen (Suz)
Colt Nichols (Hon)
Justin Hill (KTM)
Jason Anderson (Kaw)
Dean Wilson (Hon)
Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw)
Kyle Chisholm (Suz)
Josh Hill (KTM)

450SX Championship Points (after 15 of 17 rounds)

Eli Tomac: 338
Chase Sexton: 320
Cooper Webb: 304
Ken Roczen: 280
Justin Barcia: 267
Jason Anderson: 242
Aaron Plessinger: 213
Justin Hill: 172
Adam Cianciarulo: 170
Dean Wilson: 165

Colt Nichols: 139

250SX East Results

Hunter Lawrence (Hon)
Jo Shimoda (Kaw)
Jordon Smith (Yam)
Haiden Deegan (Yam)
Max Anstie (Hon)
Jeremy Martin (Yam)
Tom Vialle (KTM)
Chris Blose (Kaw)
Henry Miller (Hon)
Cullin Park (Hon)

Luke Neese (Hon)
Jeremy Hand (Hon)
Jace Owen (Hon)
Caden Braswell (Hon)
Coty Schock (Hon)
AJ Catanzaro (Hon)
Michael Hicks (Hon)
Jace Kessler (Hon)

250SX East Region Championship Points (after 9 of 10 rounds)

Hunter Lawrence: 224
Haiden Deegan: 168
Max Anstie: 166
Jordon Smith: 141
Chris Blose: 132
Jeremy Martin: 128
Nate Thrasher: 120
Tom Vialle: 11
Cullin Park: 109
Coty Schock: 89

Henry Miller: 86
Jace Owen: 76
Jeremy Hand: 62
Chance Hymas: 60
Michael Hicks: 55
Caden Braswell: 52
Luke Neese: 44

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Chase Sexton 23

“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.”

Chase Sexton

Colt Nichols 45

“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.”

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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