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2023 Monster Energy Supercross Recap - Arlington

This weekend in the Dallas area was big for Honda HRC's Chase Sexton. He's now let three straight possible wins off the table, with the crucial round of Daytona just right around the corner. The good news for him is that Arlington is a Triple Crown round, and he is just weeks removed from winning the opening Triple Crown round of the season in Anaheim. But on top of Eli Tomac starting to get some breathing room up front, Cooper Webb, who beat Sexton in Tampa is now tied with him in second place in the points.

Down in the 250 East Class, Hunter Lawrence has been the top dog, and that contained earlier in the day in qualifying where he went to the top of the board once again. Could he make it three in a row to start '23, or could any of his title rivals, Max Anstie, Haiden Deegan, Nate Thrasher, or Jeremy Martin step up in the lone star state? But first, some massive news regarding the Reigning Undisputed 450 Class Champion.

Eli Tomac in for Outdoors + SMX + Des Nations (???)

Not even two full months ago, it sounded like Tomac would hang up the boots after Salt Lake City win lose, or draw based on his comments at Anaheim and in the preseason. Even earlier this week, his status for beyond Supercross in the calendar year was "50/50" in his own words on PulpMX. Not even a full week after, Star Yamaha has officially confirmed that Tomac will try to defend the Pro Motocross No. 1 plate, participate in the inaugural SMX rounds, and possibly run in the Motocross Des Nations, which this year is being run in France.

Now, why would Tomac have a change of heart? Simply put, he's having fun.

“At the beginning of the season, I truly thought this was going to be a farewell tour, but I’ve been having too much fun racing my motorcycle. I have been enjoying every minute along the way with the team, so I’m excited to announce that I will be racing the entire SMX series.”

The biggest thing to come out of this is that from around May to October, barring any injuries, we're gonna get about a half year's worth of racing between Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence, and Chase Sexton all on 450s. Hard to say if we're gonna get this in 2024, so don't take these summer/fall months for granted folks.

Daytime Program/Injury Notes:

- Adam Cianciarulo pulls out of event in the morning with a wrist issue.

- Marvin Musquin is officially done for the season.


- Yamaha Amateur Rider Evan Ferry crashed hard in 250 Futures Qualifying and missed the night show.

- 250 Futures Fastest Qualifier: No. 241 Daxton Bennick (48.697) (Seven-tenths faster than Julien Beaumer in second)

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (46.747) (Only 250 rider in the 46-second range. Would have been seventh fastest in the 450 Class)

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 21 Jason Anderson (46.280) (Top nine riders in the 46-second range)

250 East Class Recap

1st (2-2-3) - No. 29 Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

What a stretch of weeks here for Thrasher. He tears his ACL going into Tampa, nearly wins that weekend before falling to Hunter Lawrence, then two weeks later survives a chaotic day in DFW for his first win of the year. Multiple times it felt like his hopes of winning were in serious jeopardy, but he found a way on his own merit, on top of everything else that happened around him. Although he is still 16 points back of the points lead, this was massive for Thrasher, not even to mention the fact that Lawrence nearly missed the podium if not for some third Main heroics.

2nd (4-1-5) - No. 58 Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

I would say that the Championship could already be out of reach for Smith at this point, but tonight likely saved his chances of finishing either the top five in points or potentially the top three as well. Heck, if not for his endo in the whoops, he probably wins outright last night. Hopefully, we get to see some more rides like this out of the 250-class veteran moving forward. On a side note, I'm absolutely stunned that tunnel wreck he had with Michael Mosiman doesn't happen more often. I was just expecting bike after bike to pile up like that one GT race in China several years ago.

3rd (1-3-6) - No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (Honda HRC)

Things were suboptimal early in that final race after Lawerence went down in turn one, but he pulled off one of the better single-race runs of the year to go from 21st to 6th in under 10 minutes of action.

He seemed very happy postrace and quite frankly he should have been, after how both of the latter Main Events went, he probably wasn't a podium guy in Dallas. That cross jump from Thrasher in race two looked sketchy, but on second glance it was a complete accident. Luckily no one got hurt and Hunter still finished top three in that race to boot. Now, Lawrence carries and 11 points advantage over Max Anstie into Daytona, and could really crank up the pressure there next Saturday.

4th (5-9-2) - No. 128 Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM)

Would have personally loved to see Vialle pull off an FFL but we can't all be winners (this has nothing to do with PulpMXFantasy why would you ask??????). In any case, Vialle continues to show promising signs not even five full rounds into his Supercross Career, picking up a season-best finish of fourth at Jerry's World. I have a sneaky suspicion that he's going to be a major factor for the win next week in Daytona as well. Going to be right up Vialle's alley given it's one of the two closest things on the schedule to an outdoor track layout.

6th (6-12-1) - No. 6 Jeremy Martin (Muc-OFF/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha)

It's been a brutal few years for JMart, so just seeing him win a TC Main Event felt good to see. But outside of that, a 6-12-1 night for sixth overall is genuinely chaotic. Just a wild collection of results in that order specifically. He's also a guy I think will play a big role next weekend at Daytona.

8th (15-5-4) - No. 238 Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

This was another good sign to see out of Deegan in his rookie campaign as well. A bad start and crash had him perpetually stuck in and around 15th to kick things off, then he responds with back-to-back top-five results to get himself into the top 10 for the overall standings. And at the end of the day, he's doing everything he should be doing at this stage of his career, finishing every lap, showing signs of competitiveness as well as raw pace. And even then he's just four points out of the top three in his first professional Supercross season. Impressed would be an understatement.

250 East Class Arlington Top 10

1st No. 29 Nate Thrasher (2-2-3)

2nd No. 58 Jordon Smith (4-1-5)

3rd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (1-3-6)

4th No. 128 Tom Vialle (5-9-2)

5th No. 63 Max Anstie (3-4-9)

6th No. 6 Jeremy Martin (6-12-1)

7th No. 31 Michael Mosiman (7-6-7)

8th No. 238 Haiden Deegan (15-5-4)

9th No. 57 Chris Blose (8-8-8)

10th No. 832 Chance Hymas (9-7-16)

250 East Class Points after Arlington

1st No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (73 Points)

2nd No. 63 Max Anstie (62 Points)

3rd No. 29 Nate Thrasher (57 Points)

4th No. 238 Haiden Deegan (53 Points)

5th No. 6 Jeremy Martin (53 Points)

6th No. 58 Jordon Smith (52 Points)

7th No. 128 Tom Vialle (52 Points)

8th No. 31 Michael Mosiman (49 Points)

9th No. 832 Chance Hymas (43 Points)

10th No. 57 Chris Blose (37 Points)

250 East Class Recap

1st (5-2-1) - No. 2 Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM)

This is by no means an insult, but Cooper Webb is the Supercross equivalent of a Vulture. This guy is just lurking in the background just casually waiting for someone to mess up. Case and point, it felt like he could have gotten onto the podium after two Main Events but not win, and then he casually just swoops in to take the whole thing at the last second, his fifth win in Arlington since 2019. Thanks to some Main 3 mishaps by both Tomac and Sexton, he gets into the lead late and in turn, wins via his win in the final race.

Now going into Daytona, he's breathing right down Tomac's neck in the points, and winning in his backyard would give him the points lead by default. On a final note, since Webb is a Bakers Factory guy, thoughts are with Aldon after he lost his father earlier in the week.

2nd (3-3-2) - No. 23 Chase Sexton (Honda HRC)

Sexton again looked like he had a win in the bag, but a combination of an ill-advised pass for the lead in Main 3 and some lap traffic issues force him to fall short once again. If for nothing else, on pure speed Sexton was 100 percent the best guy in the field last night. But just like in Houston, some line choices came back to bite him. He was trying to go low on Tomac for the lead into the step-up-roller-bridge jump section when the line wasn't established and ended up losing a ton of time because of it. Luckily, Tomac slipped up as well so that ended up evening out.

Where things didn't break even for Sexton was with the lappers. A combination of Kyle Chisholm going down in the whoops and Grant Harlan being put in a horrible spot held him up and allowed Cooper to zip passed him on the inside, giving him the Main Event and Overall win in one fell swoop. Even with everything bad that's happened to Sexton this month, he's only FIVE points out of the points lead. He's still very much in the hunt.

3rd (1-4-6) - No. 1 Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

This is one that Tomac is definitely going to want back down the road in my eyes. He left a decent chunk of positions on the board in the latter two races and that certainly cost him big time. After his Main 3 crash on the downslope of the tunnel jump, there was a lack of urgency on his part (barring news of any sort of bike issues anyway), and fell back to sixth. Although if you give him back the hypothetical lost spots he only finishes one spot better, but that's also an extra two points to buffer yourself from Webb. Luckily Daytona is on deck and the only two riders to ever best him there on a 450 (Ryan Dungey '15, and Justin Brayton '18) are both retired. Not saying you should bet the farm but...yeah.

4th (8-1-3) - No. 21 Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki)

I feel for Anderson this year. He's better than what his points and results are showing but it's something different every week. Not even 10 seconds into Main 1, he goes down after some incidental contact with Ken Roczen's rear wheel and is in dead last right of the bat. Somehow he claws his way up to eighth, and proceeds to win and finish third for the rest of the night. I think he's probably the third-best 450 rider right now on speed behind Tomac and Sexton, but again, it's something new literally every week without fail.

5th (2-6-4) - No. 94 Ken Roczen (HEP Motorsports Progressive Ecstar Suzuki)

A big sigh of relief on the Roczen front, who was under the radar for the final 66 percent of the evening, but puts up his second top five since he switched to Factory Connection suspension. Roczen was very close to being the fastest qualifier and ended up keeping pace with Tomac for a bit in that opening Main Event. after that, he was under the radar but still very sporty on the RM.

450 Class Arlington Top 10

1st No. 2 Cooper Webb (5-2-1)

2nd No. 23 Chase Sexton (3-3-2)

3rd No. 1 Eli Tomac (1-4-6)

4th No. 21 Jason Anderson (8-1-3)

5th No. 94 Ken Roczen (2-6-4)

6th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (6-6-5)

7th No. 51 Justin Barcia (4-7-7)

8th No. 28 Christian Craig (7-8-8)

9th No. 32 Justin Cooper (11-9-9)

10th No. 46 Justin Hill (10-11-10)

450 Class Points after Arlington

1st No. 1 Eli Tomac (160 Points)

2nd No. 2 Cooper Webb (158 Points)

3rd No. 23 Chase Sexton (155 Points)

4th No. 21 Jason Anderson (130 Points)

5th No. 94 Ken Roczen (122 Points)

6th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (121 Points)

7th No. 51 Justin Barcia (113 Points)

8th No. 28 Christian Craig (90 Points)

9th No. 17 Joey Savatgy (85 Points)

10th No. 45 Colt Nichols (84 Points)

Arlington PulpMX Industry Idiots Fantasy Team

450 Class: Jason Anderson (All-Star +4), Christian Craig (+1), CHIZ (+10), Grant Harlan (+11)

250 Class: Hunter Lawrence (All-Star, No Handicap), Jeremy Hand (+11), Michael Hicks (+11), Luke Neese (+10)

FFL: Tom Vialle (unsuccessful) and Eli Tomac (successful)

Points Total: 245

Next Up: Daytona Beach, Florida (Daytona International Speedway)

Main Image via KTM

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