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2023 Monster Energy Supercross Recap - Seattle

Miracles do happen folks. No serious threat of rain for Seattle Supercross might as well be the sign of the end times, it doesn't happen that often nowadays. After a tumultuous weekend in Detroit on all fronts, a rough track in the pacific northwest was all that stood between the 250 West and 450 fields from an open week. It's been a hot minute since we last saw the west region on track, but Jett Lawrence entered the weekend up 20 points on R.J. Hampshire, and could possibly wrap up his second Supercross Championship up as early as Denver. Not a complete shock, but the Jett was on rails in qualifying, but so was hometown kid Levi Kitchen, who ended up third.

Last week was of course not what Aaron Plessinger was hoping for, but this is a city where he's won in before, albeit on a 250. He didn't qualify super hot on the KTM, but then again he was ninth fastest in Detroit. Speaking of qualifying ninth, that's exactly where his teammate and current points leader Cooper Webb ended up. Thanks to Chase Sexton's penalty from a week ago, he doesn't have to worry about him for the time being. However, Eli Tomac is all of three points back despite back-to-back subpar performances from the defending Champion. Webb has proven time and time again in his Championship years he can show up in the big spots and get the job done, would Seattle be any different?

Daytime Program/Injury Notes:

- Cole Seely in for a WSX tuneup with MCR Honda. Carson Mumford (finally) made his debut with Pro Circuit Kawasaki.

- Deep ruts developed very early on in qualifying.

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 18 Jett Lawrence (51.027) (Eight-tenths faster than anyone else. Full second faster than Carson Mumford in fourth on back)

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 23 Chase Sexton (50.704) (Has now qualified fastest in 42% of his 450 starts. Full second faster than Justin Barcia in fourth on back)

Heat Racing Roundup

250 Class

Haven't been able to say this for a while in the 250s, but it was all Kawasaki out front early with Hunter Yoder and Carson Mumford, in what was an interesting heat. Close to all of the big guns found themselves in the second race by happenstance, however, guys like Pierce Brown, Enzo Lopes, and R.J. Hampshire were in this one. The middle man in that conversation ended up hitting the deck midway through via some contact with Josh Varize, but he recovered nicely all things considered. Brown looked the best of this group, which isn't a shock considering he left the pack once he got by Mumford for the lead and soon after the win. Rough looking crash for Dylan Walsh here in the sand section as well, so hoping for the best there.

Onto the star filed second heat, we got treated to a mini-war between Jett Lawrence and Cameron McAdoo for second, with Washington native Levi Kitchen cruising out in front. It's been an issue for him all year, but Jett ran into some issues of his own doing which cost him second for some time. Then when it appeared as if Lawrence had second in the bag, he and McAdoo went down hard in the long rhythm lane, but surprisingly only lost a spot a piece. To say Jett was furious was an understatement. He clearly tried to go for retaliation a few times, before McAdoo just gave him the spot, which ultimately led to him getting back to second over Stilez Robertson as well. No postrace activities between the 18 and 48 here to mention by the way, but Lawrence looked none too pleased in a shot from NBC coming out of the next commercial break.

450 Class

Kevin Moranz pulled out the casual privateer holeshot in the opening 450 heat, but it was Christian Craig that capitalized early in this one. Had brought up his qualifying efforts effectively ruining his days in the opening third of the year and this was a great change of pace for the reigning 250 West Champion. Cole Seely was in this heat as well, and he didn't look fast at all in the opening timed qualifying session. Any problems that he might have had during the day were long gone by this point, as he was running as high as fourth here. Despite Aaron Plessinger making things very interesting, almost to the point of contact, at the end of this one, Craig picked up a massive heat race win. This is what I've been waiting to see out of him all year.

Cooper Webb was red hot off the gate once again in Seattle, creating a three or four-bike length gap over Jason Anderson for the lead. Both Chase Sexton and Eli Tomac got to his rear wheel, and eventually, Sexton grew impatient enough to give him the chrome horn in the section after the finish. For what it's worth, he felt comfortably faster for several laps to that point, just had nowhere to make anything happen. Same case for Webb, but he didn't have the time to get to him. That however didn't stop Webb from breaking out the finger gun move he did to Ken Roczen at A2 in 2019. A VERY bold move to break that out in a Heat Race victory but I respect that level of unhinged confidence.

250 West Class Recap

1st - No. 18 Jett Lawrence (Honda HRC)

Not a perfect night for the Jett by any means but they don't pay out points by the hour. He had some trouble trying to get around Robertson in those opening few laps but once he did it was game set and match in short order. Hampshire and McAdoo both had short bursts of pace that superseded Lawrence's, but nothing consistent enough to make things interesting down the stretch. This win also ties him with some elite company with 11 victories; Adam Cianciarulo, Cooper Webb, Justin Barcia, Marvin Musquin, and Ryan Villopoto. Assuming Lawrence can shake the Triple Crown woes he's suffered in these last few seasons, he's probably home free as it relates to his second 250 Supercross crown.

2nd - No. 24 R.J. Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing)

He's probably not going to take home a number one plate this year, but Hampshire has been putting up some great rides all season, and last night was no exception. The guy simply doesn't give up and it shows, just ask Cameron McAdoo about that. Assuming Hampshire had a better start, he possibly could have come out with a win here. He ran the best lap of the 250 Main Event with a 51.909 and his average lap time was only about a second off of Lawrence.

6th - No. 43 Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

Thought this was gonna be a good night for the hometown kid after that Heat Race, but the Master Chef hit the proverbial wall and did so hard in the Main Event. After lap eight, Kitchen's fastest lap was a 54.684 which came on lap 12, everything else after was a 55.254 or slower. Hard to say what caused things to unravel as badly as they did, but I don't think that was the gameplan for Kitchen's hometown race.

8th - No. 52 Carson Mumford (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki)

I probably would have liked to see Mumfy finish a couple of spots higher here, but this was a rock-solid debut for Mitch Payton and Pro Circuit after literal months of waiting. The Heat Race performance is ultimately where he shined, but I think you can live with that if you're PC. Now you get a week off before a triple crown, where Mumford will likely benefit from these shorter stint bouts.

DNF - No. 40 Stilez Robertson (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

Simply devastated for Robertson. This was comfortably the best he looked since he made the jump to Star, legitimately giving Jett Lawrence a handful over those first five laps. Even though he got by him eventually, I figured he would have stuck around for at least a good while, but the whoop monster got him and got him good. Don't want to speculate on what his injury may be but we definitely saw him laboring his right shoulder once he got up on his feet. Whatever it is I just hope it isn't too serious, this is another 250 guy who's had the injury bug to this point in his career.

250 West Class Seattle Top 10

1st No. 18 Jett Lawrence

2nd No. 24 R.J. Hampshire

3rd No. 48 Cameron McAdoo

4th No. 56 Enzo Lopes

5th No. 34 Max Vohland

6th No. 43 Levi Kitchen

7th No. 33 Pierce Brown

8th No. 52 Carson Mumford

9th No. 49 Mitchell Oldenburg

10th No. 83 Cole Thompson

250 West Class Point Standings after Seattle

1st No. 18 Jett Lawrence (127 Points)

2nd No. 24 R.J. Hampshire (104 Points)

3rd No. 48 Cameron McAdoo (101 Points)

4th No. 49 Mitchell Oldenburg (83 Points)

5th No. 56 Enzo Lopes (82 Points)

6th No. 43 Levi Kitchen (80 Points)

7th No. 34 Max Vohland (70 Points)

8th No. 33 Pierce Brown (67 Points)

9th No. 83 Cole Thompson (59 Points)

10th No. 40 Stilez Robertson (53 Points)

450 Class Recap

1st - No. 1 Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) (50th Career Win)

Jeremy McGrath, James Stewart (so good btw), and now Eli Tomac have all hit the elusive 50-win plateau in the Monster Energy Supercross premier class. I never thought this would come up after Stew hit 50 in St. Louis in 2014, but here we are. Although Tomac was more or less handed the lead here, things were more or less over once Webb passed him. I say that because he flipped the switch and was a completely different guy from there on out. Even if Sexton hadn't put it on the ground, he wasn't stopping him.

Especially after these last two weeks, Tomac needed this and needed it bad, even by his own admission up on the podium. He now has split possession of the red plate, has a week off to get his neck issues in order if that's still an issue, and most importantly this little tidbit. Tomac has at least one career win at five of the final six venues on the schedule (State Farm Stadium, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Nissan Stadium, Mile High Stadium, and Rice Ecceles Field) and multiple wins at three of those five (State Farm Stadium, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Rice Ecceles Field). Watch out for East Rutherford though, that's been a house of horrors for Tomac in years past (2017 most specifically). But for now, 50 wins is a hell of an accomplishment. If he isn't a Mount Rushmore AMA rider yet, he's getting awfully close.

2nd - No. 2 Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM)

You could see it in his eyes after the checkered flag was waived, Webb absolutely felt like he let one slip through the cracks in Seattle. To his credit, Webb made things as interesting running in second as long as he possibly could have here, and that is the reason why he still has a share of the red plate with Glendale coming up in a couple of weeks. Had he slipped up even one more time down the stretch, BamBam 100 percent goes for the jugular to try and get second place. Speaking of whom...

3rd - No. 51 Justin Barcia (TLD/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing)

Whatever's been in the water at the TLD truck has been doing God's work this last month or so, because I dare say Justin Barcia has been one of the three best guys in the 450 class since Daytona. No drama, no takeouts or borderline passes, just consistently great performances week in and week out. Not a bad way to end a birthday either with a podium. Said it last week, but I'm positive that BamBam is gonna slip through the cracks and pick up a win before the season is over, he's been running too well not to.

5th - No. 23 Chase Sexton (Honda HRC)

Yeah, I got nothing here. Zero explanation as to why this keeps happening to Sexton at this point. Even if Tomac got by him for the lead clean, and he was absolutely going to one way or another, that would have been a much better outcome than what actually happened. They ran the graphic after the wreck, but Sexton has nearly lost 30 points on the season with these slip-ups. In short, if these were a nonissue, and granted no one is going to have a picture-perfect season, Sexton would be your points leader with six rounds to go.

I've seen this take on Twitter from others multiple times over the last month or so, and I completely agree with it, Sexton should try to get a hold of Tomac in the offseason to see how he got over this mental hump. I'm sure he will anyways, but talking to someone who had these issues as well would be a big help I'd imagine, plus the two seem to be on really good terms.

20th - No. 80 Kevin Moranz (Red Line Oil/Tank Masters KTM)

To the three psychopaths who picked Moranz for FFL in PulpFantasy, buy a lottery ticket, you will never be hotter than you are right now in this moment. Sucks he went off track right after but that was a cool way to kick things off in the Main last night.

450 Class Seattle Top 10

1st No. 1 Eli Tomac

2nd No. 2 Cooper Webb

3rd No. 51 Justin Barcia

4th No. 21 Jason Anderson

5th No. 23 Chase Sexton

6th No. 94 Ken Roczen

7th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger

8th No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo

9th No. 28 Christian Craig

10th No. 46 Justin Hill

450 Class Point Standings after Seattle

1st No. 1 Eli Tomac (248 Points) (Has tiebreaker on six wins)

2nd No. 2 Cooper Webb (248 Points)

3rd No. 23 Chase Sexton (226 Points)

4th No. 94 Ken Roczen (199 Points) (Has tiebreaker on win)

5th No. 21 Jason Anderson (199 Points)

6th No. 51 Justin Barcia (195 Points)

7th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (180 Points)

8th No. 28 Christian Craig (150 Points)

9th No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo (122 Points)

10th No. 46 Justin Hill (116 Points)

Seattle PulpMX Industry Idiots Fantasy Team

450 Class: Chase Sexton (All-Star +2), Adam Cianciarulo (+1), Justin Hill (+2), Justin Starling (+10)

250 Class: Levi Kitchen (All-Star +4), Carson Mumford (+3), Hunter Yoder (+7), Kaeden Amerine (+15)

Points Total: 236

Next Up: State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Arizona) (Bye Week Next Weekend)

Main Image via Yamaha

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