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2024 Daytona Supercross Recap

There are not many bigger industry dates on the calendar than the Daytona Supercross, which once again rings true in 2024. Five 450 riders find themselves within 10 points of the points lead, three of whom are former Champions in the form of Red Bull KTM's Chase Sexton and Star Yamaha's Eli Tomac and Cooper Webb. However, the red background was still with Jett Lawrence, even after a decent-sized collapse last weekend in Arlington.

The downside is that he could've potentially been up 10 this weekend instead of the three-point buffers he had on Cooper Webb. And by the way, Eli Tomac is the only active 450 rider with a Premier Class win at Daytona, coming off his best outing of the year, both results-wise and on the eye test. Combine that with a 250 East class sans Austin Forkner and some suboptimal conditions during the afternoon program; this was setting up for as interesting a night of racing as we've seen all season.

Daytime Program/Injury Notes: 

- Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Guillem Farres suffered a broken femur during the week and is out indefinitely.

- Adam Cianciarulo was back for the first time since San Diego.

- Haiden Deegan had a non-insignificant get off on the triple near the tri-oval, but was relatively ok. Despite that, he qualified 20th.

- The 450s only got one session of qualifying to preserve the track for the night show.

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 59 Daxton Bennick (1:29.666)

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 2 Cooper Webb (1:26.854)

Heat Racing Roundup

250 Class

The opening 250 heat was fairly tightly packed right away, with a returning Jeremy Martin, Cameron McAdoo, Haiden Deegan, and Pierce Brown pacing up front. The one thing that jumped out right away was the ability to get a drive through the whoops, more so the lack thereof. Deegan and Brown nearly took each other out on that second lap, and guys were loosey-goosey going down the pitlane stretch all Heat long. Martin ended up crashing out of the top five, but McAdoo had already gotten by and had begun building up a five-plus-second gap en route to the win.

Max Anstie and Daxton Bennick had a fun duel across the opening lap of Heat 2, trading mistakes across multiple sections with the Englishman holding serve early. Beyond the battle up front, watching things deteriorate at the rate they did was fascinating. I don't think anyone escaped this second Heatt without some slip-up. Even with some issues in the whoops, Ansite, who otherwise looked fantastic here, wound up with a 10-plus second Heat race win, his first ever in Supercross.

450 Class

Welp, Ken Roczen was gone seconds in, and then he put it on the ground on that second option outside corner coming to the finish. That gave the lead to a guy who desperately needed a good run in Justin Barcia. Aaaaannnndddd Roczen only needed a lap and a half to go from first to fourth and back to first. Much to Chase Sexton's credit, the opening 450 Heat was a real battle up until about five corners to go when he hit the deck, but those two provided some excellent racing for a solid three minutes or so. He was making up a ton of time quadding into the final rhythm section on the pit road-side, and it nearly got him the win, but alas.

With all three Star Yamaha boys in this second 450 Heat, Eli Tomac and Justin Cooper paced things early, but after a fifth-place start, Jett Lawrence found his way to the lead by about the midway point. Even to the naked eye, he was significantly faster in that final pit road rhythm lane than either guy, and that's where he got both guys at once. For whatever it's worth, Tomac looked better in most other sections, but he was losing a ton of time there.

250 East Class Recap

1st - No. 16 Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM)

If there was any one weekend that Vialle would notch off career Supercross win No. 1, this was it. If you remove a few of the more Supercross-y sections off that track, there wasn't too much that separated Daytona from some of the more tame and flat tracks on the MXGP circuit with how rough things got. It wasn't that he wasn't fast; Vialle had the best average lap by a sizable margin, but he easily looked the most comfortable of that lead group before he took over the point. And don't look now, but the Frenchman is only three points out of a red plate, something he isn't exactly unfamiliar with.

2nd - No. 63 Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki)

Had McAdoo not gotten caddywhompus in that rhythm lane, I don't know if Vialle would've gotten by him. Caught him, more than likely, but Wackers would've made things tough on him. But that's all hypotheticals. McAdoo was over two full seconds slower than Vialle on Laps 6, 8, and 9, in which Vialle was in the 1:32 bracket. Also, stinging is that the one mistake is the only reason he isn't the points leader, but one point out isn't too bad.

4th - No. 38 Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

The end result doesn't reflect this take, but I thought Deegan looked as uncomfortable on the bike as he's ever had since he turned pro. It's hard to say how much the qualifying get-off played into that, but this was not his strongest outing by any means. He looked all over the place on the bike and could never find a rhythm early enough. A fourth here is fantastic, given the circumstances, though, and he's still right in the points mix. Things could've been a lot worse.

7th - No. 33 Jalek Swoll (Triumph Factory Racing)

Swoll's injury in Dallas went under the radar because of what happened with Austin Forkner. Still, I was very impressed with this run, specifically the win in that dogfight against Max Anstie at the end of this one. His biggest issue has always been just keeping it upright, and even with a mistake tonight, this was an impressive run with zero practice time this week and almost certainly operating at less than 100 percent.

8th - No. 37 Max Anstie (FirePower Honda)

We saw the duality of the rear tire switch in these two Main Events, with Anstie drawing the short end of the stick and a bad start. Fortunately, Anstie did a great job making passes through the dead middle of the field to retain the points lead going into Birmingham. Still, this may be a night where some of those lost points come back to bite Anstie.

250 East Class Daytona Top 10

1st No. 16 Tom Vialle

2nd No. 63 Cameron McAdoo

3rd. No. 43 Seth Hammaker

4th No. 38 Haiden Deegan

5th No. 39 Pierce Brown

6th No. 69 Coty Schock

7th No. 33 Jalek Swoll

8th No. 37 Max Anstie

9th No. 75 Marshal Weltin

10th No. 59 Daxton Bennick

250 East Class Points After Daytona

1st No. 37 Max Anstie (52 Points)

2nd No. 63 Cameron McAdoo (51 Points)

3rd No. 39 Pierce Brown (51 Points)

4th No. 16 Tom Vialle (49 Points)

5th No. 38 Haiden Deegan (49 Points)

6th No. 69 Coty Schock (48 Points)

7th No. 59 Daxton Bennick (44 Points)

8th No. 43 Seth Hammaker (39 Points)

9th No. 65 Henry Miller (37 Points)

10th No. 75 Marshal Weltin (35 Points)

450 Class Recap

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

Since 2015, four riders can say they've won a Daytona Supercross Main Event in the 450 class. Those being Eli Tomac, Ryan Dungey, Justin Brayton, and now Jett Lawrence. I think you have to give him a ton of credit for simply making that 2-for-1 pass happen on Sexton and Tomac and the fact he was just able to raise anchor and go for the jugular the second he got clean air. Textbook definition of a business trip win. Outside of the tire swap and how that almost entirely ruined his night, at least the HRC boys can laugh about that now.

Now, let's talk numbers. Lawrence sits 10 points up on Cooper Webb, 13 on Chase Sexton, and 16 on Eli Tomac, with the official midway point of the season being next weekend in Birmingham, Alabama. The rider who has left Daytona (typically round nine or in most years but eight the previous two) as the points lead has won the 450 Supercross Championship 18 of the last 21 seasons. Tomac not winning last year is an obvious outlier, but those are some good odds for the Jett. Still, a lot can happen in nine rounds, and based on how things have gone for Jett, I don't think this is over quite yet.

2nd - No. 3 Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

After Dallas ended, I thought Tomac would surely deliver the mail at Daytona, but he couldn't get anything going in that one rythmn lane. Lawrence and Sexton were visibly torching him in that section all night, and he never adjusted to switch up his line. Add that to the clutch/shock issues, this was a dissaponting outing no matter how you look at it. A win here would've been gigantic for a lot of reasons.

3rd - No. 1 Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM)

Even with Sexton's great start, I didn't think a win would be in the cards last night, but a third that probably could've been a second isn't the worst outcome here, given how the hand injury hampered him at Glendale and Dallas. It feels like a when-and-not-if deal for Sexton getting his next win, too, and given that he's 13 points out, the sooner he notches that off, the better.

4th - No. 2 Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

Even more than Tomac, Webb had a golden opportunity to turn this Championship upside down with a good run tonight and cranking up the pressure on Jett, but he didn't have a good start and never got the chance to fire off some fast early laps. The good news is that a 10-point gap at this stage of the season is far from a death knell. We saw last year before he went down at Nashville he's capable of a late-season surge, but man, what a storyline a win here would've been.

450 Class Daytona Top 10

1st No. 18 Jett Lawrence

2nd No. 3 Eli Tomac

3rd No. 1 Chase Sexton

4th No. 2 Cooper Webb

5th No. 94 Ken Roczen

6th No. 32 Justin Cooper

7th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart

8th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis

9th No. 21 Jason Anderson

10th No. 67 Benny Bloss

450 Class Point Standings after Daytona

1st No. 18 Jett Lawrence (160 Points)

2nd No. 2 Cooper Webb (150 Points)

3rd No. 1 Chase Sexton (147 Points)

4th No. 3 Eli Tomac (144 Points)

5th No. 94 Ken Roczen (133 Points)

6th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (132 Points)

6th No. 21 Jason Anderson (131 Points)

8th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (107 Points)

9th No. 32 Justin Cooper (91 Points)

10th No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (87 Points)

No Lit Kit this week. Wasn't really feelng what was out there.

Next Up: Protective Stadium (Birmingham, Alabama) (7:00 EST gate drop exclusively live on Peacock)

Main Image via Honda HRC


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