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2024 Monster Energy Supercross Recap - Birmingham

For the first time since the middle leg of the Reagan Administration, an AMA Supercross round was set in the state of Alabama. I guess no one told Mother Nature, though, as the southeast was pelted with rain on Friday, forcing Dirt Wurx to tone down a majority of this track. Despite not having the biggest floor size, it still produced lap times north of 50 seconds, which feels good given the circumstances.

There was a lot to talk about from Daytona to this weekend. The fashion in which Jett Lawrence won Daytona was obviously huge, but his brother Hunter didn't make out so well. A shoulder injury kept him out of things this weekend and potentially for rounds afterward as well. But back to the 450 points leader, he hasn't shown that winning pace and ability in bad conditions on the big bike so far. A bad ninth out in San Fran, then a fourth the week after in San Diego, account for two of his three worst outings in 2024. Qualifying on top in the afternoon, could the Australian phenom take a complete stranglehold over this Championship, or would he allow Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb, and Eli Tomac to get a second wind as we begin the back nine?

Daytime Program/Injury Notes: 

- Factory Beta's Colt Nichols was making his season debut.

- The weather was much better on Saturday than on Friday, but I understand why Dirt Wurx wanted to play things safe with the track.

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 37 Max Anstie (54.172) (Only .002 faster than Seth Hammaker. Haiden Deegan ended up 10th fastest)

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 18 Jett Lawrence (52.777) (He and Sexton were the only two guys to hit the 56-second range in Q1 and the 52-second range in Q2)

Heat Racing Roundup

250 Class

How about that for a start to the night program? Haiden Deegan and Seth Hammaker's bikes got tangled up after Deegan cut the Pro Circuit rider off into turn one. The replay clearly showed that, but that didn't stop Deegan from shoving Hammaker's bike back over once he got it dislodged. Meanwhile, Deegan's teammate Nick Romano had a scary incident, hitting neutral right in front of Cam McAdoo, forcing both to go down, resulting in McAdoo losing his entire rear fender. Fortunately, he was fine finishing second here, behind a surprise winner, Coty Schock, who led this one wire to wire. Also, after this one wrapped, Deegan went to the Pro Circuit rig inside the stadium and started mouthing off. Really good PR night for him so far.

In Heat 2, last week's Main Event winner, Tom Vialle, rocketed out in front, and right behind him was Jalek Swoll, who didn't have that half-bad a Daytona outing himself. Things were pretty static behind Vialle as he pulled away. That was until Chance Hymas got a bit aggressive with Swoll, bumping him out of second and into fifth, and he subsequently lost second to Pierce Brown.

450 Class

Right as the 450s concluded their opening sighting lap of the evening, the skies opened up, and some light rain began because of course. In any case, Chase Sexton and Ty Masterpool paced things in the opening sections, but the HBI Kawasaki rider took a spill at the end of the opening rhythm lane and fell to dead last. You could see it happening in the corner of the TV screen in real time, but they cut it off as it was happening. Not a ton happened here behind Sexton, but this was the best he's looked in weeks. He mentioned that he's riding again during the week, which is massive.

450 Heat 2 was as stacked as any Heat we've seen all year, with Tomac, Lawrence, Roczen, Plessinger, and Webb all on the gate. The two Star riders and the current points leader paced things early, then Webb and Lawrence swapped spots before Webb tried to go for the jugular to get him back at the end of the second main rhythm lane. Although Lawrence came away unscathed and ran down Tomac right at the end, ET3 was still clear by about a few bike lengths and secured the top gate choice for the Main Event.

250 East Class Recap

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

The only thing you can take away from Vialle on this night is there was no whoops for him to contend with. Even if there were, I don't think anyone was beating him. The Frenchman was dialed in all day, and now that he has the points lead on the heels of two straight wins, this is his Championship to lose. This is his first time with a red plate in Supercross, but he's dealt with high-pressure situations beautifully in the past when he was still in MXGP. Expect the No. 16 to answer the bell more often than not the rest of the way.

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

From 15th in Detroit to just one point off the lead after Birmingham, McAdoo's raw consistency after round one has been paying off big so far, and wins aren't that far behind him. It'll be tricky in this field with Vialle, Deegan, Hammaker, Anstie, etc., but Wackers is as good as any of them. It'll be a matter of limiting the mistakes like the one that cost him at Daytona.

3rd - No. 43 Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki)

After how tonight began, this was as good as the Ham Man could've hoped for. Overcoming the 19th gate pick to podium, on this track specifically, is as good an example of how good Hammaker can be against these guys. Although he's out of title contention now, don't be surprised if he lights the candles before the year ends.

9th - No. 38 Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

You want to talk about a PR disaster class of a night? Because that's precisely what happens to Deegan. It's hard to say, even after the fact, if he gained that much of an advantage skipping the long double on lap one, but parlaying that into taking a guy out for the seventh place and screaming in the face of an AMA official is as unprofessional a night as it gets. Now he's 12 points back of Tom Vialle, and not one, but two riders, Hammaker and Coty Schock, have IOUs for him down the line. Also, that wreck caused a clean break of Schock's collarbone, and he's done for the season now.

21st - No. 37 Max Anstie (FirePower Honda)


250 East Class Birmingham Top 10

1st No. 16 Tom Vialle

2nd No. 63 Cameron McAdoo

3rd No. 43 Seth Hammaker

4th No. 39 Pierce Brown

5th No. 6 Jeremy Martin

6th No. 33 Jalek Swoll

7th No. 59 Daxton Bennick

8th No. 69 Coty Schock

9th No. 38 Haiden Deegan (Two Position Penalty)

10th No. 48 Chance Hymas

250 East Class Points After Birmingham

1st No. 16 Tom Vialle (74 Points)

2nd No. 63 Cameron McAdoo (73 Points)

3rd No. 39 Pierce Brown (69 Points)

4th No. 38 Haiden Deegan (62 Points)

5th No. 69 Coty Schock (62 Points)

6th No. 43 Seth Hammaker (59 Points)

7th No. 59 Daxton Bennick (59 Points)

8th No. 37 Max Anstie (53 Points)

9th No. 65 Henry Miller (48 Points)

10th No. 33 Jalek Swoll (47 Points)

450 Class Recap

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

Not as impressive as his Daytona win, given how little passing took place across both mains, but getting good starts travels, and it certainly did for the Jett. We aren't in a spot where this Championship is over just yet, given how things have gone this year, but we're not that far off at this rate. Someone will have to answer Lawrence going back-to-back next weekend in Indy, or else things will get even more bleak for everyone else.

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

I'm going to start with the obvious here: I'm thrilled both Webb and the Monster Energy Girl on card duty got out of that early race mishap as well as they did. I can't recall ever seeing something like that, and hopefully, that's just a one-off deal. As far as Webb's night went, he was 100% better in the back half of that race than Lawrence, but there was a section or two where he was giving up a ton of time, which cost him a shot at the win.

Even if Webb did catch him, there was no guarantee he would've gotten by, but we saw some very impressive passes further on back from guys like Roczen, Justin Cooper, and Jason Anderson. Overall, I feel good about Webb's long-term outlook. 13 points isn't an insurmountable gap to overcome with eight races left.

4th - No. 1 Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM)

I figured this would be Sexton's night to lose after how he ran in the Heats, but he couldn't get by Justin Cooper quick enough and never got a shot at either Webb or Lawrence. Now, 20 points back in this Championship, he needs to ramp up the intensity quickly to avoid going a full round's worth of points out of things. Luckily, he's back riding during the week, and this was a hard track to make things happen, so I think you will see that coming up in these next few weeks.

5th - No. 32 Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

More than anyone else on Saturday, no one impressed me more than JCoop. He gave Chase Sexton and Ken Roczen everything they could handle on the most challenging track of the year to make things happen. Even if both guys beat him, Cooper has nothing to feel bad about; he showed a ton in Birmingham.

7th - No. 3 Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

Large in part due to a start outside the top 10, it's fair to say Tomac is out of the Championship picture now, barring a miracle. He was another guy I expected a good Main out of after the Heats, but it never happened. He made some objectively good passes up inside the top 10, but losing those couple of spots he did at the very end was tough, especially at this point of the year. It's hard for things to be much worse for the former Champion right now from a momentum standpoint.

450 Class Birmingham Top 10

1st No. 18 Jett Lawrence

2nd No. 2 Cooper Webb

3rd No. 94 Ken Roczen

4th No. 1 Chase Sexton

5th No. 32 Justin Cooper

6th No. 21 Jason Anderson

7th No. 3 Eli Tomac

8th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger

9th No. 51 Justin Barcia

10th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart

450 Class Point Standings after Birmingham

1st No. 18 Jett Lawrence (185 Points)

2nd No. 2 Cooper Webb (172 Points)

3rd No. 1 Chase Sexton (165 Points)

4th No. 3 Eli Tomac (159 Points)

5th No. 94 Ken Roczen (153 Points)

6th No. 21 Jason Anderson (147 Points)

7th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (146 Points)

8th No. 32 Justin Cooper (108 Points)

9th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (107 Points)

10th No. 51 Justin Barcia (95 Points)

Next Up: Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, Indiana) (7:00 EST gate drop exclusively live on Peacock)

Main Image via Honda HRC


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