Team Honda HRC Sweeps Overall Wins at Ironman MX

For the fourth time this season, Team Honda HRC topped both classes in an AMA Pro Motocross round, with Chase Sexton and Jett Lawrence taking the honors in the 450 and 250 divisions at Indiana’s Ironman National.

The overall-win sweep keeps both riders in strong contention for a National Championship heading into the final round, where Jett only needs to score nine points; Sexton is only one point down to Eli Tomac, although he’ll need to better his title rival by two points to take the championship, as the tiebreaker is based on total number of moto wins through the season.

Roczen grabbed the 450 moto 1 lead shortly after the first turn, while Sexton began working forward after starting outside the top 10. Roczen fought off Tomac for several laps, while Sexton worked his way into third, and after the Illinois native moved by his teammate on lap 7 of 17, he was 2.5 seconds down on Tomac. Sexton eventually closed to Tomac’s rear tire and pushed him for the latter part of the race, and although he was able to briefly take the lead, he ultimately had to relinquish it and settle for second. Following a late fall, Roczen finished seventh. Sexton and Roczen battled for the lead off the start of moto 2, with Sexton securing the position on lap 2. The German held off Tomac in second for five laps, and Sexton rode to an 11-second win, with Roczen eventually settling for sixth.

The 250-class racing began with Jett running sixth in the early going, but when things settled down he began a relentless charge that carried him to the lead by the halfway mark. From there, he rode comfortably to a winning advantage of nearly seven seconds. Hunter suffered a poor start and charged to a third-place finish, but he was penalized two points for jumping during a wheels-on-ground signal. A poor start had Jett outside the top 10 in the early going of moto 2, while Hunter was in the top three. By lap 11, the brothers were second and third, and that’s how they stayed to the finish.

Chase Sexton
Eli [Tomac] and I just can’t seem to get away from each other! I think the guy who loses the first moto has that much more motivation going into the second one, and that was me today. In the first moto, I wasn’t really surprised he caught me; lappers played a big role, and I lost some time. He was going fast, and he sucked me up; I guess he found some of my lines and connected them with his. When he got around me, he dropped me, which I wasn’t really expecting. I was able to keep the pressure on for moto 2, knowing that if he had won that, he could go 2-2 at Pala and still win the championship; that was something I had in my mind, and I went out there and got a good start. I knew if I didn’t have to come through the pack again, I’d have a little more energy; that was my game plan, and I executed it. Obviously, I would’ve liked to go 1-1, but to win the overall and still be down by only one point isn’t too shabby either. Now we’ve got two more motos we need to execute next weekend.

Ken Roczen
We were running good in the first moto, and even after Eli and Chase passed me, I was still sticking with them. Then I unfortunately hit my boot in a rut and stalled it at the same time and fell over. I only ended up seventh in the first one, but we came out swinging again; I got another good start and was running up front. It was a tough race and I had to drop back a little bit. It’s not really the weekend that we wanted, but we’re healthy and have another one to go. We’re going to California, so it will be nice to get a little change of scenery and try to finish out the season strong.

Jett Lawrence
It was a pretty good day—back to the normal consistency. I had a decent qualifying, and then in the first moto I was around sixth place on the start and made my way through to first; I had a really good flow and kind of rode my own race. In the second moto, I had a good jump, but then everyone went by and I was like 11th. I struggled with flow in the first few laps and actually went back a few positions. I finally caught a flow and was able to make my way through to third; by that time, Hunter and Jo [Shimoda] were already gone, so I was just happy with the overall win. It wasn’t too bad—good to be back on top of the overall box. Next week, we’re just going to treat it like a normal race—try to win and have fun.

Hunter Lawrence
I got docked in the first moto, but it is what it is. It was a tough second moto—it’s not easy when you’re not getting starts, because the top guys just get away so easily. We’re still carrying some good momentum, so we’ll have a good week of recovery and then come out swinging at Pala.

Lars Lindstrom - Team Manager
It was another great day for us, another 1-1. To be honest, I’m ready for the season to be over, because I’m ready to stop stressing! Jett needs just a few points for the 250 class, but Chase kept it just as interesting as it has been in the 450 class. We’re going to go into the last race down by one point—it’s basically who can win at Fox Raceway, a win-or-go-home kind of deal. We haven’t been in this position in a really long time, so we’re all just in the moment—stoked to be here, but at the same time, we’re extremely serious about trying to win both of these championships. It’s going to be a big one next week.

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