Minneapolis, MN – (Feb. 9, 2019) The opening round of Monster Energy Supercross’ 250SX Eastern Regional Championship threw plenty of adversity at the GEICOHonda squad, but Chase Sexton salvaged a top-five finish despite taking on crashes—all largely out of his control. Christian Craig tried to ride through a painful thumb injury but was left hurting badly by the end of the night, and in 20th place. Further, Australian rookie Hunter Lawrence was unable to compete, as off-season injuries have pushed back his supercross debut.

It was Sexton, then, who was left to carry the team’s hopes due to the injuries to Craig and Lawrence, and the Illinois native came through with great speed in qualifying, third fastest in the class. Unfortunately, he was collected in two crashes in his heat race, and then ran into the back of Alex Martin in the main event when Martin made a mistake. Sexton picked himself up again and pushed through for fifth.

“It was fun getting back to racing!” said Sexton. “My riding and speed were solid I just struggled with some mistakes in the night show. Main event I was feeling decent and was looking to make a pass for third but AMart [Martin] ended up missing a rhythm and I almost landed on him. I really had nowhere to go and I went down. I ended up fifth which is not what I wanted but we will improve this week and come out swinging at Dallas.”

Craig has been plagued by a thumb injury since December, and a week ago he didn’t even expect to compete in Minneapolis. On Wednesday, he tried riding again and decided he might be able to salvage some points. He looked good for a few laps, but when the pain set in, there wasn’t much he could do.

“I’m bummed on the night obviously but going into it we had no idea how my thumb would hold up,” said Craig. “I rode supercross one day and made the call to race one day before we had to leave. It’s healing and gets better weekly but wasn’t strong enough to last all day and night. I surprised myself in the heat race. Someone ran into me and I was about dead last. I was able to fight to seventh which I was happy with. The main was hard. I could fight for a few laps, but then it was getting so bad I couldn’t hang on at all. Most people probably wouldn’t have raced if they felt like I did but if I could have gotten a top 10 and had a chance at the championship it would have been worth it so I had to try. I’ll probably take next weekend off and hopefully come back for [round three in] Detroit. I’m doing all I can to get this thing feeling better but it just needs some more TLC right now.”

Lawrence suffered a shoulder injury during pre-season preparation, and then re-aggravated the situation a few weeks ago while trying to get ready for Minneapolis. A timetable for his return is not yet known. Round two of the 250SX East Region Championship takes place this weekend in Arlington, Texas.

GEICO Honda ResultsU.S. Bank StadiumMinneapolis, Minnesota

5. Chase Sexton

20. Christian Craig