Round three of the AMA Pro Motocross series took place this weekend at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton finished sixth overall via a 4-5 moto tally, while 11-12 finishes put his teammate Christian Craig 10th overall.
Sexton enjoyed great starts and battles in the top five, and he continued to gather experience and knowledge in his rookie 450 season. He ran as high as third in the second moto and produced the second-fastest lap time. Craig enjoyed a decent ride in the first moto, finishing 11th. The second moto saw him go down in the first turn, but he quickly rebounded and spent the remainder of the race fighting through the field, working his way into 12th by the checkered flag.
Sexton and Craig now sit seventh and ninth in the title chase–improvements of three and one, respectively, compared to when they arrived in Indiana.
This year’s Ironman National marked the third round of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship. The venue, which is 50 miles northwest of the motorsports mecca of Indianapolis, offers some of the largest combinations of jumps and hills in the entire series, making it a great racetrack for the racers and their fans.
Unlike the last two wet, muddy events at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, the Ironman National had partly cloudy skies and decent temperatures throughout the day.
As had been the case at the first two rounds, tickets were available for the Ironman National, though with spectator access limited to public areas and social distancing guidelines enforced. Said restrictions included closing the paddock to spectators and suspending autograph sessions and podium celebrations. All team members and riders were required to stand at least 6 feet apart from one another and wear face coverings at all times (when not riding). Hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer were available throughout the facility, as was an isolation station for persons feeling ill.
The riders’ meeting was recorded and posted on YouTube on Friday evening, and the top three overall finishers in each class participated in a virtual post-race press conference Saturday evening. Several other riders were scheduled to participate in an additional post-race conference on Monday afternoon.
Craig posted the third-fastest lap during morning qualifying, a 2’13.873” time in the final session. Sexton had the fifth-best time, at 2’10.963”.
For the second week in a row, GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin enjoyed the overall win in the 250 class, thanks to 2-1 moto results. Martin currently holds down the number-two spot in the points standings, four behind Dylan Ferrandis. Jeremy’s teammate Jett Lawrence also enjoyed a solid ride, earning fifth overall, with Jo Shimoda, Carson Mumford and Hunter Lawrence finishing eighth, 10th and 16th overall, respectively.
Team Honda HRC will head to Buchanan, Michigan, this week for a doubleheader at RedBud MX, with rounds scheduled on Friday, and Monday.
Chase Sexton 23
“Today was a much better day for me. I was a lot more consistent and had two solid motos–a fourth and fifth. Overall, I’m making progress and learning a lot every race. My goal was to jump on the podium and win races by the end of the series, so we’re on the right track. Hopefully at RedBud we get up on the podium and mix it up with the top guys.”
Christian Craig 62
“I went into the motos really confident and ready to show what I had, but unfortunately I had a bad start again. Bad starts have kind of been my thing all season, so I need to turn that around. I was ninth until the second-to-last corner. I tipped over and ended up 11th, which wasn’t terrible, but not great. I got off to a better start in the second moto, but fell in the first turn and then tipped over again. I ended up being dead last coming around the first lap. I put my head down and charged as hard as I could after that and actually rode a lot better. I made my way up to 12th. I ended up with 11-12 results and 10th overall. It wasn’t a terrible day, but I know I belong in the top 10 consistently, so I look forward to RedBud.”
“Our guys’ end result today, overall, didn’t reflect how well they rode. Starts weren’t as good as they could’ve been, and we had some tip-overs and mistakes. Things happen, but I think both guys rode better than the end result. That was the best I’ve seen Chase ride a 450 so far. They both learned a lot this weekend and we got something to build on for next week.”
Mechanic (Chase Sexton)
“It was a great day for Chase and the team. We made some great progress on our bike setup, and it showed in Chase’s riding. It was awesome to see Chase up front on both starts and put two solid motos together. He’s one of the rookies in the 450 class, but he rode like a veteran. In the second moto, he had the second-fastest lap time of the moto, had a tip-over on lap one and worked his way up from 16th to an impressive fifth place. We’re looking forward to the doubleheader at RedBud this week, and to continuing to build to a podium finish before the season is over.”
Mechanic (Christian Craig)
“Christian’s moto scores don’t completely reflect how his day went today. After a so-so moto one, he found himself as the only one on the ground in the first corner of moto two. He put his head down and was able to run a good pace, coming back to 12th. Our main focus this week will be starts–better starts next week is our goal.”