Even though it seems like decades since the last gate dropped at Daytona, it’s only been a single month. And as early as a few weeks ago riders were still going through the motions in their regular routines during the week. Laps were being turned with regularity, air filters were being cycled in and out, and testing for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship was starting to become a reality for some riders.
One of those riders was Chase Sexton, who is slated to move up to a 450 for the first time in his career this summer. The team announced the signing of Justin Brayton on a supercross-only deal for the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and Sexton would make the move up to the 450 Class of the 2020 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. When it was announced Sexton would be making the jump so early in his career plenty of people were left wondering, something Sexton himself was well aware of. Well, in the latest episode of Red Bull Moto Spy, we were able to catch a glimpse of just how things were going early on.
“I think people are kind of second guessing me going to the 450 because I’m young, but I think I’ll be more competitive than people think,” Sexton says while getting ready to ride. “I guess we’ll see. I’ll let the riding do the talking.”
The statement reveals an excited determination in Sexton, something that seems to have spread to the people around him.
“I’m excited for today, for him to get his feet wet,” says Jade Dungey, Sexton’s mechanic, as Sexton is about to undergo his first day of testing on the 450. “To get a bike that’s kind of set up for his style. I think we’re in for a treat.”
Watching Sexton ride in the episode is a treat indeed, and with Ken Roczen also buzzing around (and potentially Adam Cianciarulo, as pointed out by Dungey), it makes you realize just how good Sexton’s situation is. Not only will he be teammates with a two-time 450 National Champion, but the two are good friends as well, which means Sexton will have an unbelievable resource in Roczen. In this episode, the affable nature of the pair’s interactions is captured while Sexton is talking about how good he thinks his 450 looks.
“I like the #23 on this bike, it looks good,” Sexton says.
“It’s new,” Roczen retorts. “You could literally put a turd on your number plate right now and you’d be like, ‘That looks good!’”
“You know what would look better?” Sexton asks.
Getting to hear Roczen, who’s suffered from fatigue off and on in the past, talk candidly about how his prep and training during the week have evolved, is equally as entertaining.
“I’ve given up on the whole, ‘I gotta do two or three 20s throughout the week,” Roczen says. “I feel like every time I do that I almost feel shitty on the weekend.”
“It changes week to week,” chimes in Justin Brayton. “Your body is different, your sleep is different, your flight is different.”
Another shiny nugget comes when the Moto Spy crew is following around Cooper Webb on the heels of his massive crash on the concrete in Arlington. We all know how tough and fiery Webb is, and there’s plenty of commentary taken from moto podcasts in the episode asserting as much after Webb overcame the pain of the crash in Arlington to hold off Eli Tomac and finish third the following week in Atlanta. It was an incredible show of heart, but having someone like Aldon Baker, Webb’s trainer, in your corner cannot be ignored. Baker has a treasure trove of knowledge and experience, all of which was put to use to help Webb come back strong.
“Any type of recovery is sped up when you give the body more oxygen,” Baker says as a futuristic looking chamber is being prepared for Webb to climb into. “It really hinges on how much oxygen is moving around the body, from blood flow to all areas. It’s a huge benefit to be able to do this within your own home.”
There’s more behind-the-scenes stuff in the latest episode too, like Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM team manager Tyler Keefe cautioning Pierce Brown to not let one negative outweigh the day’s positives after Brown crashed during the main event in Atlanta, and Sexton talking about how good RJ Hampshire is at saves and avoiding crashes. To check out the full episode, check out the latest version of Red Bull Moto Spy below: