MENTOR, Ohio—GEICO Honda rider Chase Sexton rode not only to the main event victory, but to his second-consecutive Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Sunday afternoon in Salt Lake City, Utah, during the finale of the peculiar 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season.
Sexton was first across the line in Sunday’s AMA Supercross 250 East/West Showdown at Rice-Eccles Stadium, tallying up to his fifth race win and seventh podium of his 2020 season performance. With just a three-point lead heading into round seventeen, and the seventh consecutive round in SLC, Sexton strong-armed the pressure and executed a confident performance ending with the awarding of the 250SX Eastern Regional Championship.
“Yeah, I’m satisfied,” said Sexton. “Everyone said I got lucky last year and that really fired me up for this season. Man, this feels good. I won five main events. I’m just a kid from Illinois, from a town of 800 people. It feels so good. This is my last 250 race, now I’m moving to the 450 with HRC Honda, and man I cannot be more excited. I won the race. [...] I can’t thank my team enough. They’ve been behind me since I turned pro, and this just feels so good. I’m so happy, I can’t even explain where I’m at right now!”
This is not the first time Sexton has ridden his Wiseco-powered GEICO Honda CRF250R to the top step of the Eastern 250SX Class standings, however. In 2019, the #23 became number 1E with his first professional AMA Supercross career title at the age of 19-years-old. After what is now his second-consecutive championship, Sexton will move up to another Wiseco-backed machine and swing his leg over a Team Honda HRC CRF450R for the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro AMA Motocross Championship Championship.
Another notable performance for the GEICO Honda team came from Jo Shimoda, who earned Rookie of the Year honors with his third place 250SX Eastern Championship performance.
On the Western Regional side of the 250SX Class, X2-backed Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha rider Dylan Ferrandis lined up for the 250 East/West Showdown seven points ahead of Austin Forkner with his second-consecutive 250SX West Championship at stake.
Ferrandis faced some nerve-racking adversity early in the day after rider contact off the start of his heat race put him just outside of a main event transfer position, sending him to his first ever Last Chance Qualifier, where he came away with the win.
The East/West Showdown Main Event served up its own helping of dramatic events with a hard crash for Forkner two-minutes in, issuing a red flag and a restart. After the restart, Ferrandis rode a consistent race aboard his X2-equipped YZ250F to fourth place, and his second-straight Western 250SX Championship title.
“Right now, it's crazy,” Ferrandis explained with emotion, “The most difficult day of my life, so much emotion today after being in the LCQ. And in the Main, we needed to battle on the outside [of the starting gate]. I got a good start and wanted to push. And when I saw Austin [crashed], it broke my heart for him. Also, it [could] break my legs to ride good, and after that I couldn't push. We had a red flag and had to restart. I got another good start and it was so amazing. But I never expected to do back-to-back championships in my life. It's unbelievable.”
For the 2020 season, Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha and Dylan Ferrandis have relied on titanium valves from X2, a performance valvetrain line offered from Wiseco. The X2 and Wiseco teams are proud to have played a pivotal role in the fight for the 250SX West title.
“We couldn’t be more proud and grateful for our partnerships with Champion-level teams like GEICO Honda and Star Racing Yamaha,” Wiseco’s Director of Powersports Scott Highland commented on this Supercross season’s success. “The entire team here at Wiseco works hard day-in and day-out to achieve an elite level of performance and durability, and to have played a vital role in two Championships is a major accomplishment for us all. Congratulations to Chase Sexton and Dylan Ferrandis and their entire teams behind them. We value the growth our partnerships bring immensely and we’re looking forward to a great outdoor season!”
The 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season also marked substantial accomplishments for Wiseco-backed Team Honda HRC rider Ken Roczen in the premier 450SX Class. Roczen earned his first main event win earlier in the year in St. Louis after nearly three years of determination and hard work bouncing back from major injury.
Roczen went on to ride his way to an additional three wins accompanied with consistent podium performances throughout the season for a third-place position in the final 450SX Class Championship.
“I really wanted to get second place in the championship and was in a very good position to do so, but unfortunately I jumped to the inside before the triple and lost both ends,” commented Roczen. “That cost me a bunch of positions and I ended up only seventh in the main, which obviously wasn’t enough. But we got a heat-race win and are leaving here healthy. The track obviously wasn’t in the best shape; I felt like we were riding parade laps out there because it was dry and sketchy. Still, overall, it’s not bad; I got four wins this year and third in the championship, which is four more than I’ve had in the past couple of years, and I’m in one piece. That’s big for us, so I’m leaving here with my head high.”
Riders get a slightly longer break than normal before the start of the revised Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship schedule. The season will kick-off with the Circle K Ironman National at Crawfordville, Indiana’s Ironman Raceway on July 18.