9 for 96
Hunter Lawrence claimed his ninth 250SX career win over the weekend at the Indianapolis Supercross. The #96’s ninth win came in his 26th career main event start. Remember, his brother Jett has ten career 250SX wins (in 27 career main event starts). If Hunter wins in Detroit this weekend, he will tie his brother for career 250SX wins, and will also have the exact same number of career starts.
Ken Roczen claimed his maiden main event win of the 2023 season, which was the 21st of his 450SX career. The win ties him with Cooper Webb for 10th on the all-time wins list (Webb broke that tie just two weeks ago in Arlington, now Roczen is back even). Roczen’s win was his first 450SX main event since the ’22 season opener Anaheim 1 SX, which was 427 days prior on January 8, 2022.
RM-Army Streak Ends
Roczen’s win aboard the Suzuki RM-Z450 was the first Suzuki win since the 2016 East Rutherford SX (which was actually won by Roczen, too) on 2,506 days prior to Roczen’s win on Saturday night in Indiana.
Stats on Ken Roczen's #Supercross win tonight:— Mitch Kendra (@mitch_kendra) March 12, 2023
-427 days since his last 450SX win (January 8, 2022)
-2,506 days since last Suzuki 450SX win (April 30, 2016)
-21st career 450SX win (tied for 10th all-time on premier class SX wins list) #SXHistory #SX2023 #2023IndianapolisSX
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3 Under 1
This was the third time this season a 450SX main event race or Triple Crown race finished with a gap of under one second between first and second. Roczen held off Justin Barcia by just 0.739 seconds at the line.
For the second-consecutive main event, Barcia put in the fastest lap time. In Daytona, Barcia’s 1:14.073 just edged Eli Tomac’s 1:14.089, and at Indianapolis Barcia’s 45.532 was fastest over Chase Sexton’s 45.794. The #51 said in the post-race press conference his speed recently might be due to a “little fork change.” Is another podium—or even a win—right around the corner for Barcia?
9-for-9: HRC and Star Continue
As previously covered, the first eight 250SX main event wins of the 2023 season have been won by either the Honda HRC or Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing. And with Hunter Lawrence winning again, it takes the total to nine-for-nine now.
AMA’s Post-Race Penalty Report
The AMA has released the post-race penalty report for the Indianapolis #Supercross. The only two penalties noted came during the afternoon qualifying sessions. #SX2023 #2023IndianapolisSX #SupercrossLIVE #DropTheGate pic.twitter.com/ErkJR188m4— Mitch Kendra (@mitch_kendra) March 14, 2023
Post-Race Reaction Video
Kellen Brauer’s Race Examination
Quotes From Around the Paddock
Ken Roczen | 1st
"Indy for us was absolutely next level. We knew all day the track was going to be pretty much an 'enduro' track by the end of the main. We couldn't have executed the main any better. Another rider flinched at me at the start. Once the gate dropped, though, I executed it perfectly and was leading all the way to the finish line. The track got beat down more and more, and it was just tough overall. I feel like it got close when passing a bunch of the lappers; it was just something to take into consideration with me being the leader and being the first one to reach them. I felt the pressure from another rider at the end. We had about four laps to go and I didn’t care what was going to happen, if I was going to pass out or whatever, I was going for it. We ended up pulling off the win. That was an experience that I'll never forget, probably on the top of my all-time greatest accomplishments. We're going to definitely celebrate tonight and enjoy it tomorrow, but the work doesn't stop. But what a historical night it was for me, the team, and Suzuki overall. It's really hard to describe in words how good it was."
Said Twisted Tea/HEP Motorsports Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance team manager Larry Brooks:
"Indianapolis was a huge milestone. It was the team's first win. Ken Roczen won the main event; he got the holeshot and led every lap. We had Shane McElrath in thirteenth and Kyle Chisholm in fourteenth, so we had all three riders in the main event, which is an accomplishment in itself. In the 250 class, we had Weltin finish fourteenth in the main event. The 450-class win was a milestone for the team and I'm so happy for the whole team. The team owners, the suspension tech, the motor builders, to everyone that works their butt off. We've definitely put some time in over these last few months, and it paid off tonight."
Justin Barcia | 2nd
“Great practice, P4, which was awesome. In the heat race I charged hard and got the win which was even more awesome. In the main event I didn't get a great start, but I charged through the pack and came up to second. It was just some great riding, and the crew did a great job today...the bike was on point. A podium was awesome, and we are looking forward to Detroit.”
Cooper Webb | 3rd
“To come away from Indy with the red plate is a great accomplishment. It’s still tight, but it was a great night for the points battle. Looking at my actual race, I’m a bit disappointed, as even though I was in the mix, we didn’t execute to race for the win. It’s a long season and tonight was about finding that balance between risk and reward because the track was so brutal. I lost a bit of pace at the end, but we’ll take this result and move on to the next round with the red plate.”
Aaron Plessinger | 4th
“I love coming to Indianapolis and it was a fun day, all-in-all. I felt good in my Heat and was able to make the pass for second in the whoops, which had me feeling confident going into the Main Event. I got off to a mediocre start in the Main, but I tried to ride smart and pushed my way to fourth, where I stayed for the rest of the race. After last weekend’s disappointing ninth result, I wanted to get back up there this weekend and get that momentum back, and I felt like I did that tonight. On to the next one!”
Jason Anderson | 5th
“Overall, I think we had another decent weekend as a team. The track here in Indianapolis was extremely rutted and one of the most challenging tracks this season. After a good qualifying result and heat race, I had my goal set on securing another podium, but I couldn’t find my rhythm until later in the main event. Still, a fifth-place finish is a solid result and, on a night where all the top guys were a little off, it gives us valuable championship points as we continue to try to break into the top-three in the points standings.”
Adam Cianciarulo | 6th
“It feels good to be back racing under the lights. Electing to sit out the last couple of rounds was a difficult decision. I'm so grateful to have a team that fully supports me and ensures my health is 100% before returning. As for my performance, I can honestly say I am proud of how I rode, especially on a rough track like tonight. I proved to everyone, including myself, that I still have what it takes to mix it up with the lead group for the entire duration of a main event race. Now we can focus on improving during the week and keeping the momentum rolling in Detroit."
Christian Craig | 7th
“Indy started out pretty good. The track was gnarly all day...super-rutted. I felt like I rode pretty good throughout the whole day and made some little changes here and there. I was able to ride consistently and make the least mistakes possible. I got a bad start in the main and just picked my way through. I got up to eighth and made a pass toward the end and almost got sixth. I felt like I made improvements on my bike and myself and things are clicking. So, we'll keep pushing forward for next week.”
Eli Tomac | 8th
“It was a tough one today. The track was pretty gnarly, and we just struggled to find our comfort zone all day. We did our best to salvage some points. We’ll put this one behind us and come back next weekend in Detroit.”
Said Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 450 team manager Jeremy Coker:
“Today was just an off day for us from the start. The track was extremely challenging, and Eli was not comfortable throughout the whole day. We worked hard to help and fell short. We will regroup and rebound just like we have all year.”
Chase Sexton | 10th
“The day started off great for me. We had figured some things out in testing earlier in the week, and I felt like I was riding well, even with the gnarly ruts. I topped qualifying and won my heat race, and I was feeling good in the main event. Unfortunately, I hit a rut that sent me to the ground, and the bike was bent up to where it was tough trying to make up time after that. It's a bummer, but I know I have the speed and I'm still in the championship hunt. There’s no quit in me, and I’m going to keep swinging. I look forward to Detroit.”
Shane McElrath | 13th
"It was a great night for the team all around. Everyone rode the best that we have all season and at one of the toughest races. I ended up thirteenth tonight and it was a tough fight. I was a lot closer to the guys in front of me. I'm excited about where we're at; we're starting to make fewer and fewer changes because we're getting to be in such a good spot with the bike. I'm excited for Detroit next weekend."
Kyle Chisholm | 14th
"The track was gnarly. It's always soft here in Indy, some years more than others, and this was one of the really soft conditions. I felt good for ten, maybe 15 minutes of the main. Then I sort of lost my rhythm, and I think that's a little bit of a result of not having enough time on the bike the last couple of weeks. Top 15 was good but we'll try to get a little closer to that top ten and be up in the battle more."
Hunter Lawrence | 1st
“The track was pretty wild. It’s my first race here at Indy, so it was a big eye-opener. I just kind of let it all come to me this morning in the first couple sessions, trying to figure out when and how the track was going to break down. The way things went is unreal! We work so hard for these races, so it’s great when it pays off.”
Said Honda HRC team manager Lars Lindstrom:
“It was another bittersweet day for us. We’ve had a lot of these, and it never gets any easier trying to celebrate a win and then having another one slip away–especially when our competitors were having off nights. On the positive side, we didn’t lose as many points as we could have, and luckily, Chase wasn’t hurt too badly, and he’ll be able to race next weekend. Most of the day went great, qualifying first in both classes and winning both of our heat races. It was also really cool having the IndyCar guys here; we have a great relationship with HPD and our IndyCar teams, and we can learn from them and share information.”
Nate Thrasher | 2nd
“It was a good race. I wish I could have got a little better start there and got up front and led some laps, but it was good all in all. We’re close. We’ll just keep fighting and be a little bit better. I think we can get some more wins and hopefully get back in this championship.”
Jordon Smith | 3rd
“It was a good day overall. I was really good in qualifying all day and won the heat race. In the main event, it just took me a little bit too long to kind of get the track down and get the right lines. It’s always good to be on the podium, but we want more. We want that win, so we’ll keep working for it, and it will come.”
Max Anstie | 5th
"P5 in Indianapolis and I just did not have anything for the top guys. It was my first time at Lucas Oil Stadium and, man, what an experience! The track was something special and the ruts were just insane. I learned a lot with the team and we can use that moving forward. We have had a good week thus far, we got straight back into training and we have tested a few new parts. I know what I need to do!"
Chris Blose | 6th
“Tonight was a fun race. Getting to lead my heat race was a great experience and shows how far the team and I have come in just a short amount of time. The main event started on the right foot, but with the ruts getting deeper by each lap, I had difficulty stringing together consistent laps early in the race. Thankfully I found a few different lines by the halfway mark that allowed me to bypass the lapped traffic and make up a few positions to finish with a season-best sixth place. I had to work hard for this one, but with a little more practice on the bike, I strongly believe we can battle with the top-five guys.”
Haiden Deegan | 7th
“Indy was one of the gnarliest tracks that I have raced. I was adapting well in the main but then made a mistake in the whoops. This race was a big learning experience, and I’m happy to be able to learn these tracks a year early to be more prepared for next year. I’m also happy to be out of here healthy and move on to Detroit.”
Said Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team manager Jensen Hendler:
“Indy ended up being good to us, Nate finished second in his Heat, with Jordan winning the first heat race and Haiden fighting back to third after a rough start.
“We went into the main with good gate picks and were third, fourth, and fifth on the first lap. Nate quickly moved into second and put in a charge for the lead, but he just didn’t have it tonight. We will continue to fight for the top step with him. Jordan got into third early and fought hard to make a push toward the front but ultimately finished third. Haiden was charging, but a small mistake cost him a few spots late in the race, and he ended up seventh. It’s not where he wanted to be but he’s learning and adapting to the program quickly.
“We’re super happy to have two guys on the podium, especially with these track conditions. The track was very gnarly tonight, so we’re happy to leave here in one piece and able to continue the fight in Detroit next weekend.”
Tom Vialle | 8th
“An eighth-place result isn’t my best result and I could’ve done better, but I had a bad start in the Main Event. I felt like I had a good rhythm and pace over the first few laps as I passed a few guys up to seventh, but then I had a small crash where I lost a lot of time. I’ve never ridden supercross on dirt like that, and I’m learning a lot about racing different tracks and dirt this year. I need to improve and get more experience, but that will only come with more races. I feel like my speed is there, but I need to put it all together – I feel like it’s only a matter of time before I get a podium result.”
Talon Hawkins | 15th
"It was pretty good. There's a lot to take away from these. I'm learning so much at these supercross races. I know I say that every time, but there's good to take from every single race that I've done so far. It's just a matter of putting it all together. I'm looking forward to hopefully doing that in Detroit. I've got some work to do, and we're going to get back on that training program right on Monday. Keep grinding away, and try to make something happen this next weekend.”