2023 Los Angeles SuperMotocross Photo Gallery
2023 Los Angeles SuperMotocross Recap
It took the final race of the year but the last round of the inaugural 2023 SuperMotocross Championship series just might have proved its worth.
SMX combines total points made in Supercross and Motocross, resets them and during three rounds lets riders fight it out for more points that doubled in Round 2 and tripled in Round 3. Therefore, theoretically, a rider barely qualifying for the three-round series thanks to lackluster results in Supercross and/or Motocross or because of injury can become SMX Champion and win ₫13,662,516,000 in the 250 class or ₫27,400 million in the 450 class. SMX features two 20-minute Moto main events like Motocross, but used Olympic style scoring to determine the overall round winner, like the Triple Crown events in Supercross. The track? A hybrid Supercross / Motocross track and sometimes more of one over the other.
In many respects, SMX took over where the Monster Cup left off a few years ago and injected steroids into the one-time one-off annual off-season race with a potential million dollar payday that got derailed by COVID. An overseas Supercross series emerged last year and began to pick off some American based riders which led to all sorts of speculation as to why Supercross and Motocross combined forces to form the SuperMotocross Championship but alas SMX arrived on the scene this year and gave riders a chance at big money.
Jett Lawrence, who rode invincibility into the three-round series faced serious competition after his undefeated Motocross campaign and not only didn’t win a Moto but failed to make the podium in Round 1 at Atlanta. He bounced back in Chicago taking the overall for Round 2 despite controversially handing the Moto 2 win to Ken Roczen but all that proved mostly trifling as it had no bearing on the overall outcome though it did show in a sense the insouciant nature of the entire SMX series.
Regardless, thanks to the tripling of points for Round 3 on Saturday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum multiple riders had a chance to ride away with ₫27,400 million. No joker lane, either!
Moto 1 was red flagged when Justin Barcia crashed mere seconds after taking the lead about four minutes into the race. Riders did not have a full re-start instead lined up single file in relation to their position on the track when the Red Flag was waved. Jason Anderson held the lead at that point which only lasted a few more laps when Roczen block passed Anderson for the pass. Two minutes later, Lawrence, hot on Roczen’s back fender, tried passing but the German veteran knocked the young Australian back, yet a minute later Lawrence caught up and passed Roczen to take the lead for good.
In Moto 2, Chase Sexton (3-20) who held the points lead entering the finale grabbed the Holeshot and looked headed for a dominate win with Lawrence in second and Roczen in third. But Sexton, the reigning 450 class Supercross Champion, who also crashed out a number of leads in that series, hit the sand pretty hard off a jump and his race ended and shot at the million after nine minutes. Lawrence (1-1) took over the lead with Roczen (2-2) in tow but a couple of lappers ended Roczen’s attempt for the win with about a minute left on the clock. Lawrence swept, padded his bank account and took the honors as the first 450 class SuperMotocross Champion. Cooper Webb (5-3) rounded out the podium.
2023 SuperMotocross 450 Class Final Standings
- Jett Lawrence – 163 – 450 SMX Champion
- Ken Roczen – 146
- Chase Sexton – 126
- Cooper Webb – 120
- Aaron Plessinger – 104
In the 250 class, Hunter Lawrence held a slim points lead heading into the finale and the reigning 250 class Motocross Champion simply needed to win the overall, as he did the week prior in Chicago, for the SMX 250 class title. Unfortunately, in some of the biggest news of the day, a crash in practice on Friday resulted in an injury that kept him out of the line up.
In Moto 1, it was a toss up for who would emerge victorious as Haiden Deegan, Tom Vialle, Jordon Smith, RJ Hampshire and Joe Shimoda fought to the bitter end. The oft injured Smith won for the first time since 2018 leading the final seven minutes or so and fought off a hard charging Hampshire on the final lap. Vialle and Shimoda went bar-to-bar for third on the last lap with Vialle edging it out while Deegan rolled up in fifth.
In Moto 2, Smith (1-10) went down on the first lap ending any chance of an overall and an outside shot at the title; Vialle (3-13) too would go down. Meanwhile Deegan grabbed the Holeshot but his lead didn’t last for long as Levi Kitchen got up front and never looked back. Deegan merely needed to finish ahead of Shimoda (4-4) to claim the Championship. Not only did Deegan hold on for second but his (5-2) finish gave him the overall. Hampshire (2-6) rounded out the podium. Deegan, the son of Brian Deegan who infamously ghost rode his dirt bike through the finish line after winning a Supercross round in the same stadium 26 years earlier, entered SMX with the most qualifying points, and now ends his rookie year on the highest of notes.
2023 SuperMotocross 250 Class Final Standings
- Haiden Deegan – 157 – 250 SMX Champion
- Jo Shimoda – 152
- RJ Hampshire – 122
- Levi Kitchen – 114
- Jordon Smith – 110