In his 10th attempt on a 450 bike, Eli Tomac won the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California as the early results suggest this year may well be just like 2022 for the Yamaha rider who may be in his final season.
It wasn’t an easy ride for Tomac, however; he had to survive a mid-race crash on the tunnel jump and outlast three other leaders along the way. In the post-race press conference afterward, Tomac continued to say he has no plans beyond the 2023 Supercross season since he does not have a contract beyond that.
As is his habit, Cooper Webb rode a patient and smart race, refusing to get caught up in the mayhem that characterized the race. In 2022, he struggled with a new KTM bike that would not handle the way he needed, but with his best result since last year’s race in Daytona in March, much of his confidence was restored.
Chase Sexton picked up where he left off in the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season and challenged Tomac for much of the 2023 Supercross Anaheim race. His results showed how important it was to battle the champion week in and week out.
Dylan Ferrandis missed several Supercross rounds last year to injury and was not quite able to regain his footing in the Motocross season. After having one of his best seasons in 2021, he hoped to reset his season and finished fourth in the standings.
During the offseason, Ken Roczen parted ways with Honda and signed with HEP Progressive Suzuki. It didn’t slow him, and the rejuvenated German-born rider rounded out the top five.
Last year’s 250 East champion, Jett Lawrence scored the first of what is destined to be multiple wins as he seeks to become a West champion in 2023.
After struggling in free practice, (he crashed on his opening lap as the track was rapidly changing from wet to dry), and he got a poor start in his heat. But the Main was a typical romp for Lawrence as he rode uncontested to the checkered flag.
The top three were evenly spaced as RJ Hampshire finished five seconds behind Lawrence on a track that became increasingly gnarly when the sun set. In post-race comments, Hampshire admitted that it was important to run his own race and not worry about what Lawrence is doing. The points and results will follow.
Cameron McAdoo and Hampshire survived an early race incident with McAdoo’s teammate Austin Forkner when the three riders ran out of room at the end of the gate straight. He finished another five seconds behind Hampshire in third.
Mitchell Oldenburg made a bid for the podium before slipping back to narrowly miss the box. He finished fourth.
Looking mostly for an error-free few races that keeps him safely at arms’ distance from injury, Max Vohland rounded out the top five. His fifth-place finish was the best of his career, besting a sixth scored in the third Houston race of 2021 when Supercross was forced to run the season in residencies.
In his first career Supercross Main appearance, Hunter Cross finished 19th after advancing from the LCQ.
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Supercross 2023: Results and points after Round 1 in Anaheim originally appeared on NBCSports.com