Forkner kicks off 250SX East Class competition with a victory
Through the first month of the 2024 AMA Supercross season, four different riders stood atop the podium. But that trend swiftly ended on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Ford Field in Detroit.
Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence became the first racer this season to win multiple races in the 450SX class, securing the holeshot and leading all 28 laps en route to victory. The first-year Australian previously won the season-opener at Anaheim 1 on Jan. 6, in which he became the first rookie to win his 450SX class debut.
After securing his historic season-opening win, Lawrence missed the podium in each of the next three races and entered Detroit in fourth place in the overall standings. As Lawrence overcame the recent stretch of poor results to earn his second win of the season, he emphasized his excitement to get back on the winning track in Round 5.
“It definitely feels nice. It had been a rough couple of weeks on the riding side of things,” Lawrence said. “It helps make these wins even sweeter, and it’s a good bit of motivation.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Chase Sexton cruised to second place, holding the position for a large majority of the race, while Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen earned the final spot on the podium.
Sexton’s second-place finish pushed him atop the overall standings with 98 points, where he holds a one-point advantage over Lawrence through five rounds. Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger, who entered the weekend as the overall class leader, sits in third place with 96 points after a sixth-place finish in Detroit.
“It’s nice to have the red plate but it really only matters… who ends with it,” Sexton said. “So it’s nice to have it back, we’re all pretty close in points, but tonight was one of my best rides on the new bike.”
The 250SX East Class kicked off with a bang in Motor City, as Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner outpaced the field to open the nine-round title race with a win. After missing the 2023 AMA Supercross season with an injury, Forkner’s return to the podium carried more weight than normal for the Richards, Mo., native.
“I just made it kind of a point to surround myself with people who are there to lift me up, basically. I feel like that’s just really important in this sport,” Forkner said. “We did quality work over quantity so much, and we kept it fun and kept me in a good mental space coming into this season, and I think it shows.”
Forkner was joined on the podium by Fire Power Honda’s Max Anstie and rookie Daxton Bennick of Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing, who secured a third-place finish in his AMA Supercross debut. With that result, Forkner emerged atop the leaderboard through Round 1 with 25 points while Anstie and Bennick trail behind with 22 and 20 points, respectively.
The 2024 AMA Supercross season continues Saturday, Feb. 10, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Gate drop for Round 6 is set for 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time and the event will be streamed live on Peacock.