Smith earns his first 250SX West win of the season
The second round of the 2024 AMA Supercross season could be defined by one word: mud.
As rainy conditions ravaged San Francisco throughout the day, AMA Supercross athletes battled the weather and a mud-caked track while chasing glory at Oracle Park on Saturday, Jan. 13.
Despite the adverse conditions, Red Bull KTM’s Chase Sexton — the defending AMA Supercross 450SX champion — landed atop the podium in the 450SX class for the first time this season, stealing the lead early in the opening lap before cruising to victory. Although he led for much of the race, Sexton emphasized that battling against the mud was an added challenge on the journey to the win.
“Leading the race in a mud situation, it’s obviously where you want to be because you’re not getting roosted, but it also seems like it lasts forever. The first couple laps when I was by myself and I wasn’t dealing with lapped traffic it felt, not easy, but I had a good flow and was able to hit my lines,” Sexton said after claiming victory. “Then once we got into lapped traffic, that’s when the race kind of starts and being able to pick around those guys is key… It’s tough not to make a mistake out there but I was fairly consistent every lap and was pretty happy with how consistent I was.”
Sexton outpaced Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac and Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen, who rounded out the podium, to earn 25 points and seize control of the 450SX overall standings through two rounds. Sexton jumped ahead of Anaheim 1 winner Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence with 45 season points, while Lawrence followed with 38 and Tomac and Red Bull KTM’s Aaron Plessinger sat tied for third with 35 points.
In the 250SX West class, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith overcame career-long struggles in muddy conditions — as well as fierce competition from fellow podium finishers Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Levi Kitchen and Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Garrett Marchbanks — to earn his first victory of the season and control of the overall standings in the class.
“I’ve been pretty bad in mud races in my pro career, especially lately,” Smith said. “We got here today and [team owner Bobby Regan] was like, ‘Jordon, I’ve seen you ride in the mud, you just need to try to survive today and get as many points as you can.’ And I was like, ‘Alright Bobby, I’m going to try to prove you wrong, but you’re kind of right.’ I do feel like I’ve gotten better in the mud… I think riding outdoors last year helped me.”
Smith’s win in San Francisco lifted his season point total to 47, and ahead of Kitchen and Anaheim 1 winner Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire — who have racked up 42 and 38 points, respectively, through two rounds of the 2024 AMA Supercross season.
Round 3 of the 2024 AMA Supercross Series will take place Jan. 20 at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego at 8 p.m. EST and will be streamed live on Peacock.