Difficult evening for Team Honda HRC in Anahe…

Round six of the AMA Supercross series at Angel Stadium in Anaheim was pretty forgettable for the Honda HRC team, as the 450SX main event saw Chase Sexton finish seventh and teammate Ken Roczen 11and. Sexton finished the first lap in eighth and started moving forward, moving into sixth at the halfway mark. He lost the place with seven laps to go and finished seventh at the finish. Meanwhile, Roczen was pushed back into turn one and, after getting tangled with a Tuffblox cushion, he resumed the race in last place. The German fought his way through the peloton on the slippery track but was only able to climb to 11th place at the finish. Sexton now sits third in the title chase, 18 points behind leader Eli Tomac, while Roczen is eighth.

Hunter Lawrence got off to a second-place start in the 250SX West main event and battled with Christian Craig for the lead before suffering a serious crash in the whoops section on lap 7. The Aussie struggled to get up and was eventually escorted off the track to be assessed at the Alpinestars medical unit. Lawrence is third in the title hunt, with a five-week break and four rounds remaining in the regional championship


Honda HRC team riders Ken Roczen, Chase Sexton and Hunter Lawrence all took part in Friday’s Media Day driving session. Sexton also participated in an interview for the syndicated television show American Athlete, and Roczen participated in a telephone interview with the Southern California News Group.

In the pits, Honda celebrated Bailey Cole’s recent win in the King of the Hammers UTV Stock NA class, with a side-by-side presentation of the winning Honda Off-Road Factory Racing Talon 1000R.

The Redondo Beach Police Department displayed its specially equipped Honda Africa Twins in the pits and drove them onto the field during the opening ceremonies at Anaheim 3. Led by Chief Keith Kauffman, the RBPD pioneered the development of the adventure bike patrol unit concept.

The Honda HRC team had the pleasure of welcoming U.S. Honda President Noriya Kaihara to Anaheim 3. Other VIP guests included Yu Hosokawa, Kevin Mills, Yasutaka Uda, Noriya Kaihara, Akito Watase, Jun Ishiwatari, Miguel Moreno, Naoki Terada, Ryan Kelly, Kazuhiro Miyano, Hisashi Kadomasu, Reo Kawai and Zuniga. The three team riders enjoyed a meet-and-greet and photo op with Kaihara-san’s group before guests watched the race from a private suite.

Lawrence’s mechanic, Cameron Camera, was unable to work Saturday due to a back injury and was replaced by 250 crew chief Grant Hutcheson.

Sexton and Roczen both took part in the opening ceremonies, the latter joined by his son Griffin wearing a Fox Racing jersey to match his father’s.

In 450SX qualifying, Sexton was the third best rider with a lap of 57.213 inches, despite crashing in the first session. Roczen was 13th at 59.241″. SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MCR Honda riders Justin Brayton and Mitchell Oldenburg were 10th and 17th respectively, and SGB Unlimited rider Cade Clason was 22nd.

Lawrence was the fifth-fastest rider in 250SX West daytime testing, lapping 58.386 inches in the final timed session. SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Vince Friese was seventh and STR Racing’s Cheyenne Harmon was 33rd.

Sexton entered the 450SX night program finishing third in Round 2, with Roczen sixth and Oldenburg eighth. Round 1 saw Brayton and Clason finish fourth and ninth. Lawrence finished second in the 250SX Heat Race 2 and Friese finished fourth.

Friese was impressive in the Anaheim 3 250SX main race, earning a second-place finish—the best finish of his career.

Lawrence’s DNF dropped him one position in the 250SX West title chase to third place and put him 29 points behind points leader Christian Craig. In the 450SX class, Sexton also dropped a position to third, 18 points behind Eli Tomac. Roczen is eighth in the same category.

AMA Supercross will now leave the West Region and head to Minneapolis for the start of the East Regional 250SX Championship. Jett Lawrence of the Honda HRC team will start his campaign in this category aboard his CRF250R.

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