Chase Sexton, Jo Shimoda Win Opening SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff Event At zMAX Dragwayby Hunter Thomas September 10, 2023 1 comment
CONCORD, N.C. – Chase Sexton and Jo Shimoda claimed overall victories in the first-ever SuperMotocross World Championship event at zMAX Dragway on Saturday.
The SuperMotocross World Championship places the top riders of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and PRO Motocross Championship against each other to crown an overall champion. Sexton and Shimoda became the first winners of the three-event schedule.
In the final 250cc Moto on Saturday, Tom Vialle held control for the opening 14 minutes; however, Shimoda chased him down and pulled off a huge pass on the outside as the two riders tore past the large sweeping right-hander by the control tower. Shimoda’s bike gripped the clay as he tore off into the distance with only 6 minutes remaining. Shimoda held on to become the first-ever main event winner of the SuperMotorcross World Championship.
“I just want to say that it feels amazing,” Shimoda said. “A new format, SMX, I think everybody had fun. I think I had the most fun of everybody. But thank you so much Charlotte for having me. It’s really nice to do it here.”
Finishing second overall behind Shimoda was Vialle. Haiden Deegan, who won Moto 1 finished third overall. Ryder Difrancesco and Jordan Smith rounded out the top-five overall. Sixth was Seth Hammaker, followed by Levi Kitchen, Hunter Lawrence, Justin Cooper and Pierce Brown.
Leaving Charlotte, Shimoda and Deegan are tied in the championship point standings with 42 points. Lawrence is 3 points back, Vialle is four points back, and Kitchen trails by seven points.
The 450cc Moto 2 had fans on their feet as Ken Roczen and Sexton put on a wild show. Ty Masterpool grabbed the holeshot, but it didn’t take long for Roczen and Sexton to take over the spotlight. With just over 5:40 to go, Sexton got the best of Roczen through the tight-turned section of the course. Sexton held on to sweep the 450cc Motos of the day.
“I definitely had a point to prove after the outdoors season that I had,” Sexton said. “I was pretty disappointed with it, but I was really happy like I said when I got back in Supercross. I felt like I found where I was in Supercross this year, like right away. It kind of honestly calmed my nerves a little bit, and I was able to kind of focus on my riding and was able to put good Motos in with Ken (Roczen) and Tom (Vialle). I just have had a really good last two weeks, so my preparation was good, and I was confident coming into the day that I was going to be good. I know when I’m comfortable that I should be winning races, and that’s what we did today.”
Roczen finished second overall. Completing the top-five overall on Saturday was Dylan Ferrandis, Jett Lawrence and Jason Anderson. Rounding out the top-10 was Aaron Plessinger, Justin Barcia, North Carolina’s Cooper Webb, Garrett Marchbanks and Cole Nichols.
Sexton, a native of La Moille, Illinois leads the 450cc championship standings by 12 points over Lawrence and Plessinger. Ferrandis trails by 13 points, and Roczen is 14 points back.
The SuperMotocross World Championship will visit Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 16. Live coverage will broadcast on Peacock. Pre-race ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, and the gate will drop at 8 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Brandon Zumbach/TheFourthTurn.com