(Screenshot via Supercross Youtube)
Round 5 of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship made for some great racing from both classes. From opening lap crashes in the 250 main event, to Jett Lawrence dominating the night and returning to his old self. Fans got what they deserved, which was wheel to wheel racing and lots of on-track action.
Jett Lawrence returned to the top step of the podium for the second time this season, meanwhile in the 250 East Regional Class Austin Forkner picked up the win after commanding the field.
Speaking about strong performances, Jalek Swoll the Triumph racing rider had a stellar weekend, finishing sixth in the 250 main event. Which to some might not be a great result, but considering it was their first race as a manufacturer. I would say that's a great result for Swoll and the team.
Now enough about what happened this past weekend, it's time to get into my rider power rankings for both the 450SX and 250SX East Regional class.
(Sam Donsig/Intermission Sports)
1. JETT LAWRENCE
Jett Lawrence makes his way back into the power rankings and into the No. 1 spot after a dominating weekend at Rd. 5 of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship. The 20-year-old rookie from Australia had no issues throughout the night. He won his heat race, and won the main event. Lawrence looked in compete control from beginning to end, and hence why he is sitting at the top this week.
I am interested to see if Lawrence can continue this performance into next weekend as the teams and riders head to the desert. I think if the conditions are dry, then Lawrence will have no problem winning next weekend.
2. KEN ROCZEN
Ken Roczen put in an overall solid performance, and earned himself a spot on the podium this weekend. After a strong heat race in which he finished second, keeping Jason Anderson behind him for the entire moto. Roczen kept that momentum flowing into the main event.
Although it wasn't the best of start for the German rider, he was able to recover nicely and charge through the field. Roczen made his way from ninth to third place making multiple nice overtakes and setting consistent lap times.
3. CHASE SEXTON
Although Chase Sexton didn't win the race, he still finished on the podium and took back the red plate from Aaron Plessinger. Sexton looked comfortable on the bike the whole night. He got a great start in the main event, and didn't look back.
Sexton was able to keep Ken Roczen at bay for the entire moto and didn't make any mistakes. He showed some strong pace throughout the night, as he finished 10 seconds ahead of Roczen. Sexton now holds a narrow lead over his teammate as the riders head into Glendale, AZ for Rd. 5. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the desert.
4. COOPER WEBB
Cooper Webb put on quite the comeback performance at Rd. 5 of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship. From sitting down in 12th at the start of the 450 main event, to then charging up the field to finish fourth. It was a great recovery ride from the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider.
Webb who finished fifth in his heat race, Webb was looking comfortable into the main event. But like I said after a rough start saw him fall to 12th on the opening lap, many thought his night was over. However, he put in some consistent laps and was able to make multiple overtakes over the course of the race. He looked really comfortable on the bike, and didn't make mistakes from then on.
5. AARON PLESSINGER
Aaron Plessinger takes the fifth and final spot in this week's 450 rider power rankings after a good overall performance. He won his heat race, which set him up for a good finish in the main event. Despite the heat race victory, Plessinger like Webb got off to a rough start, but was able to recovery nicely and finish sixth.
Plessinger was flying through the field, moving up eight positions over the course of the whole race. Which may not seem like a lot, but considering how close the competition has been this year. It was impressive to see Plessinger blitz through the field, and still remain close to Lawrence who now sits above him in the overall standings. The cowboy has got a little bit of work to do if he wants to get the red plate back from his teammate.
Now that we've gone over the 450SX class, it's time to switch gears and talk about the 250SX East Regional Class. Which held its first race of the season this past weekend at Ford Field in Detroit, MI.
250SX EAST CLASS
(Sam Donsig/Intermission Sports)
1. AUSTIN FORKNER
One year after tearing his ACL 50 ft into the first race of the 2023 season, Austin Forkner is back on top. Forkner who qualified third fastest on the day, he was looking super confident on the bike. Which transferred well into the heat race and main event. Forkner led all 10 laps of his his heat race, finishing first and 2.8s ahead of Daxton Bennick.
He made it look easy out there for everyone else, and was able to get a great start in the main event. Which helped him a lot, as there were multiple riders who came together in the first turn and lost several positions. Forkner focused on himself and didn't let anyone close to him. He was riding really smooth and had a lot of pace out on the track. He deservingly takes the No. 1 spot for this first edition of the 250SX East Regional class power rankings.
2. DAXTON BENNICK
Daxton Bennick was very consistent with his performance in the opener for the 250SX East Regional class. Despite only qualifying seventh fastest, that didn't stop Bennick from having a good result. He was able to manage his race well in his heat race, stay out of trouble and clinch himself a great gate pick for the main event.
Bennick was able to transfer that strong finish in his heat race into the main event where he finished on the final spot of the podium. Bennick didn't get the best of starts but he rode hard and battled his way through the field. Bennick made his way into third place with under three minutes to go and held there for the remainder of the race. He didn't let anything distract him, and he came away with some big points to start the season.
3. MAX ANSTIE
Max Anstie had a strong weekend in Detroit, MI and although he didn't have the best of heat races. That didn't matter for the FirePower Honda Racing rider out of the United Kingdom. Anstie had a great start to the 250 main event and was able to put pressure on Chance Hymas and get past him with just over five minutes left in the race.
Anstie looked really comfortable out there riding, and was able to hold strong pace throughout the main event. As he set consecutive sub 46.0s lap times, which ultimately helped him get closer to Hymas and passing him in the process.
4. COTY SHOCK
Coty Shock was in the right place at the right time, and it paid off this past weekend in Detroit, MI. The Muc-Off FXR ClubMx Yamaha rider didn't have a great qualifying nor a great heat race. However, he still managed to clinch his spot in the 250 main event. Shock avoided the lap one carnage and got a great start. He sat in fourth place for the majority of the main event, before being overtaken by his teammate Max Anstie.
Regardless, Coty Shock still deserves to be No. 4 on this list because he was able to put it together when it mattered the most, when the bright lights were shining down on him. That is the point of him being in the top five of rider power rankings. He was able to keep calm and collected, and secure a strong points finish.
5. JALEK SWOLL
Jalek Swoll, what a weekend for the Triumph racing rider and the team. Battling back from 14th to finish sixth and earn some major points is a big accomplishment for Swoll and the team. Considering it was their debut weekend, and not much was expected.
He smashed the expectations and took it to another level. He looked really comfortable on the bike, and was able to find his groove and came charging through the field. I am excited to see what they will accomplish this season.
Well there you have it, my rider power rankings after Rd. 5 of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship. It was another great weekend of racing, and as teams head back to the west coast to Glendale, AZ. It will be interesting to see what happens in the Dessert, will Plessinger earn another win, or will Lawrence make it two wins in a row.
It's all still to play for in the Monster Energy Supercross Championship, with 12 rounds to go there is lots up for grabs.
Make sure to stay up to date and follow Intermission Sports on social media for all motorsports content.