We have a different winner in 2023 Monster Energy Supercross! Chase Sexton of Honda HRC was dominant inside of Angel Stadium and sent a clear message to his competitors, as he showcased his true speed aboard the CRF450R. It turns out that he made significant steps in the days that followed San Diego; he got to work with the ‘red’ team and completed a tiresome suspension test. Sexton talks about that, plus so much more, in the exclusive Vital MX interview below, which is on YouTube and your preferred podcast platform. There are so many options, much like you’ll find at DeCal Works.
Vital MX: Obviously, a great night. I feel like it was never in doubt. You were the quickest guy in qualifying, by quite a way as well, and it was the same story in the main events. A great night and, yeah, I feel like it was never in doubt!
Chase Sexton: Yeah! I mean, we would like to think that… I have qualified fastest a lot, but today was a little bit different. I feel that there was definitely a little bit of a gap between me and second in times – that was nice to have. You never know when it comes to racing because Eli [Tomac] and those guys show up. I put a stamp on it in main event one and had a good race with Kenny [Roczen]. I felt like we were back in Florida doing practice motos, then I was riding good in main event two. I set up on the outside of Aaron [Plessinger] and tried to cut under him, then just lost the front and that put me back. I thought hard. I dropped the hammer in main event three; I was able to get a good start with Jason [Anderson] and was riding really well. I was stoked on that – I was able to shine when I needed to. We are ready to get this thing going a little bit and stop being so mediocre.
Well, speaking of that. You said that you would give yourself a 6.5/10 for the first two rounds, so what number do you think you were at tonight?
We are probably around a 7.5 now, after tonight.
There is still that much room for improvement?
Yeah, we have room to go! This was just one race. I want to be able to replicate this, as that is what it is going to take to win championships. Tonight was huge. If I was to rate tonight then it would probably be a nine for me. Well, maybe an eight. The second main event was not good.
10/10 for me [laughs].
Yeah! I mean, as long as we got the job done then that is all that matters. I am stoked on how I felt today – I was really happy and just solid overall.
Colt [Nichols] said that you did a massive fork and shock test this week. What were you looking for and what did you find? Was that helpful tonight?
I definitely put work in this week. I spent all day testing on Tuesday and then I re-evaluated on Wednesday. I did some motos with different settings and picked what I wanted to run. Yesterday, I felt decent on the bike and then we made more changes today. I was just trying to get the bike to stop doing so much teeter tottering – not so much pitch front to rear. I want to keep it somewhere in the middle. It really comes down to the fact that when you are trying to turn under and coming in really fast, you need the bike to be planted. When it is doing a lot of teeter tottering then you do not have a lot to be planted to. We made a step in the right direction, but it was not perfect. We are where we… We are on the trajectory that we need to be on. I am happy that the team rallied around today and got me happy.
Compared to San Diego then, how different is the bike set-up? Is it not even recognizable?
I would not say that it is completely different. It is definitely stiffer on both ends. It is not even that much different – it is just a little bit stiffer and a different characteristic in my fork. They were not huge changes. It was not like we were trying to reinvent the wheel. We were trying to build, overall, and improve what I have been running.
Back to tonight quickly, I think that main event three was the best that you have ridden in supercross. That was lights out. No one else even had a chance.
That is what I train for! I was able to translate how I ride in the week and put it into a main event, which is what I need to do every weekend. That is obviously easier said than done! That was a big moment for me, just being able to clutch up when I needed to. It was basically a four-way tie heading into that final main event and with guys who have all won championships. I was really happy to get that done – that last main event win means more than winning the whole thing. I kind of shifted the momentum into my side and, yeah, I am ready to go to Houston and keep this thing rolling.
Your starts were on point today as well and an improvement on the first two rounds. Is that something that you have worked on with set-up? Did you make a step there as well?
I would say that my starts were good last weekend, but I was just so far outside that I did not really have much to stand on. I was in good gates tonight… Honestly, my gate was not great in the last main. I was able to make it work. I lined up right next to Jason and he had a perfect gate [laughs]. I needed to get my RPMs in the right spot and I launched out good. We came into the first corner side-by-side. I got in there first, but he came in and pushed me straight wide. Honestly, it is racing and we raced pretty clean tonight. It was cool. Like I said, I am just really happy with how I was able to preserve after the second main event and keep the momentum on my side.