Fireworks at opening ceremonies of the 2023 Houston Supercross

Here’s What Happened at the 2023 Houston Supercross

2023 Houston Supercross

NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas

Saturday, February 4, 2023

The track: 6 lanes with an over/under bridge and 10-whoop whoops section.

Canadians – #83 Cole Thompson – Yamaha 250 and #551 Guillaume St Cyr – KTM 350 

Both Canucks were in the B Group in the 450 class. After the Free Practice, Partzilla PRMX rider #68 Cade Clason was 1st (55.709) in their group with Thompson right behind him in 2nd (55.968). St Cyr was 17th with a best lap of 1:01.051. 

#96 Hunter Lawrence was fastest in 250 Free Practice.

250 Q1

Late in the 1st Qualifier, Lawrence was sitting 5th behind #29 Nate Thrasher, #58 Jordan Smith, #31 Michael Mosiman, and #63 Max Anstie. Two-time MX2 World Champion #128 Tom Vialle sat just behind him in 6th followed by #6 Jeremy Martin until Martin put in a last-minute fast lap to jump ahead of the Frenchman.

The big question was who was going to get the quad in the one rhythm section. Smith came up short on the one lap they showed. 

Anstie put in a last lap heater to jump to the top. 

At the flag it was Anstie, Thrasher, Smith, Mossman, Martin, and Vialle.

450 A Q1

#23 Chase Sexton headed out first in teal blue A Stars gear on his Honda. #21 Jason Anderson headed out in his all black A Stars gear on his Kawasaki and sat 2nd behind Sexton early.

#51 Justin Barcia pulled into the mechanics area to get a quick suspension adjustment with 5:00 to go.

Sexton was the first rider to dip into the 50’s (50.9) and then backed it up with another (50.481) before anyone else did it once. #14 Dylan Ferrandis was closest with a 52.151 late in Q1.

#32 Justin Cooper was in his first 450 SX race and was 12th late in Q1.

#1 Eli Tomac with 2:00 to go hit 51.895 then Anderson topped it with a 51.828.

At the checkered flag, it was Sexton, Anderson, Tomac, Ferrandis, #17 Joey Savatgy, #94 Ken Roczen, #9 Adam Cianciarulo, #28 Christian Craig, Barcia, and #2 Cooper Webb.

450 Group B Q1

Cole Thompson with a 56.265 to sit 2nd behind #140 Alex Ray (54.481). St Cyr sat in 16th with a best lap of 59.560. Clason sat 3rd but hit 55.352 to go up to 2nd. Thompson to 2nd again.

St Cyr up to 14th with 2:00 left but bumped back to 15th at the flag.

Cole was on a last lap heater but it was tough to stay on top of the whoops. He messed up so he shut it down on that final lap. 

Ray, Thompson, Clason, #129 Lane Shaw, #80 Kevin Morantz, #73 John Short, #219 Chase Marquier, #47 Logan Karnow, and #848 Joan Kros.

After Q1, Thompson was sitting 21st overall and St Cyr was 38th. There were 47 riders trying to make the 40 rider 450 night show. 

250 Q2 Group B

#238 Haiden Deegan (53.492), #832 Chance Hamas 53.621), #339 Talon Hawkins (55.607), and 243 Caden Braswell (55.821) led the way in the B group as some of the top-rated youngsters. 

#86 Josiah Natzke was in his first-ever Supercross and was sitting in 10th (57.616) with just one minute left to go, right behind #208 Logan Leitzel (57.286).

Deegan mentioned that the track was getting pretty rough. He fell to the inside into a tough block in the sand section but set fastest time of the B Group.

250 Q2 Group A

Early in 250 A Q2, Hunter Lawrence was leading by 2.5 seconds over #295 Coty Shock but then Smith went to the top.

Vialle put in a good lap with 7:00 to go (53.858) and was sitting in 3rd place for a brief time.

Thrasher dropped it into the 52’s to take the lead with 5 1/2 minutes to go. At this point, he was the only rider sub-53.

Smith took the lead with a 52.922 with 4 1/2 to go.

#57 Chris Blose got the call to ride the Pro Circuit Kawasaki bike and was sitting 7th (53.903) with 4:00 to go.

Lawrence jumped back to the top spot with a 52.519. Martin was sitting 2nd until Smith went to the top again.

Mosiman was back in 9th place (54.191 and couldn’t have been happy with that.

And then Anstie, fresh off of an Australian 250 SX title, dropped it to a 52.128 with 2:00 to go!

At the flag it was Anstie, Thrasher, Smith, Lawrence, Martin, Vialle, Blose, Park, #22 Henry Miller and Mosiman.

On the stage with Lurch, Anstie, with a fresh haircut, said he “didn’t really expect that!” He said he feels like an 18 year old teenager again. “I feel like Martin Davalos.” He was looking forward to the night show and said the track was really nice for qualifying. He added that when he crossed the line he looked over at the tower to see if his name popped up at the bottom and was very surprised to find out his name was at the top.

250 Supercross qualifying results

450 Q2

Sexton pulled the holeshot and headed out first but then swapped in the sand section and let Webb lead the rest of lap 1. Sexton then over-jumped the tunnel and flat-landed. 

#9 Cianciarulo put in a nice lap doing some very odd rhythms and whoops techniques to sit 2nd with just over 4:00 left.

Ferrandis is a rider I’ve been expecting to battle for podiums and maybe even wins. He put in a nice lap and went to 2nd place with 3:00 to go. 

Sexton was the only rider to dip below 51 with a 50.320.

Tomac in orange and black was 3rd with a 51.432

Sexton, Ferrandis, Tomac, Anderson, Cianciarulo.

450 Q2 Group B

Thompson was sitting 21st and St Cyr was 38th heading in. 

The Race Day Live broadcast stopped after the A Group, so we had to go to the live timing on the app to see how our guys would do. 

450 Houston Supercross qualifying results

Cole Thompson ended up 20th overall (Interestingly, that’s where he was for rounds 1 and 3 (2) in 250 West) and Guillaume St Cyr made it in with a 39th. Both were heading to the night show in the 450 class.

Night Show 

250 Heat 1

Odds-on series favourite Lawrence grabbed the holeshot and never looked back in this one, looking very smooth and in control in the process. 

Thrasher was in 2nd early with fill-in rider Blose in 3rd and rookie Hymas in tow. 

Lawrence was flawless, Thrasher was alone in 2nd, followed by Hamas, Mosiman (who clawed his way up through the field), Blose and Miller in 7th. Henry raced the 450 class out west.

250 Heat 2

Holeshot to #58 Jordan Smith who would go wire-to-wire for the win. Tom Vialle was 2nd at the start followed by Anstie who was the fastest qualifier today. Anstie got to 2nd right away and closed in on Smith at the flag. 

Jeremy Martin had Deegen on him and the two would battle for a few corners until Deegan made a nice pass on the inside.

Shock whipped the bike into the front end of 2022 Rookie of the Year #67 Cullin Park and then whiskey-throttled straight in to the side of the tunnel. 

Deegan caught up to and pressured Vialle for 3rd and looked comfortable running the pace of the leaders. 

450 Heat 1

Cooper Webb grabbed the holeshot and the early lead with Anderson, Plessinger, Ferrandis, Justin Cooper and Cade Clason behind.

Anderson got around Webb early and the two battled until Anderson managed to squirt away out front. 

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb KTM Supercross
Teammates Cooper Webb and Aaron Plessinger. | KTM photo

Plessinger and Ferrandis moved up and got into the battle making the top 4 a great race. Ken Roczen didn’t get a great start but made his way toward the front. Teammates Plessinger and Webb went back and forth and raced very close in this one with Plessinger taking 2nd at the flag and Webb 3rd. 

Cole Thompson was in 13th and managed to get up to 11th at the flag and was close to the top 9 but headed to the LCQ.

450 Heat 2

Holeshot to Tomac then Nichols and Sexton. #80 Kevin Morantz had a great start. Sexton to the front with 4:00 to go and started to put a couple seconds on Eli,

Guillaume St Cyr was listed as last on lap 1 but made a couple passes early and got up to 17th. #90 Tristan Lane crashed and was out of this one. 

Barcia was chasing Nichols for 3rd. 

#12 Shane McElrath was trying to get directly to the main in 9th. 

St Cyr was 10 seconds behind #173 Hunter Schlosser and had #501 Scotty Wennerstrom on his rear wheel.

Sexton put a nice lead on Eli running sub-52 lap and was 7.8 seconds ahead at the flag.

Sexton said they have the bike “to where he can finish his corners better.” He said his plan was to start easy and work his way up to winning pace this season and he feels he’s doing that.

250 LCQ

Good to see Shock OK and in this LCQ after that crazy crash in his Heat race. Natzke grabbed the Holeshot and started to check out early. #192 Jack Chambers by #91 Jeremy Hand to 2nd but got it back. #247 Brock Papi was right there and #330 AJ Catanzaro

Rookie Caden Braswell was down in a corner and out of this Main.

#50 Marshal Weltin is just 4 months off ACL surgery and was running 10th in the LCQ at the halfway point. 

Natzke started slowing down and let everyone by him. Bike issues must be what was happening. Shock and Chambers had a great battle for the final transfer spot behind Hand, Catanzaro, and Papi. 

Chambers bumped into the rear wheel of Papi and went down letting Shock go by. Weltin made it up to 6th and Natzke got back up to speed and held 7th place, 5 seconds behind Weltin. Not sure what the issue was with Josiah, at this point. 

450 LCQ

Cole Thompson and Guillaume St Cyr were both in this one. Cole ran the pace in his Heat but needed a start to get into the top 4. 

Both of them got bad starts and were at the back. #519 Josh Cartwright grabbed the holeshot ahead of Marquier and #47 Freddie Noren with Short on them. 

Thompson was 15th and St Cyr was 17th early. 

Morantz moved up with #140 Alex Ray and #60 Justin Starling

Cartwright got away out front as Ray went off the track after pushing it in the sand section.

#11 Kyle Chisholm was quietly working his way forward and was up to 6th with 3 to go. 

Chisholm took Noren down with an inside hit in last corner and then Ray hit Noren’s bike and went off the track as he picked it up. John Short took full advantage of the last corner chaos and went by to take 4th place in some classic LCQ action. 

The question is, could Chisholm have got going again to take 4th if he had an electric start???


Great story in the KJSX race as Jacob Mariner took the win after his dad won it in Minneapolis back in 1998. 

250 Main

Holeshot to #96 Hunter Lawrence as he swept wide in the first turn but held on to the lead. #128 Vialle would make a couple quick passes to lead the Main on the first lap of his first SX with Hymas from 2nd to 3rd followed by #339 Talon Hawkins and #63 Max Anstie. 

Talon Hawkins Husqvarna sand section Supercross
Rookie #339 Talon Hawkins. | Husqvarna photo

We had two rookies out front in this one followed by Lawrence and Hawkins.

Vialle would scrub a jump and force Lawrence to take evasive action and go off the track down between two lanes into a 180 turn. Unphased, Lawrence would find his way to the front at the 12-minute mark.

I asked Hunter if it was a move that upset him to the point he would need to say something to Vialle and he said that “everyone makes mistakes” and it wasn’t anything he’d talk to him about.  

Hawkins, Thrasher, and Deegan were in a tight battle for 6th but Thrasher would make the pass and then Deegan would also get by Hawkins. 

Behind Lawrence, Vialle, Anstie, and Jordon Smith were fighting over 2nd place. 

Hunter Lawrence with Tom Vialle and Chance Hymas Supercross jump
Hunter Lawrence, Tom VIalle, and Chance Hymas. | Feld photo

At the half, Lawrence was pulling away out front ahead of Anstie, Vialle, Smith, Martin, Deegan, Hymas, Park, Mosiman, and Shock. 

Smith would go down in the sand with 7 minutes to go as Martin got by with Deegan on his rear wheel. 

Deegan would almost crash in the whoops but still manage to jump the tunnel table in the next corner with a nice show of composure. 

Out front in this one it was an international battle with Australia, Britain, and France, 1, 2, and 3.

Martin had Smith all over him late in the race ahead of Deegan and Mosiman, who’d worked his way forward all Main long. 

Behind them, Thrasher, Hymas, Park, Blose, Shock, and Hawkins were embroiled in a heated 6-man battle. 

Vialle would fall in a 180 left-hand corner and lose a couple positions to 6th. 

Thrasher would fall in the sand and drop back. 

Vialle would then miss a shift heading into the whoops in traffic as Deegan blasted between them to take the position, as well as Mosiman.

At the flag, it was Lawrence with an 8-second gap to Anstie, Smith, Deegan in 4th, and Martin who fell on the last lap and dropped a couple spots. 

250 Supercross podium houston
250 Podium: Hunter Lawrence, Max Anstie, Jordon Smith. | Feld photo
250 houston supercross results and points

450 Main

Without a Canadian to cheer for we were left to watch this one like everyone else. 

After Sexton put time on Tomac, who held the red plate, in their Heat, would he be the one to take the win or would it be Anderson who looked solid in the second half of his race? We used to have races by laps which gave us some numbers to compare as far as who had the quicker Heat race. With timed races, we no longer have that as an option. 

Holeshot to #3 Tomac as Sexton got sideways and took Webb inside with him. Webb moved to the inside in turn 1 and came out pretty well. 

It was Tomac, Plessinger, Anderson, Barcia, Sexton, and Cianciarulo on lap 1. 

Plessinger was all over Tomac at the front as Anderson crept forward with Sexton and Webb in tow, ahead of Roczen, Ferrandis, and #17 Joey Savatgy. 

Plessinger went between the two main lines in the sand allowing Tomac to get away a little. 

At the 3 1/2 minute point the red flag was waved for Ferrandis who was down after the whoops, just before the tunnel jump as he climbed up the back end of Roczen.

Dylan was put in a neck brace on site but was up and able to walk to the medics Mule with little assistance. The crowd cheered him as he was taken for evaluation.

Red Flag Restart

red flag restart staggered eli tomac leading houston supercross
The red flag restart after the Dylan Ferrandis crash. | Feld photo

The riders were arranged in the positions they held and a staggered restart was done. 

There was no passing until the holeshot line for anyone down the line and Tomac jumped out fast and hard. Anderson went around Plessinger to move into 2nd place early after the restart. 

Plessinger was obviously feeling great on this night and didn’t let Anderson go and even showed him a wheel a coupe times with Sexton closing in on both of them in 4th. 

Sexton got by Plessinger and set his sights on Anderson in 2nd. 

With 15 minutes left, Tomac had a gap over Anderson who had Sexton, Plessinger, Webb, Barcia, Cianciarulo, Roczen, and Savatgy in tow. 

Sexton started making some mistakes as he pushed his pace to try to catch Anderson and Tomac out front, but got by Jason in the whoops where he’d been fast all day. 

Cianciarulo was looking good and was pressuring Roczen until he lost control in the whoops and went off the track, momentarily. 

Anderson and Plessinger were still in a heated battle for that final podium position as we neared the halfway mark of the Main. 

justin barcia and aaron plessinger supercross corner pass
Justin Barcia and Aaron Plessinger. | GasGas photo

At the half, Sexton was up on Eli at the front and they had a gap back to the Anderson/Plessinger fight. Barcia was in 5th ahead of Webb who was starting to lose Justin’s rear wheel. 

Sexton was closing slowly on Tomac while Anderson finally managed to get some breathing room over Plessinger in 4th who now had Barcia all over him. Aaron even began looking over his shoulder to check in on the #51’s trajectory. 

cooper webb ktm whoops skimming houston supercross
#2 Cooper Webb. | KTM photo

With only 5 minutes to go, Tomac had Sexton all over him with a 4-second gap back to Anderson, Plessinger, and Barcia. Webb was now 5 seconds behind Barcia in 5th with a gap back to Webb. 

Eli managed to pull a gap on Chase late in the race as Roczen, Cooper, and Savatgy were in a nice battle for 7th place. Cooper would actually make a pass on Roczen in the sand on the final lap.

At the flag, Tomac took a comfortable win over Sexton and Anderson to round out the podium. Plessinger came next followed by Webb, Cooper, and Roczen.

checkered flag whip fireworks houston supercross eli tomac
Eli Tomac takes the 450 win. | Feld photo
450 podium houston supercross monster energy trophy girls
450 Podium: Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton, Jason Anderson. | Feld photo

Podium Quotes 

Eli Tomac – That was a tough race. I was pretty beat down after that heat race. I just rode better in the main. I just rode better. Great way to bounce back after last week’s crash. 

Chase Sexton – It wasn’t great by any means. I really lagged in the main event. I could have walked through the whoops faster. Tonight I was just second best I guess. Happy to be on the podium. Looking forward to getting back east. 

Jason Anderson – Should be excited every time you get on the podium. Gonna keep striving to be better.

450 supercross results and points