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2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Anaheim 1: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence lead early

The 2023 Supercross season starts with a bang in Anaheim with Eli Tomac scoring a dramatic win in the 450 class while Jett Lawrence earned the win in the 250.

Still uncertain about the second half of the combined Supercross and Motocross seasons, Eli Tomac took the early lead in the 2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings with his first Anaheim 1 victory of his 10-year career on a 450 cc bike. With the win, he topped the Supercross points standings by three over Chase Sexton.

While Tomac made the heat look easy by leading from the drop of the gate until the checkered flag, his Main was anything but a cakewalk. Colt Nichols earned the holeshot and Justin Barcia led the first lap, but Tomac was on his rear wheel for the first three trips around a track that was rapidly deteriorating after a week of persistent rain soaked the jumps and bowl turns.

Tomac led for the first of two times on Lap 4 but crashed going up the tunnel jump and handed the lead to Malcolm Stewart. Tomac’s mistake dropped him to fifth, but he steadily worked his way back to the front and recaptured the point on Lap 18. That gave him a perfect weekend and no one should be surprised if talks are not well underway for him to find a ride for the outdoor season in order to improve his seeding when the three-race playoff begins in September at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

MORE: Eli Tomac Picks up where he left off with A1 win

The opening round of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season began precisely as the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season ended: with Sexton close behind Tomac. Sexton led five laps in Anaheim 1 after making an aggressive pass on Stewart and pushing him offline on Lap 13 of the 21-lap race. After being passed by Tomac on Lap 18, Sexton was nudged back to third by Cooper Webb with two remaining. Sexton won his heat, and like Tomac did it by leading every lap.

Webb finished second in the Main and was third in his heat, but you won’t hear him complaining. He struggled on his KTM bike last year and finished seventh in the Supercross points after winning that series in 2021. To run well on the highly technical tracks in Supercross, a rider needs confidence in himself and his bike. That is returning for Webb in 2023.

With Motocross added to the unified schedule, Anaheim 1 was the first of 31 races on tap this year. In 2022, Dylan Ferrandis struggled through injury in Supercross and more disappointments in the outdoor season. He reset his attitude with three podium finishes in the Motocross of Nations last September and came out of the gates strong with a second-place finish to Tomac in his heat. Ferrandis finished fourth in the A1 Main.

There were a lot of questions surrounding Ken Roczen during the offseason when he got embroiled with a contract dispute with Honda. He landed with Suzuki, which frankly did not answer many of those questions since this was going to be a new bike to which he was unaccustomed. He ran as high as second in the A1 Main and finished with a solid fifth.

450 Rankings

1.Eli Tomac
[1 Main win; 1 Heat win]
2.Chase Sexton
[1 heat win]
3.Cooper Webb88.00
4.Dylan Ferrandis86.00
5.Ken Roczen84.00
6.Jason Anderson72.50
6.Aaron Plessinger72.50
6.Adam Cianciarulo72.50
9.Colt Nichols70.00
10.Joey Savatgy63.50
11.Justin Barcia61.50
12.Marvin Musquin61.00
13.Malcolm Stewart54.50
14.Dean Wilson52.00
14.Christian Craig52.00
16.Shane McElrath50.00
17.Justin Hill47.50
18.Alex Ray45.00
19.Brandon Scharer41.00
19Logan Karnow41.00

The final box score revealed Jett Lawrence as the winner of Anaheim 1, but his route to the top of the podium was not without a few twists and turns. He crashed immediately upon taking to the track in free practice and got off to a slow start in his heat, running as low as fifth. He kicked on the afterburner in that race and climbed to second as the checkers waved.

Determined not to have the same thing happen in the Main, Lawrence won the holeshot and led all 16 laps to earn maximum points.

The rider Lawrence chased in Heat 1 was RJ Hampshire, who finished two and half seconds ahead of last year’s 250 East champion. In the Main, Hampshire survived contact with Austin Forkner as the riders ran out of room heading into a tight first turn.

Forkner’s teammate Cameron McAdoo was involved in the same opening lap incident before slotting into second on the opening lap. He stayed in that spot until Hampshire passed him with four to go, and then rapidly lost contact with the leaders, finishing five seconds behind Hampshire and 10 behind Lawrence.

Enzo Lopes had a great opening race at A1, finishing two and half seconds behind heat winner McAdoo. He didn’t fare quite as well in the Main, but after crossing the line in ninth on the first lap, he worked his way to sixth.

Tied for fourth in the 2023 SuperMotocross Rankings after Anaheim 1, Max Vohland is also trying to erase some bad memories from 2022. He made only one start last season before getting injured, but eight top-10s in Motocross proved he deserves his ride.

250 Rankings

This WeekRiderPower Avg.
1.Jett Lawrence - W
[1 Main win]
2.RJ Hampshire - W
[1 Heat Win]
3.Cameron McAdoo - W
[1 Heat win]
4.Enzo Lopes - W81.50
4.Max Vohland - W81.50
6.Mitchell Oldenburg - W79.00
7.Levi Kitchen - W75.00
8.Stilez Robertson - W66.00
8.Dylan Walsh - W66.00
10.Phil Nicoletti - W65.50
11.Derek Kelley - W63.50
12.Derek Drake - W61.00
13.Cole Thompson - W54.00
14.Ty Masterpool - W50.00
14.Dominique Thury - W50.00
16.Robbie Wageman - W47.50
16.Anthony Rodriguez - W47.50
18.Kaeden Amerine - W45.00
19.Hunter Yoder - W43.00
19.Austin Forkner - W43.00

2022 POWER RANKINGS AFTER ROUND 1 AT ANAHEIM: Ken Roczen, Christian Craig have a perfect weekend