Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

5 things to watch for in St. Louis Supercross: Three opportunities to make a mistake

When Jett Lawrence dominated and won his third consecutive race in Indianapolis after sweeping all three features in the Triple Crown format, it began to look like he was settling into the same kind of form that contributed to his perfect Pro Motocross season of 2023. Chase Sexton and Cooper Webb reminded him that stadium racing is much more difficult to control.

As Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton raced one another in Daytona, Jett Lawrence raced Jett Lawrence and made a statement about his future.

1. Unfocused

When he’s hitting his marks, Lawrence makes riding look effortless. There are times, however, when one is reminded just how close he is to the edge. Most of those times come from the top of the box when he tells the crowd how close he came to wrecking.

Lawrence got a bad start at Seattle last week but came through the field with ease. Passing bikes at an average of one per lap, Lawrence may have been lulled into a false sense of security so that when he got to Cooper Webb, he believed that rider would be just as easy to pass.

Lawrence didn’t exactly lose focus during the pass attempt, but he may have taken Webb for granted.

Later in the Main, Lawrence ran up on the back of Vince Friese and nearly stalled. Had he been looking further up the track, he would have easily gotten around the lapped rider. Before winning Birmingham in Round 9, Lawrence spoke of regaining his focus after making similar mistakes in Arlington.

Webb and Sexton need to rattle him early in each feature in St. Louis to keep him from getting locked in.

Cooper Webb and Chase Sexton are both within 25 points of championship leader Jett Lawrence because of their Seattle successes.
SX 2024 Rd 10 Indianapolis Jett Lawrence on jump face.JPG

As he did after a series of mistakes in Arlington, Jett Lawrence needs to regain his focus. Feld Motor Sports / Align Media

2. A Disturbance in the Force

St. Louis is the third and final Triple Crown race of 2024 and the first two were distinctly different from one another.

Webb won the overall in Anaheim 2 without scoring a feature win as a pair of second-place results and a fifth easily showed the greatest consistency. With nine points tallied, he was well ahead of Eli Tomac, Aaron Plessinger and Jason Anderson with 13 points each. Tomac earned the tiebreaker for second by winning the final Feature.

Lawrence finished outside the top five but was only one point behind the trio vying for the runner up spot. Such are the uncertainties of Triple Crown racing.

Lawrence made up for his faltering A2 attempt by sweeping Indianapolis, becoming only the second rider in history to do so.

So which riding style will carry St. Louis?

Despite what seemed to be a struggle in Anaheim, Lawrence has the best average finish (2.8) in the six Triple Crown features this season. Webb is third (4.3) and the rider with the most to gain this week by improving his consistency ranks second. Chase Sexton has stood on the podium in five of the six features that make up this format but an 11th in Race 2 in Anaheim gives him an average of 3.7.

Follow along for live coverage on Round 11 of the Supercross season from Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington
SX 2024 Rd 11 Seattle Chase Sexton in the middle three wide.JPG

Chase Sexton needs to keep the pressure on the points’ leaders if he wants to defend his 2023 title. Feld Motor Sports / Align Media

3. Sexton Chases

Nearly everyone counted Sexton out of 2023 Supercross title contention when he finished off the podium in three races from Round 9 at Indy through Round 14 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He needed to pass both Webb and Tomac, who were riding defensively. Then Webb suffered a concussion with two rounds remaining after crashing in a heat in Nashville.

The next week, Tomac seemed to be cruising toward a victory in Denver that would have practically locked up the championship until he ruptured his Achilles tendon and ended his season.

Sexton is accustomed to being the chaser — but there is a difference this season. Sexton has a chip on his shoulder after losing again and again to Lawrence when the two were still teammates in the Pro Motocross scrum. Outrunning the championship leader in Seattle was not only welcomed, it was critical.

The problem is that Sexton needs to keep doing it with consistency over the final six rounds.

Eli Tomac landed hard in a rhythm section and suffered a season-ending injury. Chase Sexton inherits a seven-point lead.
Cooper Webb Nashville injury

Cooper Webb followed last week’s Tampa win with a second in Oakland. - Feld Motor Sports

Cooper Webb is closing in on Jett Lawrence’s win total in 2024. He will need more if he wants this year’s title. Feld Motor Sports / Align Media

4. Turning Point

Webb’s victory in Seattle was also critical; it means he still controls his fate and Lawrence cannot relax.

Webb needs to make up an average of 2.7 points per round to overtake Lawrence and with a differential of three points between first and second, winning out will give Webb the advantage. Last week, Webb needed to make up 3 points per weekend, so Lawrence finishing third instead of second at Seattle takes on added significance.

Hindsight will determine if last week was a turning point or an anomaly. A lot can happen in six weeks, but Webb and Sexton absolutely need to keep pressure on Lawrence. It’s unlikely they will keep him out of victory lane for the remainder of the season but if one of them can get two or three wins and Lawrence fails to podium, the math changes quickly.

With back-to-back third place finishes and four straight top-fives, Jo Shimoda is climbing up the points standings and living up to Honda HRC expectations.
SX Nashville 2023 Eli Tomac holeshot

Eli Tomac grabbed the holeshot, but Chase Sexton won the Nashville race. - Feld Motor Sports

Eli Tomac needs to earn a holeshot to threaten for a St. Louis feature win. Feld Motor Sports / Align Media

5. Tomac’s Best Shot is a Holeshot

Statistics are double-edged swords. Given his historic strength, it will take quite some time to unseat Tomac as the king of the Triple Crown format. His seven overall wins and 14 individual race wins stand head and shoulders above the competition. When Tomac finished second overall in Anaheim earlier this season, it appeared he would continue to run well when three mains are added.

Even last year when he seemed to have the championship in his sights, Tomac started developing a tendency to seesaw. He finished sixth in Anaheim 2, eighth in Indy and barely cracked the top five in both Tampa and Atlanta.

In his storied career, Tomac has also been characterized by an ability to overcome poor starts, but he could not do that in the second Triple Crown round of 2024. He finished Lap 1 in eighth in the first Indy race, 11th in the second and 10th in the final feature. Those races ended fourth, seventh and 10th respectively and combined for a seventh-place overall result.

Tomac needs to holeshot Lap 1 of Feature 1 if he wants to contend for his eighth TC win.

More Supercross News

Cooper Webb wins the close ones
St Louis by the numbers
Jo Shimoda: Riding well, making smart decisions
Cooper Webb wins fierce 450 Seattle Supercross showdown
Mindfulness turned Cameron McAdoo’s SX program around
Jett Lawrence sweeps Indy Triple Crown
Coty Schock returns to SX only five days post-surgery
Michael Mosiman joins Star Yamaha
Robbie Wageman reprises retro gear
Jett Lawrence extends points lead with Birmingham win