The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship headed to Atlanta’s beautiful new Mercedez Benz Stadium for round number 9, round 3 of the Eastern Regional 250SX Championship and the 2020 Atlanta SX.

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In the 450 class, the racing for the win was boring with HRC / Honda’s, Ken Roczen getting the holeshot, building a massive 20-second lead and cruising in for his third win of the year but behind the #94, it was utter chaos. After both of them started outside the top-ten, Monster Energy / Yamaha’s Justin Barcia and Red Bull / KTM’s Cooper Webb bobbed and weaved through the chaos to finish 2nd and 3rd on the night. Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac got a bad start and crashed before coming back from 15th to finish 4th and he still left round number 9 tied in the points lead with Roczen.

In the 250SX class, GEICO / Honda’s Chase Sexton scored his second win of 2020 and will arrive in Daytona with sole possession of the red plate once again. Rockstar / Husqvarna’s RJ Hampshire grabbed the 2nd spot of the podium ahead of Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha’s Shane McElrath—who finished third and will have to peal the red background off of his bLUcRU factory machine.

After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from the riders talking about how their Atanta Supercross went for them

Chase Sexton flexed on the 250 East with a big win in Atlanta.

Ken Roczen: (1st in 450SX) “I really had no idea [where everyone was]. I had tunnel-vision to be honest. I think that’s the way to go especially once you have a little gap. The track broke down a lot more than I thought it was going to because it was a little bit more hard-packed. I feel like we had a little bit of everything today on the track. Obviously, the sand, the turn after the finish line and that turn were pretty soft. Also, the whoops were soft and the turn before but the rest of it was hard and marbly. So we had a little bit of everything and the track broke down a lot, but I had no idea what was going on. I tried to focus on myself. Races like that are a lot of fun. These wins just keep getting sweeter and more fun each time! I’m so happy with how tonight went and stoked to have the red plate again. The last couple of weekends have been tough but I’ve managed to minimize the damage, which was huge for us because it put us in a good position for a situation like today. With all the chaos, we made up seven points in one night and now are tied for the points lead again. The battle continues for the championship.”


Chase Sexton: (1st in 250SX) “I feel like, for the whole night show, it [the track] was pretty dry. They put a good amount of water down, but not enough. It was definitely tough to get that rhythm section after the start on my bike. I managed to do it every lap, but it was definitely hard, I think that was make or break. There was one turn with ruts in it and everything else was dry and marbled. It was about being patient. I wasn’t really a fan of Atlanta, this was my first pro race and I broke my leg. So I just wanted to get through it and be safe—it was good to get a win.”


Jutsin Barcia: (2nd in 450SX) [On aggressive racing with Eli Tomac early in the main] “I made a good clean pass on Eli but then…If someone hits me so hard that it physically hurts me, I’m not happy with it. I thought the pass on me was stupid, and then he did a pass on [Blake] Baggett and cleaned him out. I thought he was kind of on a mission tonight to get to the front and whatever it took he was going to do it. But it ended up costing him. I thought he rode a bit harder than I thought he should have and I know pretty hard because I’ve done it before. (laughs) I was just trying to ride my own race and move to the front of the pack. And when you get caught up in the battle that’s not in the front, you lose so much time. If you’re not a second faster than the guys in front of you, you’re not going to make those passes back up. It was definitely a little annoying in the middle of the race, but I got through it.”


RJ Hampshire: (2nd in 250SX) “Each week we’re going to continue to get better. Getting those holeshots felt good and we had a good flow out there. I want to win but I also want to be in this thing [championship] a few weeks from now, so we’re going to continue to fight week in and week out.”

RJ Hampshire (#24) grabbed the holeshot and finished with a career-best 2nd. Photo by: Simon Cudby

Shane McElrath: (3rd in 250SX) “I felt really good during the day, even in the Heat race. We made a few bike changes for the Main that we thought was going to be good, which was kind of my call. I was struggling with the track quite a bit, but I’m learning a lot. It was tough to get third. I felt like I should have been able to win, but I was struggling with a lot of things. So we’ll work on those this week and we won’t make those same mistakes twice.”


Cooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “That was probably the hardest race I’ve ever had. I was way back and just put my head down and tried to do the best I can. I got a few gifts from the guys ahead of me but man, it was painful. I knew it wasn’t going to be fun or easy, but that’s racing. It’s a long way out but the only thing keeping me going is this championship, so we’ll do whatever we can”


Eli Tomac: (4th in 450SX) “The main event didn’t go as planned, but the good news is we live to fight another day and line back up next weekend at one of my favorite tracks, Daytona. There are still positives to take away from today; we were fastest qualifier, won our heat race, and we never gave up in the main event, and battled hard all the way to the very end to salvage as many points as possible. We are going to put this race behind us and be ready to rock next week in Daytona!”


Martin Davalos: (5th in 450SX) “Atlanta has always been good to me! Last night was an insane experience. I really tried my hardest to hold the position and I am so bummed I wasn’t able to seal the deal but there were still so many positives to take away from last night. I had so much fun.”

RJ Hampshire (#24) grabbed the holeshot and finished with a career-best 2nd. Photo by: Simon Cudby

Jordon Smith: (4th in 250SX) “Honestly, I am happy with today’s performance. I would have liked to be closer to those front three guys battling for a podium position at the end, but after last week’s rough ride I am just happy to be back up towards the front of the pack where I belong. I just need to work on cleaning up a few things and we’ll be right where I expect us to be. The last time I raced Daytona was in 2018 and I won at the iconic track, so I am excited to get back down there and try to do it again.””


Aaron Plessinger: (7th in 450SX) “Atlanta was pretty good. It’s the best race I’ve had so far this season and we keep making forward progress. The track was gnarly. It got really rough, really rutted and the whoops broke down a lot. It was a really high paced race to say the least. I felt really good, but got a little off rhythm for a couple of laps but got it back and was able to finish seventh. I’m pretty happy with that. We’ll go back to Florida and keep working, and head into to Daytona with high hopes.”


Jo Shimoda: (5th in 250SX) “Yeah I was feeling really good on my bike but in the time qualifying couldn’t really put a good lap in. But I had a good start in my heat and I was able to bump up to second, but then I hit a tough block after finish line which put me down to fifth. In the main event, bad start, but I was able to get to fifth from 13th. That’s a big improvement for me. The main thing I have learned after the first two races was to be more aggressive at the beginning of the race. I made more moves early and that helped me move up.”


Malcolm Stewart: (8th in 450SX) “I made a big mistake first lap in the sand. At one point I was going backward dodging riders, but it was a good charge and put myself inside the top 10. Looking forward to Daytona!”

Davalos (37), Webb (2) and Tomac (3) had an incredible last-lap battle for the final podium spot. That spot went to Webb. Photo by: Octopi

Dean Wilson: (10th in 450SX) “I’m a little bit disappointed with my night because I feel like I was in a really good position to get a top-five or even a podium. Unfortunately, a few things happened that kind of held me up and I ended up crashing but I feel like I rode really well and my fitness felt really good.”


Jason Anderson: (11th in 450SX) “The Main Event was just a battle out there and I didn’t get the good end of the stick most of the time. I ended up finishing not as good as my riding was but we’ll move onto next week.”


Justin Brayton: (12th in 450SX) I’m pretty disappointed with tonight’s result. It seems like I can’t catch a break. Last weekend was really tough and I did everything I could this week to rest and recover my body. I felt good on press day, qualified okay, then got a good start in my heat race and finished third. I was hoping for a main event free from chaos, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t get the greatest start, then got hit by Cooper [Webb] and went down in the sand. My results haven’t been reflecting my speed, so I just need to focus on getting better starts and staying out of the mess.”


James Weeks: (20th in 450SX) “Solid day in Atlanta. One spot out in the heat race then I went and got the win in the LCQ. Main event got bumped around at the start of the race then had a tip-over that cost me running up with the other riders. Now it’s about keeping it consistent and keep learning every weekend.”


Garrett Marchbanks: (7th in 250SX) “Today was not easy by any stretch of the imagination for me. I was satisfied with where we qualified in fourth, and in the heat race I didn’t get the best start but was able to climb to fifth. In the main event tonight, I was feeling really good and somewhere around the halfway mark I went down and re-tweaked my ankle. I could barely make it through the whoops or put any pressure on my foot. We will rest up this week to be ready to go next weekend in Daytona.”

With a 3rd, Shane McElrath will need to peal the red background off before Daytona. Photo by: Octopi

Jalek Swoll : (9th in 250SX) “I got a good start from the outside but I got hung up in the second corner and came out sixth. Two ninth-place finishes in a row isn’t too bad but I’m just missing a little bit of intensity in the beginning of the race. I feel like I can be a few spots higher but I need to get better starts.”


Jimmy Decotis: (13th in 250SX) “Atlanta is always a cool race for the JGR team as it’s the closest to our home. The track was awesome and my bike was working great. I’m bummed on my finish as I haven’t been riding much and it’s showing on the weekends. I’m really proud of everyone at JGR for sticking with me and believing in me. It’s an amazing feeling when a team supports you through your struggles. I’m looking forward to Daytona this weekend!”


Justin Starling: (16th in 250SX) “I’m done trying to ride conservative and save the shoulder and not crash. All mental at this point and I will fix that. Time to lay it all out and go big or go home ’cause this isn’t fun riding around in the back. See everyone in Daytona!”


Jeremy Martin: (19th in 250SX) “It wasn’t shaping up to be a pretty night of racing after practice in Atlanta but I definitely turned my day around by ripping a holeshot in the heat to race to bring it home for the win. I felt better, and I was excited for the main event and got off to a good start. Was patiently sitting behind Shane [McElrath, running in third] waiting to put in a late charge. The track was tricky so I knew you had to pick your spots. Then RJ [Hampshire] landed on a tough block and I, unfortunately, didn’t see it and boom, race over. That was pretty disappointing but at least I’m okay. Looking forward to Daytona.”



Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.