The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship headed to Daytona International Speedway’s famous infield for round number 10, round 4 of the Eastern Regional 250SX Championship and the 2020 Daytona SX.
In the 450 class, the racing for the win was a good one with HRC / Honda’s, Ken Roczen getting to the lead early and building a decent gap only to see the now four-time Daytona SX winner, Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, hunt him down and pass him for the win. Grabbing the 3rd spot on the Daytona podium behind Tomac and Roczen was Red Bull / KTM’s Cooper Webb. With the win, Tomac takes sole possession of the red plate as the series heads to Indianapolis next weekend.
In the 250SX class, Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Garrett Marchbanks held off a charging GEICO / Honda’s Chase Sexton to score the first win in his young career. Chase crossed the line a close 2nd with his GEICO / Honda teammate Jeremy Martin finishing in 3rd.
After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from the riders talking about how their Daytona Supercross went for them
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450SX) “I’ve always loved racing at Daytona; I have fun out here and it’s special having the fans so close and loud by the track. I had a positive attitude all day and just kept that energy rolling into the night show. Truthfully, I really thought it was a long shot to win the main as I was riding around sixth in the first lap with some tough contenders in front of me. I had some good momentum in the sand and a few other sections though, so I was able to put in some solid laps and begin making moves, giving it everything I had.”
Garrett Marchbanks: (1st in 250SX) “I’m on cloud nine right now. I’ve thought about this for a long time – what it would be like to win – and it’s better than I could have imagined. It’s especially cool to get a win at Daytona. It’s such a historic race. I’m thankful that the team has been so supportive and knew I had what it takes. I finally got a great start and can’t believe we went wire-to-wire. Today was unbelievable! I don’t even know what happened to me in that heat race, but I wanted that win, so I kept charging. I took advantage of the good starts; I even got my first holeshot of my professional career and really just used that confidence from the heat race to set the tone in the main event. We’ve been working so hard and I can’t thank the team enough for everything they do to help me get up here on the podium. This win is for them.”
Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450SX) “In the middle of the race, I switched up my lines a little bit. That didn’t work out too well and Eli was coming. I made a mistake, tipped over in that turn and that cost me the lead right there. When that happened, it was important to not give up and to stay right behind him. We were definitely putting up a good pace there at the end still. I tried my hardest in the end and it wasn’t enough for the win in the end, but this is the closest I’ve been to a win in Daytona. This will have to do for tonight. ”
Chase Sexton: (2nd in 250SX) “You’re never pleased to finish 2nd but overall I pretty much struggled all day with bike setup. I wasn’t really feeling comfortable with the track. It was more outdoorsy than I really expected and on the SX setup, I just didn’t really feel comfortable. In the heat race, I had a crash and ran over a rider [Nick Gaines]. I got back to 3rd, which I really feel like I rode well. In the main event, I didn’t put myself in a good spot. The gate I had was pretty far outside and I was just trying to give the best effort I could. I got into the corner first, but then I went too far wide. Garrett was out front and I knew he was going to be tough to beat. He was riding good all day. I put my head down and tried to close the gap a little bit, but overall he was riding really well and I can’t take anything away from him. I just didn’t have it tonight. ”
Jeremy Martin: (3rd in 250SX) “It was a pretty good day for me and GEICO / Honda. I wheelied out of the gate in the main and was like 6th or 7th around the first turn. I was trying to work my way forward and someone went down in the sand and I blew off the track. I went off and had to jump the tough-block and from there it was just damage control and trying to work my way to the front.”
Cooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “I felt like I put myself in a good position – I was in second and a little way back and Eli [Tomac] was able to get me. I started making a lot of mistakes and let him getaway. It’s good to be on the podium, so I’m stoked on that but I’m going to work this week. I think I’m at a point where I’ve finally healed up good enough to try to contend, so I’ll take the podium but I really want to get another win.”
Jason Anderson: (4th in 450SX) “My weekend went alright. The heat race went well, I almost got into the lead there but I ended up finishing second. In the main, I got the holeshot and fell back to fourth but I pushed forward and almost had third. All-in-all it, was a good race for me and I just have to keep racing out there with the boys.”
Justin Barcia: (5th in 450SX) ” felt like I should have had a stronger result, but there were some positives to take from tonight. My starts were much better, so that was a good thing. We just struggled with setup all day. We were trying to adapt to the track and find that happy place, I just never found it. I rode well in my Heat race. The track was pretty smooth, but in the Main Event the track roughened up and I was just a little bit uncomfortable. Aaron and I battled for a while. It was a fun race, but I expected a lot more of myself. I felt like I should have had a better result, but we have to take the positives. I had good starts and qualified pretty well today, which was something that has hurt us. So we’re going to take the positives moving into next weekend at Indy and get back on top.”
RJ Hampshire: (4th in 250SX) “Obviously I would have liked to finish on the podium but all-in-all, I’m pretty happy with how tonight went. While I was running third, I dabbed my leg in a corner and it gave me a stinger on my knee, which kind of caused me to mess up the rhythm a couple of laps and [Jeremy] Martin was able to get around me. With the track being as high-speed as it was, I made the decision to be smart and take fourth so I could move on to Indy and get better results.””
Aaron Plessinger: (6th in 450SX) “The night was great. I got off to a really great start in the Heat race. I held Kenny (Roczen) off for a couple laps, but he got by me. Then Barcia and I were going at it for a little bit but I was able to hold him off and finish second. I got off to another great start in the Main, but then a few guys got by me. I held the pace for a little bit, but it was gnarly out there! It was rough, rutted, and sandy. I almost fell down a couple times and got head shake a couple times as well. It definitely holds up to its name of being the toughest supercross race. Barcia got me with a few laps to go and I finished sixth. We’re making strides towards the front. I finished up eighth two weeks ago, seventh last weekend, and now sixth. I’m just plugging away. The bike’s coming together really nice. I think before we know it we’ll be up on the podium.”
Shane McElrath: (5th in 250SX) “I felt great all day and had a great night going! I got together with another rider early on and we both ended up going down. I was pushing hard to come back and catch the lead group and then I ended up going down again. I’m happy with my riding, just sometimes things don’t go your way. We will be back!”
Pierce Brown: (6th in 250X) “The night started off a little rough (laughs) but we stayed pretty drama-free in the main and built a lot from last weekend. Can’t thank the team TLD / KTM enough for all their hard work! Back to the drawing board this week to keep on building, see you guys in Indy.”
Dean Wilson: (7th in 450SX) “In the Main Event, I knew the start was very crucial so I put a lot of focus into that and I had a decent start but I got a little tight at the beginning. About midway through, I started finding lines and getting close to the top-five but I just wasn’t able to make it happen. I’m frustrated with not being in the top-five but I’m happy with my riding progress and I feel like my confidence is coming back so every weekend I’m getting a lot better.”
Justin Brayton: (10th in 450SX) “I’m pretty disappointed; it doesn’t seem like I can catch a break, honestly. I got an okay start but was shuffled around on the first lap and came around in about 10th. I wasn’t able to make the moves I needed to and was back in the chaos. On the final lap, I was completely taken down by Vince [Friese].”
Jalek Swoll : (9th in 250SX) “Honestly, the start of the day didn’t go too well but once the night show came around I actually felt really good on the bike and all the struggles I had in the beginning of the day went away,” Swoll said. “I actually I think the LCQ helped me a little bit – I got more time on the track and more time on the sand tire, so it was good. I was happy with my speed tonight and I feel like I was catching the guys in front of me but I had some mistakes that kept me from breaking into that group ahead.”
Jordan Bailey: (11th in 250SX) “I placed 3rd in the heat race and 11th in the main. I struggled the entire main but we’ll get it figured out for Indy next weekend.
Lorenzo Locurcio: (12th in 250SX) “Daytona was a step in the right direction for us. I felt great all day. A little mishap in qualifying too. Bent all the bike but Julien worked hard to get it all back together for heat two. I went down first lap but came back to 8th in the heat. Main event, placed 12th. Lots of improvements but I want more.”
Kyle Chisholm: (15th in 450SX) “Not happy with my riding again. But that just means I have to keep working on some things and try again. Always a work in progress no matter what you do. If you stop trying to get better you might as well just quit. So we’ll try again in 6 days.”
Ryan Sipes: (16th in 450SX) “Man I had a lot of fun. Daytona is just cool, right? This year’s track was more like an outdoor than a real SX. Way different than last year even. I Had one good qualifying run where I was around 11th overall, which felt pretty good. Qualified straight to the main out of the heat race (huge relief). In the main, I had a top ten start from the outside on the 350 (thanks Twisted Development Racing) but tangled with someone on the first lap and went down in the sand. Got up last. I wanted to be a little upset that I didn’t do better, but you know what, every guy on that track was a bad dude. SX is no joke man. It’s asking a lot to just show up and beat them. I gotta be happy that I can still hang with the top 20 in the world.”
Henry Miller: (17th in 450SX) “Daytona is in the books. Made a nice step forward by putting it straight into the main event! Now time to go back to work for Indy next weekend!”
Jordon Smith: (22nd in 250SX) “I was feeling good and riding aggressive all day. We showed some progress last weekend and I was even more confident after my heat race. I’m frustrated because I actually got off to a great start to the main, but I made a costly mistake and wasn’t able to continue as I twisted my knee and couldn’t get back out there. I hope to get checked out and back out on the track soon after further evaluation.”
Ryan Breece: (18th in 450SX) “A fun experience in Daytona. I have lots to work on but made big improvements from last year’s race over here. I’m very excited to get racing in Indy and looking to build my results for the next half of the season. Thanks to my team and supporters for always being in my corner.”
Tyler Bowers (2st in 450SX) “An issue during the main event at Daytona this weekend forced me to head back to the pits early. Really bummed as I was feeling great physically and knew my strength would be a benefit on the ever-changing track. Sometimes things happen and I am happy to leave healthy and ready to fight another day.”