INTERVIEW: Chase Sexton
“I haven’t had the season that I’ve wished to this point, however I feel I nonetheless have what it takes to get on the rostrum and to presumably win a race.”
It’s min- boggling to suppose that Group Honda has not received a supercross championship since Ricky Carmichael raced to the title in 2003. And for Honda, 18 years is method too lengthy. Enter Chase Sexton. The 2019 and 2020 AMA 250SX East Supercross Champion, Sexton was employed by the Honda 450cc program to not solely be Ken Roczen’s teammate in 2021, however to exit into the baseball and soccer stadiums and win 450cc Supercross principal occasions, and presumably, even a championship.
13 races into what has been a tumultuous ‘21 Monster Vitality Supercross Collection, Sexton has competed in a complete of six principal occasions, his greatest outcomes coming with a pair of high 5 finishes at Arlington, Texas. Good outcomes and displaying sturdy potential, Sexton is comparatively happy together with his ’21 season up to now – however desires extra. He desires a win. The ten,000 cubic toes of dust which were moved round over at Atlanta Motor Speedway for this Saturday’s supercross race set for the 125,000-seat inventory automotive venue simply may be what the person from La Moille, Illinois must put his identify and the No.23 up in lights.
Q: It’s been a protracted break between these races, hasn’t it?
CHASE SEXTON: Yeah, it’s been form of good. I crashed on the final race at Dallas and form of messed my face up a bit bit, so it has been good to have the ability to let that heal. I’m able to get again racing.
Q: What saved your self and the Group Honda HRC contingent busy in the course of the three week break? Between conserving all the things sharp for supercross and seeking to the quick approaching begin to the outside sequence, there have been most likely quite a lot of issues to take care of?
CS: Yeah, so I took that week off after the final Dallas race simply to let me physique heal a bit bit and my face was fairly jacked up, so I let that heal and used the antibiotics and let myself get higher. After that, I received proper again into coaching with off-the-bike stuff. That subsequent Monday I received again on the bike and had 4 days of fine using. We did two days of outside and two days of supercross, after which all of this week we’ve been centered on supercross.
We additionally received a bit bit of out of doors using in. I felt actually good within the open air and it was good to vary it up, as a result of using supercross for 4 months can get, not outdated, however it could simply get monotonous doing the identical factor every single day. Getting again to open air has been good, and now we’re again on supercross and specializing in these 5 races.
Q: What do you make of the Atlanta Motor Speedway monitor you’ll race on this Saturday in addition to subsequent week? The circuit seems to be lengthy and quick, and positively a parallel to the Daytona Worldwide Speedway infield supercross monitor.
CS: Yeah, I imply with the primary take a look at it, it clearly appears like Daytona simply because it’s a speedway and it’s open air, however truthfully, I feel that is going to be method longer than Daytona is. Wanting on the footage I’ve seen to this point, I’m pondering at the very least, and even over, 120 second lap occasions at Atlanta. I imply, simply the size of the monitor goes to be fairly cool, as a result of it will be much less laps in the primary occasion, for certain.
The monitor goes to be a unique animal as a result of there are going to be a variety of rhythm sections and lengthy lanes, and I feel there are going to be two units of whoops, so I’m trying ahead to all of that. Altering it up like that is going to be one thing cool and possibly one thing they do extra of sooner or later. That is undoubtedly going to be a pleasant check and we’ll have three races on it, so I’m excited.
Q: Sure, the Atlanta Motor Speedway monitor and also you guys on the large and highly effective 450cc motocross bikes ought to make for a wonderful spectacle of supercross racing. In some methods possibly like an outside race, huh?
CS: Yeah, undoubtedly. This monitor goes to be extra supercross-focused than Daytona is, however it’s undoubtedly going to have a bit bit of out of doors pace to it and that was form of the explanation why I rode open air final week to get that pace again. Stuff comes up sooner racing open air since you’re touring at a better fee of pace, and being on a 450 now, you’ve loads of energy to get going fairly quick. I’m excited to do that one out and prepare for open air, as a result of clearly final 12 months the top of the season went properly and I’m trying ahead to being a contender this 12 months and placing it up entrance.
Q: You’ve been up-and-down so far as the ends in the six 450cc supercross principal occasions you’ve lined up for, and also you’ve sat out six races resulting from harm and restoration, however nonetheless, the highest 5 pace and potential is completely there, isn’t it?
CS: Yeah, such as you stated, I’ve been fairly up-and-down this 12 months. It hasn’t fairly occurred how I wished it to occur. Clearly, the primary race wasn’t superb (P14 at Houston 1) after which on the second race (Houston 2) I got here out and received the warmth race and going to the primary occasion I received the holeshot and I feel I had a six second lead over second place with six laps in. I used to be going at a great fee of tempo, after which I ended up happening fairly onerous, which harm my shoulder, which precipitated me to overlook six races. That was a bit little bit of a bummer.
Then we got here again for Daytona, and I didn’t have the race tempo that I wished. These guys have been racing for some time, and I missed six races and simply form of got here again and was a bit bit off the tempo. I felt like at each Arlington race my pace received higher. My first race at Arlington was actually good. I ended up getting a fourth. I rode in third a very long time behind Justin Barcia and ended up getting handed by Jason Anderson. That was a great race for me. I received fifth on the subsequent race at Arlington. Within the third final race I used to be as much as fifth once more and identical to I did at Houston, I had a bobble within the sand part and I ended up happening.
General, I really feel like my using is getting higher and I’m actually trying ahead to those final 5 races. I nonetheless have really feel like I’ve stuff to show in supercross. I haven’t had the season that I’ve wished to this point, however I feel I nonetheless have what it takes to get on the rostrum and to presumably win a race. That’s my focus at this level. It’s been actually good and I’ve been working with James Stewart and it has been enjoyable with him and using at his place is superior. It’s been a dream come true.
Q: Honda and HRC have a wonderful historical past and heritage in our sport and also you’re part of that and the very best degree within the spirit. Cool stuff, huh?
CS: It has been actually, actually cool. I began on the novice degree racing for Amsoil Honda after which was drafted into GEICO Honda and now I’m on the manufacturing facility crew, and it has been actually cool to undergo every rank of their program. Now that I’m on the highest step of that, it has been enjoyable. Being teammates with Ken [Roczen] has additionally been nice. He’s going for a championship this 12 months, which is cool to see. I want it was me. Nevertheless it has been enjoyable being teammates with him. The crew is superior. They’ve a variety of historical past, such as you stated. My objective is to clearly put them again on the highest step as a result of they haven’t received a championship since RC. That’s my objective. I’m actually excited to be working with these guys. It has been enjoyable to this point. Hopefully, we now have a protracted interval collectively.
Q: As you talked about, there are 5 races left on the 2021 Monster Vitality Supercross Collection schedule and maybe this can be a good time to go on the market and see if you happen to can pull off a podium or perhaps a win, huh?
CS: Yeah, like I stated I’m form of taking these final 5 races as a possibility to go on the market and show what I’m able to doing as a result of I’ve proven pace this 12 months and I’ve had actually good races, however I nonetheless haven’t reached my objective but. I’ve 5 races to try this. There may be nothing to lose for me. I simply wish to go on the market and do one of the best I can and get a great begin. My principal objective is simply to battle with the blokes within the high 4 or 5, as a result of these are the blokes I’m going to should race in open air and race towards subsequent 12 months in supercross. They’re not going anyplace and I’ve to go on the market and present them what I’m made from.
I’m trying ahead to that, and searching ahead to doing battle with these guys. It has been enjoyable to this point. The 450 class is a complete completely different animal and I’m trying ahead to the final 5 races and exhibiting everybody what I can do. It’s been super-fun racing these 450 guys. It has been cool to see how these guys race, and the way they simply go a few race day. It has been enjoyable to look at, and I additionally be taught from them as a result of they’ve much more years below their belts than I do. It’s been a problem to this point, however I’m trying ahead to making an attempt to bridge that hole. I’m actually trying ahead to those Atlanta rounds.