2023 Denver Supercross | Race Report & Results
The 2023 Denver Supercross will forever be remembered as a turning point to the Monster Energy Supercross Championship, as the night at Empower Field saw RJ Hampshire score the win the in 250 Main Event, Jett Lawrence claim the fourth title of his 250 Class career, Eli Tomac suffer a season-ending injury while leading the pack, and Chase Sexton assume control of the 450 Class championship through Tomac’s DNF and another 450 Main Event victory.
250 Heat One
The first heat race of the night was off, as Levi Kitchen led the field out of the first corner with Rj Hampshire in tail. Derek Kelly passed into third place by the end of the opening lap, as Robbie Wageman was then shuffled back to fourth place. Maximus Vohland then passed Wageman for fourth place.
Maximus Vohland then gave chase to Derek Kelly and ultimately made the pass after diving to the inside in a right-hander. Meanwhile, Levi Kitchen continued to lead Rj Hampshire and held just over a second cushion. With two laps to go, Rj Hampshire nearly slid out in a flat corner and lost 3 seconds to Levi. Kitchen crossed the checkered flag to claim the heat race victory over Hampshire.
250 Heat Two
The second 250SX heat was underway and Mitchell Oldenburg was off to the early lead. Meanwhile, Jett Lawrence was down just after the first corner with Hunter Yoder and a few others. Enzo Lopes made a pass on Oldenburg after the two switched lines a few times. Carson Mumford then passed Oldenburg for second place.
Moments later, Carson Mumford made a pass on Lopes and took over the lead. As Carson worked to build a cushion over Lopes, Jett Lawrence was up to ninth place after his first lap incident. A few laps later, Enzo Lopes railed the inside past Mumford and took the lead back. Mitchell Oldenburg then passed Mumford for second place.
With two laps to go, Jett Lawrence passed Schwartz for fourth place. Enzo Lopes crossed the checkered flag and claimed his first career heat race win.
As the 250SX last chance qualifier left the gate, Geran Stapleton took the early lead with Sanford in tail. Brandon Ray then darted inside to take over second place. Hunter Yoder then shuffled his way up the pack, as he went from outside of a transfer position to third place in a few corners.
Sanford then sat in fourth, but Amerine and Schlosser made their own separate passes and pushed Sanford further down the list. Hunter Yoder made the pass on Ray for second place, as Stapleton continued to lead. Schlosser went for a pass on Amerine but went down in the process, ending his chances at a main event. With two laps to go, Stapleton left the inside line open and allowed Yoder to pass for the lead. Hunter Yoder crossed the finish line to claim the LCQ win.
250 Main Event
The 250SX main event in Denver was off and Maximus Vohland rounded the first corner with the early lead. Levi Kitchen trailed in second place with Rj Hampshire and Carson Mumford just behind. Meanwhile, Jett Lawrence sat back in ninth place after a not so great start. After a better line through the rhythm lane, Levi Kitchen jumped to the inside of Vohland and took over the race lead.
Rj Hampshire then passed Maximus and shuffled the early race leader back to third. Enzo Lopes was on the charge, as he passed Mumford for fourth place. Jett Lawrence was up to seventh place, as he continued to pick up positions with the championship in mind. Enzo Lopes cut inside of Vohland to take over third place and Vohland, who was tagged by Enzo’s rear wheel, dropped back to 8th place.
Jett Lawrence now sat in fourth place after a few more passes and Vohland’s fall. A lap later, Jett cut under Enzo and took the podium position. Up front, Rj Hampshire was on Kitchen’s rear wheel and pressuring for the race lead. Levi made a mistake, which allowed Rj to pull alongside. However, Rj then took the following corner too wide and jumped off track. That mistake gave Kitchen a 4-second cushion with the race lead.
Following his mistake, Rj Hampshire was laying down the fastest laps of the race and reeling Kitchen back in. After a better run through the whoops, Rj Hampshire blitzed to the inside of Levi and took over the race lead with just under a minute left on the clock. Rj Hampshire crossed the finish line just ahead of Levi Kitchen to take the victory in Denver. Jett Lawrence crossed the finish line in third place and claimed the 2023 250SX West championship.
450 Heat One
The first 450SX race of the evening was off and Ken Roczen looked to be off to the early lead, but his teammate Kyle Chisholm snuck around the outside and took control of the race. Though, Ken managed to make the pass on Kyle before the end of the opening lap. Adam Cianciarulo then passed Chisholm and took second place.
Justin Starling ran in fourth place and had Justin Hill trailing. Though, Hill then made the pass on Starling and switched his focus to Chisholm in third place. A few laps later, Hill blitzed alongside Chisholm in the whoops and then darted to the inside to claim third place.
Up front, Adam Cianciarulo was pressuring Roczen for the race lead. Ken fought off the challenge from Cianciarulo and took the heat race victory.
450 Heat Two
The final heat race of the evening was underway, as Eli Tomac led the field out of the first corner. Colt Nichols trailed in second place, but was quickly shuffled back to third place after Chase Sexton passed. Kevin Moranz passed into fourth place, but had Dean Wilson just behind.
Chase Sexton had reeled-in Eli Tomac after a few laps and was pressuring for the lead. Chase Sexton cut inside of Tomac on a flat corner and took over the race lead. Shane McElrath made a pass on Wilson for fourth place. With time expired on the clock, Eli Tomac was on Sexton’s rear wheel. Though, Chase Sexton opened his lead back up in the final laps and took the heat race victory.
The 450 last chance qualifier was off, as Tristan Lane rounded the first corner in the lead. Lane Shaw trailed in second place with Simonson in tail. Lane Shaw made a mistake in the rhythm lane and allowed Simonson to pass for second place. Laps later, Lane Shaw passed back into second place. Tristan Lane took the LCQ victory just ahead of Lane Shaw, Devin Simonson, and Freddie Noren.
450 Main Event
As the 450SX main event left the gate, Adam Cianciarulo was named the race leader with Shane McElrath in tail. Kyle darted to the inside in the second corner to take over the race lead. Eli Tomac entered the picture and stole second place from Cianciarulo before taking the lead from McElrath, all on the opening lap. In the first corner, Ken Roczen slid out after a great jump off the line.
Chase Sexton blitzed past Nichols and into fourth place, as Eli Tomac already held a 2-second lead over Cianciarulo. While leading, Eli Tomac pulled off the track nursing his left knee. As Eli raced to the medical trailer with an apparent injured leg, Adam Cianciarulo lucked into the race lead.
Colt Nichols went down hard while running in the top-10, ending his night. Chase Sexton made a pass on Cianciarulo to take over the race lead and control of the 450SX championship. Shane McElrath ran in third place following the drama, but was then passed by Ken Roczen – who went down in the first turn. Justin Hill passed McElrath for fourth place.
In one of the, if not the, wildest nights of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross championship, Chase Sexton took the victory in Denver and control of the 450 championship, as Eli Tomac will sit out the rest of the year with a ruptured achilles. Ken Roczen crossed the finish line in second place and Adam Cianciarulo grabbed his first podium of the year in third place.