Mistakes Hinder Chase Sexton’s West Coast Return; Rebounds to Fifth Place Finish

By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer

It had been 1,450-days since Chase Sexton raced the soil in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California but on Saturday, he looked like a veteran. The 22-year old from La Moille, Illinois put on a stellar performance, that was until it derailed early in the first 450SX main of 2022. 

Sexton rocketed out of the gate with teammate Ken Roczen and the two were building a gap away from the rest of the field. The two battled back and forth with each other for a good chunk of the first laps of the 2022 season. The speed that Sexton showed in Head 1 of 2022 was on display and he showed he was here and he meant business, putting up a fight with veteran Roczen. 

In one instant though, the night began to spiral downward as he made a mistake entering a corner, hitting the tough blocks, and losing second from Adam Ciancirulo. The mistake came early though which gave him the opportunity to make up for it. His drive and speed were again on display as he passed Ciancirulo to take back the second position and set his sights on teammate Roczen, who had built a nearly nine-second lead. 

Sexton entered the whoops in second but when he went to leave them, hitting the final few, he lost control of the bike falling off more substantially than he did during his first incident. Sexton fell all the way to ninth having to hold off Eli Tomac and ultimately losing his opportunity for victory to start 2022. 

Despite the two accidents that Sexton had during the opening stages of the race, his speed wasn’t altered. He’d been dealt a hard pair of cards but used his speed to maneuver around other riders. Rebounding from falling off the bike and falling back to ninth, Sexton brought the No. 23 home in fifth. He attempted to take fourth away from Marvin Musquin on the final stretch but came up short. 

“That one was tough,” said Sexton. “I feel like an idiot for making those two mistakes. The first one caught me really far off guard and the second one was me really riding off of emotion. Unfortunate for me but I showed a ton of fight that one, I didn’t give up. Marvin and I had a good couple of lap battles at the end and he ended up getting me right there at the finish but that was frustrating. It’s not the first time that I was the fastest and did not get the win but we’ll go back to work and some whoop practice and try not to make that little head mistake over there. Overall the team has been good, I love the track and I had a lot of fun, it’s awesome to have the fans back, and just overall looking forward to Oakland.”

Sexton leaves Anaheim 1 fifth in points, eight points behind teammate Roczen. In his only previous start at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, he finished sixth in 250SX in 2018. 

Photo: Rachel Schuoler

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