Race Report: Chase Sexton and Chance Hymas Win at RedBud

The 2024 Pro Motocross Championship at RedBud, sponsored by Bob The Cooler Company for Round #6, was nothing short of intense. The crowd on hand was one of, if not the best, we have ever seen at the facility. Team Honda HRC's Hunter Lawrence, rookie, and Australian in the 450MX class, came into Buchanan, Michigan, with the points lead, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Chase Sexton was only three points behind. After hearing the news this week of the defending champion, younger brother to Hunter, Jett Lawrence, out with a UCL injury for the rest of the summer, the fight for the title between Hunter and Sexton heats up.

In 250MX, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing's Haiden Deegan has been dominant this year with multiple come-from-behind rides and asserting himself as the guy to beat this summer. The racing at RedBud saw another first-time overall winner this season in the 250MX category and battles to the checkered flag in nearly every moto again!

With it being the 4th of July weekend at RedBud and all of the international flavor AMA Pro Motocross has, the Americans were poised to get the win. Let's break down what happened, along with what the top three in each class stated after the day's racing:

250 Moto 1

Initially, off the start, Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Ty Masterpool and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Vialle were neck and neck when they crossed the Motosport.com Holeshot line, followed by Team Honda HRC’s Chance Hymas. By the second corner, Vialle takes the early lead while Hymas gets around Masterpool for 2nd: championship leader Haiden Deegan in 4th. Hymas makes quick work of Vialle on the inside, blitzing down the downhill and taking the lead early in this moto. Vialle, who was running second, tipped over in a deep rut, causing him to flip over with the bike on top of him. Big mistake two weekends in a row. It took him a second to get back going, and now back to 4th. Teammate to Deegan, Jordan Smith, who was running inside the top ten, had a big get-off coming down the downhill, collecting with Triumph Factory Racing’s Joey Savatgy, and hit the deck hard. He was able to get back going, but only for a couple more laps in this first moto, finishing 38th.

The running order up front stays the same till 8 minutes + 2 laps left when Masterpool puts in a charge and passes race leader Hymas, exiting the sand rollers and up the inside to the finish line. Now we see Deegan, in striking distance back in 3rd, make his appearance known to the front runners. Can Haiden put in another come-from-behind charge to take the moto win? In the same sand rollers, Deegan passes Hymas around the outside for a better drive and moves into 2nd place with 6 minutes + 2 laps left. Deegan did make it interesting with two laps to go and on the final lap with both riders side by side going over Larocco’s Leap, but Ty responded in a big way to hold him off and take his second career moto win.

450 Moto 1

Across the Motosport.com Holeshot line, championship points leader Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence grabs his 4th holeshot on the season, followed by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s fan favorite Aaron Plessinger. The lone man for the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team, Justin Cooper, is third and second in championship points on the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine, Chase Sexton, who starts 4th. Sexton around Cooper early in the first lap and sets his eyes toward the front. Sexton did tip over in the beginning part of the race, the corner before the sand rollers, but remounted quickly without losing too many positions. Phoenix Racing Honda’s Dylan Ferrandis makes a mistake exiting the corner before the finish line and collides with Muc-Off/ClubMx/FXR’s Phil Nicoletti early in the race, taking them both down and remount at the back of the pack.

Halfway through the moto, Sexton starts to charge, taking over his teammate Plessinger for second. One lap later, he is on the back wheel of race leader Hunter Lawrence and tries to plan where to put a pass. These two were dealing with a lot of lap traffic, making it hard for Sexton to prepare a pass. Winding down the laps late in this moto, we start to see Lawrence making mistakes, and with two laps to go, 1.3 seconds up on Sexton, he makes his biggest season mistake so far, down the downhill. The bike begins to kick, coming down the hill, making his front-end knife and left hand come off the bars, and he is along for the ride. That's all she wrote to a big hit.

Sexton wins his career-first moto win at RedBud in his eighth attempt in pro racing. Lawrence would remount back on the bike for 2nd, and Cooper, in the last remaining laps, puts in a charge to catch and pass Plessinger for 3rd.

250 Moto 2

Hymas grabs his 3rd holeshot this summer for the final 250MX moto, followed by Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Levi Kitchen, Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Ryder DiFrancesco, and Team Honda HRC’s Jo Shimoda in tow. DiFrancesco moves up into second around Kitchen, exiting the second corner and Hymas is around Levi as well to move him up to third. The first moto winner, Masterpool, doesn’t get the best start, 7th, but makes his way to 4th by the end of lap 1. DiFrancesco drops back to 5th. Out front, it’s Hymas, Shimoda, and Kitchen top 3.

Championship points leader and second place in moto 1 Deegan and third in points, fourth in moto 1 Tom Vialle, both had bad starts and started to mount a charge up the field. Vialle, in 8th, and Deegan, in 9th, were battling till Haiden made a mistake entering the corner after the mechanic’s area, nearly tucking the front end but keeping it up right without losing too much time at that moment. Masterpool was around his teammate Kitchen for 3rd and looked at the day’s overall.

With 10 minutes plus two laps left on the clock, Vialle is now around Triumph Factory Racing’s Jalek Swoll and DiFrancesco to move into 5th. We also learned around this time that during moto 1, Hymas jumped on a red cross flag and was docked five championship points.

Masterpool hits a wall in fitness from that first moto and drops back to 5th, moving Vialle up to 4th, giving Hymas a chance for the overall on the day. Shimoda did get close in the remaining laps to try and make a pass, but Hymas held firm for his career-second moto win and his career-first overall at RedBud. Masterpool would grab 2nd overall on the day, with Jo Shimoda going back-to-back podium.

Kitchen holds strong for 3rd in this moto. Stalling the bike in a corner, Deegan couldn’t move up the field fast enough to catch the front pack, and with a gnarly get off in the later stages of the moto, the same rider that endoed in front of Vialle, Deegan hit his bike which sent him flying off the machine and down hard. He remounts quickly, without losing a position for 6th in the moto.

Even with Deegan's worst placing this season, he remains the same number of points ahead of Hymas and Vialle in the championship, with Chance's five points docked.

First overall, Hymas: “I didn't even know I had the overall till I came to impound and the team told me. I am super stoked. It’s about time. It's cool and special to do it here on the Fourth of July weekend at RedBud. It's kind of a bucket list win for me. With me and Jo (Shimoda) going 1-2 in the final moto, it truly shows how much hard work we have been putting in for a day like this. Super stoked!”

Second overall, Ty Masterpool: “Feeling better and better each day on this bike, and the stamina is getting better. The first moto was me vs me out there battling with Deegan in those last laps, and I was happy to get that moto win here.”

Third overall, Jo Shimoda: “While these guys were having a battle at the front the first moto, I got taken out off the start and was hectic out there coming through the pack, but I enjoyed today.”

450 Moto 2

In the final moto of the day, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson grabs the holeshot, followed closely by Justin Cooper and Australian, on the Mobile X FirePower Honda, Kyle Webster in 3rd. But coming out of the second corner, Webster takes the lead in his second race here in America. Sexton sits 4th, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Malcolm Stewart is 5th. Stewart slings around the outside, passing Sexton and Cooper for 3rd. Anderson gets around Webster for the lead, sending it down the hill and using the nicely groomed outside line to make it stick. Sexton then is around Cooper and Stewart to take 3rd. Aaron Plessinger now moves up past Cooper for 5th. Hunter Lawrence is back in 6th after gambling on the regular tire instead of the scoop tire for this moto, which hurt him initially off the start. All of this action is in the opening lap.

Sexton then puts on the afterburners and goes around Webster, quickly past the race leader, Anderson, on the inside of the corner, and checks out from the field. Plessinger around Stewart for 4th, then Webster for 3rd. Webster started to drop back at this point, but it was a solid start, and he ran up at the front for some time. Something happened with Cooper, and he dropped back to 10th after a couple of laps into the race.

Halfway through this final moto, Lawrence moves up to 4th, passing Stewart, and Plessinger makes the pass for 2nd around Anderson. Ferrandis, after the incident in the first moto, fights back after a rough gate position in 6th, and then Stewart tips over on the inside of a corner, granting Dylan 5th place. In the ending laps, nothing would change at the front.

Sexton would dominate moto 2 with a 22-second advantage over his teammate to go 1-1 here at his home race. With second in this moto, Plessinger will take 2nd overall on the day, and Lawrence, after that gnarly first moto crash, would finish 4th and 3rd overall.

This marks Chase’s first win at RedBud and second overall victory on the season, granting him now as the red plate holder (series points leader) and control of this championship moving forward. With that, he also takes the SuperMotocross Championship points lead as well. With Sexton and Plessinger one and two, this is the first time in some years that the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team has gone 1-2 on the podium in 450MX.

First overall, Chase Sexton: “To be honest, I had a lot of pressure coming into this weekend. I don’t know if it was cause I’ve never won here or what. I felt like I made some steps forward this past week and was confident coming in, but you never know when you go racing, and these guys are really good. It was really special and had chills on the podium. That’s the best crowd I've seen here since I've been coming since I was six years old. I really don’t have any other words than special.”

Second overall, Aaron Plessinger: “It was a little bit of a rough week, but we made it through. I’ve been feeling comfy on my bike since Hangtown. In that second moto, I knew I needed to get up to second if I had any chance to get on the podium, and that’s what I did. Second overall here at RedBud after the 4th of July is surreal.”

Third overall, Hunter Lawrence: “The lappers (first moto) were something else. I would get held up a bit, then Chase would get held up a bit. I thought it was lame that the flaggers kind of gave up on waving the (blue) flag. The blue flag could have been used a little bit more aggressively. Coming in, I knew it would be hard to beat Chase here. I was close in the first one till I landed upside down. Thankful not to be hurt. It just happens so fast. That’s the nature of the beast.”