HOUSTON — In the first Tuesday night Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship event, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac rebounded from a disappointing opening round to seize the round two 450SX class victory in front of a restricted-capacity but screaming audience inside NRG Stadium.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis landed his first premiere class podium in only his second attempt and Muc-Off Honda’s Justin Brayton stepped onto the podium for this first time in three years at the SuperTuesday event.
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class 17-year-old Jett Lawrence of Team Honda HRC took his first win going away in only his eighth Supercross start.
The 450SX class main event was dramatic from the drop of the gate when class rookie Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton jumped out to an early lead. He was pressured hard and early by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo but three minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race Cianciarulo tucked his front end in the sand turn and fell from the top 10.
Two laps later Sexton made a similar mistake that dramatically threw him forward on the track and out of the race with an injury.
Defending champion Eli Tomac was in position to capitalize and took over the lead uncontested until the race clock ticked down to the five-minute mark; at that point Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne, who grabbed his first victory at the final round of 2020, began to reel in the Kawasaki rider.
Tomac remained composed as Osborne trimmed the lead down to about one second, then pulled his Kawasaki back away to take his first win of 2021, an impressive rebound from his disappointing 13th-place finish at round one.
Class rookie Dylan Ferrandis earned his first podium the hard way, by hanging it out lap after lap in the technical whoops section and clawing forward from outside the top 10.
Despite pressure from Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and 2019 Champ Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb, Justin Brayton held on for his first podium finish in three years.
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class win was taken by Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence, who grabbed his first Heat Race win earlier in the event. Lawrence grabbed the holeshot and steadily pulled a gap on the rest of the field, reaching fourteen seconds before he managed his lead during the final race minutes. His first win moved him up to third in the title points standings.
The final two podium spots went to Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha teammates Colt Nichols and opening round winner Christian Craig.