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Images from the 2022 St. Louis Supercross Round 13
NEWS

TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS! 2023 Monster Energy Supercross

Jan 042023

With a sold-out crowd of over 45,000 fans looking on in slack jawed awe and a couple million rabid supercross fanatics watching via live network television, the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship launches on Saturday night, January 7, 2023. The starting gate clanks into the dirt of Angel Stadium of Anaheim, California, thus launching the 50th annual season of the absolute and undisputed apex of action sports.

The world-class Monster Energy supercross racers Eli Tomac, Chase Sextonand Jason Anderson, will clear off in title fighting fury, visiting 16 cities spread across 12 states including California, Texas, Florida, Washington, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Colorado.

“The 2022 Monster Energy Supercross season was just epic,” pointed out seven-time supercross champion, Monster Energy athlete and the undisputed greatest supercross racer of all-time Jeremy McGrath. “I thought the ’22 showdown between Tomac, Anderson, and Sexton was great. Just when you thought one of the other guys was going to take over and become a champion, Tomac had of his best races ever! It was like, ‘Whoa, Eli isn’t ready for that yet!’”

“I really think the sport is super healthy and 2023 Monster Energy Supercross is going to be awesome. You have Eli Tomac, who has been unbelievable. He had the best season of his life in 2022. I certainly think Chase Sexton is the next guy. I think Honda is sitting in a really, really good position with Chase. I’m a fan of Chase. He’s an unbelievable rider. He’s also really coming around on the personality-side. He’s showing a little flavor with his interviews and funny glasses and his bleached hair and all that. I like it!”

“I think we’re going to see some epic battles in supercross between Tomac and Sexton. Eli is tapped out as far as confidence and ability. He’s a veteran, and he’s been in the game a long time. And Chase, when he’s on, he’s pretty unbeatable. The question with Chase will be if he can get his mental side of the game really, really, really on point because Eli has does have that.”

“And we also cannot forget Jason Anderson of the Monster Energy Kawasaki team,” furthered McGrath. “Fans might forget that Jason won seven supercross main events in 2022 and only lost the championship to Tomac by nine points. That’s a very close title fight.”

2023 Monster Energy Supercross

 

To fully begin analyzing just what the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship might look like come January 2023, we first need to look back over our shoulders at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. To many motocross enthusiasts, the greatest single championship tussle ever, Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton cross swords in a ferocious battle for global motocross supremacy. After a summer of brutal heat, humidity and fierce man against man competition, the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship went down to one final 25-minute-plus-two-lap moto in California, and it’s a moto Tomac won to bookend his 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Championship with the 2022 AMA 450MX National Championship.

 

“I think Chase and I elevated the speed of motocross and supercross in 2022, to be straight-up,” said Eli Tomac. “I felt like Chase and I were just raising the game all year long. I mean, we were pushing ourselves every weekend and neither of us was making mistakes. I was impressed by his speed, and I think that was why we were elevating ourselves. The most impressive thing with Chase was his speed and his consistency all the way down to the last moto. I don’t know how we even made it to that point because of how hard we were both pushing each other to that last race. Those battles with Chase this summer were next level. I think we elevated the pace. It was unbelievable. I would call him the next generation 450 guy.”

Making the Jump

 

Almost astonishingly, after a six-year run with Team Kawasaki for which he earned four championships, Tomac called time on his relationship with the green brand to form a new alliance and team deal with Yamaha for the 2022 racing season. For a war weary veteran competitor who won the very first professional race he lined up for in 2010, the Yamaha move was a pronounced gamble.

 

“Yes, in my opinion it was a gamble, but it was an educated gamble,” offered Tomac on the team switch that shook the global motocross and supercross community. “We tried to surround ourselves with the people we thought would help me put myself in the most successful position. From the outside looking in, it probably looked a little bit crazier than what it actually was, but I knew what I was capable of doing with the right things in place. So right at the get-go in supercross in 2022, I was a little bit slow. I was caught with my tail between my legs a little bit after round one and had to go to work and go testing for round two. We got slowly better, and it was at round four we got our first win, and then after that point we were just rolling. In the middle of the season, I had five race wins in-a-row and at that point I had an excellent race setting and didn’t have to change much. After round three or four, we basically ran what we had through the rest of the year. We had a great, great motorcycle.”

 

“It was very special to ultimately win the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross title because a lot of the time for everything to go the right way for that long is really tough in this sport. For me, this year was easy. I loved everything about it, and I loved my environment. That was key for me: to surround myself with a really good working environment, and it led to success in both series.”

Geared Up and Ready

 

Only in what was his third year in the premiere 450cc classification in 2023, Chase Sexton fought hard and valiantly against Eli Tomac all last season and knows exactly what he’ll be up against once the lights get turned on in Angel Stadium come January 7, 2023.

 

“Until you get in that situation and put yourself up against a guy like Eli for a whole season, you don’t really know what you’re made of until you do that,” commented Sexton. “This is the highest level I’ve ridden at. Ever. And honestly, I’m really young in my career, so I didn’t think I’d be racing on this level this soon. I think for Eli, and he’s obviously at the end of his career, he’s riding at a level I feel like he hasn’t ridden at before either, so we’re kind of in some new territory now I feel like, and it’s pretty cool. I think it’s good for the sport and the fans seem to like it, so yeah, it definitely helped me in the long run that I’ve gotten to go through this year and battle with one of the sport’s greatest and I’m hoping he helps a lot in the future, as well. I like having my back up against the wall. I don’t think people expect me to beat Eli, but I kind of like being in that position.”

 

“It was definitely a good year for me. I think it was a year that I needed to kind of establish myself as a guy that can win championships coming into 2023. I think I needed this year of getting close. Obviously, I wanted to win that outdoor championship over Eli Tomac, but now that I didn’t win it, it is definitely motivating me going into next year. I definitely have belief in myself that I can do it now. Until you get in that situation and put yourself up against a guy like Eli for a whole season, you don’t really know what you’re made of until you do that, so now having that experience will really help me.”

 

“Yeah, the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, that’s my goal. I’ve always felt like supercross comes a little bit more natural to me than the outdoors. I think that if I can get a good bike set-up and a setting underneath me that I’m comfortable with, I should be in a good spot. That’s my main focus for this off-season. I want to get myself in a good spot with the bike. Maturity-wise and as a person, I’m ready to take another step this year, and for me that is winning a title. I want to go out there and win multiple races and be on the podium a lot. You have to come in with small goals and focusing on myself. Race wins and podium finishes, that’s the first priority for 2023. And yeah, I am definitely confident that I have what it takes. Eli is going to be good. This is going to be a stacked field in 2023, so I’m definitely going to have to be on my game, but like I said, I’m confident in my ability and my fitness and my mentality. I can be a supercross champion so I’m going to work my butt off this off-season and put it all on the table in 2023. I’m just stoked to be back racing in January and back in a stadium. Everyone loves supercross, so I’m just stoked to go out there and race and I’m going to give it my all.”

Racing for a Championship

 

Entering the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross fray with Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton will be Monster Energy Kawasaki supercross veteran Jason Anderson of Edgewood, New Mexico. Atop his works Kawasaki KX450SR in 2022, Anderson was phenomenal, winning seven races and missing out on the 2022 Number One Plate to Eli Tomac by an eyeblink margin of nine points. In fact, if not for two low scoring races at Anaheim I and Detroit last winter, Anderson very well may have won the title.

 

“Yeah, 2022 supercross was really good,” declared Anderson, a racer many insiders are picking to win the Monster Energy Supercross Championship in 2023. “I think supercross went really well. There were times when it didn’t go well, but overall, I’m really happy with it. I’m just trying to keep my head down and to keep progressing. I have a two-year deal with Kawasaki and for me, it was really big to think about having a really good two years. I didn’t want to put too much on my plate this first year, although I had amazing success. I really wanted to learn the team and the bike and try to have everything really ready and to hopefully improve and to be aware of the situation a little bit more going into 2023 supercross. I think I’m trying to make improvements to try and even be better in 2023, and I think we are going to be right there.”

A Brawl for the Ages

 

And so, we will all now look to Angel Stadium of Anaheim and the beginning of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, sure to be a title brawl for the ages. At least that’s what reigning champion Eli Tomac believes!

 

“Jason Anderson will be right there and Chase Sexton is going to be one of my top competitors, if not the guy, come the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Series,” offered up Tomac of his competition for the New Year. “He’s going to be  a strong guy in supercross, that’s for sure. Everyone knows that he has the speed, and now he is going to have a little more experience under his belt, so I’ve got to always keep digging for more myself. He’ll be on everyone’s radar at this point, and he’ll be there to stay for the time being.”

So can Eli Tomac win it all again? Can he back up his 2022 title with the Monster Energy Supercross Championship in 2023?

 

“I think so. I’ll never underestimate the competition, whoever it is. I have a new motorcycle coming in, and I think it’s going to be a great step. The Yamaha YZ450 is going to be all-new, and I’m excited for that, and I’m excited to develop that bike, and I’ll do everything I can to defend that number one plate.”

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