2023 Indianapolis Supercross Recap

I'm not crying you're crying!

An epic and emotional night of racing didn't involve two past champions battling for the win and points lead, instead two veterans put on a show for the ages in the final three laps of Round 9 of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross series on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN reducing one to tears while both stood vindicated.

Ken Roczen, riding a Suzuki unchanged since 2018, grabbed the Holeshot and though he looked back, several times, he never lost the lead despite a charging Justin Barcia who got close, got oh so close and finally made it close - real close - in the closing minute and final two laps. Known for taking down riders while passing (or just because), Barcia kept it clean all night navigating through the pack from seventh, clumsily got around Cooper Webb, who got hung up in the rutted out whoops, for second with just under 12 minutes remaining and set his sights on Roczen.

In the best race of the season by far, and perhaps the best final three minutes or so in years, Roczen pulled off, not necessarily a miracle, but an upset win and whether it was Roczen or Barcia standing center podium, no one could have guessed. Roczen has not won a Supercross race since the 2022 opening round, Barcia hasn't won since the opening round of 2021 or placed as high as second-place since Round 5 in Indianapolis the same year.

Both riders bring their own personal drama to the track, too. Roczen suffered infamous should-have-ended-career injuries in the past and annual mid-season fades, along with questionable social media posts. Contract issues. Bike set-up problems. Barcia, meanwhile, sometimes rides like a bull in a China shop taking down riders purposefully or not purposefully. Debate all you want. On this night, both rode like champions vying for another crown and when the checkers flew an emotional Roczen simply lost it. The first and second place finishers hugged shortly after the finish line then other riders lined up to offer their congratulations.

"This was such an amazing race," Roczen said through tears. "I had to grit it out all the way to the end. The track was brutal, Justin was coming. I got screwed by lappers. I just held on, I said 'one more lap, just one more lap and one more lap.' I'm at a loss of words right now, seriously."

Elsewhere, Webb held on for third and as a result sits atop the Championship standings for the first time this season. Reigning Champ Eli Tomac started mid-pack and never made much of a run to the front. Winner of five rounds this year, the most of any rider by far, Tomac settled for eighth his worst finish of the season dropping him to second-place in the standings, though just a point back of Webb. Chase Sexton, also in contention for the title, suffered another crash when a rut in the whoops likely grabbed his shift lever knocking his bike into neutral while exiting the corner and going up the face of the small jump. This dumped him on the ground pretty hard. He got up, limping, but returned to the race and finished 10th.

2023 450 Class Supercross Season Standings

  1. Cooper Webb (202)
  2. Eli Tomac (201)
  3. Chase Sexton (189)
  4. Jason Anderson (166)
  5. Ken Roczen (164)

A 250 East class race also happened. But far less exciting. Hunter Lawrence checked out for his fourth win extending his points lead to 22 over Max Anstie who finished fourth. Nate Thrasher took second popping him into third-place in the standings and Jordon Smith rounded out the podium.

Veteran Jeremy Martin took fourth in his best outing of the season while rookie Haiden Deegan survived a crash and finished seventh.

2023 250 East Class Supercross Season Standings

  1. Hunter Lawrence (125)
  2. Max Anstie (103)
  3. Nate Thrasher (93)
  4. Jordon Smith (92)
  5. Jeremy Martin (90)
  6. Haiden Deegan (90)

Ford Field hosts Round 10 of Supercross on Saturday in Detroit, MI.

2023 Indianapolis Supercross