Good, Bad and Ugly | 2023 Denver

Bullet points from penultimate Monster Energy Supercross race.

'Good, Bad and Ugly' recaps some miscellaneous points from the sixteenth stop of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross series, Denver. What would you put beneath each subheading? Travel to the forum to join the discussion or share ideas on social media (@VitalMX on Twitter and Instagram). For now, however, read on for some thoughts on RJ Hampshire, Chase Sexton and Eli Tomac.


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Look, it would be easy to put Chase Sexton here. That can wait until next week though! RJ Hampshire's win in Denver was brilliant and, unfortunately, it was overshadowed by the craziness that was seen in the premier division. Hampshire had one win before Saturday night and that was a Triple Crown, which makes the situation that unfolded even more special. The fact that his win total is so low caught a lot of people by surprise, but that just reverts back to the idea that the perception of '24' is one way. To borrow a phrase from a previous feature, his name carries so much weight that most presume that he has achieved so much more.

Anyway, back to the race. Most impressive was his pace and composure after the mistake around the halfway mark. Hampshire was two seconds quicker on the lap that followed the incident. Is it shocking that he showed such raw speed? No, not at all. It is, however, more of a shock that he kept it together and executed, despite a heightened heart rate and fact that he'd have desperately wanted that trophy. There is no doubt that he will be a championship favorite when 2024 Monster Energy Supercross starts and maybe even outdoors. Have you heard him mention that there is a thing coming for Pro Motocross that he is super high on? Time to do some digging at Husqvarna…


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Maybe this is a tad early, but the comments have started and thus this needs to be addressed. Sexton will be a deserving champion and, no, that is not to say that Tomac would not have been. Webb would have been a very deserving champion too. All three of those riders put on such a show this term and were pure class. Most importantly, they all stayed in the battle until those dying stages. Why on earth would someone try to diminish this incredible achievement that '23' will enjoy shortly?

The only situation that is similar to this, in the opinion of this scribe, is when Jeffrey Herlings blew his lead of one hundred and forty-five points in the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship. Even that was very different though, because Jordi Tixier (the eventual champion) was obviously not in the hunt. It was clear for every single person that he was not on the level of Herlings. That is not the case here, because Sexton was on the same level as Tomac. Remember that the deficit was eighteen points.


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There is a lot that could be said about the dramatic turn of events that everyone witnessed inside of Empower Field. There are a lot of layers to unpack, in a sense, and the first is the impact on the battle for the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross title. Chase Sexton has not been crowned, but he will be the champion when the daytime program concludes in Salt Lake City and Eli Tomac has not qualified into the night show. It is essentially a foregone conclusion and, once again, Sexton will be a worthy champion, just as Tomac or Cooper Webb would have been.

The second layer to unpack is one that is far bigger than any championship. Have we just seen Tomac in competition for the final time? There is a rather high chance, as he has no contract in place for the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross series. '1' has since released a statement, in which he mentions that there will be no decision on his future for a month or two. Time will tell, but it is certain that he is not going to race again this year and his title aspirations have disappeared. How quickly things can change in this sport. Denver will forever be a reminder of that.


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