2018 is going to be an exciting season for Geico Honda’s Chase Sexton, as he’s looking forward to his first full season of Monster Energy Supercross. Sexton was originally scheduled to race the 2017 Minneapolis SX, however, the young gun encountered a few untimely injuries that ultimately pushed back his Supercross debut, but that’s all about to change come January 6th. After it was announced at the 2018 Team Honda Intro that Sexton will contest the West Coast 250 Championship alongside teammate Christian Craig, we had a chance to sit down with the Illinois native to discuss his upcoming rookie SX season along with his all-new race bike for 2018.
First things first, this is essentially your first Supercross season. Talk about that because it has to be pretty exciting, right?
Yeah, for sure. As we all know, last year at Atlanta wasn't a very good debut for me. I got two practices in and then the third practice I crashed in the whoops and broke my leg. I was off for three months and then got back on the bike and prepped for outdoors as much as I could and went racing. I feel like we got better every race and I think for not being on the bike off and on for like eight months I did a pretty good job. I feel so much better this year. Going into Supercross last year I had a knee injury after Loretta's in 2016. It wasn't my fault, it was just a wear and tear type of thing. That kind of started it for me. I wasn't on the bike as much and I wasn't really in sync with the bike. My timing was off and in Supercross that's not good. This year I feel a lot more prepared and I think everyone can tell at the Supercross track that I'm a lot better than I was last year. I'm ready to get the season started at Anaheim and I'm looking forward to it. The team's expectations for me are to be a podium guy and that's what I'm expecting, as well. That's the goal for the season and to be able to land on the box would be really nice early in the season and keep it up from there.
We learned that you're going to race the West Coast and essentially, you'll be teammates with Christian Craig. You spend a lot of time with him regardless, so how does Christian being a veteran in the 250 class help you out?
Christian and I have had a background for the last three years. We get along good. We have our moments for sure like anybody else, but it's nice to have him. He's arguably one of the most talented guys on a Supercross track and a lot of people would vouch for that. He has the style and everything, and he's fun to watch. It's going to be fun having him on the West Coast. For me, it doesn't really change too much. I mean, we still want to beat each other. We're going to the line wanting to win. I think it's going to be good. I'm ready to get this season going and get to racing.
You got a taste of Supercross before you got hurt and all, so do you think it helps that you know what to expect in a sense when you roll into Anaheim 1?
As bad as it was last year to only get two practices in, it's nice to be able to know what to expect at Anaheim 1. That'll be nice and I didn't get to ride too much last year, but it'll be a good warm up for this year. I'm really excited to get going and show what I have. I think in outdoors this past year everyone saw that I was doing a lot better throughout the year and I think that this year is going to be a lot better since I’ll be able to ride the bike consistently week in and week out.
You guys have a fresh new bike for this year, as well, that's probably been a nice change of pace for the team and for you. There's rejuvenation in that, right?
Oh yeah, for sure. As soon as we got on the new bike we were automatically excited. I tested with Jeremy [Martin] and we were instantly faster on the new bike with almost a near engine. It was nice to have a fresh bike and something new to start and build with the team. It's something different because the team hasn't had a new bike in four years! We're just now getting a stock on parts and stuff like that for the upcoming season since it comes from Japan. We're looking forward to this year with the new bike and everyone will see when it comes race time how much better the bike is.