5 Things We Learned at Round 1 of the SMX Playoffs


REDEMPTION!!! After a summer of trying to end Jett Lawrence’s win streak, Chase Sexton is on top once again. A dominating 1-1 performance in Charlotte had to do wonders for the HRC Honda rider’s confidence. It was an awesome start to the inaugural playoffs, but the job still isn’t finished and things are going to get interesting in Chicago and LA. The points are about to be double and triple! Props to Sexton for pulling away on a rough and technical hybrid track that was slick and choppy. 

HBI Racing Impresses

If you’re a new team just jumping into the pro side of the sport then you want to do exactly what HBI Racing is doing. The team fields Ty Masterpool and Caden Braswell who both not only made the playoffs, but also were very impressive on the day. Masterpool was up front in both 450SMX races still after dealing with appendicitis. Ty went 11-12 on the day and Braswell went 16-17. These guys definitely did the best with the least amount of resources. That’s not a knock on HBI one bit. They are David going against Goliath of the factory teams and teams that have established resources. I can’t wait to see what HBI Racing can do in the near future. 


Is 2024 the year of the Shimoda? Jo has come back from sitting out most of the SX series to winning Ironman and now Charlotte. Lawrence will be moving up to the 450 class, which leaves a 250 class searching for new champions. Shimoda isn’t getting the holeshots and checking out either, he’s taking smart choices and coming through the pack. Jo was really flowing at Charlotte and looked smooth as he closed in on Tom Vialle in the second moto. A 4-1 score would capture the overall win in SMX Playoff 1.

Ryder D

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been impressed with the progression of Ryder Difrancesco here lately. He’s getting good starts, running up front, and showing that he has the speed to hang. In the 2nd moto Ryder D had a really good chance at the win late in the race. The year for Ryder D will be in 2024 to make a jump to a podium guy with an entirely fresh start on a new team. It was a 7-3 day for 4th overall in Charlotte. 


The most underrated factory rider this year has to be Dylan Ferrandis, right? He’s been putting in some great results, but he’s getting overshadowed by everyone else. What’s unfortunate is that you don’t even hear his name linked to any teams next year. A 2-4 day for third overall puts Ferrandis in contention for the playoff win. Imagine if he wins the entire thing? It’s a very possible scenario. 

Main image: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.  

Written by Troy Dog

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