Chase Sexton Notches Coveted AMA Amateur Motocross Horizon Award Ahead of Pro Debut This Weekend
Hurricane Mills, TN (August 8, 2016) – For the sixth time in ten seasons, a rider from the AMSOIL/Factory Connection Honda amateur program has captured the coveted AMA Horizon Award. Chase Sexton, of La Moille, Illinois, collected the 2016 honor by winning the Open Pro Sport class at the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by AMSOIL, held at the famed Loretta Lynn's Ranch. The 16-year-old Sexton also finished second in the 250 A class, winning three of the six total motos he competed in during the week.
The Horizon Award goes to the A-class rider deemed to have the brightest future entering the pro ranks. Sexton will now join the GEICO Honda team for his professional debut at this weekend's Unadilla National in New York.
"It's cool to win this. I've been thinking about it ever since I've been on 85's, just seeing all the good riders win it," said Sexton. "It's crazy to be able to win that award. Just super pumped about it. This year I was feeling really good coming into the race. I knew I could get it done. I had the speed, the endurance, everything I needed. So I just felt really good on the bike this week and we got it done."
Sexton overcame some hurdles to get the victory, too, as heavy rain drenched the track early in the week, leading to a series of muddy races. Also, Sexton chose to race his usual Honda CRF250R against 450cc machines in Open Pro Sport. That hurt his starts, but he mounted comeback charges each time.
Sexton joined the team in the fall of 2015 and has spent nearly a year riding and training with the rest of his professional teammates. After several months in California under the tutelage of Team Manager Mike LaRocco and Team Trainer John Wessling, Sexton is now riding in Florida alongside teammate RJ Hampshire and even Ken Roczen, the current 450 motocross series points leader. That kind of training should ease his transition into the pros.
"Right now I just want to get out front and run with those guys," he said. "Get a good start and I just want to sprint as long as I can, no matter what the circumstances are. I'm just going to go out there and leave it all on the track. That's all I can do."
Sexton joins Trey Canard (2007), Justin Bogle (2011), Zach Bell (2012), Matt Bisceglia (2013) and RJ Hampshire (2014) to win the AMA Horizon Award for the AMSOIL/Factory Connection Honda team, which is the amateur arm of the GEICO Honda professional squad.