Assorted racer comments following the second round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail a rather wild night of racing at round two of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross in Houston.
Justin Brayton (Muc-Off Honda) – Third:
I am so pumped to have got onto the podium in the second round. These podiums are not easy to come by when there are 15 factory riders who are all capable of being on the podium in any given night, so I am going to cherish this moment and continue to chase for podiums throughout the rest of the championship. We definitely have the speed, we just need to stay consistent with our good starts. With how fast everyone is going now, there are tenths between us so it is vital to get a good start every round.
Zach Osborne (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 10th:
Overall, it was a really positive day for me. I just felt really supreme all day and things were easy for me. I had a good heat race, felt really good gelling with the track, and in the Main Event the same thing. With two to go, I just pushed the front in a rut and there she went. It’s a big mistake that veterans like myself typically shouldn’t and wouldn’t make, so it’s disappointing and frustrating but I’m healthy and safe and my bike is really on point right now so I’m happy to come back and give it another go on Saturday.
Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Eighth:
Practice probably didn’t look so good on paper but it went better and my heat race went better than last week, so those are definitely positives. In the Main Event, I kind of rode into eighth place and that’s what I ended up with tonight. It’s not the way we wanted to start but hopefully we’ll keep progressing and we’ll just keep going.
Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 11th:
Tonight, was a little bit better but 11th is not the result we are looking for. I just needed to start up front and get in that fight a little more but I was right there. I mean, I am surrounded by guys who are winning races so I feel like I am strong enough to be in the mix, I just need to put myself in that position every time. I am getting better and more comfortable, now I just need to believe in myself a little bit more and I’ll be there.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Fourth:
It was a bit of an up-and-down night. I was still trying to find a really good setting for me that I liked and I kind of struggled throughout the day. I didn’t have a great start in the main but at the end I really started going. I made some late passes, got a few gifts and ended up fourth. It’s not what we want but it’s still early in the points and we’ll rebound. There’s still room for improvement to get me more comfortable on the bike and with that I think this week we’ll be right there where we need to be.
Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
I got a great start in the Main Event, which was once again the key. I was right there and felt like I was going to have a good race but unfortunately, I crashed in the sand, it was really tricky. I got up and lost so many positions but I tried to fight back and make up the most points possible but there’s not much to say about sixth place. It’s tough but you have to stay on two wheels and stay up front.
Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Ninth:
I didn’t get a very good jump in the Main Event and we were outside the top-five pushing each other and I just cross-rutted a little bit, clipped a tuff block and ended up breaking a shifter off. With my luck, it got stuck in first gear, so I did a lap and I was pretty nervous – I missed the triple. I tried the jumps in first gear but it was squirrelly when the dirt is sticky like that so I just salvaged what I could. I’m in it for the long-run so I just have to push through things like that when they happen. All-in-all, it’s not that bad of a spot, obviously would have liked to been out front tonight but it wasn’t my night.
Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Second:
I never expected this race. It’s a big surprise to be here on the podium, honestly. I always work really hard and it looks like it paid off. I gave everything I had all the way to the checkered flag. We had to think a lot on the bike to be creative and find new lines and to try and do some different things on track to be better. I wasn’t trying to rush anything and some guys made mistakes. I was on a good pace and finished second, which is unbelievable. A big thanks to my team that has put in so many hours for me in the last few weeks because I couldn’t ride before. We had to do a lot of stuff in those last two weeks before the race. So it’s unbelievable to be here.
Malcolm Stewart (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Seventh:
I kind of struggled a little bit with the track all day. In the Main Event, I didn’t have the best start but I made it work in the first couple of corners and put myself in the top five right off the rip. I tried to get around [Justin] Brayton but was not really moving forward. Honestly, I made a few mistakes. It was a little tough, conditions wise for a lot of people and me as well. Sometimes tracks that you’re not really comfortable on, things can happen. Looking at how many people hit the ground tonight, overriding and stuff, to finish seventh out of all the carnage is not bad. Leaving here with a seventh, it feels like I got 15th, but I feel like I know what I need to do. I learned a lot tonight. I have a couple of days off so I’m going to watch some tape and sit down with the team. I’m happy with everything. We’ve got the bike really well, I think it was more on me tonight and I just didn’t jibe with the track really well.
Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – 16th:
I got off to a pretty bad start in the Heat race and didn’t come through the pack that well and ended up eighth, giving me the 16th gate pick in the Main which is not too ideal. I got a pretty good jump and drove it in pretty hard. I felt like I came out decent for what it was. Coming through the pack I went to pass [Jason] Anderson and hit an edge in the whoops. I jumped onto the hay bales – it was like a step on step off in the hay bales – and then I jumped into the base of the finish line and stopped then just kind of tipped over off onto the concrete. It was a wild ride. It could’ve been a lot worse. I’m feeling pretty fortunate to finish tonight. We’ll be back Saturday ready to rip and get those starts dialed.
Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – Fifth:
This was a bit of a tough one for us. We didn’t get good starts again, which I have to figure out, and that made life on this kind of track very difficult. I came around in maybe 17th and had to fight my way up, eating roost the whole time. The track deteriorated very quickly and it was a long main event, but we made the most of it and salvaged fifth place. There was an incident with the red cross flag where I got docked four championship points, which I’m in disagreement with, as my view to the flag was blocked by Dylan [Ferrandis]. I think a warning or a fine would’ve been appropriate for the simple reason that I have never been involved in an incident with jumping on a red cross flag; I just don’t think the situation was as clear as they made it out to be. I’m a little bit frustrated about it because we would’ve had the red plate, but at the same time, it is what it is. We’re just going to look forward to Saturday and make the best of it.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – DNF
The day started off pretty good. I had pretty good practice qualifiers and was second in both of them. I got my first heat-race win in my second race on a 450, which was good. In the main event, I got a good start and was really feeling good out front—in control and hitting my marks really well. I put a pretty good gap between myself and [Eli] Tomac but made a small mistake that cost me big—hit the ground pretty hard. I’m really sore and my right shoulder is pretty beat up. I hope to be back racing here soon and try to finish the job and get my first win.
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – First:
I would be lying to you if I told you that I wasn’t a little bit freaking out coming into today. Starting the season out 16 points in the hole is not something you want to do, but tonight proved that the field is incredibly deep and anything can happen. I can’t thank the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for busting their butts the past couple of days for me. I didn’t have the best qualifying sessions today and even the heat race, but they got my KX450 where it needed to be for me heading into the main and the results showed. It’s crazy to think we are now only four points out of the lead and plan to just carry the momentum from here.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 12th:
I had a good day going and was really starting to feel like myself tonight. I started the day off right by qualifying fastest heading into the night show and then in the heat race I felt like I had really good speed and was even able to pass Eli [Tomac] for third. In the main event, Chase [Sexton] and I had a hot pace going in those opening laps, but I made a slight mistake in the sand sweeper and the rest was history. I hit my hand that I got worked on during the offseason pretty good which made it hard to be aggressive the rest of the race and I just knew I needed to manage. We’ll take the extra couple of days to rest to be ready to go on Saturday.
250SX East Coast
Mitchell Oldenburg (Muc-Off Honda) – Seventh:
Tonight was so much better for me, I feel more relaxed on the bike and that showed in the main event when I was able to get a good start and get inside the top six. I know I am riding well, I definitely have the speed and drive to move forward, I just made a small mistake which set me back. I was glad I was able to come through the back to seventh after having to pick the bike back up. It is still a good place to be in at this point in the season so I can build on that for the third round. I am so pumped for Brayton to get onto the podium, that was cool to see!
RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 17th:
It was another rough night, I started off with a pretty big practice crash and then did what I could to salvage the heat. I got a good start in the main, the bike is awesome out of the gate, it was just an unfortunate situation with [Austin] Forkner because I had the speed and was just clicking off my laps. I’ll give it a couple of days to recover and knock off a win here soon.
Maximus Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – Eighth:
The race tonight was pretty solid for me. We wanted to improve on starts from last Saturday and I was able to get a good start in the main, so that was great. Still have a couple more things we need to tweak but so far so good, we’ll just keep chugging along.
Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Fourth:
Getting a heat race win and a fourth on the night is a huge step in the right direction. I’m excited it’s my first heat race win! it feels good to come across the line first, so I’m hoping for a lot more of that shortly. When you’re riding good everything else just comes easy and is fun.
Colt Nichols (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Second:
Tonight was pretty good overall. I got second, so I can’t really complain about that because I got some good points. I just didn’t execute the start like I needed to compete for the win, I’m kind of kicking myself for that. I need to be a little better at the beginning of the Main. The track broke down really well, and once it started to break down, I felt like I rode well. It just took too long to get going, and I was too far back to do anything for the win. I need to work on that, and we’ll be good to go to try and get a win. We’ll be better on Saturday.
Christian Craig (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Third:
It was a pretty eventful Main Event. It’s cool to have these red plates. I’ve never been in this situation before, so I didn’t know what to expect. But yeah, it’s awesome. The Main Event started okay. I came around mid-pack and then went to work on passing people. I ended up getting Colt [Nichols] midway through, and then two riders went down. I had to manage a couple of things throughout the race. In the last three or four laps, I made some mistakes, and Colt got by me. I finished third, so I can’t be too mad, but on the other hand, I need to fix those mistakes for Saturday. It’s a quick turn around again. We’ve still got the red plate, which I’m happy about, and maintained some of our points lead. I’m ready to move on to Saturday now.
Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Fifth:
I wasn’t able to find my pace the first few laps but once I settled in, I put in some good lap times and was able to make some passes. I know that I will get better with each gate drop and I’m thankful for the great team behind me pushing me to improve each round. It will be nice to have a few extra days off and we’ll be back to see if we can keep up the good finishes.
Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Sixth:
That wasn’t how I wanted tonight to go, but I have to be thankful that I was able to get up quickly and still earn some solid points in the championship. The track was really fast and if you didn’t get up there right away, it was going to be hard to get close enough to pass. There wasn’t a ton of opportunity to pass and when I saw my shot, I had to take it. There is still a lot of racing left and we’ll see how the next round goes.
Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
Everything just clicked together really well. Qualifying was really good–I was consistent, finishing third in the first one and second in the next. I was struggling with the track then, but when it came to the heat race, everything just clicked together really nicely. I got a really good start and controlled the lead. I had that adrenaline going after my first heat win, and going into the main event I was trying to stay calm. I nailed my start, and the rest is history. I just clicked off laps, and it felt like a video game. I had such a good flow and was doing everything with ease, almost; I was relaxed, and it felt like a practice day. I couldn’t ask for a better day.