Assorted racer comments following the 13th round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round 13 of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross championship, the first of three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta.
Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Fifth:
For sure, it was a good ride, but I’m a little disappointed because crashing at the start is never good. I was all the way back in last and came back through. I didn’t rush but just gave everything I had until the last lap. I passed some really strong guys, so that was a good feeling. I was really tired and had a little bit of arm pump, but it was good. It’s always good to be back in the top five, and with that kind of riding, it’s also good for your confidence. We made some small changes on the bike, and the team decided to go in one direction, and it was really good. The bike was much better today than the previous race, so we made one step in a good direction. I’m really happy.
Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Sixth:
I felt good coming into this race and had a really good week of riding. Even though I felt great, I was just kind of pumped up a little bit all day. It was just something about this track – big jumps, two sets of whoops, I think I held my breath a lot. It was a good day overall, and we’ll take the positives. I got some really good starts and led the heat race for a long time. Before that, I had my best qualifying result in third. I was leading the main for half the race, and then I tossed it in one of the tighter sections. I just tightened up and couldn’t really get a flow back after that. We’re going to come back Tuesday with a vengeance.
Malcolm Stewart (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – 11th:
The weekend wasn’t that bad. We were riding really well. It was just a long day, sitting around and not really riding that much because of the rain. We had a really good Main Event going, but I had really bad arm pump and hit a wall. It was kind of devastating because we were fifth and then went all the way back to 11th. It’s a bummer, but part of racing, you’re not going to feel great every race. The only thing that we can do from here is build on it. We had a really good talk with the team and we have to look at the positives. We were riding so great except for the last few laps, so that’s a good starting point. I think we had the potential to fight for a podium if we had a better start. I think this is the longest racetrack I’ve probably ever been on. They tried to replicate Daytona, but I think now I can say Atlanta has its own style. It’s set up like a Daytona track – fast and a lot of switchbacks and things like that, but it has the technical jumps like a regular supercross track, they’re really steep. The whoops are really cupped, so it definitely kind of threw a curveball for everybody, especially with the rain today. We’ve got Tuesday to come back out swinging, hopefully, the track will be a little bit different and the rain stays away. We’ll be ready and I’m excited for Tuesday, it will be here before you know it.
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – First:
I came in here with a good mindset. The longer track layout felt like it was going to suit me, and it did today. The track was a beast today and it changed up a lot throughout the main. I was able to switch up my lines in the whoops and made up some great time there. I made a few goods passes in combination with a couple of gifts, but I’ll take it. I’m happy we’re coming away from this one with a win, especially with the challenges the rainy weather brought us. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy/Kawasaki team for getting my KX™450 set up perfectly today. I can’t wait to get back out there on Tuesday and battle for another win.
Mitchell Oldenburg (Muc-Off Honda) – 13th:
I am really happy with the progress we made. This is my third top 15 in my first season racing a 450 and I am getting more comfortable every time I race. I don’t mind racing three days in one week. If we weren’t racing on Tuesday we would be practicing and it’s the travel that takes it out of you usually so this new schedule eliminates that which is good. I know it would be hard on some privateers though.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Third:
I wasn’t pumped with that ride. I got a good start like I needed and was put in a really good situation. Plessinger was riding really well out front and he had that mistake so I got into the lead but I just didn’t execute. Guys got around me and pulled away, definitely not the best race for me but to able to leave on the podium is a huge relief, and to gain points is always good on your bad days.
Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – Seventh:
It’s good to be back racing but it was crazy to only get one practice considering you have to learn the track and go straight to qualifying. The laps were super long and the practice was super short so I only got one really good lap and then I made a mistake and it cost me big time. Racing was completely different – it was tough conditions but the track turned around and shaped up really well for the main and I ended up seventh. Considering the whole day, I’m not happy with the result but I’m trying to be more consistent and just rebuild from some of the problems I’ve run into this season.
Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 10th:
It was a tough day for sure. I felt good at the start of the heat race but unfortunately, I had a crash early on that roughed me up pretty good. Luckily, I was able to salvage a qualifying position and get my lip all stitched up before the main but I was definitely feeling the effects from the crash all night. We’ll try to use the next couple days to recover and get back at it on Tuesday.
Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Fourth:
Atlanta one was a good day for the most part. I qualified P1 in practice and went into the heat race and got first. In the Main Event, I got a little tangled up in the first corner and ripped my shifter off but I was able to get into third, manage my race and still get fourth so it was pretty good.
Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – DNS:
The day started off good, I qualified fifth and I really liked the track and felt good on it. First heat, I ran out of tear offs and I was really struggling with finishing because I couldn’t see. I put myself in a bad position for the LCQ and then I came together with another rider, went down, got up, went down again and that was it really. It’s a big disappointment but all I can do is come back on Tuesday fired up and ready to do well.
Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – First:
It feels amazing. We put a lot of hard work in, and it’s paying off. At the beginning of the off-season, we weren’t even thinking that we were going to race supercross, but we kept chugging away, and I started feeling really good, so we were like, ‘we might as well go racing.’ I’ve been getting better every weekend. I knew that if I got a good start, I could run with these guys, and I finally got one tonight. It was a crazy day. We only had seven laps for timed qualifying, and the track was totally different for the race. We weren’t even doing half the jumps earlier, so a lot changed. It was good that I adapted so quickly because most of the time, it’s tough for rookies to adapt to tracks. It was just my night and I felt really good. I lined up on the very inside and pulled a great start, made the pass for the lead, and just checked out from there. We’ve got another one on Tuesday, so we got to put our head down and try to do the same thing.
Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Second:
It was a bit of a tough day, going down in the heat race. I was pretty banged up from that, so I’m just happy we were able to regroup and get some points. Once the adrenaline wore off after that heat, it was pretty tough to get motivated to get back out there for the main. I’m feeling a little bit looser now, so I think by the time Tuesday comes around, we’ll be all set to go. All in all, it was a good day and we expanded our points lead, which is the main thing. I definitely like this venue so I’m looking forward to Tuesday.
Jarrett Frye (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Eighth:
It was another tough day for me. We didn’t get that much track time with all the rain. I had an okay qualifying but unfortunately went down in my heat and had to go through the LCQ, which is where we don’t want to be. I didn’t get a good start and finished eighth. We’re going to keep working and try for a better result on Tuesday.
Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Third:
There was a lot of chaos out there on the opening laps, and the track was extremely slippery today which led to some mistakes that really cost me a chance at the win in both the heat and main. Overall, I’m still happy we came away with a podium during a race like this. I want to give a big thank you to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for getting my bike fixed after my spill in the heat. I’m already shifting my focus to Tuesday and another huge opportunity picking up valuable championship points.
Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Fourth:
The track conditions were rough today. I ended the day in fourth, but I’m happy I pulled off a heat win in the slippery conditions. Overall, we had a solid day as a team, and I’m only getting more and more comfortable riding with the lead guys on my KX250. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad for all the hard work today. I’m looking forward to an even better result on Tuesday for Atlanta 2.
Mitchell Harrison (Muc-Off Honda) – Sixth:
It was a good day for me, I got great starts and made smart passes early in the final. I am still not 100% following my crash in the last round but I am racing back into shape. The conditions were tough, but I enjoyed the track and am looking forward to Tuesday’s race.
Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Ninth:
The day ended up decent for how it started. In the main, I was too far outside and didn’t get the start I needed but I pushed the whole time and ended up ninth. I almost had eighth but I gave it everything I had and I can go to bed tonight happy knowing that I left everything on the track. We’re definitely looking to improve for the next two Atlantas.
Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Eighth:
It was survival out there today with the muddy and tough conditions. The heat race was going decent but then I went down and it left me with a not-so-great gate pick for the Main Event and I got pinched off in the start. We’ll be back for the next Atlanta round and try to land on the box.
Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 11th:
The day started off pretty good with qualifying and the heat race got off to a pretty good start but then I ended up going down in the mud. With 14th gate pick, I messed my start up in the main and in the second turn I ran into someone and went down. I think I started 18th and finished 11th, which isn’t great by me but we’ve got another one on Tuesday and I can try and redeem myself.