Assorted racer comments following the latest round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at the latest round of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship in Houston.
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – First:
It was a great rebound race for us. This was a huge deal to come back from last weekend’s crash and to take the win here. You really had to focus on the timing and line selection tonight. This was the highest-speed track that we’ve had all year, so I’m just really pumped to see this motorcycle work in all these different conditions. Tonight was pretty hard packed, really high speed, and the other rounds we had were basically the opposite, so we are off and running strong.
Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Seventh:
Yeah, it was good. We got better and better throughout the day. There is a lot of learning going on right now, so it’s great to get the first one out of the way. The goal was to be around the top 10, and we achieved that. I finished seventh and even made a last-lap pass and felt good toward the end of the race. I just felt like I had a good flow and wasn’t pushing over my head, but I wasn’t riding too slow, either. Everything came a lot easier for me in the main event, even though the track so was messed up. For my first 450 race, I’m just glad to click my laps off like that and be that consistent, and work my way through the pack. I’m looking forward to Tampa next weekend.
Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Third:
I’m happy with our performance this weekend. As a team we’ve been focused on getting back into the battle for wins and this is the second weekend in-a-row that we’ve done exactly that. I’m hungry for more and definitely want to stand at the top of the podium but, we’re making small gains to get there, and this weekend was another step in the right direction. We’ll continue the progress this week and look forward to battling again in Tampa.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 10th:
There were a lot of positives to take from today; I qualified closer to the front, found a good rhythm in the heat race and feel good about where we are with my KX450SR. Overall, I ended up with another top-10 finish and we’ve added another building block to the season. I’m still gaining and improving so I’ll continue to do the work during the week with the team and we’ll keep striving for more.
Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 11th:
I was spunky in practice and I felt super-confident in my bike from the changes we made during the week. In my heat race I just rode super-cautious early and kind of rode around. In the main event I crashed in the second turn and it got red-flagged so we had a staggered restart. I did what I could from last place and just put my head down. It wasn’t a good result but we’re healthy and just need to figure this out.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
I ended up fifth tonight and it was a bit of a struggle, to be honest. I felt off all day, from practice and through the heats, but we made the most of it and came away with a top five in the main event. We’re still in a good points situation and we’ll keep the ball rolling, regroup this week in Florida and come back swinging at Tampa!
Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) – Fourth:
I came into this weekend feeling confident in my starts I had a lot of fun out there. In the Heat race, I got a good start and had a great battle with Cooper and another rider, where I ended up second. I rode really well in that race. I got another unreal start in the main and I was duking it out for the lead when the race was unfortunately red-flagged. Off the staggered start, I slid out a little in the first turn and lost a position, then another rider got around me soon afterward. I got my bearings back and started charging, then despite a couple of little mistakes, I finished the race at a good pace in a P4 position.
Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Sixth:
I had a decent practice, and a good charge through the pack in the heat race had me feeling super-good. The main event was quite wild. I was running about sixth and we had a staggered restart. I moved up a couple of positions, and then I had a little crash in the whoops and ended up sixth. I’m really happy with the motorcycle. It’s feeling really good and I’m comfortable. The competition is so close, and everyone’s so fast…we’re right there and the podium is inches away. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. We just need to get after it.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
I was confident in my riding all day. I felt comfortable on the bike during qualifying and the heat race. Eli just had me covered in the main, especially in the sand section; there were a couple spots he made adjustments at and he came away with the win. We’ll keep evolving and getting better. I definitely feel like I’m in a better spot than I was last year.
Colt Nichols (Team Honda HRC) – 13th:
Overall, it was a bit better for me today; I know the result in the main event was worse, but I felt good all day. Track position was key tonight, and I didn’t really have that. I was working my way up to the guys in front of me until I buried it in the sand. By the time I got up, it was pretty spread out. I’m a little bit frustrated with the end result, but I feel like my riding and the bike were in a better place. There are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend.
Dean Wilson (Fire Power Honda) – 12th:
Houston was awesome and we are getting better with each weekend! We qualified inside of the top ten and were one spot better in the main, with a twelfth. There are some small improvements. Congratulations to my teammate, Max Anstie, and the whole team on a great night
Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
Qualifying was a little rough – I just could never get all my best segments on one lap. I’m happy to execute with two great starts and check all the boxes so far. I’m confident on the bike and I really worked hard to get here – I’m excited for the rest of the season.
Chance Hymas (Team Honda HRC) – Eighth:
That was quite the experience. Me and Hunter were 1-2 off the start, and for the first four laps, I was like, ‘I need to go!’ Then around the fifth or sixth lap, I ran out of breath. I got to about halfway and kind of regrouped, and then salvaged what I could. I qualified eighth, finished eighth, third in the heat race — I want to be better, but it could’ve been a lot worst. I’ll take it.
Max Anstie (Fire Power Honda) – Second:
What a night for all of us in Houston! I did not know where we would be at round one, but I was really pleased with our speed and how competitive my CRF250R was. It is great to reward the team with a trophy and, hopefully, this is just the start for us. I am excited to continue our progress and make more steps forward with my crew.
Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Third:
It was a good day. I felt really comfortable today on the dirt bike, and on the track. It’s really the most comfortable I’ve ever felt in a supercross, so I’m really excited and stoked about that. I got some killer starts – the practice start and in the heat race – and then kind of botched it in the main event. Hunter [Lawrence] is really good. It’s going to take a good start to be able to get up there and battle with him, and obviously, you can’t have a little fall in the sand. So, we’re going to go back, keep working, and come back to Tampa ready to go.
Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
It was a good day. We started off with some solid times and we were first in group b practice and qualifying. Then for the heat race, I was fourth, so I was happy with that. I got into a good pace and was able to lay down some good laps, and see the track well. Then in the main event, I was pretty nervous on the line, but I got a decent start and then just fought and never gave up. I kept pushing through the pack. I had a lot of people to prove wrong and I ended up fourth in my first pro supercross race. It was a crazy night! I am so happy with how it went.
Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 15th:
The day started out well. I was feeling pretty good on the bike all day, but unfortunately had a bad start in the main, and then went down a couple of times in the sand. I’m pretty disappointed, but we’re going to put it behind us and keep putting in the work and get back on the podium where we know we belong.
Chris Blose (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 10th:
I think with the limited amount of time I had on the bike and coming up against others who’ve been training all year, we had a decent day. My goal is to be fighting at the front and I just didn’t get the start dialled in the main event, which is something we can work on this week. I’m looking forward to making improvements next weekend in Tampa.
Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 11th:
There’s not much downtime, so it’s very different from anything I’ve ever done before. At all the amateur races you have so much time in between each race. So it was definitely a change of pace to be out there. It’s crazy, the intensity is just so high, right off the gate. So now I know what to work on, I’m ready to get back out there next weekend.
Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
I was a little nervous in the first practice, but I felt more comfortable as the day went on. In my Heat I was again a bit nervous as it was my first-ever Supercross in a stadium at night, but I had a good start and finished P3, so I was happy with that. In the Main Event, I had a great start again and got to lead for two laps. Then with five laps to go, while in third, I had a small crash when I missed the rear brake and went over the corner. I’m disappointed as we could’ve finished on the podium, but I learned a lot and it was a good day overall.
Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Sixth:
For the first round of the east coast, I had an alright day. My pace and fitness are good. I thought I had a lot of strengths, but I just need to clean up the starts and I can do that. It’s unfortunate. P6 is not where we want to be starting out, but I warm up quick. I’m looking forward to Tampa.