Assorted racer comments following the latest round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in round nine of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship at Indianapolis.
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Eighth:
It was a tough one today. The track was pretty gnarly, and we just struggled to find our comfort zone all day. We did our best to salvage some points. We’ll put this one behind us and come back next weekend in Detroit.
Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Fifth:
Overall, I think we had another decent weekend as a team. The track here in Indianapolis was extremely rutted and one of the most challenging tracks this season. After a good qualifying result and heat race, I had my goal set on securing another podium, but I couldn’t find my rhythm until later in the main event. Still, a fifth-place finish is a solid result and, on a night where all the top guys were a little off, it gives us valuable championship points as we continue to try to break into the top-three in the points standings.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Sixth:
It feels good to be back racing under the lights. Electing to sit out the last couple of rounds was a difficult decision. I’m so grateful to have a team that fully supports me and ensures my health is 100% before returning. As for my performance, I can honestly say I am proud of how I rode, especially on a rough track like tonight. I proved to everyone, including myself, that I still have what it takes to mix it up with the lead group for the entire duration of a main event race. Now we can focus on improving during the week and keeping the momentum rolling in Detroit.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Third:
To come away from Indy with the red plate is a great accomplishment. It’s still tight, but it was a great night for the points battle. Looking at my actual race, I’m a bit disappointed, as even though I was in the mix, we didn’t execute to race for the win. It’s a long season and tonight was about finding that balance between risk and reward because the track was so brutal. I lost a bit of pace at the end, but we’ll take this result and move on to the next round with the red plate.
Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) – Fourth:
I love coming to Indianapolis and it was a fun day, all-in-all. I felt good in my Heat and was able to make the pass for second in the whoops, which had me feeling confident going into the main event. I got off to a mediocre start in the Main, but I tried to ride smart and pushed my way to fourth, where I stayed for the rest of the race. After last weekend’s disappointing ninth result, I wanted to get back up there this weekend and get that momentum back, and I felt like I did that tonight. On to the next one!
Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Second:
Great practice, P4, which was awesome. In the heat race I charged hard and got the win which was even more awesome. In the main event I didn’t get a great start, but I charged through the pack and came up to second. It was just some great riding, and the crew did a great job today, the bike was on point. A podium was awesome, and we are looking forward to Detroit.
Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Seventh:
Indy started out pretty good. The track was gnarly all day, super-rutted. I felt like I rode pretty good throughout the whole day and made some little changes here and there. I was able to ride consistently and make the least mistakes possible. I got a bad start in the main and just picked my way through. I got up to eighth and made a pass toward the end and almost got sixth. I felt like I made improvements on my bike and myself and things are clicking. So, we’ll keep pushing forward for next week.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – 10th:
The day started off great for me. We had figured some things out in testing earlier in the week, and I felt like I was riding well, even with the gnarly ruts. I topped qualifying and won my heat race, and I was feeling good in the main event. Unfortunately, I hit a rut that sent me to the ground, and the bike was bent up to where it was tough trying to make up time after that. It’s a bummer, but I know I have the speed and I’m still in the championship hunt. There’s no quit in me, and I’m going to keep swinging. I look forward to Detroit.
Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar Suzuki) – First:
Indy was next level. We knew all day the track was going to be pretty much an enduro track by the end of the main. We couldn’t have executed the main any better. I got the holeshot and led all the way to the finish line. It was a race I will probably never forget. Up there in my all-time greatest accomplishments. We are definitely going to celebrate tonight and enjoy tomorrow, but the work doesn’t stop. It was a historical night for me, the team, and Suzuki. Really hard to describe how good it was.
Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 13th:
Really good night for everyone on the team, it was probably one of the toughest races. I’m excited about where we are at. We are starting to make fewer changes due to the progress we have been making round to round. I’m excited about Detroit next weekend. I’m excited for where we are at.
Kyle Chisolm (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 14th:
The track was gnarly, but I felt pretty good out there. I was bummed about missing the last round due to a crash the week before, so to come out here to race and be in the main event was a step in the right direction. I felt good in the main, but I lost my rhythm towards the end due to missing some time on the bike. Top 15 is good, but I will try and get closer to the top ten in Detroit.
Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
The track was pretty wild. It’s my first race here at Indy, so it was a big eye-opener. I just kind of let it all come to me this morning in the first couple sessions, trying to figure out when and how the track was going to break down. The way things went is unreal! We work so hard for these races, so it’s great when it pays off.
Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Third:
It was a good day overall. I was really good in qualifying all day and won the heat race. In the main event, it just took me a little bit too long to kind of get the track down and get the right lines. It’s always good to be on the podium, but we want more. We want that win, so we’ll keep working for it, and it will come.
Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Seventh:
Indy was one of the gnarliest tracks that I have raced. I was adapting well in the main but then made a mistake in the whoops. This race was a big learning experience, and I’m happy to be able to learn these tracks a year early to be more prepared for next year. I’m also happy to be out of here healthy and move on to Detroit.
Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Second:
It was a good race. I wish I could have got a little better start there and got up front and led some laps, but it was good all in all. We’re close. We’ll just keep fighting and be a little bit better. I think we can get some more wins and hopefully get back in this championship.
Chris Blose (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Sixth:
That was a tough race, and it was a typical Indy track that just kept getting more brutal as the race went on. It felt like a long race, but so happy we were able to have a solid day all around. It was great to lead a few laps in the heat race and to see the progress we’ve made as a team is exciting as we head to Detroit next week.
Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 15th:
It was pretty good, there’s a lot to take away from these. I’m learning so much at these Supercross races. I know I say that every time, but there’s good to take from every single race that I’ve done so far. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. I’m looking forward to hopefully doing that in Detroit. I’ve got some work to do, and we’re going to get back on that training program right on Monday. Keep grinding away, and try to make something happen this next weekend.
Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) – Eighth:
An eighth-place result isn’t my best result and I could’ve done better, but I had a bad start in the main event. I felt like I had a good rhythm and pace over the first few laps as I passed a few guys up to seventh, but then I had a small crash where I lost a lot of time. I’ve never ridden supercross on dirt like that, and I’m learning a lot about racing different tracks and dirt this year. I need to improve and get more experience, but that will only come with more races. I feel like my speed is there, but I need to put it all together – I feel like it’s only a matter of time before I get a podium result.
Marshall Weltin (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 14th:
Really tough day, I felt off all day, but I tried to shove all that to the side and race. I was able to make it into the main. I nearly pulled a holeshot, and I was super stoked about that. I rode pretty tight overall and wasn’t comfy in the ruts like I should be. I think it comes down to a lack of prep. I am ready to get to work this week going into my home race.