News 28 Sep 2023

250SMX champion Deegan to save ghost-ride until first SX win

Impressive rookie 'couldn't imagine' the success in first pro season.

Image: Octopi Media.

The iconic ghost-ride celebration is being saved by newly-crowned 250SMX champion Haiden Deegan until the moment that he wins his first-career Monster Energy Supercross main event.

In what was a historic moment within the sport, Brian Deegan launched his bike when he won the 125SX West Supercross main event in 1997 at the famed Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

With Deegan clinching his maiden professional title at the same venue over 25 years later, many anticipated a ghost-ride in celebration, but the impressive rookie said post-race that it will instead have to wait until he wins a Supercross main event.

“I wanted to ghost-ride the bike, but I didn’t know I won,” said Deegan. “I thought I got like second or third overall cos I had a fifth in the first moto, so I didn’t think I won the race.

“But then, I was thinking, ‘maybe we’ll just save it for when I fully win the race’. Like, a 5-2, that’s not usually winning the overall, but still, winning a Supercross… that’s when it’s going to happen.”

The 2023 campaign has been one of immense and rapid progress for Deegan, achieving numerous milestones in his first season as a professional. After commencing the year as an amateur and contesting the 250SX Futures at Anaheim 2, he debuted in 250SX East at Houston and went on to finish runner-up in the standings.

He scored a breakout 250MX moto win in moto one at Hangtown and banked his first Pro Motocross round victory at RedBud. He notched another overall win with a commanding 1-1 at Washougal, but was ultimately fourth in the 250MX standings following misfortune late in the season.

Third overall at playoffs one and two saw Deegan right in the hunt for the 250SMX crown in LA and the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider wrapped up the title with a round win, courtesy of a 5-2 scorecard.

“No, I couldn’t imagine it,” Deegan added. “My goal was to podium an outdoor national my first season. It went from there to being in a championship fight, having a red plate and now winning my first championship in my rookie season.

“Yeah, it’s crazy. We just have to keep building and getting stronger. I’m still young, so my body is going to keep growing a little more and it’s just up from here.”