Features 5 Jan 2024

Input: Supercross outlook

Selection of contenders outline thoughts on the 2024 season ahead.

One of the most anticipated Monster Energy Supercross Championship seasons will take off at Anaheim on Saturday night, headlined by a who’s who of current and past champions in a bid to start their 2024 campaigns in the strongest form possible. During the pre-season press conference today, a wide-range of key contenders share their expectations for the opening round and season ahead in this Input feature.

Image: Foremost Media.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing):
It’s been really fun, a lot different than the last couple of years – getting on a new bike, having to learn that, and also just dealing with a new team. It’s cool meeting new people, I was pretty familiar with most of the guys, but you’re working with them is different and, like I said, it’s been fun and a lot different. We’ve been working and working, so we are where we want to be right now and I’m looking forward to tomorrow night, getting our first race under our belt. We don’t really know where we’re at, so that’s kind of the exciting part about this race. Learning a new bike and racing a new bike is the fun part, but also stressful too. I’m ready for the challenge… we have to keep building throughout the series.

Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar Suzuki):
We have put in a lot of hours to try get better and I’ve felt the most relaxed I’ve ever felt going into Anaheim. I’m treating this season with the most respect because we have a really, really stacked field, and overall I’m in a much different position than I’ve been in the years past. I also know that you can win or be on the podium one weekend, but finish 10th another week. I feel much, much better on the bike and I can focus on racing rather than the bike and what we need to change. Nothing’s new really, I’m really just excited to get going again.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC):
I’m grateful to be where I am now, I’ve worked my butt off to be here, so I’m pumped to be here finally. I’m looking forward to the season, it should be a good one for me, I’m excited to learn more and to put it up there.

Image: Foremost Media.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing):
I feel like I’m in the same position [as last year] and that’s how well it’s gone for me. It was a huge unknown, I first got back on the motorcycle in October, and that’s when I started. The goal was to be on supercross in November and I hit my mark, so it’s been pretty smooth sailing. This injury was a scary thing to have happen, but I think with our equipment and the way you sit on a motorcycle, you can get through this injury within six months and performing. I feel like I’m to the level that I was last year, say January, so we’re ready.”

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki):
Obviously our new bike and new frame is a level up. Between me and AC, I think we’ve had really positive feedback with it at the test track, but it’s a little different on race days. I feel good and I’m ready to see what goes down – hopefully for me I’m close to the front and we don’t have too many problems, but you never know what happens.

Jorge Prado (Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing):
It’s nice to be here because it’s going to be a dream come true to race under lights. I’m super-happy to be here and almost ready to ride. I think we did our best with the little time that we’ve had to get ready for racing and I’m excited because since I was a little kid I’ve always watched these guys. Let’s see how it goes, it will be my very first time racing Supercross. I feel very comfortable with the bike, it allows me to go in a good pace for me, and I am very happy – we did good work with the team. It’s not easy when you race full-time in Europe and ask to come and do some racing, but they know the risks and I know the risks, but they put everything together to make me feel comfortable, so I need to thank my team for the opportunity.