Features 18 Jan 2024

Quotebook: 2024 Supercross Rd2 San Francisco

Assorted racer comments following this year's second round.

With rain greeting the second stop of the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross Championship season in San Francisco, there was a real mix of results last Saturday night. Quotebook features compiled comments from those on-track.


Image: Octopi Media.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – First:
I have to give a huge shoutout to the team, they’ve put in so much effort and hard work to get me to where I need to be. I was a bit disappointed that this round was a mudder as the progress we made from this week to last is pretty crazy, but I’m stoked to get a win for the team and it feels great to deliver this result!

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Fifth:
San Francisco, mud race… a proper mud race. Qualified first, which is a first! Then yeah, good start in the Heat Race, made a few mistakes, which cost me, and I got third. The start of the Main was horrible, I spun off the grate, but made it through with all the guys on the ground – don’t know how I did that. Lost goggles about mid-way, and just did what I could to fortunately get back to fifth. We got some good points, sitting P4 now in the points, and I’m ready to show them what I’ve got in San Diego.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – 17th:
Crazy day here in San Francisco, crazy event. I got a serious sickness coming into this race, so I couldn’t ride or train, had to hit the hospital a couple of times, and I’m just really happy to be here. It was really tough with the weather, and unfortunately, my body was pretty hammered – made it hard on myself by going to the LCQ, but all-in-all it was a survival mode weekend for me. I’m happy to be in one piece and am looking forward to being healthy and putting my bike up front.

Jorge Prado (Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – Seventh:
Second round is done, and I am very happy about everything. I feel like I got used to the format already after last weekend, which is a big adjustment for me, especially learning a new track in eight or nine laps. But hey, good start in the Heat and some good opening laps, stayed consistent, and got my first-ever heat race win! I was super happy about that because I’m not a big mud specialist, then in the main event the gate dropped very quickly, and I got a bad start. I slowly made my way through the field and only wanted to stay on the bike, that was my goal, so with seventh place, I am very happy.

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – 22nd:
SF was a muddy one for us. Went down off the start, then the vision was blind for a bit, pulled a tear-off and I was in the tuff blocks. It got stuck in around the shifter, and someone had to go get a razor blade to cut it, so that’s how I got back on the track! Didn’t do very well, it was survival mode, and in these conditions, it’s hard to predict where you’ll end up. I’m disappointed as the team and I made great progress through the week, but we’re looking forward to San Diego where I got my first Heat Race win last year.

Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – 14th:
The day started off as a mud race and that’s obviously chaos. Qualified decent, then went to the heat race just wanting to make it through to the main, which we did. In the Main I went down 100 feet off the start, was lying in the mud with some others for a while, but just charged from the back and did what we could do. I’m excited for some dry conditions next weekend.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Ninth:
Nothing too exciting to talk about after the main event. We’re just happy to get out of here with some points. We aren’t many points behind, so we’re going to get some good races in before the break and hopefully get some wins.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – 10th:
The main takeaway from tonight is that the heroes of our sport are the mechanics. They had to work incredibly hard all day to make sure our bikes were running smooth. A huge pat on the back to the team overall in these conditions. Other than that, I’m ready to move on to round three.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 12th:
We knew coming into this weekend that we were going to have weather, but not as bad as we had. After the first qualifying session I was looking forward to the second one because of bike changes we wanted to make, but once it was cancelled it was tough heading into the heat race with not a ton of time on the track. I felt decent in the heat, and in the main event I went down on the start. The fall shook me up at first but my KX450SR powered through the pack and we made up some good points for the championship. I feel good and I’m ready to get back at it next weekend in San Diego.

Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Eighth:
Coming into round two I was ready to do my best and I believe we had an encouraging weekend. I qualified P8 which was okay, I stayed consistent in the heat race and main event. The track conditions were so gnarly, and I’m stoked to finish how we did considering what we were dealt on track. We are still heading in the right direction, and I’m stoked to be back in SoCal next weekend. We’ll put in work and make it happen.

Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 11th:
It was a pretty tough day in San Francisco. The conditions were definitely difficult. Qualifying went pretty well. I ended up in the top five and then finished second in the heat race, which was great. In the main event, I didn’t get the start we needed to get, and I rode around with the guys and just got passed. I had a little bit of goggle issues, but overall, it was a tough night in really tough conditions. It was not the result we were looking for, but we will come back swinging at San Diego and hopefully get some dry conditions to show them what we’ve got.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Second:
We got off to a great start last night and almost had the holeshot. The conditions were so treacherous; honestly it was one of the toughest mud races I’ve raced. Some of the ruts were so deep you could completely get stuck if you took the wrong lines! I’m grateful for our crew. They had their work cut out for them the whole day and kept the bike running in top shape.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – DNQ:
I really struggled with the tough conditions all day and night. With crashes in both qualifying races, it made it even tougher on me, and I wasn’t able to find a flow. It’s the first main I’ve missed in my career, so it’s a tough pill to swallow, but we will just have to put it behind us and build off how we rode at A1.

Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar Suzuki) – Third:
San Francisco was something different as it was the craziest mud race I’ve probably ever done. As we all know, those kind of conditions can really work in your favor, but it can also go the other way. I got off to a really good start, I went around the first turn in first, but I couldn’t pull a tear off and was riding blind, so I just hit the brake and stalled it. I was super bummed, as that made for a really tough main event. But at the same time I knew that in fifteen minutes plus one lap, anything can happen, and I had enough time. You can really make up some ground with those muddy conditions. So I ended up coming all the way up to third and I couldn’t have been more stoked on my riding and everything that came with it. We earned a podium, our first podium of the year.

Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – Fourth:
Man, it was a muddy mess all day today. Thankfully, I made it through straight to the main from my heat race after going down on the first lap. I ended up with a really good gate in the main. I had a good rut and just did the best I could. I came out in a good spot off the start and ran up towards the front the whole time. It was a game of survival out there just trying to stay up. It was tricky and it just continued to get worse the whole race. I’m stoked to end up with a fourth tonight; that’s a new career-best in the 450 class for me. I’m excited to get back to work this week and we’ll see you all in San Diego next weekend.

Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – DNQ:
In the heat race I unfortunately went down in the first turn. I put my head down and rode my best, I’m happy with my riding, but just missed going straight to the main by one spot. In the LCQ I sent it in the first turn, and I just went off the track and slid out. I went down and went into a wall and that was all she wrote. I hurt my leg a bit, all the x-rays afterward look good, but I’m sore. I was really looking forward to getting out there in the main event and playing in the mud and trying to card a strong finish.

Derek Drake (BarX Suzuki) – 14th:
San Francisco was good. I was glad to make it straight out of the heat into the main. For the main, all I was worried about was to keep the wheels moving and see the checkered flag, and that ended up being P-13. It was a good weekend and now on to the next!


Image: Octopi Media.

Julien Beaumer (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – 11th:
San Fran was muddy, that’s for sure! Good night, got some points and made it through the Main, so I’m happy to be leaving with some points. The focus was on staying upright, but I ended up getting tired from having to pick up my bike so many times. I’m looking forward to San Diego, with the goal being much the same as A1.

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – Ninth:
Man, that was just a really, really, long and tough day for us. Start was decent, got up to fourth, I think… but stuff happens with this type of racing with a guy cross-rutting and falling into me. I was in a really bad spot to go down in, hard to get back going, but managed what I could and knew I needed to get some points, so now headed to San Diego and hoping it’ll be a lot better than this weekend.

Ryder DiFrancesco (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – DNF:
It was a good night here until it wasn’t! All day I felt good in the mud, I don’t know where that comes from – maybe Bakersfield when it’s muddy, but that’s once a year… It was good to get my first heat race win, which is a cool feeling! We have a bunch of stuff to work on, but good thing we get to line up again next weekend.

Jo Shimoda (Team Honda HRC) – DNF:
It was nice to get a good start in the heat race, get some battles in and still get the win. Obviously, the main event didn’t go how I imagined. I got a good start but tipped over on the straightaway. Two turns later, I had a mechanical and couldn’t finish the race. It’s not where we wanted to be after tonight, but I’m looking forward to next weekend.

Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
I’m stoked on the day today. Started off with a decent qualifying, but I knew I had to finish up in the front to get good gate pick for the main. During the main event, I honestly didn’t know that Jordon [Smith] was the leader. With how muddy it was, you couldn’t tell who was who, and I didn’t even know I was in second until the very end. I ran a consistent pace and didn’t try anything silly, which I believe helped get me the second place finish. In a race like this, a podium feels like a win. Thanks to my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, we are looking good in the points, and I can’t wait to be back next weekend.

Maximus Vohland (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 19th:
The day was going good until it wasn’t. I qualified pretty good and I felt comfortable in the mud. I had a good start for the heat race and set myself up in a good position for the mud and the main event. In the main I felt comfortable and thought we were going to have a good race until we had an issue that ended our night. I am bummed out for the night to end that way because I felt like I ran pretty good all day and had a great chance at a podium. But we will regroup and get back to it this week and come in firing to San Diego.

Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – First:
It feels incredible to get this win. I’m going to soak this in for a couple of days, for sure. I felt like I was all alone out there for a little while. I came through the second or third lap, and I couldn’t really see anyone behind me. Then the halfway flag came out, and I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got to do that again?’ It was a shortened race, but it felt longer. I was so pumped to get the win. Especially with it being a mudder and with the situation that I feel like I’m in this year – being a title guy and needing to put myself in that position every week. So I think to be able to pull it off tonight and to make it work when I’m not the best in the mud or not as confident in the mud was huge.

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 18th:
The day started out well, but it was another tough night for me. It was pretty tough conditions out there, and we struggled a bit. I had to go through the LCQ, which we won, but unfortunately, it was another tough main event with a couple of tip-overs in the mud. We’ll keep fighting, go back to work, and come back stronger in San Diego.

Anthony Bourdon (BarX Suzuki) – Sixth:
What a round in San Francisco! I love to ride in the mud and got my best career results in Europe in the mud, but honestly I didn’t expect the conditions to be like this. I knew I had to get a good start and not crash. I started third but crashed and stalled the bike in the same lap, which cost me a lot of time. I was consistent every lap after that to finish sixth. I am happy even though I knew that the podium was in reach. I can’t wait for the next round in San Diego.

Max Miller (BarX Suzuki) – DNQ:
I had a great jump out of the gate in the heat race but ended up going down on the start. I worked my way up to 13th in the heat race. I went out for the LCQ, but was unable to finish due to a mechanical.