Features 31 Jan 2024

Quotebook: 2024 Supercross Rd4 Anaheim

Assorted racer comments following this year's fourth round.

The A2 Triple Crown threw a spanner in the works and brought a mixture of up and down results, with different storylines to follow. Quotebook features compiled comments from Anaheim on the weekend.


Image: Octopi Media.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Fifth:
Round four, Triple Crown, I think I finished 1-11-2. First race was good, second race I came through the pack and then had a stupid crash, which put me back, then the third race was okay also – I was just focused on closing it out consistently. Not my greatest night, but we’ll bounce back next week, and onto some east coast dirt, which I’m excited about.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Third:
This race was really important for me, just to stay consistent and not let things get to my head. I feel like I did a good job of that – I got great starts all night, I tightened up a little in race one, before in race two I rode really good, and then race three I was right there behind Chase. Tonight was tough, a lot of the success had to do with being consistent, and I think I did a good job of that.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – 13th:
It was a very challenging day for me at A2 and definitely one to leave in the past. I struggled from the get-go… I just wasn’t very comfortable. A few too many crashes, which ruined our races, although I did get good starts! In the second race I was in a good position, then had a big crash. Race three, I was caught up with another rider getting squirrely, which put me back, and overall just a very challenging day. We’ll need a rebound in Detroit!

Jorge Prado (Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – 12th:
Just finished my racing here in the U.S. and it’s been a great experience. I would say that this was my second real supercross behind Anaheim 1, because this one and A1 seemed like the track was more realistic to Supercross with the conditions. I’m happy with my progress, the Triple Crown today was way different again… So much speed and intensity in the first laps, and I struggled with that, especially in the first one. I dropped back to P12 quickly, so I made more adjustments for the other two. But overall, I am quite satisfied, it’s been a good experience, for sure, and with more racing I could get better, so I am motivated for the future.

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – 10th:
A2 for me, there are positives to take. I was P1 in the first qualifier and then was affected by some tough starts in the Races for the Triple Crown. Went down in race one with Hunter, came back to 11th. Then the others, just struggled with starts again, but I’m getting back into the swing of things – I haven’t raced for a long time, so this one really felt like A1 to me. We’re heading in the right direction and it’s going to come, so we’ll keep on trucking into Detroit.

Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – 14th:
My day started decently and qualifying went okay. It was nice to be on a dry track after the last couple of weeks, but yeah, I went down in the second corner in race one and was way, way back. Inched up, did what I could, then in the second one I think I got 12th. Race three, not enough intensity at the start, got passed a bunch, and then had to try to make those passes back. It has been a frustrating start to the season, but we’ll keep trying.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Sixth:
Not the ideal situation we wanted to be in, but we’re making our way back to where we were. I made a silly decision in the last race, and that really cost me. We’re only eight points back, so it’s still a very close championship at the moment. I need to work on stuff for the rest of the season, but it’s always a good thing when you can learn something from the weekend.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – 11th:
Really tough day in the office. We have a lot to work on in these hard-packed, slippery, California conditions. We’ll keep working on the bike and myself, and come out swinging in Detroit.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Fourth:
Today was definitely a good day for me. I am happy with my progression on the bike and we are trending in the right direction. I am happy to have dry conditions this weekend and qualifying went well. The first race was decent. I had a good battle with Kenny [Roczen] and finished in fourth. The second race was a good one for me. I got a great start on my KX 450SR and then made a quick move early in the race on Webb and started to hit my marks and pull away. The last race did not go the way I wanted. I made a mistake in the second whoop section and went down. I quickly got up and tried to work my way back up the field to salvage a podium spot. I was frustrated to find out after the race I was docked a position causing me to finish fourth overall. There is plenty of racing still to go and I am focused on what is ahead. Huge thanks to my Monster Energy Kawasaki team for keeping everything dialed all day. On to Detroit!

Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – First:
It was a great day. Qualifying wasn’t that good, but we turned it around for the night show. I got two great starts in the first two and ended up second in both of those, which was awesome and put us in a good spot for the third one. Then I just rode a consistent and solid race in the last one. I knew the points and just kind of cruised her in. Man, it feels great to get our first win of the season. It’s awesome for myself but also really awesome for the team.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Second:
This was an important race for us to get on the podium. In the first two motos, I actually struggled a little bit on the starts and put myself back, but I knew I had good speed and never gave up. Then I just executed a much better start in the third moto and was able to ride out front with some good clean air. I had some good rhythm combinations and also jump combinations through the whoops, and I felt like that gave me a good edge and a good gap on the field in that last moto.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Eighth:
Overall, it was a really positive day. I started out the day with the fastest qualifier, which was awesome. I got the perfect lap at the end of the session and followed it up with three good starts. Unfortunately, I got caught up in the first turn in the first moto, which hurt my overall, but I was a top-five guy all night, so we will take the positives and move on to the east!

Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar Suzuki) – Seventh:
Tough week in Anaheim. We were in position for a podium going into the final race and unfortunately, a crash on the start meant I was fighting from the back forward. The speed is there and I’m looking forward to another week of racing in Detroit.

Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 18th:
The track was one of the roughest tracks I’ve ridden. I struggled on it, just as far as racing. A little bit of confidence, a little bit of bike set up, a little bit just being uncomfortable. We learned a lot today, starting out on a different suspension set-up, it worked better in some places, and in other places it didn’t, so we’re going to keep working on it and keep learning, and we’ll be back next weekend in Detroit.

Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 17th:
My Suzuki was working really well for me all day, I felt good on the track and rode pretty well. I came out of the first turn in a good position, around top ten. Unfortunately, I was taken out pretty hard a couple of turns into the race. I was able to get up and finish. Then in the last main event, my elbow was pretty sore, but I did my best, tried to be smart, and just earn some points.

Derek Drake (BarX Suzuki) – 21st:
There were some positives to take out of A2. I just need some better starts to be in the next group of guys where I belong. In race one I fell on the last lap which was a bummer. In race two I had to pull off early with a mechanical. Then in race three I picked up a P17. See you in Detroit!


Image: Octopi Media.

Julien Beaumer (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Seventh:
Anaheim 2, my first Triple Crown, was good. race one was not the best, I forced it a little too much and crashed, but the last two were a little better. I still made it hard on myself with the starts, so I had to make my way back toward the front. We’ll get back to work these next two weeks, work on some things, and come out swinging in Glendale.

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – Second:
It was a solid night at A2 and I was fast all day. We topped all three practices, and the first two races were awesome – I had so much fun battling with Levi [Kitchen], we put on a good show, which was sick. Third race, not a great start, and then just a bit of a mishap. Still made up a lot of points, cut the deficit in half, so I’m stoked on that.

Ryder DiFrancesco (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – Eighth:
Positives from the weekend were my starts, they were way better, and then in race one I was right amongst the fight. I made some mistakes across the day, but I’m ready to take this next weekend off and come back for Glendale in a better position.

Jo Shimoda (Team Honda HRC) – Fourth:
I think my pace was there all day. I feel confident in my speed and fitness. I still haven’t figured out my starts yet. We know these results don’t reflect the work we’ve put in, so we’ll just keep pushing ourselves.

Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – First:
Today was a good all-around day. Qualifying went well, securing second overall. In the first main event, I got the win after asking for it early on. In the second one, I finished second, which is solid, and I felt like I had the speed throughout the night. The third one began with a good start, but I made a slight mistake. However, I got behind [Nate] Thrasher, maintained focus, and realized I had a substantial points gap. From there, I rode it in smoothly. It was an overall great night, and having the red plate is cool for me. I can’t thank my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team enough. My KX 250 was great all day!

Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fifth:
It was a rough night. I fought hard from the back of the pack in all three races. I’m not happy with the results, but we live to fight another day and hang onto the red plate. I’ll regroup and get ready for Glendale!

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Third:
I felt pretty good all day, and when the track got rougher, I felt better. I just let that second main get away from me there after the start. I went down in that pile-up, but besides that, it was good racing overall. We’ll go back to work and be ready for the next main event and hopefully get another win.

Anthony Bourdon (BarX Suzuki) – Sixth:
It was an amazing night in Anaheim. I’m happy to ride again on perfect track conditions. Three top tens in the races for a P6 overall. I had very good starts in races two and three and fought with the best riders in the world for a couple of laps. I am still learning every weekend, but being P5 in the championship after four rounds is unbelievable.

Max Miller (BarX Suzuki) – 16th:
It was a big step in the right direction at A2. I had great speed all night. I fell in race one and finished 18th. In race two, I was off to a bad start but worked my way up to 15th. I had a great start in the third race, made few mistakes at the beginning, and ended up 15th for 16th overall on the night.