Features 7 Feb 2024

Quotebook: 2024 Supercross Rd5 Detroit

Assorted racer comments following this year's fifth round.

Ford Field hosted the fifth stop of the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, and for the first time this season we saw a repeat winner in the 450SX class. Plus, with the series headed across country, it was a first look at the 250SX East championship in action. Quotebook features compiled comments from Detroit on the weekend.


Image: Octopi Media.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Second:
It’s nice to reclaim the red plate! Tonight was one of my better rides… we’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year with the mud races, then last week was a Triple Crown, which meant this weekend was one of our first real main events and I felt pretty solid in the conditions. I didn’t have a great heat race, then seeing the 250 start I was a little bit nervous starting so far outside. I was fortunate to get a good start, then had some good speed, although a few little mistakes cost me. All in all, it was a good main event, and now I’m looking forward to Arizona.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Sixth:
Detroit, I had a good night overall. We got a heat race win and in the Main I just messed up the start – came from around 15th place and ended up sixth, so not too mad with that! We’ll go back, do some homework and stay in this championship fight. Onto Glendale, I like that stadium, so we’ll go get back to the warmth and look forward to it.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – 12th:
Struggled a little bit in practice to find a flow today, the track was super-technical with the ruts. I had a really good heat race, it was nice to get the fresh track as the first race of the program, so that was cool. Charged up to third in the heat, then made a little change heading into the main event, and unfortunately it was the wrong direction as I was pretty uncomfortable. Not so good result, but we’re determined to work hard and come out swinging in Arizona!

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – 11th:
Detroit, I was P1 in free practice, which meant I felt pretty good all day. Ninth overall in qualifying, then fifth in the heat, and felt really good at that point. I tried to get by [Jason] Anderson in the whoops after a good start, and then just dropped it at the end of the set there. It really sucks to crash like that, but I fought hard for 11th – the riding has been improving, so we’ll keep fighting.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
It definitely feels nice to be up here after a rough couple of weeks on the riding side, it makes this win even sweeter. I know I’ve made some mental mistakes and had some silly decisions from wanting to win so bad. This was a nice reset, to get back to my old ways of getting a good start and hitting my marks.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Eighth:
It was a good weekend and another step forward. We’re trying to take all the positives we can at the moment. Eighth isn’t where we want to be, but we’ll keep working and keep getting better, week after week. It was a great night for the team though, with the win from Jettson.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Fifth:
Detroit was a little rough for me. I had a difficult time adjusting to the tackiness of the track, but I was happy with my ride in the heat race and last half of the main event. Once I adjusted my riding style to the track, I felt like I had the speed to win. We know we are fast, and can win, so I don’t want any less than that moving forward. Time to get to work this week and be ready for Glendale next weekend!

Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
Today actually went really well for me. I rode great all day, and practice went well. In the heat race, I got a great holeshot and was leading. Everything was great, and then I just tucked the front and had a crash. I didn’t have the best gate pick for the main and got a really bad start. I think I was about 15th around the first turn. The track was really hard to pass on tonight, and I knew that wasn’t going to cut it, but I charged hard and got back to fourth. I felt like I rode really solid, but I also felt like I left a podium and maybe a win out there. So I was a little bummed, but we’ll have another good week this week and come back in Arizona swinging.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 10th:
It was a frustrating race, and I struggled in the main event. We’ll do our best to rebound next week.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Ninth:
It was a really good day again. I qualified sixth and had a really good start in the heat. I was able to finish second there, which is my best finish so far in a heat on the 450. I took it to the main and didn’t get off the gate that well. This class is tough. I started about 12th or 13th and finished ninth. That’s really all I could do. I felt like I rode well all day. I just wish I had that heat race start in the main.

Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar Suzuki) – Third:
I felt comfortable on the track and on the bike right away in the morning. Going into the heat race I felt really comfortable. The track was soft and rutty, so I knew it was going to be treacherous. In the heat race, I rode well, finished second, and gave myself a good gate pick. After starting mid-pack I had a really good main event. I was riding well in the first half of the main; I made a lot of passes and put myself into third. The track got more and more beat down. I was kind of by myself in third and rode it home in a podium spot. It’s great to be back on the podium, I need to get a bit more consistency with that and can’t wait for Glendale.

Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 14th:
I put in a good week of training this week and found a couple of small bike adjustments to help me be a little bit more comfortable, and I think that showed in my riding all night tonight. I felt I was riding with good intensity on that track, and normally I struggle in the soft and rutted conditions. So today, for me to be really comfortable, I would say it’s a big deal for my confidence and just moving forward. I’m very excited about getting a good start in the main and getting some fresh air and battling upfront. I’m trying as hard as I can to stay up there for as long as I can. I’m not there yet, but I’m excited about the progress we’re making.

Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 16th:
The bike felt good. I never really felt that comfortable with the track, though. I just couldn’t really get into a flow out there today. In the main event, I didn’t get off to a good start and just kind of rode at a pace that I could ride. I just wasn’t super comfortable pushing that little extra that I needed to finish better. My Suzuki was good, the team did great, Kenny on the podium was awesome for the team.

Derek Drake (BarX Suzuki) – 15th:
Detroit was good. It was nice to get into the main straight from the heat. When main event time came, the track was really challenging because of how soft it was. But it was a good day all-in-all, and I’m looking forward to Glendale!


Image: Octopi Media.

Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – 18th:
I actually had a pretty good day going, top five in all of the qualifying sessions and then P3 in my heat race, so the riding was pretty good until the main event. I had a crash and couldn’t really do anything about it – I was hit from the back, which of course makes me pretty disappointed. I felt great on the track and I think it would’ve been a great race. A lot of top guys were on the floor in the first turn, which means that a few are a ways down in the championship, so let’s regroup and come back for the next East Coast round in Dallas.

Guillem Farres (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – Eighth:
Detroit was pretty good, especially for my first supercross ever! Luckily, I got the track pretty dialed on press day, which was helpful. I felt good in my qualifiers today and then was super nervous heading into the heat race, but got a decent start and finished seventh. Then, in the main there was a massive pile-up that I was lucky to avoid. I was running sixth until the last lap before a small tip-over, so I am a little mad about the fall, but happy with my first supercross.

Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – Fifth:
Round one for us is over and done with, I got the nerves out of the way which feels good. Overall, not a bad day, I got away lucky especially with what happened at the start of the main, that was hectic! Salvaged a fifth, which isn’t too bad, and we’re in a good spot for the upcoming races, so I’m excited to put some work in and come out swinging at round two.

Chance Hymas (Team Honda HRC) – 10th:
Today was alright–a lot of positives to take away, but also some negatives we can work on. It felt great to get back behind the gate and race those guys after so long off. I definitely have some stuff to build off of for Arlington.

Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – First:
All I can say is wow, what a great start to the season. A year ago we didn’t make it past the first turn, and now here we are, holeshot, heat race and main event winners. It’s been a long, hard road to get here, but it feels great to be back up on top. A lot of people have doubted me and my return, but I’m glad to be back to where I feel like I belong. We have done lots of training, and I felt great on my KX 250 all weekend. I can’t thank my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, trainers and family enough. This is a game changer for me and I’m ready to keep this red plate.

Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 15th:
What a rollercoaster of a day. After qualifying we made some changes that I was happy with, and we came home with a heat race win. It gave me a big confidence boost going into the main, and I was ready to get to the podium. I got caught up in the first turn crash, and during the crash it ripped my gear off. It took us a minute to untangle our bikes, and I knew I was a lap down but was determined to run the best I could. It wasn’t the opening weekend I was hoping for, but I know we have the speed to be up front and I’m going to capitalize on that and keep moving forward. We have a few weeks off then back to Texas, let’s get it!

Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 21st:
I’m not super stoked on this weekend. I had a big crash in practice that was hard to recover from, and I didn’t feel very comfortable on this tacky track. We had a decent heat race running towards the front, and then in the main I went down and was stuck there with Cameron. Once I recovered, there was too much damage to my bike that it was unrideable. I really wish I could have kept going, but it’s a long season and I’m ready for redemption in a few weeks. We know what we need to work on and keep pushing and we will be good.

Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 16th:
With what I’ve dealt with these past few weeks, the day was actually pretty good. I was first in free practice, then the first qualifying was alright, and the second qualifying, I was on the board, so I was happy with that. In the heat race, we had plenty of speed. McAdoo and I were the fastest out of everyone, so I wasn’t worried about that. Then after the start of the main event, someone on the inside just sent it into everyone, and we all went cartwheeling. It happens. We got some points, and we didn’t quit. Now we’ve just got to go and tick off some wins and gain these points back.

Daxton Bennick (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Third:
The day didn’t start very well, but we turned it around in the heat race. We came out with a good start and got second. For the main event, I knew it was going to be long, so I went in at a good pace. I started reeling in [Max] Antsie and thought maybe I was going to get second, but man, I’m happy with that. I can’t believe that in my rookie season, my first race, I got a podium. I’ve checked that box. I’m so pumped!

Nick Romano (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 14th:
That first supercross race was definitely wild. I struggled to find a flow in practice but was feeling more like myself in the heat race and finished sixth. I was feeling good going into the main, and then there was a brutal first-turn pile-up that I got caught up in. That’s racing. I’m definitely a little bruised up after that one. I’m just thankful that I was able to get up and do the laps. The night could’ve gone a little better, but I’m just happy to get a Supercross race under my belt after missing all of last year. I look forward to racing again in a few weeks in Texas.

Preston Boespflug (BarX Suzuki) – 13th:
My Suzuki was great with how the track was – very soft, very rutted and rough. It’s hard to have a good setup in those conditions but we didn’t have to change anything.