Features 6 Mar 2024

Quotebook: 2024 Supercross Rd8 Daytona

Assorted racer comments following this year's eighth round.

Round eight of Monster Energy Supercross saw Jett Lawrence win on his 450SX debut at the Daytona International Speedway and Tom Vialle break through in 250SX East for a first-career victory. Quotebook features compiled comments from the weekend.


Image: Octopi Media.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Third:
This is definitely a step in the right direction. I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with my hand being hurt, but tonight was good. Overall, this is another building block and we’ll go back to work this week. I finally got to ride between races this past week with my hand and we’re not done yet, just gotta keep building and keep moving forward.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – 18th:
Daytona was an interesting one. I was feeling good all day and then the rain came, got a little muddy, and the track was already soft, so that added to it. The heat was good, caught a flow on my way to third, and then the main event was going well also, until it wasn’t. I was running around fifth or sixth, hit a soft spot on the face of a jump, and had to bail over the bars. I got up, the bike was all twisted so I pulled in, went back out, and then rolled around to save some points. Overall, we’re going into next weekend to race and we’re going to push on. I’m looking forward to Birmingham, it’s gonna be a good one.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – 11th:
Daytona definitely wasn’t the result we wanted, but we had some positives in practice, qualified a lot better today and there’s some light at the tunnel, which was cool. Led a little bit in the heat, like half a lap, and then got a bit tight and ended up going down once, but it was okay. In the main event, I didn’t get off the start the best, had a couple of bobbles, crashed and really just struggled to hold on – I had some bad arm-pump tonight. We’ll regroup again and be back at it next week!

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – Seventh:
Being the closest race to a hometown weekend for me, Daytona treated me okay. The heat wasn’t too bad, vision was kind of tough being where I was, but we made some passes and ended up fourth in that one. main event, the track went away really fast and it was a typical, really hard Daytona. At the end of the day, we ended up P7 – it could have been better, could have been worse. My headspace is okay, we’re going to look forward to Alabama, get back to regular supercross, and get back up front.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
It’s awesome to get a win here, especially to get it on my first attempt on a 450. Winning it how we did, with my tire cover still on as the gate was dropping, I was freaking out on the gate. I’m glad I was able to get a good start, calm myself down, and get back to racing. I’m super-pumped for the team on this one.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – 21st:
It’s a bittersweet night for the team. Jett had a great night, and it was awesome for the team to get a win. As far as my night, I was really happy with how I was riding, I was fifth off the start, fighting for fourth was definitely a positive to take away. I’m really happy with how the bike felt—it was handling amazing. Fingers crossed we’ll be all good after I get evaluated. I just have to continue to build on the positives.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Ninth:
Tough day in the office for me. The day started off pretty decent with a dry track for timed practice and Qualifying 1. They decided to cancel the second session because of the weather just before we were about to head out to the gate, which made going from a completely dry track in qualifying to a muddy track in my heat race a hard adjustment. In the main, I got a bad start and had to fight through the pack. I kept making small mistakes, which were common on this wild Daytona track, but I’m happy to come out healthy and I’m looking forward to showing my true form next weekend.

Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 12th:
It was a hectic day, especially with the weather. I’m not sure what it is with me and the rain this season, but all the talk of me loving mudders has finally caught up to me. We stayed safe out there in a brutal main event, but I’m stoked to make it through and being that it was our first race back, it gives me a lot to build on with this race. My Monster Energy Kawasaki bike felt great all day and I’m looking forward to putting it up near the front soon.

Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
Daytona was a brutal day, for sure. The track was super gnarly with all the rain and all the ruts. Qualifying went great, and I got a pole position, my first one of the year, so that was awesome. Then it was a tough heat race. I struggled in that one and didn’t get off to a great start. In the main event, I got off to a mediocre start and lost touch with that front-pack. I made some good passes late in the race, especially the one on Kenny [Roczen], but I just didn’t ride too great at the beginning of the race and lost a lot of time. Overall, I’m happy with collecting the most points that I could and walking out of here ready for the rest of the year.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Second:
Tonight was a hard-fought second place. I was close to the front the entire race. What it really came down to was one jump and one rhythm section on the track. It was a big quad jump that I didn’t do in the first half, and that was where Jett [Lawrence] was making up a lot of time on us. I ended up catching on to that line, but it was a little too late. Overall, I’m happy I was able to get second place but bummed not to get the win. We’ll keep fighting and keep pushing on from here.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Sixth:
It was tough. The conditions were the main thing today. We got a lot of rain, so it was soft conditions and the track was deteriorating really badly, especially in the main event. People were taking the same lines inside, and the track got really chewed up, so it was pretty much survival out there. I got a really good start in the heat and was able to lead some laps, which was cool. In the main event, I got a good start and then got shuffled around a bit the first couple of turns. We followed Cooper through the pack, made a run for the top five, and almost got it. That would have been nice. I tried everything and threw everything at it but came up a little short. It was a really good day though, P6. We’ll take that. It was the best result of the year so far. I want to get in the top five and eventually get on the podium, that’s the main goal.

Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar Suzuki) – Fifth:
Daytona was a tough one. The track was the softest it’s ever been, so it made for a brutal racetrack. We got off to a great start in the heat race. I did have a little tipover, but I was able to go back up to the front and win that one, which was super-important for the main event start. In the main event, I had a so-so start, then worked myself up to fourth place behind the three leaders and ran with them for quite a while, but in the end, I wasn’t quite fast enough and had to let them go. I ended up coming into the finish line in fifth place, which is not where we want to be, but it could have been worse, too. There were a lot of crashes on a track like this – it was really treacherous. We moved a couple of spots up in the championship and we now put our focus on Birmingham next weekend.

Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 14th:
Honestly what a fun day today. The track was extremely challenging and technical, and today is probably the most fun I’ve had at the races all year. I applied myself on race day the best so far this year. Both of my starts were good tonight, I fought hard, and I rode well.

Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 13th:
Overall, it was a good day. The track was gnarly, the dirt was super soft, and there were ruts everywhere all day. The track broke down and changed a lot all day long, so that was tough just to deal with that on its own. I rode well in my heat race. I just missed going straight to the main by one position. Then I ended up second in the LCQ – I almost won it, but I tried to be smart and get into the main event. The main was good. I worked my way through from the back and I ended up 13th. That was my best racing so far this season, so it was a good night overall.

Anthony Bourdon (BarX Suzuki) – DNS:
It was an amazing opportunity to ride the Suzuki RM-Z450 at Daytona. It was a last-minute decision as I got the call last Sunday. This race is mythic, and it was a dream to race it. The track was destroyed and full of ruts. I’ve never seen a Supercross track like that, and I felt uncomfortable all night. I am disappointed not to get into the main event, but I learned a lot tonight and it was my first time on a 450 Suzuki. Thank you to my team for believing in me.


Image: Octopi Media.

Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – First:
It was nice to grab the win after having my first podium last week and now my first victory here in Daytona. The track was tough, but I actually feel good. I didn’t have a great start, but I passed a lot of guys and it feels so good – it’s amazing to win. I want to thank my team and everybody who works with me and supports me. It’s amazing to race at Daytona and to get this result!

Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – Fifth:
Another fifth was okay on paper, but a disappointing night. I didn’t get the start that I needed and it was hard to make passes, so we’ll regroup and pick some stuff up for next week. Overall, the bike is good and the team is also, I just need to get a start and put myself into position sooner.

Chance Hymas (Team Honda HRC) – 15th:
It was a rough weekend. Once again, I was riding really good until I wasn’t. I’m frustrated with myself and just trying to take the positives away and work on what I know I need to work on. A massive thank-you to my team and supporters for being patient and sticking with me through it all.

Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
It was a good night for me. I was able to get a heat race win and ended up second on the podium. The track was brutal all day. It was really soft even before the rain came. We got quite a bit of rain and it was so rutted. I am super grateful to get out of here in a much better position in the points and we really enjoyed ourselves today at Daytona. Huge shoutout to my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team and the fans for coming out and hanging out. I’m looking forward to keeping this momentum and we are only one point back from the championship lead.

Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Third:
My day started off pretty good. The track was super gnarly. First qualifying session I ended up fifth which is what we were shooting for coming into this race. The second session was super muddy, but it was good to get the feel for the conditions just in case it rained more throughout the night. During my heat race, I rode decently and ended up third. In the main, I learned from my mistakes that I made in the heat and managed to come out third off the start. I had some good battles and my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Cameron and I were running first and second at one point. Tom Vialle got by us, but I rode my own laps in that race, which felt good and I ended up with our first podium of the season.

Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
I’m happy with where we finished at Daytona, after that gnarly get-off in qualifying. We are in the fight and ready to get back in a stadium in Alabama!

Daxton Bennick (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 10th:
I never rode a track that gnarly for sure. It was a really good day. I was first in qualifying and felt good on the bike. I was riding my butt off, but things happen. I crashed in my heat when I was in second, and then I made it all the way to sixth or seventh in main from a dead-last start and then crashed again. So there was some good and bad from today. I was trying super hard, but this track’s gnarly and it got me a few times tonight. I’m not going to stress. It’s my rookie year, and I shouldn’t be beating these guys, but I know I can. I’m looking forward to the race next weekend.

Nick Romano (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 13th:
Honestly for my first Daytona, I was pretty gassed up. I felt really good yesterday when it was dry, and today the rain got the better of us. I just struggled all day. I couldn’t find my flow, and I hit the deck a few times, but we fought through it. The track was gnarly. I think the gnarliest, roughest track that I’ve ridden in my life. It wasn’t the result we wanted, but it was a good day of learning, and we’re healthy and going to move on to Alabama. It’s my birthday weekend, so maybe we’ll do something special.

Preston Boespflug (BarX Suzuki) – DNS:
Daytona was gnarly! The track was unbelievably soft. Unfortunately, my day ended quickly due to something out of my control.