Features 13 Mar 2024

Quotebook: 2024 Supercross Rd9 Birmingham

Assorted racer comments following this year's ninth round.

In its first visit to Alabama in 40 years, Monster Energy Supercross round nine resulted in the same winners as the previous race, but there were many major talking points once the checkered flag flew. Quotebook features compiled comments from the weekend.


Image: Octopi Media.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Fourth:
Today was better, even if the result obviously didn’t really show it. I feel like my speed and also spark was back today – not where I want it to be, but it’s getting better. Heat race win, it took me nine races to get one of those this season, which was good for us tonight, and then in the main event, I made a few mistakes and really just lost the race from there. We’ll go back to work this week and try to come out swinging for the Triple Crown in Indy.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – Eighth:
Alabama was going good, the qualifiers were decent, and then in the heat race we pushed through for fifth. We made a little bit of a change and went out for the main event, but I just rode inconsistent. I was making little mistakes and just wasn’t fully in the moment, so ended up eighth. Overall, it was a solid day, we’re coming out unscathed and onto the next one! We’ll do some homework this week and figure out how to get back up on the podium.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – Ninth:
Overall, it was a good night, and we had a lot of positives to take away. We went in a different direction with set-up this week and it has given me the comfort I’ve been looking for, so ready to get back home and put in more work to keep progressing.

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) – 10th:
Birmingham actually treated me well, we had a good round in its own weird way. The track was a little muddy in practice and qualifying, but I ended up P6 this afternoon and then the heat was really good, so ended up third in that one. The main event wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t a bad start inside the top 10. I tried to make a pass on one of the outsides of the turns though and went down, it was just one of those things – I just lost the front. I got back up, rode strong and we ended up P10, so overall everything has been going well. It’s heading the way that we want it to go on the motorcycle, but we’re just having a few issues with the racing side of it and making these little mistakes. Onto Indy now and we’re looking forward to that, I think the Triple Crown will be good for us! I’m stoked as a team, we live and learn, and everybody’s trying their best including myself, so it is just a matter of time until we are where we want to be.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
I would say this was almost harder than last weekend at Daytona. Here, the rhythm sections were so tricky, and I was trying my best not to make any mistakes and knowing when to back out, where ‘old Jett’ would’ve tried to keep going for it and maybe lost more time. The track sort of had a limit, where if you pushed too much it could bite you. It was good to learn, and I felt like my focus was very good through the whole race. Cooper [Webb] was right there and didn’t give up the whole time, which helped me to stay focused.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Sixth:
I didn’t have the best qualifying time but getting second in the heat race got us back on track for the main event. In the main I didn’t get the best start, so I had to charge through the pack and eventually made my way up to sixth which I was stoked about. Sixth place is not where we need to be but I’ve already shown where we can be, so it’s time to keep putting in work on my KX450SR and make it happen.

Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 12th:
The track workers did an awesome job of keeping the track dry considering the conditions, but limited track time was difficult to gauge the conditions. I am happy with my performance this weekend, I’m still fighting my hand injury a little bit but it gets better every round. I jumped on the red cross flag which was on me, apparently I was overly focused on my riding and unfortunately made that mistake that cost me points. I also had some really good starts on my KX450SR, now I just have to work on staying there. Let’s go Indy!

Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Second:
Birmingham Supercross was a good day overall. I qualified fifth, which was great, and had a good heat race going. Then, I made that mistake – ran into Jett and went down – but overall, it was good. Then we got a great start and just rode a solid night for second, which was good. Obviously we want to win, but I feel today was a step in the right direction. I gave everything I had and was right there with Jett. We’ll learn from it, take the positives, and try to get better for the Triple Crown next weekend in Indy.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Seventh:
I had a bad start in the main event and made some passes early in the race, but could only make it up to seventh place. We’ll keep fighting and will come back stronger next weekend at the Triple Crown in Indy.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fifth:
It was a good day. My speed was good, the bike was good and I felt comfortable again all day. I finally got a good start in the main, and I was able to run that third-place spot for a while, over half the race. Kenny and Chase were riding really well. They were pushing me the whole time. Kenny got by me, then Chase got by me, and I got back around Chase – it was a good battle. It was fun to battle those guys and learn a bit. I’m used to battling a little farther back, so it was nice to get a good start and battle with those guys for sure.

Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar Suzuki) – Third:
I felt pretty good on the bike all day. My times just weren’t really there in qualifying. Then in the heat race I wasn’t quite fast enough. I was rushing, and for how rutty and soft the track was, there just wasn’t a fast way around. But we got our stuff together for the main event. I came from mid pack, like 11th, and worked our way up to the podium. I’m just really happy to finally be back on the podium. We’ve put in a lot of hard work to reach it. So especially coming from mid pack, I can’t be happier; but to be able to fight for wins I need to start a little bit further up front.

Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 11th:
I was aggressive and intense all day. The track was very technical and extremely rutted, but I felt really comfortable on it. My speed in these conditions was the best my speed has ever been, so yeah, I’m excited. I finished 11th tonight and had some good passes and racing. I’m excited to put in more work this week because really since I’ve been able to put the time in during the week. it’s been showing on the weekend.

Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 17th:
The track layout was pretty basic, but the dirt was extremely soft and had a lot of deep ruts, you definitely had to be smart with lines and rhythms. But I liked it. About three turns into the main event, my front end went over the top of the bowl turn, and I fell from the top of the berm. My bars hit the ground pretty hard and bent my front brake completely under the bars… I basically rode the whole main with no front brake. I couldn’t ride like I wanted to, which was a bummer because I felt good, and felt good on the bike, I liked the track, and I was trying to put in a good result. But it’s racing, I need to have a better start and stay out of that mess in the back.

Anthony Bourdon (BarX Suzuki) – 16th:
It was really great to race my first 450 main event. I haven’t had much preparation with the RM-Z450, so I’d need more riding and testing on the bike to continue to improve. It’s great to finish my time on the 450 this season by going to the main event with the best riders today! Now I’m back to training on the 250 to prepare for my next race in Seattle.


Image: Octopi Media.

Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – First:
I felt great all day and had a good Heat race to win one of those for the first time. In the main event, I didn’t have the best start, but I got into P1 and did some good laps early, trying to stay consistent the whole moto. The last four or five laps were great, I loved the track, and it turns out it was pretty good after the weather we had this week. Another win is amazing for me and I’m really happy to have the red plate – I haven’t won two races in a row since back in the GPs, so it is a nice feeling. Now we will focus on the next race in Indy.

Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) – Fourth:
I’m happy, but not satisfied. We’re still in it in the points, but it wasn’t the Main Event that I wanted. I made a couple of mistakes, which cost me a podium, but that was on me – we need better starts. Like I said though, we’re in it in the points and I’m stoked with that heading into Indy next weekend! I just need to keep knocking on the door, doing what I’m doing and we’ll get it eventually. Overall, we’re trending in the right direction!

Chance Hymas (Team Honda HRC) – 10th:
Today was definitely a step in the right direction. My starts were good, and my heat race was good. In the main event, I had an awesome start and ran a little wide in the first turn. I got into a little cat-and-mouse battle with J-Mart [Jeremy Martin] and unfortunately got together with some other guys. Honestly, right now I’m just trying to build and take away positives from the weekend. All in all, it was pretty good, and we’ll come back for Indy.

Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
I cannot complain about today. I was really consistent on my KX250, and ran my race trying to make as few mistakes as possible. Obviously the incident in the heat race was not ideal, but I recovered quickly and still managed a second place finish. In the main I had a good start and ran a safe and quick pace, and towards the end I saw Seth coming up on me and we finished nose and tail with each other. The back-to-back double podium weekend is so cool, and the Alabama fans are awesome. I’m super happy for Seth too and his recovery from his heat race. Let’s keep this going into Indy!

Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Third:
The day started out really well, having the fastest Q1 time and then almost having the overall fastest time. The heat race crash was a bummer deal, and I handled it the best way I could. Once I knew we had to go to the LCQ the team and I decided it was best to pull off and get the bike ready since it had quite a bit of damage. Once we won the LCQ and headed to the main I knew I had my work cut out for me to make it to the front with a bad gate pick, but the start went pretty well and I just rode my race and made it to the podium. I’m really happy with my comeback and keeping my head straight after all that happened. I’m pumped to get another double podium for my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team.

Jalek Swoll (Triumph Racing) – Sixth:
Tonight could have been a whole lot better if I didn’t tuck the front! I had two good starts to put myself in the mix and I also showed tonight that I’m not getting pushed around anymore. I recovered well after the crash and I just need to keep putting myself up there. The Triumph TF 250-X is working well, we will just keep pushing and that podium will happen.

Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Ninth:
Birmingham didn’t go as planned. I will always ride with heart. I’m sorry the emotions got the best of me tonight. We’ll get back to work and come out swinging in Indy.

Daxton Bennick (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Seventh:
It was a fun weekend in Alabama. The track guys did a good job considering all the rain we had, and the track was good in the main. I had the speed all day, I just didn’t put myself in a good spot. Coming from behind isn’t easy, but we were seventh on the night. I’m still learning and we are going to keep putting in the work and keep building.

Preston Boespflug (BarX Suzuki) – 15th:
It was a super technical track in Birmingham, but I loved it! It really fit my style. It was tough starting in last in the main, and having to pass so many riders on such a tight track. I’d like to get a top-ten start and see where I end up.