Features 25 Mar 2024

Debrief: 2024 Supercross Rd11 Seattle

Webb and Kitchen dissect big wins in the Pacific Northwest.

Cooper Webb’s big win at the Seattle Supercross stopped the bleeding in the title fight as he clawed to 16 points back on Jett Lawrence, while Levi Kitchen further extended his championship lead in 250SX West thanks to a wire-to-wire win. Both riders spoke with the media after the race in this Debrief feature.


Image: Octopi Media.

Cooper, that was just an epic battle for all three of you. For you, you finished the race and even looked a bit deflated. You said on the podium that it was a challenging track to say the least. Can you talk us through that and particularly the sand section that you were jumping out of and how that was working for you at first, but it seemed to fade away as the race went on and you had to adapt.

Yeah, it was an incredibly challenging track. I think we say it every weekend, but this truly was brutal. I think every lap we were all making mistakes and it was really tough. I had that good line there jumping the wall and it was working really well and then the lip kind of went away and it was struggle city from there. I feel like I really struggled there after that, but I just stayed clean. I think we all made mistakes, but maybe I made the least number of mistakes and put myself in a good position for sure.

Normally you’re the one coming from behind trying to take first [late in the race], did you have to ride more defensively on the last lap?

Oh for sure! I knew, like Chase said, he found a really good flow and caught up. I think I had maybe plus five at one point and he sucked it right up, so I knew I had to hit my marks. Like I said, I definitely tightened up and lost some flow and lost some of my lines that were working early and didn’t adapt to the ones I should have, but I just knew there was really two places in my mind he could get me, and I made sure to make those difficult to pass. Like you said, we got real close there at the end and I just had to make sure I was on the inside.

Compared to other venues, you mentioned how brutal this was, has there been any other venue at any other point of your career that rivals Seattle or is this one up there just in terms of the mentality in how you go around the circuit?

I think Seattle in general, typically like 80% of the time we come here is really difficult and really rutty. Tonight was probably all time with rutty conditions that were ever changing. You couldn’t even sometimes do the rhythms right? We probably looked like amateurs out there with how gnarly it was. It’s always tough. You know there’s going to be rain, and I think, we were just talking up here, it was great that it wasn’t a full-on mud fest. That was nice. But it’s a different beast for sure. I did the hot lap [in qualifying] and I’m like, “Man, there’s not a smooth line out here.” It was going to make for a tough main event, and it surely did.

When you win a race that way, would you say it’s more physically taxing or more of a mental challenge?

A little bit of both, right? It’s always physical. We’re pushing a new level I feel like right now, so it’s definitely physical, but you get to a point, at least for me, where you try harder and then you get worse a little bit. That’s almost where you go back to the old saying, “Slow down to go fast,” and I think that was a little bit of what you had to do was just push where you could, jump the rhythms every lap, try not to make mistakes. Get clean laps and get away from the lappers. If a line changed and wasn’t working, you just had to be open minded to moving around a little bit. I think that’s kind of what you have to do in these races. They’re always physically demanding but I think at the top, it does become a mental battle for sure.

Just walk us through that last lap and that last turn there. You managed that perfectly.

I knew that he was really good at jumping through the whoops. I was kind of struggling in that department. I was pretty good in the rhythm before so I knew if I just cleaned up the rhythms, I could put myself in a decent position. As I was going through the whoops, I wanted to be in the middle, that way the second to last turn I could kind of dictate where he went. I just knew more than likely in the next turn if I’m kind of dictating on the right side, I could either run him wide or cut tight or do what I need to do. About halfway through I heard him shut off, I kind of thought he would try to dive to the inside which I would assume he was thinking that. I was like, “Hey I’m just going to hug the bales, he can’t get inside.”


Levi, hometown crowd, big win wire-to-wire, how do you feel about bringing home this win?

It was definitely big for me. It was a little nerve wracking when I came around the first lap and it was super loud. For me, it kind of feels like my first win because I’ve only won Triple Crowns, so to do that in front of the fans was pretty awesome.

How are you going to celebrate this win and how will you approach the rest of the season going forward?

I’m just going to go over across the street and see some family and friends and then go back to Florida and get ready for next weekend. It’s huge for me and my confidence, but it’s just one of those things where you have to take every race as it comes. Tonight, I really gelled with the track and next week, one of these guys could really gel with the track. We’re all pretty close right now and we all have our really good days. Sometimes we’re a little bit off. I’ve been in the position RJ is in plenty of times.

If you could go back and tell eight-year-old or even 18-year-old Levi, “Hey you’re going to win and be in the championship lead at your home race,” what would you have thought back then?

I definitely wouldn’t have thought I’d be in this position, not until things started clicking when I was like 20. I don’t know, it feels really good, and this is always what I wanted to do, so I’m just stoked and pretty grateful to be in this spot.

I feel like in preseason, your switch in teams was one of the bigger talking points in the 250SX class, so do results and achievements like this that you’re beginning to get go some way towards validating your decision to join Kawasaki?

No. I think I just wanted things to be a little bit different for myself and my training and stuff. It’s nice. I’m living the life I always wanted to and so far, it’s paying off and I’m really happy.

To win a full-length main event, how was that feeling different to when you’ve won Triple Crowns in the past?

I was telling my girlfriend that I finally got the flames finally for the first time. That was just the only way I could put it. I needed the flames to go up for once. It just feels better to lead 15 minutes rather than putting three motos together. It’s pretty awesome.