Features 8 May 2024

Quotebook: 2024 Supercross Rd16 Denver

Riders detail their weekends after the 16th round of the series.

Round 16 of Monster Energy Supercross had many tense moments as only a few opportunities remain for strong rides to cap off the season. Quotebook features compiled comments from riders over the weekend.


Image: Octopi Media.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
It’s an awesome accomplishment to get my eighth win in my rookie season, but the bigger story of tonight is Hunter and I going first and second, for the first brothers to ever do that! Hunter was holding a really good pace all race, but I knew I had to get those extra couple points for next weekend. But it did feel like we were home at the Dog Pound [practice facility] all race, just Hunter and me following each other.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
Tonight would’ve been awesome to get a win, but the championship isn’t about me right now; I’ll have my time next year, and maybe even next weekend. It felt amazing to get the holeshot I’d been waiting on, and to lead some laps. It’s crazy to think back to earlier this season, when I got three seventh place finishes in a row, and now to see where I’m at. I just have to learn more, gain more confidence on the bike, and keep working.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Third:
I always like to do well here in Denver, since it is the closest race to my hometown. The day started off a bit timid, but as the day progressed, I found my flow and became more comfortable. In the main, I got a decent start, but quickly found my pace and tried to latch onto the Lawrence brothers, but I was not able to get them. Overall, it was a good night and my Monster Energy® Kawasaki was feeling good all day. It was nice to land on the podium and I am ready for Salt Lake next weekend.

Justin Barcia (Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas) – Fourth:
Practice and Qualifying were good today, and then the Heat race was okay, even if fourth wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Going into the Main, I knew the track had deteriorated and that my bike would work good on that in the hard pack. I got a pretty good start, had a lot of intensity in the race, and we were just off the podium in fourth. All in all, it’s been a positive couple of weekends, and we’ve got one more to go in Salt Lake City – podium or bust!

Cooper Webb (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fifth:
I gave it my best tonight, but it was a really challenging main event. I’ve been struggling with grip strength these past few weekends from a thumb injury sustained in my Birmingham heat-race crash. Despite the challenges, we’re not out of this yet and will continue to fight until the checkered flag waves in Salt Lake City.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Sixth:
All in all, it was a good turnaround from how the day was. I started third in the main, which was really nice, and then I got shuffled back pretty quickly from third to fifth. I heard the Star Yamaha behind me and knew Coop was behind me, so my first instinct was to get out of the way. I feel like if I could’ve gotten away with the front two and not dropped back from third to fifth, I could’ve definitely hung in there with them. The pace wasn’t too hot tonight. It felt like it was pretty manageable, and that’s exactly what I think they were doing out front, just going as fast as they needed. It was a tough track. You couldn’t really go as fast as you’d like to with the conditions. It was pretty slippery.

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Seventh:
I had a really good time here – for some reason, I always ride really good here in Denver. Practice was amazing, the track was hard-packed and a little technical. We got third in the Heat, which was actually okay, and then in the Main Event unfortunately we were in a first turn pile-up. I went down again with a lap or two to go, then finished strong and ended up seventh. The result wasn’t what we wanted, but the riding was really good and keeps the motivation up going into Salt Lake City. We’ll try to finish this season off on a high note! We’ve had some flashes, which is what I need and what the team needed, so I’m excited.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM) – Eighth:
Denver, not a great Main Event, but we had a pretty solid day up until that point. I fell in the first turn, came from pretty much last to fifth and then fell again, so I rode it in from there for eighth. I pretty much have every piece of the puzzle, so I just have to put them together now, and that’s encouraging for us at least heading into the final round next weekend.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 10th:
The main event started out well. I was in a good position off the start. I got up to third place, and then, unfortunately my hand came off the bars. Earlier in the day, I had a crash in practice, and I tweaked my thumb. I hate making excuses, but it did affect me tonight. Although it was enough to affect me tonight, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for next week. We’ll do our best to recover and be stronger for Salt Lake. It was unfortunate, though, because I had good speed early in the main there.

Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 15th:
Denver was my second to last race and I wish the weekend went a little better for us. My KX450SR was feeling great all day, but the track was technical, and I never found my groove. I started the day qualifying 11th, which wasn’t too bad, but I wanted more. In my heat race, I got a bad jump out of the gate and got buried mid pack. I made some passes and battled with some guys, but seventh was where we ended up. In the main, I am not sure if I got wheel spin, but I was very deep in the field on the first corner again. I put my head down and tried to make as many passes as I could. 15th on the day, but I am excited for Salt Lake to celebrate my last race with everyone. I appreciate all the fans and support this weekend. One more round!

Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Progressive Suzuki) – 18th:
I had a decent night going with a good heat race and a reasonably good main up until the last few laps. I made a mistake, jumped into the Tuff Blox, and stalled it. It took me a little bit to get going again, I was in 11th when that happened, so it was definitely frustrating and definitely a bummer. I’m happy with my effort though. When it was time to race, I felt good. We made good changes to my RM-Z today and continue to learn. It’s bittersweet. It’s been a long season; with a lot of learning, a lot of growth. I’m excited for outdoors, but I’m also not ready to be done with Supercross.


Image: Octopi Media.

Jo Shimoda (Team Honda HRC) – First:
I’m super pumped to get a win for me and my new team; it feels like I’m rewarding the whole team for all of their work. I’ve been putting in a lot of work on the starts, and I think my recent finishes have shown that it’s paying off. I’m hoping to keep building off of this.

Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
It felt great to be back up front after Nashville. I knew this race wasn’t going to be easy with the altitude as a variable, but we did what we needed to do. In the main, when RJ started closing, that lit a fire under me and suddenly I was right on Jo. It would have been an interesting final five minutes if that was a 20-minute race. I’m pumped for the team after all they’ve done for me this year, and it’s going to be an interesting final round next week.

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Third:
We’re leaving with the red plate still and it’s all tied up heading into the final round. It’s awesome to be in this position and going for a championship. We had really good speed all day and I needed some things to go my way in the Main Event, but they didn’t. I need to focus on getting out of the gate better, put myself in a better position, and we can win this championship next weekend. I’ll be ready to go in Salt Lake.

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
It was definitely a step in the right direction. I just didn’t execute the start like I needed to, and we’ve got to clean up mistakes, but all in all, it was a good day. I’ve been feeling good on the bike. I was up there and won the heat, so we’ll take it and move on and try to be better in Salt Lake. It’s not where we want to be, but it’s a good building weekend.

Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fifth:
I just kind of struggled all day with the track conditions. The dirt was really hard-packed, and there weren’t really any ruts out there, so I struggled with traction. I lost the front in the heat and the main while running up front, so it was a bummer and not how we wanted to finish tonight. We’ll go back and try to be better for the last round in Salt Lake.

Julien Beaumer (Red Bull KTM) – 10th:
It was a good day overall, probably my best riding of the season, and I’m happy with that. Unfortunately I got landed on early in the Main Event and started from way back at that point but came back to 10th. I’m happy with my riding, even if the result doesn’t show, so we will go back to work this week and be ready for Salt Lake.

Ryder DiFrancesco (Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas) – 11th:
Denver was okay, but not the result we wanted. In the Heat race I got a holeshot and led a few laps, which was good. In the Main Event I went down on the opening lap and ended up 11th but came back even if I didn’t ride very well. I’m excited to try and finish up good next weekend before we head outdoors!

Anthony Bourdon (Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki) – 16th:
I’m disappointed about my race. The day began well with a P7 in qualifying. I had an amazing start, P2 in the heat, and I finished fifth. Unfortunately, the main wasn’t the same; I crashed in the start. I made a good comeback ride though. I was feeling good, and with ten minutes to go I was 12th. Then I crashed a second time and had to do it all over again. I came back to P16. I am disappointed, but I will give everything for the last race.

Max Miller (Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki) – 22nd:
The track was tricky all day. I had a great start in the heat race but fell down while running fourth. I was able to quickly get up and worked my way to seventh. In the main event I was caught up in the carnage and ended my race early, but there were many positives to take away from the day.