Features 23 May 2024

Input: Pro Motocross outlook

Selection of contenders outline thoughts on the 2024 season ahead.

The points reset to zero and it’s all to play for as the 2024 Pro Motocross Championship fires into action this weekend at Fox Raceway. Hear from a number of top contenders during the pre-season press conference today as they share their expectations for the opening round and season ahead in this Input feature.

Image: Todd Gutierrez.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC):
This year it’s a little easier to think about, and know what I need to do. It’s going to be hard to try and replicate last year, but we’re going in with the same mentality as we did in 2023. We’ll just try and get good starts and just go from there.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC):
I’m excited, it should be good. I’m looking to put in a good summer. It’s Thursday so no feeling at the moment, I just wanna go race.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing):
I feel like this year the goal has changed, my motivation is a little higher. The goal is to win a moto, I haven’t done that in over a year, so that’s the first goal, then we kinda go from there. But, I feel like this year I’ve had more prep. I’m on a different bike from last year, so that’ll be interesting to see. But I’m excited, I’ve had a few good weeks riding with Tom Vialle, so we’ll see Saturday.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing):
I’ve had about a month back on the bike now, I feel good and the bike feels good so we want to go out there and get one of these elusive wins. I’m ready to go outdoors.

Image: Todd Gutierrez.

Dylan Ferrandis (Phoenix Racing Honda):
We’ll find out Saturday, but I feel pretty good. The transition from supercross to motocross was very short, but we had enough time to test a little and get comfy. I enjoy riding the bike a lot and that’s what matters for me, so we’ll see on the weekend.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing):
Rookie season, sole rider. It’s going to be interesting, I have a lot more help and a lot more eyes on me. I think that’ll be crucial for me. We had a lot of success on the 250, now we’re up on the 450, so I’m excited to get out there and just put my best foot forward.

Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing):
It’s hard because you only have one weekend off, then you start another championship. You’re trying to set the bike in a couple of weeks. I feel good riding outdoors, I’ve had some good days the last few weeks, so I’m excited to get out there Saturday.

Jo Shimoda (Team Honda HRC):
I twisted my ankle a little bit at the last round of supercross. We didn’t have much time to rest up, so I had to do some riding and testing to learn the bike a little better. Honestly, I took a full week off, I rode just one day this week and we’re going to ride today. So we’ll see, I feel pretty good. My ankle is healing and felt fine on Tuesday, so it should be fine.

Image: Todd Gutierrez.

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna):
We celebrated (250SX West title) the best we could on the Saturday night. We were right back to it on Monday though. I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can, I told the team up until today that we can do as many press events or podcasts as we want, but after today we’re back in race mode. So it’s short lived, but we’ll enjoy it forever. We have another task at hand and we really want to battle for this outdoor championship.

Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing):
I’m excited for outdoors, especially ending supercross with a win. I’d say I’m quite a bit better on outdoors than I am on supercross because I’m still learning supercross. But I’m ready to come out swinging.

Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki):
Crashing in Nashville actually made me have some time off, so I didn’t have much outdoor testing. But yeah, got a little bit in and have been working with Ken Roczen. He’s been coming out cause he’s bored right now. He’s hurt, so he’s coming out and cheering the boys on. Coming into the weekend, the bike feels good and I’m just ready to go.

Joey Savagty (Triumph Racing):
They definitely have an advantage as far as gate drops go. But I’ve had plenty of time on outdoors, so from that side, I feel like I’m in a good place mentally. We’ve also made some good improvements on the motorcycle. It’s been a while since I’ve been on a 250, so there’s been some changes along the way that I’ve made, and just trying to learn how to ride the 250 again. It’s completely different than a 450. But as far as getting ready, I’ve done everything I can up to this point. I’ve made some changes to my program to polish some weak spots, and I feel like I’ve had a solid boot camp, so we’ll see where we stand Saturday.