News 4 Jun 2024

How Noren has built to top 10 success outdoors with new team

Solid start to AMA Pro Motocross has Noren excited for more progress.

After two rounds of AMA Pro Motocross, Kawasaki’s Freddie Noren sits P10 in the 450 class standings having finished inside the top 10 in three of the first four motos of the year. The rapid Swede collected ninth place overall at Hangtown and found himself battling factory riders throughout the day.

Going racing in Pro Motocross for the first time with this team, Noren is taking all the positives from these first few rounds as solid building blocks towards what he believes could be even better results.

“I feel like we have a great base,” said Noren. “Every other rider out here doesn’t have a lot of time on the bike, and it’s the same for us since it’s the first time that this team has ever done outdoors. There’s a lot of development going on. We do have a phenomenal base, but there’s a few things that I think we can improve on. Both on myself but on the bike to get it a little bit better to maybe hopefully get me a little bit more in that mix. I definitely feel and see myself battling more with [Justin] Barcia and Dylan [Ferrandis] and Mookie [Malcolm Stewart] for that fifth or sixth place. As we move back east now and do more testing, I think we’ll be right there.”

Image: Octopi Media.

At Hangtown, Noren’s strong starts catapulted him into the mix right from the gate drop. He was P8 off the start of the first moto and then P7 in the second. Those starts afforded him the ability to run inside the top 10 all day.

He could have potentially even had slightly better finishes, but a late crash lost him a spot in the first moto, and then Noren explained he did get a little fatigued throughout the second moto.

“Starting up front or closer to the front helps out a lot,” said Noren. “I did have two solid starts and kind of raced where I started. First moto, I was running in eighth for most of the moto and then I actually tipped over and that’s when Barcia got me. He went around me. Second moto, same thing. I was riding really good, and I was just behind Barcia in eighth and at the end of it, I got a little gassed. I’m going to be transparent with you, I got tired. A good weekend for sure, better than last weekend.”

Image: Octopi Media.

Being the first year for the Kawasaki team to put in a full effort to race Pro Motocross, the team is still going through the learning curve of dialing in the bike for Noren. On top of that, Noren has never raced a Kawasaki outdoors, and came from racing for Twisted Tea Progressive Suzuki in Pro Motocross last year.

All of that culminates in Noren having to navigate some new hurdles to put himself into a position he believes he can be, but he’s already right on the cusp.

“That sixth to ninth range,” said Noren of his goals. “I really want to be at that fifth spot too, but everyone is freakishly fast! We’ve just got to hammer down and try to be better. A little bit better each and every day.”

Image: Octopi Media.

Noren is also doing a fantastic job of getting a privateer team closer and closer to the front as he sits in front of factory riders like Christian Craig, Shane McElrath, and Kyle Chisholm in the points and is right behind Malcolm Stewart and Justin Barcia.

Depending on your definition of privateer, the only rider ahead of Noren not on a true factory bike is Dylan Ferrandis aboard his Phoenix Racing Honda. Noren is proving his strong talents as a front runner as well as proving the solid work that is being done by Kawasaki to put their bike in the top 10 moto after moto thus far.

If things keep progressing as they are, Noren’s goal of mixing it up with the guys ahead of him and knocking on the door for top five results certainly doesn’t seem out of the question.