Features 19 Jun 2024

Quotebook: 2024 Pro Motocross Rd4 High Point

Riders detail their weekends after the fourth round of the series.

Round four of AMA Pro Motocross at High Point was full of close racing throughout the top 10 in both classes. Quotebook features compiled comments from riders over the weekend.


Image: Octopi Media.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
Chase [Sexton] had some good lines, and it was a bummer to see him go down–that was his race for sure. I didn’t feel as good, and my shoulder was fatiguing a bit more today. We were struggling a bit there, but I had a little Lady Luck. It was good to get the overall, and on to the break–it’s much needed.

Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM) – Second:
Round four was better than Thunder Valley, my speed was a little better, but I just made way too many mistakes. These next two weeks, I’ll be trying to rest because I’ve been physically exhausted the last couple of weeks. I’ve gotta get back to 100 percent and we’ll come out swinging for the upcoming middle four races of the season.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Third:
I would’ve liked to capitalize a little better in the second moto, but I just didn’t have the flow from the first one. I’m not really stoked on that second moto, but we’ll take that one on the chin. Now, we can enjoy the weekend off, hang out at home and come out swinging at Southwick in a couple of weeks.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) – Fourth:
Overall, today was the most comfortable I’ve felt on the bike in a long time or, really, ever. I was just gelling. Qualifying went pretty good in seventh, and then in the first moto I really botched the start and had to come from around 20th to fifth. The result didn’t reflect how awesome I was riding, because I felt so good, could really push, and get going! Second one, I got a better start and made my way into fifth early, so it was 5-5 for today. I ended up fourth overall, which isn’t too bad. I’ll take a relaxing weekend off and come back swinging at Southwick – I’m ready for it!

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fifth:
The day went well. I struggled a little bit in practice. It started out pretty wet and we got some weather, so I rode a little bit timid in practice, but in the motos it came around. I felt really good in the first moto, then I laid it down when I was in third, and I ended up fourth in that one. In the second moto, I got shuffled around in the first turn, so I was pretty far back, but I actually felt better in that moto. I was working my way through the pack, and sixth was all I could really do in that one. Overall, I was just happy with where we left off. Usually, I’m not so good at this track, so I was happy to find a good flow.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Sixth:
Solid ride today for me and the team. We had a great qualifying session but unfortunately my start wasn’t there in Moto one. I had to put in work to get myself back up into the Top 10. Moto two was way better, and we made some changes on my KX450SR that I was happy with. It felt good to lead some laps and battle up front, but I know I have more . We have been training in South Carolina to prepare for the back east races and I feel like it’s paying off also. Thanks to my team for supporting me and let’s get ready for The Wick.

Justin Barcia (Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas) – Eighth:
Today started really good, P3 in the first practice, but then on the last lap I slid out on a blind jump and got my knee run over, so that was a struggle! I went out for the second session and was in pretty bad pain, so qualified P6 overall, and I knew the motos would be tough. We did everything we could – tape and that kind of thing – to get out there, but both of my knees are extremely weak right now and hurting pretty bad. We salvaged what we were able to today, which is a bit sad because the bike was really good and I thought we could have had a successful day. All-in-all, we scored points, and I’m happy we have a weekend off now so I can sort these knees out, and come out swinging for Southwick!

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Ninth:
Today was okay, the track was very, very tough after the rain on Friday night, and it got really rutty out there. All-in-all, I had a really good time. We did the best we could, and 9-9 finishes aren’t the results we want, but sometimes when you’re a little bit off this track can work you! We’re safe and we’ll enjoy this weekend off before Southwick – I think I’m going to shine at that one and am looking forward to getting out there in the sand!

Shane McElrath (Twisted Tea Progressive Suzuki) – 10th:
The track was probably one of the most technical tracks I’ve raced. With the conditions and the track layout, it was super technical, and I feel that favors my riding style. Today was a good swing for us. We started thinking outside the box and it showed. I feel we’re just getting started. We know where we’re at now, and what we need to change and where we can be better. It’s going to be nice to have a weekend off next weekend and get rested.

Christian Craig (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 18th:
It was a tough day at High Point. In the first moto I had two tip-overs and had to keep building through the pack, but unfortunately had a pretty big crash about halfway through and that ended my moto. I hit the ground pretty hard and was shaken up a little bit, but the guys did a good job of getting the bike ready again, and I did what I could in Moto 2. It was a rough day, but we’re healthy, and I feel like my speed is coming along. As long as we can keep these little mistakes away, we’ll have some good results soon.

Kyle Chisholm (Twisted Tea Progressive Suzuki) – 23rd:
I ripped a really good start in the first moto. I was sixth or seventh. I ran pretty well for quite a bit of the race. Unfortunately, somewhere during the first moto, I don’t recall exactly, if I got bumped by another rider or if it was a rock or something, but I hurt my wrist. I tried to race the second moto and just see if I could get another good start and earn some points. I was making moves, trying to work my way up, but my grip strength was compromised, and it just wasn’t safe for me to keep racing. I don’t think anything major is wrong with my wrist, probably just a sprain and some bruising. I’ll give it a few days’ rest, get it checked out if needed, then see where we’re at and get back at it before Southwick.

Max Miller (Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki) – 28th:
The day started great with P-13 out of qualifying. I went down early in Moto one, and never found the pace. In Moto 2, I had a good pace going and was running strong, battling for a points-paying position when I crashed with a lap and a half to go. I’m going to take the positives and be ready for Southwick!


Image: Octopi Media.

Ty Masterpool (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – First:
What a crazy and eventful day for me and my Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team. I felt great all day on my KX250. In Moto 1 I made a few mistakes and at the end I wasn’t very stoked to finish second because I knew I had more in me. Second moto was way better, I had some fun battles and there were so many lead changes. To secure my first pro career win, my mechanic’s first win, and Pro Circuit’s 300th win is an honor. I cannot thank Mitch, Iain, Kawasaki and the entire Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team for giving me the opportunity to make this happen. I’m stoked to be getting into a groove with this team and to have the support from them and the fans is unreal.

Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Second:
Today was super solid. I qualified first, and then in the first moto, I got a bad start – 30th place – and made my way to first with two laps to go, so that was sick. In the second moto, I had a decent start, and I got up to fourth on the first lap, and then I just washed the front and got stuck. I was 30th again, so pretty much it was, ‘Alright, I did it once, so let’s see if I can do it twice.’ Literally two turns to go, I caught my way back up, and me and Ty (Masterpool) pretty much went over the finish line together. He won, and I got second, so we tied on points. Second overall on the day, and we definitely have a good points gap now over second and third in the championship. So yeah, we’re digging, baby, we’re digging.

Chance Hymas (Team Honda HRC) – Third:
I still need to figure out my first motos. I’m still trying to establish myself in this class. I’m sitting second in points, which is awesome, but it’s still going to be a struggle to get where I want to be. I need to find a little more speed and be smarter around the track. It’ll be a battle all summer, but I’m stoked to be where I am so far.

Jo Shimoda (Team Honda HRC) – Fourth:
Today was probably my best race of the outdoor season. I had better starts overall, and I was able to battle a little bit more up front and see the leaders, which was nice. I still need to make some improvements; the speed isn’t where I want it to be, but we’re getting much closer to where we should be.

Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
High Point was not really a good day. I finished with 8-4 moto results, and went down in both motos. I was leading the second moto and crashed, so we were a little bit better in that one, but that’s not where I want to be, and it’s kind of frustrating. I look forward to Southwick and being back in the sand in two weeks, so hopefully it will be a better race there.

Julien Beaumer (Red Bull KTM) – Sixth:
It was a way better day for me today at High Point. Qualifying wasn’t good, but my starts were better, and I had good rides both times for my best overall of the season in P6. I’m happy with where we’re at right now, so am going to keep building on this. I’m excited to get back to work, try to fix some things that we need to improve on, and try to finish strong for the rest of the season. It will be my first time to Southwick, so I’m going to practice in some sand and be ready!

Ryder DiFrancesco (Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas) – Seventh:
High Point was better than the last few weeks. First moto I took fifth, and then in the second moto, I was running inside the top 10 and went down. That put me seventh overall, which is an improvement, so the goal going into Southwick is to put two solid motos together. It was a good day and I’m ready for a weekend off.

Pierce Brown (Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas) – Eighth:
We were eighth overall today. The first moto was not great after I fell and just couldn’t find my flow, but we went back to a base setting for Moto 2 and the comfort was there for me again. My start was better and I ended up sixth, so closer to the front, and we’re going to work on fixing our weaknesses during the break before Southwick.

Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Ninth:
This weekend wasn’t the best for me. In qualifying my times looked promising, but I felt off the whole day. In Moto 1 I didn’t have a good start and made a good charge back into the Top 10. I had a better start in Moto 2 but it still wasn’t enough. I made a few mistakes in each moto and I know I have more in me. I’m looking forward to the weekend off to reset and get ready for Southwick in a few weeks.

Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 10th:
It was gnarly out there today. TV did not do it justice. I was watching the 450 race between the motos, and it is a completely different track than what it looked like on TV. I had two very poor starts and was just trying to battle back from the back all day, but I rode decent and stayed off the ground. We’ll take this weekend off, try to get better, and come back swinging for Southwick.

Jalek Swoll (Triumph Racing) – 11th:
While practice and qualifying went well, the motos definitely could have gone better. In the first, I managed to remove all my tear-offs on the opening lap, so that was a tough one right to the end with things as muddy as they were. In the second moto I got eaten up at the start and shuffled back a bit, but then I got tied up in Deegan’s crash and was pushed further back. I went down again trying to make quick passes, so I made it a hard moto for myself. Not to sound like a broken record each week, but I just need to get those starts and stay up there. I know I have the ability and we have the bike to be fighting for the podium. We won’t won’t stop working until we get to where we need to be.

Joey Savatgy (Triumph Racing) – 12th:
It was a tough weekend. I never felt super comfortable to show my full potential and this is a track I’ve failed to gel with before. The first moto was unlucky, I came together with another rider and then had to wait to get his bike off mine, so I lost a lot of time there but was happy how I rode back to 19th. The second moto went a lot better as I got a much better start. But I end the weekend on a positive note, leaving High Point healthy and having run that last moto with a good pace and battling up the sharp end on the Triumph TF 250-X.

Dilan Schwartz (Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki) – 14th:
At High Point I qualified really well with a P-6 overall. In Moto 1, I had a decent start and put a good moto together; I ended up P-11. In the second moto didn’t get the greatest start, but made some passes to get into the top 15. I ended the day with a 11-15 for 14th overall.

Nick Romano (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 15th:
It was an okay day. Qualifying was so, so, and then in the first moto, I ended up 12th. I struggled a lot to find my flow and was riding against the track, so I was kind of happy with 12th.  In the second moto, I had the jump on everyone off the start, and then (Tom) Vialle kind of kept going straight into the first turn, and we collided. So, I went from first or second to around 10th to 15th right away. Then I was in a dog fight the whole time with a lot of the guys. Again, it was an okay day, but for me, I’m not really a fan of this track, so I’m just happy to be healthy. We’ll take away the positives with my starts and keep working. We’ve got a weekend off, and we’ll see everyone at Southwick.

Casey Cochran (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 17th:
This was my first time here at High Point and overall it wasn’t a bad day. I felt like I had some pretty good pace and endurance this weekend, we’re making steps in the right direction, and I got my best moto finish yet in Moto two even though I crashed out of the first one. We have positives to take away and now we have an off weekend, I will keep working, and come back swinging in Southwick.

Daxton Bennick (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 21st:  
It’s my first time at High Point. It started out muddy, but it turned out decent for both motos. In Moto 1, I got a little arm pump and rode tight, and in Moto two, I crashed really hard after the start. I got back up, but then I had another crash down the hill a few laps later. So it was a tough Moto two, and I ended up 21st overall, which is not what we are looking for, but I’m happy that we’re all good and will keep fighting.