This week in US powersports racing.
Women’s Pro Motocross Championship Returns with Eight Round Series for 2024
MX Sports, along with the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and participating race organizers, are pleased to announce the 2024 Women’s Professional Motocross Championship (WMX) schedule.
The WMX Series returns with a revamped schedule to allow the world’s best female racers an opportunity to compete at eight unique events throughout the country. The WMX series comeback has been spearheaded by former WMX Champion, Jordan Jarvis’ Father, Rich Jarvis. The series will run alongside the Women’s classes offered at the eight different events.
The 2024 WMX Championship will kick off alongside Daytona Beach’s “Bike Week” festivities on March 3-4 with the Monster Energy Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross on the historic grounds of Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Following the series opener, the WMX racers will head to Wortham, Texas for the Freestone Spring Championship from March 6th through March 10th. The series will then travel to Spring a Ding Ding on March 12-16 for their third round of racing in in Alvord, Texas.
The WMX Series is set to return with an eight-round schedule in 2024.
Photo: MX Sports Archives
The next round will take place on Sunday, June 16 in conjunction with the 2024 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at High Point Raceway on Father’s Day weekend. The series will then travel to Crawfordsville, Indiana for their fifth round on Sunday, August 25 to run another race in conjunction with the 2024 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Ironman Raceway.
The WMX Championship continues at the Baja Brawl Motocross Championship on August 30 – September 2 in Millington, Michigan for their sixth round of racing, and the Pastrana Pro Challenge at Pleasure Valley Raceway in Seward, Pennsylvania will host the seventh round of racing on September 28-29. Finally, the WMX Series comes to a close at The Motoplayground Race at Ponca City on October 3-6, 2024, in Ponca City, Oklahoma.
“With the growing number of female athletes participating in the AMA Amateur Motocross events, we feel that it is time to bring back professional women’s racing,” said MX Sports Director, Tim Cotter. “Together with the AMA, America’s Premier Motocross organizers and key members of the women’s racing community, we have developed a schedule that will showcase the best women athletes in the world at some of America’s top amateur events. We look forward to seeing the best female athletes compete against one another to see who will be crowned the 2024 WMX Champion.”
The Women’s Motocross Cup back out and all shined up for 2024.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson
2024 WMX Schedule
|Ricky Carmichael Daytona SX
|Daytona Beach, FL
|Freestone Spring Championship
|Spring a Ding Ding
|High Point National
|Mt. Morris, PA
|Aug 30-Sep 2
|Pastrana Pro Challenge
|Ponca City, OK
The 2024 WMX license application and rules will be published within the next few weeks. For more information on the WMX Championship, please visit www.racewmx.com or call (304) 284-0101. Also, follow the official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for exclusive content and to catch the latest news.
About Women’s Professional Motocross Championship
The Women’s Professional Motocross Championship (WMX), an AMA National Championship, features the world’s fastest female outdoor motocross racers. The eight-round series begins with the Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross and concludes at Ponca City. It includes stops at premier motorsport facilities across America, with events in Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana. These top female pro racers compete in a two-moto format on machines ranging from 125cc to 250cc. The WMX series is managed by MX Sports Pro Racing, a West Virginia-based company and industry leader in power sports event production. For more information, please visit www.racewmx.com or call (304) 284-0101.
American Motorcyclist Association Celebrates 100 Years
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is gearing up for a year-long, historic celebration as it proudly commemorates its 100th anniversary in 2024. For a century the AMA has been at the forefront of promoting and protecting the interests of motorcyclists, creating a vibrant community of enthusiasts dedicated to the joy of riding.
AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman expressed excitement about the organization’s milestone, stating, “Reaching 100 years is a testament to the enduring spirit of motorcycling and the passionate community that has supported the AMA throughout its history. We invite the entire motorcycling community to join us in celebrating this incredible journey as we look forward to shaping the future of motorcycling over the next 100 years.”
Since its inception in 1924, the AMA has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of motorcycling in the United States. With a rich history rooted in passion, advocacy and the freedom of the open road, the AMA has become a driving force for riders across the nation.
As one of the largest motorcycling organizations in the world, the AMA has consistently championed the rights of motorcyclists from all walks of life, evolving to embrace a diverse and growing community of riders.
To mark this momentous occasion, the AMA has planned special events and initiatives throughout the year, including:
- Centennial Celebrations: Join the AMA as it commemorates its 100-year anniversary at its Spring Bike Night (May 18), at AMA Hall of Fame Days (Oct. 10-13), and at its biggest event — AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (July 25-28) — which will be the organization’s ultimate anniversary celebration, complete with an all-points ride from across the U.S. to the event. The AMA will also have anniversary displays at various AMA-sanctioned events throughout the year, including Daytona Bike Week, select AMA Supercross events, the Buckeye Motorcycle & Music Rally, and more.
- Historical Exhibits: Explore a fascinating journey through the history of motorcycling and the AMA at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame with special curated exhibits showcasing iconic motorcycles, memorable AMA moments, and the individuals who have shaped the association.
- Commemorative Merchandise: Exclusive 100-year anniversary merchandise, including limited-edition apparel and accessories, are now available for enthusiasts who want to own a piece of AMA history at https://AMAGear.com.
- Advocacy Initiatives: The AMA will continue its commitment to advocating for the rights of motorcyclists, addressing key issues affecting the community, promoting a positive image of motorcycling, and encouraging government recognition — at the local, state and federal levels — of the organization’s centennial.
As the American Motorcyclist Association enters its second century, it remains dedicated to its mission — promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling — ensuring that the legacy of the organization and the freedom of the open road is preserved for generations to come.
In celebration of its 100th Anniversary, the organization released a video commemorating a century of the AMA.
Chase Sexton Wins Mudder at San Francisco Supercross
At Round 2 of the 17-round series, Red Bull KTM’s Chase Sexton put in a near flawless ride under some of the most brutal race conditions ever seen at a Monster Energy AMA Supercross race. The win moves Sexton into the points lead.
Heavy rains abbreviated daytime qualifying, shortened Main Events, and instigated track changes. Still, many riders left Oracle Park with a DNF rather than championship points.
Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac navigated the deteriorating track to earn second place inside Oracle Park; he jumped from ninth to being tied for third place in the point standings. Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen recovered from an early mistake to pass his way up to third place. The event kicks off the season-long Love Moto Stop Cancer text-to-donate campaign as well as Ken Roczen’s Kickstart for a Cause bike sweepstakes, both to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In the Western Regional 250SX Class, Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith followed up last week’s second-place finish to earn the top spot at round two.
First place 450SX Class – Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
“Leading the race in a mud situation, it’s obviously where you want to be because you’re not getting roosted, but it also seems like it lasts forever. The first couple laps when I was by myself and I wasn’t dealing with lapped traffic it felt, not easy, but I had a good flow and was able to hit my lines. Then once we got into lapped traffic, that’s when the race kinda starts and being able to pick around those guys is key… It’s tough not to make a mistake out there but I was fairly consistent every lap and was pretty happy with how consistent I was.” – Chase Sexton.
Second place 450SX Class – Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
“It was tough. It was like, it started out really thick, and then it stayed thick enough even with all that water. A lot of times when it’s just pure rain the whole time it’s not too bad because the ruts don’t get super deep and you’re kinda just spraying it around. But this one… I went in [an inside rut] one time and got stuck for like a second or two. It was one of those tracks where it was just heavy dirt, super deep ruts. And then there was another time in the second rhythm section I almost looped out because I grabbed a handful of throttle and hung off the back. But this was one of the tougher ones.” – Eli Tomac, describing the conditions as some of the toughest he’s faced in supercross.
Third place 450SX Class – Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
“My mindset was [focused on] getting going. As soon as I got going I’m like, ‘Okay, this is 15 minutes, this is enough time, with people struggling going left and right… we can still make something happen.’ So I really just put my head down and charged forward. I was kinda blown away and really happy at the same time that I caught up to the field quick and was able to just pick people off left and right… I just wanted to go and go and kinda try to have fun with it.” – Ken Roczen, describing his race after a mistake after the first turn set him well back in the field.
The Western Regional 250SX Class held its second round and Jordon Smith took over the red plate and a five point lead in the 10-round championship. Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Levi Kitchen landed on the podium again, this time moving up one spot to earn second place. Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha’s Garrett Marchbanks had to work hard for his third place finish after rounding the first lap in seventh place.
First place 250SX Class – Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
“I’ve been pretty bad in mud races in my pro career, especially lately. At the mudder in New Jersey last year I did terrible, I think I got 18th. At High Point [motocross] in the mud I did not do good there, either. And we got here today and Bobby [Regan, the team owner] was like, “Jordon, I’ve seen you ride in the mud, you just need to try to survive today and get as many points as you can’. And I was like, ‘All right Bobby, I’m going to try to prove you wrong, but you’re kinda right.’ I do feel like I’ve gotten better in the mud… I think riding outdoors last year helped me.” – Jordon Smith
Second place 250SX Class – Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
“The bike felt pretty good. That was the first time it’s ever really seen any rain at all or water. I did really well. After practice I just basically stiffened my fork as much as it would go, dropped it in the clamps, just kinda made the front end light so I could kinda ride around that way and yeah, it felt really good.” – Levi Kitchen, who switched to a new team and bike for 2024.
Third place 250SX Class – Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
“I honestly didn’t know what position I was in the whole race. The first lap I fell over and was basically dead last. I was just covered and mud and didn’t know what was going on so I just basically pushed the whole way through and saw Phil [Nicoletti, a teammate] and didn’t know what position we were in, so I was like, ‘Maybe I’ll just try to get another guy and keep myself in the points hunt for a title…’ I was pretty happy for the third and yeah, it was exciting.” – Garrett Marchbanks
Round 2 kicked off the Love Moto Stop Cancer text-to-donate campaign which continues the sport’s partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Fans can text “SUPER” to 785-833 or click here to join racers and fans in supporting this great cause.
The series heads south to San Diego for Round 3 inside Snapdragon Stadium on January 20th. Each round pays championship points to both the 17-round Monster Energy Supercross series and the 31-round SuperMotocross World Championship. Doors open at 10:30AM local time. The racing starts earlier this year and opening ceremonies kick-off the San Diego action at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.
All 31 SuperMotocross World Championship rounds (which entail all 17 Monster Energy AMA Supercross rounds) will be streamed live on Peacock. Select rounds will be broadcast or streamed domestically on NBC, USA Network, CNBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app. All season long, CNBC will air next-day encore presentations of each SuperMotocross event. An encore presentation of San Francisco will be featured on Sunday, January 14 on NBC at 2pm ET. Race coverage, both live and on-demand, is available for fans outside of the United States via the SuperMotocross Video Pass (supermotocross.tv); coverage is presented in both English and Spanish. As another way to tune in, fans can listen to each race’s live broadcast on SiriusXM channel 85.
Tickets for each remaining 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross event are on sale now. There’s no substitute for seeing the racing in-person. For ticket sales, videos, results, feature stories, and airtime schedules on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, and CNBC please go to SupercrossLIVE.com.
PROMISE ON SHOW FOR TROY LEE DESIGNS/RED BULL/GASGAS FACTORY RACING IN TOUGH SAN FRANCISCO CONDITIONS
The second round of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship marked a mixed night out for the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing Team, with 450SX contender Justin Barcia salvaging points after battling through sickness this week, and Ryder DiFrancesco experiencing the highs and lows of racing in the 250SX West Class.
- Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing Team’s battles in the mud of San Francisco
- Ryder D earns first Heat Race victory before enduring difficulties in the Main Event
- Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s MXGP World Champion Jorge Prado raced to a 450SX Heat Race victory and seventh position
Round 2 marked a challenging night for Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing’s Barcia, who put in a warrior-like effort to endure the treacherous conditions while managing an illness. He qualified his way into the Main Event via the LCQ, where he would pilot his GASGAS MC 450F Factory Edition to 17th place.
Justin Barcia: “Crazy day here in San Francisco, crazy event. I got a serious sickness coming into this race, so I couldn’t ride or train, had to hit the hospital a couple of times, and I’m just really happy to be here. It was really tough with the weather, and unfortunately, my body was pretty hammered – made it hard on myself by going to the LCQ, but all-in-all it was a survival mode weekend for me. I’m happy to be in one piece and am looking forward to being healthy and putting my bike up front.”
DiFrancesco opened his San Francisco race day by posting the 13th-fastest time in the sole qualifying session, before rocketing out of the gates aboard his GASGAS MC 250F Factory Edition in the second 250SX West Heat Race to the holeshot. Intent on checking out, DiFrancesco built a staggering 20-second margin between him and the second-place rider, sealing the first Heat Race win of his career in impressive fashion.
An unfortunate start to the Main Event for DiFrancesco had him buried deep in the field, with the Californian ultimately ending up with an unfortunate DNF in the mud.
Ryder DiFrancesco: “It was a good night here until it wasn’t! All day I felt good in the mud, I don’t know where that comes from – maybe Bakersfield when it’s muddy, but that’s once a year… It was good to get my first Heat Race win, which is a cool feeling! We have a bunch of stuff to work on, but good thing we get to line up again next weekend.”
Current MXGP World Champion Prado made his second AMA Supercross start in San Francisco with 12th in qualifying, quickly followed up by a massive Heat Race holeshot and a thrilling performance to secure the opening 450SX Heat Race victory. A measured ride during the Main Event saw the Spaniard claim a commendable seventh-place result.
Jorge Prado: “Second round is done, and I am very happy about everything. I feel like I got used to the format already after last weekend, which is a big adjustment for me, especially learning a new track in eight or nine laps. But hey, good start in the Heat and some good opening laps, stayed consistent, and got my first-ever Heat Race win! I was super happy about that because I’m not a big mud specialist, then in the Main Event the gate dropped very quickly, and I got a bad start. I slowly made my way through the field and only wanted to stay on the bike, that was my goal, so with seventh place, I am very happy.”
Results – 2024 AMA Supercross Championship, Round 2
450SX Results – San Francisco SX
1. Chase Sexton (KTM)
2. Eli Tomac (Yamaha)
3. Ken Roczen (Suzuki)
7. Jorge Prado (GASGAS)
17. Justin Barcia (GASGAS)
450SX Championship Standings (After Round 2)
1. Chase Sexton (KTM) 45pts
2. Jett Lawrence (Honda) 38pts
3. Eli Tomac (Yamaha) 35pts
9. Jorge Prado (GASGAS) 24pts
12. Justin Barcia (GASGAS) 20pts
250SX West Results – San Francisco SX
1. Jordon Smith (Yamaha)
2. Levi Kitchen (Kawasaki)
3. Garrett Marchbanks (Yamaha)
21. Ryder DiFrancesco (GASGAS)
250SX West Championship Standings (After Round 2)
1. Jordon Smith 47pts
2. Levi Kitchen 42pts
3. RJ Hampshire 38pts
15. Ryder DiFrancesco (GASGAS) 14pts
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING TEAM BRAVES RAIN-SOAKED SAN FRANCISCO
It was a challenging evening for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing at the second round of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship in San Francisco, California, with RJ Hampshire salvaging a ninth-place finish in the 250SX West division, as Christian Craig and Malcolm Stewart battled hard against the elements in 450SX.
Entering with the points lead, Hampshire continued his impressive form in the San Francisco mud by topping the qualifying timesheets amidst the chaotic conditions. A consistent ride on his Husqvarna FC 250 Rockstar Edition resulted in a second-place finish for his Heat Race.
As the conditions worsened for the Main Event, Hampshire got off to a mid-field start, which created an eventful race of being caught up with other downed riders. Despite those challenges, Hampshire salvaged a P9 result and a solid bag of points toward the championship.
“Man, that was just a really, really, long and tough day for us,” recalled Hampshire. “Start was decent, got up to fourth, I think… but stuff happens with this type of racing with a guy cross-rutting and falling into me. I was in a really bad spot to go down in, hard to get back going, but managed what I could and knew I needed to get some points, so now headed to San Diego and hoping it’ll be a lot better than this weekend.”
450SX racer Craig posted the 15th-fastest qualifying time, before improving to a seventh-place finish in his Heat Race and a direct transfer into the Main Event for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing pilot.
A high-speed fall on the start straight meant that Craig would be playing catch-up for the remainder of the race, which the Californian would do, and claw his way back to a 14th-place finish as the checkered flag flew.
“The day started off as a mud race and that’s obviously chaos,” Craig commented. “Qualified decent, then went to the Heat Race just wanting to make it through to the Main, which we did. In the Main I went down 100 feet off the start, was lying in the mud with some others for a while, but just charged from the back and did what we could do. I’m excited for some dry conditions next weekend.”
For teammate Stewart, he navigated the challenging conditions onboard his Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition to the ninth-quickest 450SX qualifying time, before crossing the finish line in sixth place for his Heat Race. A difficult night of racing, combined with a trip to the mechanic’s area, saw the number 27 credited 22nd.
“SF was a muddy one for us,” said Stewart. “Went down off the start, then the vision was blind for a bit, pulled a tear-off and I was in the tuff blocks. It got stuck in around the shifter, and someone had to go get a razor blade to cut it, so that’s how I got back on the track! Didn’t do very well, it was survival mode, and in these conditions, it’s hard to predict where you’ll end up. I’m disappointed as the team and I made great progress through the week, but we’re looking forward to San Diego where I got my first Heat Race win last year.”
Next Event (Round 3): January 20, 2024 – Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
Round 2 Results: San Francisco
250SX West – Main Event
1. Jordon Smith (Yamaha)
2. Levi Kitchen (Kawasaki)
3. Garrett Marchbanks (Yamaha)
9. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
450SX – Main Event
1. Chase Sexton (KTM)
2. Eli Tomac (Yamaha)
3. Ken Roczen (Suzuki)
14. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
22. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
250SX West Rider Point Standings
1. Jordon Smith (Yamaha) – 47 points
3. Levi Kitchen (Kawasaki) – 42 points
3. RJ Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 38 points
450SX Rider Point Standings
1. Chase Sexton (KTM) – 45 points
2. Jett Lawrence (Honda) 38 points
3. Eli Tomac (Yamaha) 35 points
17. Malcolm Stewart – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 11 points
18. Christian Craig – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 10 points
CHASE SEXTON CHARGES TO FIRST WIN WITH RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING IN SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Chase Sexton delivered his first win for the team at Round 2 of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship, taking a dominant wire-to-wire victory in the muddy conditions and reclaiming the 450SX points lead. Teammate Aaron Plessinger took a P5 finish, while 250SX West rookie Julien Beaumer finished in 11th.
On a challenging, wet track surface, both Plessinger and Sexton came to grips with San Francisco conditions immediately, powering their KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION machines to the first and second qualifying positions, led by mud specialist Plessinger.
Defending champion Sexton charged to a top-three start in his Heat Race, continuing his level of comfort as he chased down the race leader, coming within bike lengths of getting the victory in second place.
And after firing out of the gates for the holeshot, Sexton took control of the 450SX Main Event to lead from the outset and delivered the performance of a champion, showcasing skill, and consistency as he captured his eighth-career 450SX Main Event race win, and his first since joining Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in 2024.
Chase Sexton: “I have to give a huge shoutout to the team, they’ve put in so much effort and hard work to get me to where I need to be. I was a bit disappointed that this round was a mudder as the progress we made from this week to last is pretty crazy, but I’m stoked to get a win for the team and it feels great to deliver this result!”
The qualifying momentum would continue for Plessinger as he lined up for the Heat Race, with the Ohio native launching out of the gates for the all-important holeshot. A late race mishap saw him claim a third-place finish to comfortably transfer into the Main Event.
A calculated outing then saw the number 7 post a measured ride to withstand the elements, making progress throughout the race and crossing the finish line for a well-earned fifth-place finish in San Francisco.
Aaron Plessinger: “San Francisco, mud race… a proper mud race. Qualified first, which is a first! Then yeah, good start in the Heat Race, made a few mistakes, which cost me, and I got third. The start of the Main was horrible, I spun off the grate, but made it through with all the guys on the ground – don’t know how I did that. Lost goggles about mid-way, and just did what I could to fortunately get back to fifth. We got some good points, sitting P4 now in the points, and I’m ready to show them what I’ve got in San Diego.”
Supercross rookie Beaumer struggled to piece together a clean lap in qualifying, before rebounding to secure a sixth-place finish in his Heat Race and a direct entry into the night’s 250SX West Main Event. On a deteriorating track, Beaumer made the most of track position in the tough conditions and would post a consistent P11 result by race’s end.
Julien Beaumer: “San Fran was muddy, that’s for sure! Good night, got some points and made it through the Main, so I’m happy to be leaving with some points. The focus was on staying upright, but I ended up getting tired from having to pick up my bike so many times. I’m looking forward to San Diego, with the goal being much the same as A1.”
Next Race: January 20 – San Diego, California
Results 450SX Class – San Francisco
1. Chase Sexton (USA), KTM, 12 laps
2. Eli Tomac (USA), Yamaha, +7.459
3. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki, +27.255
5. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM
18. Justin Rodbell (USA), KTM
Standings 450SX Class 2024 after 2 of 17 rounds
1. Chase Sexton, 45 points
2. Jett Lawrence, 38
3. Eli Tomac, 35
4. Aaron Plessinger, 35
19. Justin Hill, 8
23. Justin Rodbell, 4
Results 250SX West Class – San Francisco
1. Jordon Smith (USA), Yamaha, 8 laps
2. Levi Kitchen (USA), Kawasaki, +0.913
3. Garrett Marchbanks (USA), Yamaha, +58.654
11. Julien Beaumer (USA), KTM
Standings 250SX West Class 2024 after 2 of 9 rounds
1. Jordon Smith, 47 points
2. Levi Kitchen, 42
3. RJ Hampshire, 38
7. Julien Beaumer, 27
25. Talon Hawkins, 4
27. Lux Turner, 2
Challenging Night for Team Honda HRC at Muddy San Francisco SX
Mud races always bring the potential for shakeups, and that was indeed the case at the sloppy second round of AMA Supercross, held in a downpour in San Francisco. Unfortunately, Team Honda HRC came out on the short end of the stick in the unpredictable conditions, with Jett and Hunter Lawrence both surviving to finish the 450SX main event in the top 10, while Jo Shimoda wasn’t so fortunate in the 250SX West race.
Conditions were atrocious for the shortened 450SX main event, and Jett and Hunter Lawrence found themselves mired in the pack early in the first lap—sixth and eighth when they completed lap 1. Falls and vision problems saw them shuttled back to 10th and 11th on lap 5. The brothers were close to one another for much of the race and even swapped positions, but in the end, the best Jett and Hunter could manage was ninth and 10th, respectively. On the positive side, Jett’s result was good enough for him to emerge second in the points standings, seven behind the leading Chase Sexton. Putting in an impressive performance was Phoenix Honda racer Dylan Ferrandis, who charged through the muck to a sixth-place result.
Shimoda started in fourth in the 250SX West main event but immediately went down. He remounted but came to a halt a few turns later with a technical issue that seemed to have resulted from the fall. SmarTop/MotoConcepts Honda’s Carson Mumford threatened for a podium position for a while but ultimately slipped to a career-best fifth, while his teammate Mitchell Oldenburg managed a top-10 finish.
- Whereas the opener had seen Jett Lawrence running a purple number plate with a fluorescent-yellow number 18 on his CRF450RWE (recognizing his status as the reigning SuperMotocross champ), Team graphics sponsor Throttle Jockey prepared him a red background for San Francisco, denoting him as the series points leader. The digits remained fluorescent yellow.
- The pits at San Francisco were inside, in a pier building (welcome on this rainy weekend), but the trucks were parked a good distance away. To help with mobility, Team Honda HRC had a pair of Honda MotoCompacto electric scooters that they used to get back and forth.
- Contra Costa Powersports, a Honda dealer in Concord, California, erected a pop-up activation booth in the Team Honda HRC pits at the San Francisco round, where they engaged with fans and customers and displayed Honda powersports products.
- To minimize damage to the drenched track and give officials maximum time to prepare it for the night show, the free practice and second qualifying sessions were canceled. Hunter and Jett Lawrence notched the third- and fourth-best times in the single 450 qualifying session.
- Jo Shimoda was 18th in the 250SX West session, his result affected by the fact that the track was much different for the B group. Grindstone-sponsored, CRF250R-mounted privateer Max Sanford was impressive, notching the second-best lap in 250SX West, as were SmarTop/MotoConcepts Honda riders Mitchell Oldenburg and Carson Mumford (sixth and seventh, respectively).
- Despite a poor gate pick, Shimoda took the early lead in the first 250SX West heat race and immediately established a comfortable gap in the sloppy conditions. Despite a couple of close calls, Shimoda eventually crossed the finish line with a 19-second win. Also making it through (via a fourth-place finish) was MCR’s Mitchell Oldenburg. His teammate Carson Mumford finished fifth in heat 2, while Grindstone-backed Red Rider privateer Max Sanford and Storm Lake Honda rider Deegan Hepp made it through the last chance qualifier.
- Jett Lawrence was slotted in the first 450 heat race, and after a strong start, he slipped to third place. A goggle issue and a pair of tip-overs cost him more positions, and he finished fifth, with Fire Power Honda’s Dean Wilson making it through with a ninth-place result. Phoenix Racing Honda’s Dylan Ferrandis put in a come-from-behind ride in heat 2 to take a dramatic win, while Hunter Lawrence soldiered through to finish fifth.
- With round 2 in the books, Team Honda HRC heads back south to San Diego, where AMA Supercross competes on Saturday.
Smith Leads 250 Title Chase with San Francisco Supercross Victory
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Jordon Smith returned to the top step of the podium and claimed the 250SX West Championship lead at yesterday’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Round 2 in San Francisco, California. It was an emotional first victory with the team in the challenging, muddy conditions at Oracle Park, which also marked the first victory for the all-new 2024 Yamaha YZ250F. Unfortunately, his teammate Nate Thrasher had some crashes in the rain-drenched conditions and ended the night 18th.
With rain soaking the Bay Area leading up to the weekend and on race day, the teams and riders were met with challenging conditions and an abbreviated schedule that ultimately was only one session before the night show. After qualifying 10th, Smith got a great start in his heat race and finished second. He got an even better start in the main event, grabbing the holeshot and leading from start to finish to score his first win since Daytona Supercross in 2018. It was also Smith’s first victory with the team aboard the all-new YZ250F which was made even sweeter by conquering the muddy conditions and moving into the championship lead.
Thrasher got the day off to a great start, qualifying runner-up despite very little time on track with just one session. The conditions continued to worsen, making for a challenging night for the Tennessee rider. He bounced back from a tough heat race in 10th and went on to win his LCQ. With a less-than-ideal gate pick for the main event, Thrasher had a good start around the top 10 but went down on the first lap and rejoined at the back of the field. He kept pushing and made his way back to 13th, but unfortunately had another tip-over around the halfway mark in the thick mud, where he lost time recovering his bike. Thrasher didn’t give up and rejoined the race, crossing the line 18th.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team heads back south to San Diego, California, with the red plate for Round 3 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the SuperMotocross World Series at Snapdragon Stadium on January 20.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It feels incredible to get this win. I’m going to soak this in for a couple of days, for sure. I felt like I was all alone out there for a little while. I came through the second or third lap, and I couldn’t really see anyone behind me. Then the halfway flag came out, and I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got to do that again?’ It was a shortened race, but it felt longer. I was so pumped to get the win. Especially with it being a mudder, and with the situation that I feel like I’m in this year – being a title guy and needing to put myself in that position every week. So I think to be able to pull it off tonight and to make it work when I’m not the best in the mud, not as confident in the mud, was huge.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“The day started out well, but it was another tough night for me. It was pretty tough conditions out there, and we struggled a bit. I had to go through the LCQ, which we won, but unfortunately, it was another tough main event with a couple of tip-overs in the mud. We’ll keep fighting, go back to work, and come back stronger in San Diego.”
Tomac Makes Championship Gains with Runner-Up Finish in San Francisco
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac put in a championship ride to score a runner-up finish yesterday in grueling conditions at Oracle Park, Round 2 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross in San Francisco, California. The multi-time champion’s second-place finish strengthened his position in the 450SX title chase and moved him up to a tie for third place. Cooper Webb battled in the challenging conditions and salvaged points with an 11th-place finish. His teammate Justin Cooper also struggled in the worsening conditions at Oracle Park and did not make the main after a crash in the LCQ took him out of a qualifying position.
Riders and the teams were presented with a challenging second round of the championship, with rain leading up to the event and also on race day. With an abbreviated schedule and only one session on track before the night show, Tomac had a solid qualifying result in 10th and was fourth in the first 450 heat race of the evening. From there, he got a flying start in the main event and was just shy of a holeshot. Tomac rode a superb race to finish second and leaves Round 2 tied for third in the point standings. It was a great comeback after a tough first round at Anaheim 1, and the Colorado rider heads to Snapdragon Stadium, where he won last season, trailing the leader by 10 points.
Webb got the day off to a solid start with a top-five finish and went on to finish second in his heat race. The North Carolina rider didn’t get the start he was looking for in the main event and found himself seventh. As rain deluged Oracle Park, Webb continued to battle in the worsening conditions but was ultimately shuffled back to 11th.
It was also a tough day for their teammate Cooper, who found himself qualifying 21st with just one session for the rookie to find a fast time in the challenging conditions. From there, it was an uphill battle with a less-than-ideal gate pick in his heat race. He fought his way back to 14th but had to go to the LCQ. Cooper was in a position to make the transfer but unfortunately crashed in the tricky conditions and did not make the main event.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team heads back south to San Diego, California, for Round 3 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the SuperMotocross World Series at Snapdragon Stadium on January 20.
2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX San Francisco Results.
2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX Championship Standings.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“We got off to a great start last night and almost had the holeshot. The conditions were so treacherous; honestly it was one of the toughest mud races I’ve raced. Some of the ruts were so deep you could completely get stuck if you took the wrong lines! I’m grateful for our crew. They had their work cut out for them the whole day and kept the bike running in top shape.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“It was a pretty tough day in San Francisco. The conditions were definitely difficult. Qualifying went pretty well. I ended up in the top five and then finished second in the heat race, which was great. In the main event, I didn’t get the start we needed to get, and I rode around with the guys and just got passed. I had a little bit of goggle issues, but overall, it was a tough night in really tough conditions. It was not the result we were looking for, but we will come back swinging at San Diego and hopefully get some dry conditions to show them what we’ve got.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing
“I really struggled with the tough conditions all day and night. With crashes in both qualifying races, it made it even tougher on me, and I wasn’t able to find a flow. It’s the first main I’ve missed in my career, so it’s a tough pill to swallow, but we will just have to put it behind us and build off how we rode at A1.”
SUZUKI PUTS THREE RIDERS INTO THE TOP TEN AT A MUDDY ROUND TWO
Heavy rains before and during the San Francisco Supercross challenged both rider and machine with one of the toughest mud races the sport has ever seen. The AMA abbreviated qualifying to one session and modified the track before the main events, but the ruts and heavy mud still made for a treacherous track at Oracle Park
- Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki
- 450 Class
- Ken Roczen earned his first podium finish of the season and moved up three positions in the championship standings.
- 450 Class
- Twisted Tea Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance
- 450 Class
- Shane McElrath earned a direct transfer to the main then backed that up with fast, consistent laps throughout the main.
- Kyle Chisholm missed a direct transfer by one position and ran into trouble in the first corner of the LCQ.
- 450 Class
- Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki
- 450 Class
- Derek Drake improved on his result in only his second 450 class Supercross race.
- 250 Class
- Anthony Bourdon ran as high as second place in his second-ever AMA Supercross race, taking home a top-ten final result.
- Max Miller battled hard in his heat race as the muddy track deteriorated.
- 450 Class
Ken Roczen (94) was the rider on the move, passing from far back in the pack in the main to deliver his first podium of 2024.
Ken Roczen finished strong in third place in his heat race and earned a good gate pick for the main event. A small mistake following a great start turned Roczen’s race upside down; the pack passed him. But even in the shortened main event he was able to charge his way up to third place. Roczen put the Suzuki RM-Z450 on the podium at round two and moved up three positions in the championship standings to now sit in a tie for sixth place.
“San Francisco was something different as it was the craziest mud race I’ve probably ever done,” said Roczen. “As we all know, those kind of conditions can really work in your favor, but it can also go the other way. [In the main] I got off to a really good start, I went around the first turn in first, but I couldn’t pull a tear off and was riding blind; so I just hit the brake and stalled it. I was super bummed, as that made for a really tough main event. But at the same time I knew that in fifteen minutes plus one lap, anything can happen, and I had enough time. You can really make up some ground with those muddy conditions. So I ended up coming all the way up to third and I couldn’t have been more stoked on my riding and everything that came with it. We earned a podium, our first podium of the year.”
Shane McElrath (12) had a breakthrough ride for his career-best 450 class Supercross result.
Shane McElrath put his Suzuki RM-Z450 inside the top five with a fourth-place result in San Francisco. After crossing the holeshot line in fifth, McElrath battled his way up to third place and started applying pressure on the second-place rider. He settled into a good pace and only gave up one position, when fellow Suzuki racer Roczen got around him at just past the 10-minute mark of the main.
“Man it was a muddy mess all day today,” said McElrath. “Thankfully, I made it through straight to the main from my heat race after going down on the first lap. I ended up with a really good gate in the main. I had a good rut [off the starting gate] and just did the best I could. I came out in a good spot off the start and ran up towards the front the whole time. It was a game of survival out there just trying to stay up. It was tricky and it just continued to get worse the whole race. I’m stoked to end up with a fourth tonight; that’s a new career-best in the 450 class for me. I’m excited to get back to work this week and we’ll see you all in San Diego next weekend.”
Kyle Chisholm went into the mud race with a positive attitude, but two crashes in the chaotic first turn prevented him from a spot in the main event.
“In the heat race I unfortunately went down in the first turn,” said Chisholm. “I put my head down and rode my best, I’m happy with my riding, but just missed going straight to the main by one spot. In the LCQ I sent it in the first turn, and I just went off the track and slid out. I went down and went into a wall and that was all she wrote. I hurt my leg a bit, all the x-rays afterward look good, but I’m sore. I was really looking forward to getting out there in the main event and playing in the mud and trying to card a strong finish.”
Derek Drake (52) did a great job adapting to the 450 and a more-battered racetrack.
Derek Drake crossed the holeshot line in eleventh but lost a handful of positions on the chaotic opening lap. He charged forward on his BarX Suzuki RM-Z450 to earn enough points to move up two positions in the championship standings.
“San Francisco was good,” said Drake. “I was glad to make it straight out of the heat into the main. For the main, all I was worried about was to keep the wheels moving and see the checkered flag, and that ended up being P-13. It was a good weekend and now on to the next!”
Anthony Bourdon (100) impressed the fans, taking over second place halfway through his second-ever US Supercross race.
In the 250-class main, Anthony Bourdon grabbed a fifth-place start from the inside gate. He and his BarX Suzuki moved quickly into third, then took over second position two and half minutes into the 10-minute plus one lap main event. A small tip over in the thick mud cost Bourdon time and positions but he charged back for an impressive sixth-place result.
“What a round in San Francisco!” exclaimed Bourdon. “I love to ride in the mud and got my best career results in Europe in the mud, but honestly I didn’t expect the conditions to be like this. I knew I had to get a good start and not crash. I started third but crashed and stalled the bike in the same lap, which cost me a lot of time. I was consistent every lap after that to finish sixth. I am happy even though I knew that the podium was in reach. I can’t wait for the next round in San Diego.”
Max Miller showed great speed in his heat aboard his Suzuki RM-Z250, but couldn’t battle forward far enough to seize a transfer to the main.
“I had a great jump out of the gate in the heat race but ended up going down on the start,” explained Miller. “I worked my way up to 13th in the heat race. I went out for the LCQ but was unable to finish due to a mechanical.”
“It was definitely one of the worst mud races I’ve ever attended,” commented Larry Brooks, Team Manager for the Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports/Suzuki presented by Progressive Insurance team. “In the LCQ Kyle had a big crash in the first turn which ended his night right there. In the main event, Ken Rozcen was the first rider into the first corner, but he stalled the motor reaching up for a tear-off. It was crazy. But he got going in 22nd place and charged up to third place, putting himself on the podium. It was a heroic effort. Shane McElrath ran in third for part of the race and finished in fourth position. The HEP team had two riders in the top five; that was the best we’ve finished since the team’s been around, so that’s something to be proud of. Our Suzuki RM-Zs ran great all night long and it ended up being a great night for us.”
“I am so proud of the team tonight,” said Toyota Redlands BarX Suzuki Team Manager James Coy. “Everyone came together and worked so hard to get through this race. Our Suzuki RM-Zs were really good in the muddy conditions, and I am incredibly happy to leave with a sixth and a 13th. After a lot of cleanup and preparation we will be ready for San Diego.”
The Suzuki riders, RM-Zs, and team members are ready for any weather that round three has in store for them. Watch for more strong rides from all the Suzuki teams inside Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego on Saturday, January 20th.
Please visit SuzukiCycles.com/Racing/Motocross and HEPMotorsports.com for more team news.
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING COMMENCES NGPC SEASON IN DELANO
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders Austin Walton and Dalton Shirey started their 2024 AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) campaigns with a pair of consistent Pro Class results as they battled through the rugged, blue-grooved terrain of Delano, California.
A 10th-place start for Walton aboard his Husqvarna Motorcycles FX 450 made for a challenging day out for the Pro Class contender, racing hard throughout on the hard-pack surface across the duration of the 10 laps to place 11th at the season-opening round.
“I didn’t get off to a good start and that did not help me because there wasn’t a lot of separation on this track,”Walton commented.“We’ll need to find a little bit more speed when it comes to the hard-pack, dry stuff that we had today, so we have some things to work on to keep improving. We’ll take what we can from Delano, learn what we can knowing it’s a unique race, and work on those things heading into Round 2. A big thank you to the whole Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing crew, we will look ahead to the next one.”
Meanwhile, a slow start for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Dalton Shirey made for a difficult race as the Pro Class racer continues to recover from knee surgery, finding a flow during the final three laps to make his way up into a 12th-place result. With a limited pre-season, he will gain strength as the season continues.
“I’m still recovering from having knee surgery just two months ago, so I’ve really only had two weeks on the bike,”recalled Shirey.“That means that my preparation was low coming into this race, so there were no real expectations for me here – it was more about getting through it and coming up with a plan afterward. Race-wise, not a very good start and I suffered with arm-pump until the last three laps, where I started catching the guys in front of me. All I can say right now is, just need to keep doing the homework and we will keep making progress.”
Next Round (2): Taft, California – February 2-4, 2024
1. Dante Oliveira, KTM
2. Dare Demartile, Beta
3. Justin Hoeft, Yamaha
11. Austin Walton – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12. Dalton Shirey – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Pro Championship Standings
1. Dante Oliveira – 30 points
2. Dare Demartile – 25 points
3. Justin Hoeft – 21 points
11. Austin Walton – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 10 points
12. Dalton Shirey – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – 9 points
FMF KTM FACTORY RACING’S DANTE OLIVEIRA OPENS NGPC TITLE DEFENSE WITH DELANO VICTORY
DELANO, Calif. – FMF KTM Factory Racing rider Dante Oliveira has opened the 2024 AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) with a dominant Pro Class victory at Round 1 in Delano, with teammate Mateo Oliveira racing to a solid fifth-place finish.
Equipped with the KTM 450 XC-F, defending champion Oliveira put himself in contention early after completing the opening lap in third position, with the number 1 biding his time as he let the race unfold before him. By lap five he took over the lead and wouldn’t look back as he sealed his first race win of the 2024 season.
Dante Oliveira: “I got off to a decent start in Delano, around fourth place, and then hammered down and got around Mateo during the opening lap into third. I chased down Cole [Martinez] on lap two, and then had to push again to catch Dare [Demartile], which took me about two laps. We swapped positions during our pit stops, and there was a bit of back and forth before I made the move. But the track was wild here, so blue-grooved, although it was fun to slip and slide around a bit! A much better start to my season than the seasons before, so I’m stoked to start off on top.”
Mateo Oliveira opened his Delano race day by charging to a top-three start, eager to show the progress he and the team had made aboard his KTM 450 XC-F throughout the off-season and into January. A consistent outing saw him battle for the final podium position throughout the encounter, before earning a convincing fifth-place result after the 10 laps.
Mateo Oliveira: “I have a lot of confidence heading into this season – I had a super-good winter break with the team, we worked hard on our strengths and weaknesses together with the trainer, and I really took no time off after the Six Days. I have a lot to prove this year after last year not being what I wanted, so I wanted to come into 2024 firing. I felt strong on the bike today and am excited to keep charging at the next rounds.”
The weekend in Delano saw an exceptional outing by KTM-mounted Mason Semmens, who claimed victory on debut in the hotly-contested Pro 2 Class.
Round 2: Taft, California – February 2-4, 2024
Results: Round 1
1. Dante Oliveira, KTM
2. Dare Demartile, BET
3. Justin Hoeft, YAM
5. Mateo Oliveira, KTM
Pro Championship Standings
1. Dante Oliveira, 30
2. Dare Demartile, 25
3. Justin Hoeft, 21
5. Mateo Oliveira, 16