The supercross season is finally here! After weeks of testing, training and putting in some laps, it all came together last weekend in Anaheim. It was a sold out crowd for the season opener and when I came out during opening ceremonies to the cheers of over 45,000 people it gave me chills.
The week leading up to the race was full of some cool opportunities. On Wednesday night, Nike hosted an amazing event at the Irvine Spectrum Center mall at their Salvation store. Both James Stewart and I were the guests of honor in what they called “A Night with Champions.” A small group of fans were given to the opportunity to win the chance to attend the event and it was just a really incredible experience.
It was also an opportunity for the debut of some new designs of the Nike AirMX Boot that both James and I will be wearing this season. Like always, Nike stepped up and produced a one-of-a-kind event and a special experience for myself and everyone involved. Special thanks goes out to everyone at Nike and all the fans who attended the event!
Thursday signified the start of the Anaheim 1 festivities with Press Day and the opening press conference. There were hundreds of people there, including media, riders and members of all the teams and it was nice to see a lot of familiar faces. They’re calling this season “The Perfect Storm” in reference to the deep field of talent that will be competing this year. One thing for sure, it’s going to be a tough challenge to defend the title and I’m looking forward to all 17 rounds.
Feld Motor Sports invited me on stage to speak to the media and also presented me with the championship ring. It’s a little too flashy for me to wear, but it’s still a pretty cool gift. After the conference concluded, myself and several other riders rode some laps on a designated section of the track. It’s always nice to get an early look at what we’re going to have to deal with on Saturday night.
As far as race day, I have mixed emotions on how everything went. The daytime practices didn’t come off exactly as we all wanted, but we relied on our experience and my team came together and made it happen, giving me an awesome machine for the evening and a chance to win the main event. Ultimately, a second-place finish is an excellent start to any season. Consistency is going to be key and the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team is where we need to be.
It never gets old to see a stadium packed to its limits and I love seeing the continued support our sport gets from the fans. To all of you that were there on Saturday night, thanks for coming out and supporting what we do. For those of you who watched from home, we look forward to seeing you real soon.
Thanks for reading. I’ll see you all next week!