On paper, Jason Anderson’s Washougal looks terrible, with 6-DNF scores and thirteenth overall. However, the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider was flying in portions of both races, including the final lap of the first moto, where he passed Ken Roczen for sixth and logged the fastest lap of the moto. On that last lap, Anderson logged a 2:25. Moto winner Justin Barcia’s best lap was a 2:28, and he did that on lap five.
"My day went pretty good as far as riding,” Anderson said. “I feel like I always ride Washougal pretty good, and today just felt good on the track, and everything seemed to be coming together as far as riding.”
The problem was, Anderson had to use that speed coming from the back. Through the first turn of the first moto, he got dirt stuck under his roll-offs and couldn’t see anything. He rode without vision for a lap and then pulled into the mechanic’s area for a new set of goggles, rejoining the race around thirtieth (it helps that so many other riders pulled in, too). From there, he just started charging, but he stresses that he felt comfortable doing it. This wasn’t just one of those all-out charges that come from desperate circumstances.
“I just felt like I was really riding good,” he says. “I didn’t feel out of control or anything. Even at the practice track I have days where I feel really good, and then there are days where you don’t, and you don’t know why. But I think it’s just a process that you have to go along with. Everyone progresses at their own rate, and I guess that’s how I progress.”
Anderson got the good start he needed in moto two, running third toward the end of the first lap until he crashed.
“I was in third, I fell, went back to like ninth, and then I worked my way back up to fourth. I was far behind Kenny [Roczen], but I think I could have made it a good battle at the end. Just ended up having bike issues. It could have been good. A 6-3 would have gotten me on the podium. I was definitely riding good enough to be able to be in the fight for that third spot in the second moto for sure.”
The results don’t show it, but it was somewhat of a breakthrough day for Anderson, speed wise. In a rookie year filled with learning moments, Anderson doesn’t know if anything he did at Washougal will carry over to the next race at Unadilla, but he can’t wait to find out.
“I don’t know. I’m just going to try my hardest. That’s kind of what I do. Just going to try and get a good start and be up front and put in a good effort. That’s all I can do.”