Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson ended up going 6-1-1 at the Arlington Supercross Triple Crown race and missed out on the overall win by a single point to Eli Tomac. Everyone will talk this week about his pass attempt on Malcolm Stewart for the lead of the first race that put both riders on the ground, but Anderson got ahead of the chatter in the post-race press conference by admitting he landed on the throttle and knew right away he was coming in too fast. Despite that, Anderson still was second overall on the night and had a lot more to talk about than just the contact.
Jason, I’ll ask you about your perspective in that same battle [with Eli Tomac in Race 3]. Just talk about the level and how hard you guys are pushing when you’re in those battles and what that intensity is like.
Jason Anderson: Yeah. I think for us right now, we’re riding really good. It’s hard for each of us to break away from each other. I feel like if he’s in front, it’s hard for him to break away from me and if I’m in front it's hard for me to break away from him. So, it just makes that race craft so important. Like he said, we went over the finish in one lap. I wanted to square him up, but he read me like a book. So, it was hard for me to do it. Then you come in the other corner, and he goes to the inside, because he thinks I’m going to dive in the inside. I’m just setting up outside. So, it’s just a game. But at the same time, we’re ripping while we’re doing it, so it’s pretty awesome. That’s what the fans need. I enjoy racing like that. It’s fun.
You obviously have the pace. We have nine rounds left in the championship. Do you ever think about maybe picking and choosing your passes, where there’s not so much contact and you can either take out another rider or yourself going forward?
Yeah. That’s the goal, but I just didn’t accomplish that one time tonight. It was a mistake on my part. It’s tough because you get so antsy to get by guys, and it was a mistake. But at the same time, I’m just trying my hardest and trying to get by guys. That cost me the win tonight overall. So, it was a mistake.
Have you talked to Malcolm about that?
I tried to say something to him, but he was really heated. I was like, I landed off that triple and I gassed it and as soon as I gassed it, I was like, I’m going too fast. I really didn’t try and turn. I was trying to just stop. Once I made contact with him, it was over. I apologized to him, but he was kind of heated. That’s understandable. I just tried to brush it off and try and ride my race and move onto the next two.
Obviously, you’ve been riding really well, and you were able to pass Eli, who’s maybe riding the best of his career. Is there a little bit of a thought that kind of creeps into your mind without maybe the take-out from Bam-Bam at the first round and the bike issues at San Diego, do you think, I could be the one in the points lead?
Realistically, you have those things that happen that cost you points. It’s out of my control and I can only look forward and be the best I can be. I know that’s kind of stereotypical to say, but it’s the truth. That’s all you can do. It’s just trying to simplify it and move on week to week and just try and be your best. You can be bummed on nights whenever you get… I was laying on the ground, or my bike broke, but those are just the emotions that you’ve got to embrace. You’ve got to just roll with the punches and just try your best every time you’re out there. That’s kind of how I’m trying to play it right now. Whether I’m in the points lead, down on the points lead, wherever I’m at, I’m just going to keep trying.
At the start of the season, would you have put money on yourself to be in this position? It seemed like you might have been an outlier. There was a lot of talk about Eli and Cooper Webb and Kenny Roczen. We all know how talented you are, but are you surprised that you are where you are right now?
Yeah. Realistically, I know how good I am, but I just feel like I’ve got a good program behind me. I’ve got good people behind me. I’m in a good spot in my life, with my career. I’m enjoying riding my dirt bike. I guess if you looked at the power rankings, I wasn’t even going to get top ten at the first round, so it’s nice doing good. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. I would say I expect this out of myself a lot and it just hasn’t happened a lot. But this year I feel like I’m in a groove and I’m enjoying it. Just going to keep pushing.
You hear Eli and Cooper both talking tonight about moving back to home base, whether that’s Florida or Colorado. You yourself, you’ve done Florida for quite a few years. Now with the Monster Energy Kawasaki Team, I believe you guys are California based this whole year. Can you just explain is there really that much of a difference for you guys, at least in your opinion, of being West versus East Coast based? What advantages have you found moving back to California and being close to the team versus being more on the East Coast Florida program?
I’m staying close to the team, but I’m not staying close to the team all year round. I think maybe on our off-weekend I’m going to head back to New Mexico and I’m going to start riding at home there. I don’t do Florida anymore, so that’s kind of my whole program. As soon as I go back there, I’ll probably stay there for the whole summer and do that. But right now, I’m staying with the team out in California until then and just trying to make progress. I got a good little program going on. We’re working on the bike. I got Broc Tickle with me and he’s riding with me all the time, helping me test and riding with the PC boys. Their youth is kind of keeping me spunky a little bit from day to day, so it’s enjoyable.
You’ve been riding with this assertive intensity that has really been fun to watch you ride. I just wanted to know how you feel mentally. Is this the Jason that you’ve always wanted to be?
Yeah. Obviously, I’ve always wanted to be a guy battling for wins and on the podium often. For me, I feel like I’m doing that right now. Being in the championship hunt any year is our goal. Growing up as a kid, that’s always been our dream, is to be in that hunt. Right now, it’s cool because it’s very close. The points keep yo-yo-ing and stuff like that. I just want to fight. My riding, I think I’m showing that. I feel like I want it. As far as the intensity and stuff like that, I think when you have that want to win, it comes pretty easy. So, it’s good.
Watch the full 450SX post-race press conference below: