This year the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Futures program changed from racing on Sunday to racing on Saturday in front of the fans. The seven round series saw six different qualifiers where the top four from each event (minus the ones who already qualified, as some riders rode multiple events) qualify for the final round in Salt Lake. While the qualifying rounds were all raced during the day program, the finale was held during the night show, with the winner, Chance Hymas, being crowned the 2022 AMA Supercross Futures National Champion. Here is what the top three had to say at the press conference after the race.
Chance I will start with you, you’ve had experience racing in front of big crowds, you’ve done the Monster cup, you have been at supercross’s this year during the day, doing the day time program, what was it like to go to the line for the main event with this very loud excited packed house and really take in the supercross environment, on a big bike, in a system that is really supposed to replicate the pro level, what was it like to go to the gate, and drop the gate and race the race and take in that environment?
Chance Hymas: Yeah, it’s definitely different, I mean you get a little bit of experience at the Monster Cup on supermini’s but even at Atlanta and the other ones it just felt different, especially here with how many people that came to support me. It’s just, you’re hitting the rhythm lanes and you can hear people screaming and yelling, its pretty cool, but yeah, it’s just different.
Ryder, I know we talked about this but got a good start, lead, struggled in the whoops, just talk about that again.
Ryder DiFrancesco: Yeah, we did our game plan for the first have of the race and then obviously struggled through the whoops. Before the race I set my mind on jumping the whoops, it’s kind of hard to switch over and saw Chance skimming them and it was obviously faster. But yeah, we tried our best and we learned a lot this weekend. So now until next October there’s obviously going to be a big difference. So yeah, I am excited for next year and to have a good time.
Gavin, way back at the first futures race you had a pretty big crash on Friday, but since then it seems like you have slowly progressed through each round that you’ve done. How much would you say have learned at each round, in getting that experience in?
Gavin Towers: Definitely a lot, the first one was gnarly, I learned my lesson fast how gnarly the transitions are compared to the test track. I picked up on that pretty quickly. Luckily was okay, but just learned and then changed a few bike settings which helped a lot. After Spring Nationals, we got back on SX. Been training with Bradly Taft and he’s helped me a lot, so it’s been good. After we made the bike changes and moved forward and learned a lot from these races.
Chance, for you how would this type of result, to win this title how does this rate compared to other achievements in your career?
Hymas: It’s kind of hard to rate, especially to like winning a title at Loretta’s. It’s definitely up there just because you are there in front of everybody. It does feel like a pretty big deal so it’s definitely up there, I feel like it’s like winning a Loretta’s title. For me it’s a pretty big deal I’d say.
Chance, you and I talked after Atlanta and you explained what it’s like to be in the Factory Honda rig with everything going on with you know Jett and Hunter [Lawrence] there, Chase [Sexton] there, seeing everybody going through with their routine. What’s the learning lesson been like for you to see that firsthand and know once it is finally your time to race as a 250 pro you’ve already seen that routine, so it won’t be that big of a thrown off schedule for you, you’ll know what to ask for.
Hymas: Just watching those guys and even just talking to them while they’re doing things throughout the day, honestly, they’re not out there talking to people a lot. I mean they take their time and go sign autographs but they’re taking their time and being by themselves and doing their own things so it’s just one of those things where I just need my alone time and do my own thing. Honestly that’s what I tried doing today, just did my own thing and I feel like it helped me a lot.
For you Chance, we joked about this a little bit, I know you are a guy that will race anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Just talk a little about where your motivation comes from.
Hymas: I mean forever I’ve always loved racing my dirt bike, honestly whenever I can race, I try to. I mean next weekend I plan on doing an off-road race. [Laughs] Really just any time, I love riding so, I am going to go ride Monday and keep riding and get ready for Loretta’s. I love the grind, that’s the part I love.
Chance this is something I have talked to Ryder about before, I love when there is a lot of respect, and it seems like there is a friendship. Even though you beat Ryder he came up and congratulated you, as the pressure builds at the pro level those things are difficult to maintain, the friendships. Have you thought about that? I don’t know how your relationship is with Gavin but are you guys going to be able to remain friends as you take each other out over the and go for championships, are you going to be able to maintain that friendship and respect?
Hymas: I think so for now, we have all raced each other for a long time [Gavin shakes his head no, everybody laughs] at least for now, I mean we have all raced each other for long time, the respect is there, I don’t think any of us has done anything too gnarly. I think for now it’s good.
One final question for all three of you. The Supercross Futures program was on Sunday’s, that’s when it was, and it’s been modified to this new program, you guys got to experience not only tonight but the whole thing, the qualifying system and then racing multiple races this year. What was that entire experience like for you and what would be the message for some of the younger riders who are going to be coming behind you over the next few years, on what they can expect based on your experience?
DiFrancesco: Yeah, it’s so much different than just riding the test tracks and doing your laps. Coming to a stadium it’s so much tighter, and learning, I can only imagine the people that stepped in cold. I learned so much at Oakland and A2 and Glendale before I got to Arlington with Chance. I learned a lot and it’s going to help for the years to come.
Hymas: Its definitely different, with obviously you’re based off a schedule, the only race we get that based off a schedule is Loretta’s so, being there, being on time and even being early so you don’t miss a gate pick or something like that. It’s just different, it’s just something you have to get used to doing but, at least for us we are lucky enough to get this system and get the experience before, like Ryder said some people have to get in there with no experience and its honestly pretty gnarly for us just doing Futures. So, for us doing this, I think it’s pretty cool they let us do it.
Towers: Yeah Its definitely awesome, today was the hardest, we started early, we had our first practice at 10 am and then you sit around, we didn’t have a heat race, so you sit around from 2 to 7 so you got to pick where you want to eat, pick what you want to do, so you don’t want to go to the line starving, because I did that at combines, that didn’t work out to well, I learned my lesson there. But yeah, it’s definitely a good learning experience knowing when to do stuff throughout the day, I was pretty happy with it throughout the year.
Do you guys think that maybe in a couple of years we will be back here doing this again but in the 250 class?
Hymas and Towers: [nod yes]
DiFrancesco: Hopefully doing the same interview as Christian [Craig].