Ask anyone what the most important part of a supercross race is and the most common answer you’ll get is, “The start.” Well, if that’s true, then Kevin Moranz was the master of his domain in Seattle, where he blasted his way to holeshots in both the heat race and 450SX main event. His superb launch in the heat race helped him avoid the LCQ and transfer directly to the main, where he was able to repeat the out-of-the-gate feat, and lead the entire pack for a substantial amount of time, on a 2022 KTM, no less.
“That was big. I’m on a stock 2022 KTM against all these factory bikes, privateer lifin’ it,” Moranz said to our own Kellen Brauer after the race. “To holeshot not only the heat race, $1,000 Tank Masters bonus right there, to do it in the main event, $5,000 Tank Masters bonus right there, I’m stoked about it. I started fourth last weekend and my heart rate spiked and I was kind of freaking out in that situation. To actually start up front, I was pretty calm and collected over the finish line and all that.”
When Chase Sexton went to make a move on Moranz on the first lap, Moranz stayed in it, fighting back and not allowing Sexton to take it away. Moments later, as he sailed over the finish line, he took a moment to acknowledge what was actually happening.
“Going over the finish line, I took a deep breath and was like, ‘Kev, you’re winning this right now.’ I was just like, ‘Try to prove yourself as much as you can right now. The factory teams want to see what you can do.’ I wasn’t thinking how I was when I got fourth off the start last weekend, I was thinking about all the dudes behind me then. Tonight I was thinking forward. That mental shift from last weekend to this weekend, that’s what I need to continue to do.”
Unfortunately, on the heels of such a brilliant launch, came the explosion. With a pack of factory-mounted racers on his tail clambering for position, Moranz “caught a pocket off that three and overjumped it, landed in a pocket, and just went straight.” Regrettably for Moranz, the track did not go straight—it went into a 180-degree righthander and Moranz found himself high-centered on a Tuff Block while every single rider in the class motored by. Just like that, Moranz found himself in last place on a night in which he’d positioned himself to potentially record the best result of his career.
If Moranz had rolled back to the pits after checkers devastated and forlorn, nobody would have blamed him. Starts and opportunities like that don’t come along every day, and you could make the argument Moranz had thrown this chance away. But instead of focusing on the doom and gloom, Moranz was hyped afterward, having clearly chosen to appreciate the portion of the glass that was half full. Heck, to see his exultant demeanor afterword you’d think the glass was completely full!
“To get this experience as a privateer, to get more comfortable in these situations, is absolutely key,” a smiling Moranz said. “It’s unfortunate the way it ended, but to show we have the speed and the starts on a stock bike, I think we have a lot of potential. We’re going to keep chugging. We’re getting experience, I love what I do, the fans love it, and the whole vlog situation is something people get behind. KevinMoranz.com, go get some merch! We’re just going to keep progressing and hopefully someone takes notice and we get an opportunity.”