The 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season is up and rolling. Here's a quick look at some Anaheim 1 stats and then more stuff from San Francisco.
Anaheim 1 SX Quick Stats
San Francisco SX Quick Stats
Ryder DiFrancesco’s first career heat race win
Smith wins fourth 250SX main event, his first since 2018 Daytona SX, and his first time with points lead since he entered the 2017 Las Vegas SX finale with the red plate
Kitchen’s sixth 250SX podium
Garrett Marchbanks’ fifth 250SX podium, his first since 2021
Sexton's eighth 450SX win, his first with KTM
Tomac’s 96th 450SX podium
Roczen’s 64th 450SX podium
Jorge Prado’s first heat race win
Through the first two rounds of 2024:
It keeps changing! No rider has managed to repeat a win in any category so far this year, including heat race winners, fast qualifiers, LCQ winners, and main event winners.
Two different 250SX fastest qualifiers (Kitchen & Hampshire)
Four different 250SX heat race winners (Smith, Vohland, Shimoda, & DiFrancesco*)
Two 250SX LCQ winners (Albright & Thrasher)
Two 250SX main event winners (Hampshire & Smith)
Four total riders on 250SX podium (Smith & Kitchen both podiumed both races)
Two main events with under five seconds between first and second place (+3.138 seconds and +0.913 seconds)
* = First career heat wins
Two different 450SX fastest qualifiers (Jett Lawrence & Plessinger)
Four different 450SX heat race winners (Roczen, Webb, Prado*, & Ferrandis*)
Two 450SX LCQ winners (Justin Hill & Noren)
Two 450SX main event winners (Jett Lawrence & Sexton)
Five total riders on 450SX podium (only Sexton podiumed both races)
Two main events with over five seconds between first and second place (+7.188 seconds and +7.459 seconds)
* = First career heat wins
Career Bests at San Francisco SX
I covered this in my post-race rider quotes feature from Tuesday, but here are the career bests we saw in San Francisco.
Jordon Smith | 1st (fourth career 250SX win)
Carson Mumford | 5th
Anthony Bourdon | 6th
Hunter Yoder | 8th
Maxwell Sanford | 12th
Matti Jorgensen* | 13th
Slade Varola* | 14th
Deegan Hepp* | 17th
Ty Freehill * | 20th
* = Competed in their first main event in their respective class
No Go on the Jo Sho
According to SupercrossLive, Shimoda’s 22nd place finish was only the third time the Japanese rider has finished outside the top ten in his 33 250SX main event starts to date. The other two times were a 21st-place finish at the Sale Lake City 1 SX on May 31, 2020, and an 11th—place finish at the Sale Lake City 3 SX on June 7, 2020. His five podium finishes to date are more than his three finishes outside the top ten.
KTM Killin’ It
According to SupercrossLive, Sexton’s maiden win with KTM gives the brand its 62nd win in the premier class, and it keeps the brand’s win streak alive for now a 13th consecutive season. KTM has claimed an AMA Supercross win in either class every season since 2012. Kawasaki’s streak from 2005 to 2022 (no AMA Supercross wins in either class in 2023) is the all-time record at 18 straight seasons with a win.
“Eight is Great”
We have heard that phrase used in the PulpMX Fantasy world, but the shortened 250SX main event only saw eight laps completed by race winner Smith. That is the shortest race since the mud-impacted eight-lap 2018 Seattle Supercross 250SX main even (which was won by Aaron Plessinger).
Mud Man McElrath
Last year, Shane McElrath earned a 450SX career-best (at the time) sixth-place finish at the East Rutherford SX in April. A few weeks later he would earn his first ever top-five finish in the premier class in a dry Denver Supercross. Then, over the weekend, McElrath improved his career best to now fourth place. Check out what he had to say in our full post-race interview.
Last Two Mudders
Having been at both the last two mud races—the East Rutherford SX in April 2023 and the San Francisco over the weekend—my observation from the press box was this: I do think the East Rutherford SX main events had more water puddled up on the track, but the San Francisco SX main events had more water soaked into the dirt, meaning more mud was caked on and the track was tougher to navigate.
Jason Weigandt talked to Dirt Wurx track builder Alex Gillespie this week and he confirmed that the San Francisco dirt was softer than New Jersey, so it absorbed more water. Last April the boys were able to jump a majority of the track and the lap times were still about a minute long, and the 250SX Class saw 14 laps completed by first-time race winner Max Anstie. Last Saturday’s mud got deep and rutted, so riders were not able to jump many of the obstacles, if any. The lap times for the San Francisco race were much slower (about a minute and a half) and they cut down the race as to where race winner Smith only finished eight laps.
Do what you will with this information, but here is a side-by-side look at the last two muddy supercross races in the 450SX Class.
I was at the last two @SupercrossLIVE mud races to date (East Rutherford SX in April 2023 and Saturday's San Francisco SX).— Mitch Kendra (@mitch_kendra) January 15, 2024
Interesting to see the 450SX results side by side, although they were much different races in terms of conditions and starting lineups. #Supercross #SX2024 pic.twitter.com/pCCFe3cW94
Everyone is Dealing with Something, IE: Matti Jorgensen
I want to shed light on Matti Jorgenson this week. Jorgensen made his AMA Supercross debut just about three weeks post broken collarbone surgery. I followed Jorgensen’s results last year but did not even know he was racing supercross this year until seeing him and his dad during track walk at the opener. Doing a double take, I saw them in AJE GasGas gear, not his typical MJ1 KTM setup he had been repping as an amateur. Matti was running around fifth in the A1 250SX LCQ until a crash in the whoops ended his chances of qualifying. Then during the week, his manager Tony Pedone messaged me and shared some info on Matti’s last few months.
Long story short, Jorgensen has been training with the Lawrence brothers down at the Dog Pound in Florida but suffered a broken vertebra in his back in November. He returned to riding in December and put in a good week until he suffered a crash December 14 that broke his collarbone. Surgery right before the holiday on December 22 had Jorgensen in a sling until January 4. Matti said he talked with the AJE GasGas team, and they said he could give it a shot at the opener with no pressure, knowing he was fresh off of injury and did not have much time back on the bike. On Thursday, January 4, he booked a flight the next day for California. He qualified into the night show before his crash in the LCQ cost him a shot in the main event, with only about five hours on a bike since the end of November. Oh, and Saturday morning during free practice at the opener was the first time he had ever ridden his GasGas race bike! By pointing this stuff out is Tony by no means of giving Matti an excuse, but instead he wanted to help shed some light on what the youngster is going through as he navigates the transition from the amateur ranks to the pro ranks. Getting his points through Ricky Carmichael Amateur Daytona Supercross (RCSX) and the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, Jorgensen has not even competed in a true Supercross Futures event, so this is really getting thrown into the fire.
In San Francisco, Jorgensen finished a solid sixth in his heat to qualify for his first ever 250SX main event. In the main, getting stuck in the mud cost him some time and positions, but the tall rider managed to get unstuck and finished 13th. The Denmark native had a butt patch of a Great Dane dog bandaged up. The #245 machine might not be on your radar, but he should be a rider to keep an eye on going forward.
Jorgensen posted on Instagram:
“P-13 in the mud at San Francisco
Looking forward to San Diego”
The Other Deegan
Relax everyone, we will be talking about Haiden Deegan soon enough. For now, it’s time to talk about Deegan Hepp. Hepp made his first career 250SX main event start before finising 17th. But there is more to the story. He didn't really have a mechanic with him, but his girlfriend pitched in, and when he broke his rear brake pedal...well he just raced lined up for the main event without one!
Check out this X (formerly Twitter) thread from Race Tech’s Chris Riesenberg (note: he means 250, not 450, he caught the typo later so no need to point it out).
Deegan Hepp only had his gf with him in SF. He was on a stock crf450 with just revalved suspension. Wrapped rear break around the peg in the heat, hammered it back straight best he could before LCQ. Came from 16th-5th with 2 to go and rear brake pedal broke. —continued in replies— Chris Riesenberg (@Checkerz448) January 14, 2024
Post-Race Penalty Report
Clip of the Weekend
Barcia’s unbelievable save off the start of the 450SX LCQ.
Rider Vlogs and Other Videos
Christian Craig: MUDDER IN SAN FRANCISCO | Supercross Round 2
Dean Wilson: SAN FRANCISCO MUD BATH SUPERCROSS!
Shane McElrath: CONQUERING THE MUD - CAREER BEST FINISH
ClubMX: Every Second Counts Ep 1: Podium Pie
MUDDIEST RACE EVER!! - San Francisco Supercross | Kevin Moranz
HBI Racing - Rookie Slade Varola Makes First Main Event EVER!!
The Privateer Paddock
"I HAVEN'T SEEN ANYONE CHANGE THAT MUCH!" SAN FRANCISCO SX REWIND / Bubba's World w/ James Stewart