Plenty of riders would love to be in the position that Jett Lawrence is in right now. He’s won a race, and sits fourth in points, just eight back of Aaron Plessinger. On the flipside, Lawrence is a tremendous talent, and especially after going undefeated last summer, likely expects more out of himself than missing the podium in the last three races. That’s due in part to subpar starts, which isn’t something we’re used to seeing from Lawrence. If he gets out of the gate better this weekend, everything could change. -Aaron Hansel
View from the Top
If you’re Aaron Plessinger, you’re loving the view right now. The Red Bull KTM rider leads the 450SX pack (Chase Sexton is four points back in second), and a quick look at the stats shows just how enviable Plessinger’s position is at this point in the season—following the West Coast swing, the points leader very often goes on to win the title. After heart break in Detroit last year (leading until a late crash) Plessinger heads back with the red plate. He defended it in Anaheim. Will he do it again? -Hansel
That’s not the beginning of some obscure zip code, it’s the finishing sequence for Eli Tomac at the first four races of the season. It’s weird to see Tomac finishing in ninth, and it’s weirder to see him yo-yoing that far from week to week. Yes, the field is deep and little mistakes are extremely costly, but still, this is Tomac we’re talking about! Is he going to have another downward swing in Detroit, or is he going to break the cycle and get his first win of 2024? -Hansel
Back to Normal
It’s been a substantial amount of time since we’ve seen a “normal” supercross race. Rounds two and three were mudders, and round four was a Triple Crown. Heck, you could even make the argument that, with all the jitters involved with the season opener, we’ve yet to have a good ol’ regular supercross in 2024! Well, that’s going to change under the roof of Ford Field. Weather won’t be a factor, and we’re looking at a traditional format. Who’ll shine under these, “rare,” and normal, conditions? -Hansel
Cooper Webb has looked pretty good so far this season, and it all came together for the two-time 450SX champ last week at Anaheim 2 when he took his first win of the season. In his championship years, 2019 and 2021, he struck early too, winning at round three in both of those seasons. "Last year I relied a lot on consistency and speed was sometimes not there. I feel like now I have the speed when I need it." Indeed, Cooper has been quick all season. Does Detroit become another link in a championship run? -Hansel
Five in Five?
It hasn’t happened yet, but at some point this season we’re going to have a repeat winner in the 450SX Class. So far we’ve seen Lawrence, Sexton, Plessinger, and Webb get it done, but guys like Tomac, Jason Anderson, and Ken Roczen can’t be far behind, right? So far nobody has shown any real dominance. We've never started a season with five winners in five rounds. Is this the year? -Hansel
Malcolm Stewart probably didn’t throw an elaborate after party following his tenth-place finish at Anaheim 2, but at the same time, he had to feel better about it than he did at the previous two rounds, in which he took 22nd and 19th in the mud. Before the first gate of the season dropped, Stewart was a guy plenty of people were looking at to get his first career 450SX win soon, and he’s still got a ton of time left to start logging impressive finishes. Could the surge start as early as Detroit? -Hansel
250 East, Let's Go!
Yessir, the 250SX East Region is loaded for battle starting this weekend, and it's a heck of a deep, fun class. Haiden Deegan enters after winning the 250 SMX Championship last year, but he also suffered an off-season injury so his level of prep is not known. Max Anstie is said to be flying at the test track. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team has a three-pronged attack with Cameron McAdoo, Austin Forkner and Seth Hammaker. Tom Vialle is back for year two in supercross. Chance Hymas is trying to remind the world of his talent. The list goes on and on. This field is deep and it's capable. But who strikes first? -Jason Weigandt
Along with the established group of 250 riders, we're looking at rookie debuts in the form of Daxton Bennick and Nick Romano, who have sparkling reputations from the amateur ranks and plenty of talent. Evan Ferry is taking to supercross for the first time. Guillem Farres has shown speed in motocross, but never even attended a supercross race in a stadium until he hung out last weekend in Anaheim. A lot of riders will look to learn this weekend. Actually, we have a whole manufacturer about to do that! -Weigandt
Triumph's long-awaited entry into this sport begins this weekend in the 250 class. This project has taken four years, 45 engineers, nearly 1000 new parts, and a huge commitment from a brand known, until now, on the street side. Jalek Swoll will carry the pressure to perform as an established 250 player, and Evan Ferry is part of the rookie debut group we mentioned above. Triumph has tried to do everything right. Will it work on Saturday? -Weigandt