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Matthes Report: Team Talk

JGR and HRC insight.

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ANAHEIM 1 IS COMING UP THIS WEEKEND!!! Yeah, I felt the need to scream that one out. Thank God the off-season is done with and we’re going to get going with some actual racing. We were hoping to get into this weekend without any injuries in the 450SX class and, dammit, we just about made it!

JGR Suzuki’s Justin Barcia will miss Anaheim 1 and more with a wrist injury that won’t require surgery (they hope) sustained in a crash a week ago or so, as detailed here on MX Vice. I’ve since learned that JGR is going to put Jake Weimer on the bike and he’s guaranteed four races for the team. Weimer, tenth last year in the 450SX class for RCH Suzuki, doesn’t have a ride coming into this season, but he’s been riding an RCH bike all off-season and no doubt this played in JGR’s decision to put Jake on the bike. Weimer knows the Suzuki inside and out, so the adaption period just days before Anaheim 1 is going to be minimal.

Weimer’s guaranteed four races, maybe longer if Barcia’s wrist doesn’t heal up and perhaps he can ride himself into a ride with another team with some good results. If that does happen he definitely owes the management at RCH some thanks as even though they had nothing for him, they didn’t take their factory bike back and allowed him to keep riding and practicing with good equipment throughout the off season.

As far as Barcia is concerned, this has to be concerning to JGR that he can’t seem to stay healthy for supercross for the third straight year. After bursting onto the scene as a 450SX rookie in 2013 for Honda and winning two races, the next year didn’t go as well for Barcia on the Honda and he departed for JGR.

Since then he’s been hurt every single year in supercross and can’t get much momentum going. Outdoors has been mostly good for Justin on JGR, but the team would like to see better results indoors which is the bigger series over here. After a mixed bag of off-season races on the new Suzuki, Barcia’s now going to come back in a month and be behind the eight ball once again.

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Jake Weimer has received a boost, so will be at the opener.

Sean Ogden

Well, this weekend is the debut of Ken Roczen on the new Honda CRF450R and we’re waiting to see if this huge investment by Honda pays off with their first premier class title since 2004 with Ricky Carmichael. New rider, new bike and new pressures for everyone involved in this deal. I think Roczen takes that next step, wins many races and the 2017 450SX title but my guess is as good as yours and easy to put out there. Actually winning the championship is a lot of work. I know this from first hand experience, working for Factory Yamaha when Chad Reed brought home the 2004 SX title.

I don’t feel any pressure from anybody above me, but I put pressure on myself” said Honda team manager Dan Betley “I’ve kind of jokingly said many times it will be my ass out the door if this doesn’t work out. So I put the most amount of pressure on myself. Nothing short of winning championships is going to be acceptable to me, and I don’t think it’s going to be acceptable to Kenny. So if we’ve got issues, we need to figure it out and figure it out quick.

This Roczen signing is a big deal for HRC and it concludes a worldwide effort to get HRC back on top. The Vice guys can vouch for the stepping up of Honda in the MXGP series with Martin Honda guys a few years ago and now with Tim Gasjer on the Gariboldi Honda squad.

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All eyes will be on '94' when the lights go on at Angel Stadium.

Honda Racing Corporation

Roczen, for his part, knows the expectations on him are the number one plate and nothing else. “I’m thinking championships. The paycheck that I get is definitely not to get anything less than a championship. Getting a championship is a difficult thing, as everybody knows, but I feel like our relationship, altogether, the whole team with me and all the Honda people, it’s a lot bigger relationship than you think.

This signing is maybe the biggest free-agent contract in our sports history and the move fascinates me for many reasons. Defending champion Ryan Dungey’s move to KTM was big, but it wasn’t under the microscope like this one. Most of us weren’t sure whether KTM had the ability to make a bike on the level of the Japanese. Funny now to look back at that, but that’s the truth!

We know Roczen’s going to be good but how good is the question? This is the storyline that intrigues me and we’ll find out this Saturday night!

Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Suzuki Racing

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AMA Supercross Foxborough – The Aftermath with Cooper Webb

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Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto are joined by two-time Supercross champion and co-points leader Cooper Webb to discuss his latest victory, changing teams, the depth of the field, battling Jett Lawrence, and his mindset going into the final four races of the Supercross season. Ricky and Ryan also dive into everything that happened at Foxborough on Saturday night, including Chase Sexton’s struggles to pass, Jett Lawrence’s head, Haiden Deegan’s return to form, and Cameron McAdoo’s solid run ahead of the East/West Showdown.

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Monster Energy Supercross

AMA Supercross Foxborough the aftermath

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It’s going to be exciting in the AMA Supercross Championship. After the race in Foxborough, Cooper Webb and Jett Lawrence are tied in points. Watch the aftermath of the race below.

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CHASE SEXTON AND TOM VIALLE EARN FOXBOROUGH SUPERCROSS PODIUM RESULTS

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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Chase Sexton made his return to the 450SX podium in Round 13 of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship at Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts tonight, finishing just short of the victory after charging hard to a P2 result in the Main Event, as Tom Vialle claimed third position in 250SX East.

Equipped with the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, defending premier class champion Sexton was fifth on the time sheets following qualifying this afternoon and then raced to P3 in the second heat of the night.

Sexton was positioned fourth after lap one in the Main Event, quickly climbing into third and then pressuring for second at that point. He managed to make a pass for position on lap 18 and then went to work on challenging for the lead, eventually taking the checkered flag in the runner-up result and now sits third in the standings, 15 points outside of the lead with four rounds to run in 450SX.

Chase Sexton:
“It was definitely hard to pass on this track tonight… I got by Jason [Anderson] early and then I was behind Kenny [Roczen] for a while. It took a lot to set that pass up, trying to get an angle [to make the move]. After that, you couldn’t be super-aggressive with how the track was, it was really slippery, so you had to be patient. I saw Cooper [Webb] miss the rut toward the end, so I went to rail the turn and maybe set up a pass, but it didn’t come together. I feel like I had good speed tonight, I was decent in the heat and felt like I rode pretty good in the Main Event with how the track was, so we will keep pushing from here into these final races.”

Unfortunately for Sexton’s 450SX Class teammate Aaron Plessinger, a crash in this morning’s Free Practice session resulted in him being ruled out of action for the remainder of the round, set to undergo further evaluation on his elbow.

Foxborough saw the 250SX East series resume in its sixth round of the 2024 season, where Frenchman Tom Vialle raced his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to third place on the podium. Vialle was fifth fastest in qualifying and then improved to P3 in Heat 2 of the night, before racing to third position in the Main Event. He retains second in the standings, only four points outside of the lead with three races remaining.

Tom Vialle: “I always try to do my best no matter what and I think that finishing third was the best I could do tonight, so we are happy to be on the podium again. Next weekend will be really important and the coming races, too. There are only three rounds to go – it is going to be a good fight to the end, for sure.”

The Supercross Futures category was also back on track in Foxborough, where KTM-supported amateur racer Luke Fauser raced to third position on the podium tonight.

Next Race: April 20 – Nashville, Tennessee

Results 450SX Class – Foxborough
1. Cooper Webb (USA), Yamaha
2. Chase Sexton (USA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
3. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki
10. Malcolm Stewart (USA), Husqvarna
11. Justin Barcia (USA), GASGAS

Standings 450SX Class 2024 after 13 of 17 rounds

1. Jett Lawrence, 261 points
2. Cooper Webb, 261
3. Chase Sexton, 246
7. Aaron Plessinger, 198
9. Justin Barcia, 149
11. Malcolm Stewart, 142

Results 250SX East Class – Foxborough

1. Haiden Deegan (USA), Yamaha
2. Cameron McAdoo (USA), Kawasaki
3. Tom Vialle (FRA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
4. Pierce Brown (USA), GASGAS
15. Casey Cochran (USA), Husqvarna

Standings 250SX East Class 2024 after 6 of 9 rounds
1. Cameron McAdoo, 120 points
2. Tom Vialle, 116
3. Haiden Deegan, 107
4. Pierce Brown, 105
29. Casey Cochran, 7

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