Unfortunately, it has taken Jason Anderson almost three full years to fulfil the potential that he had when he left the amateur ranks at the conclusion of 2010. If you are familiar with his story, you will know that the road to his first 250MX podium was a rocky one. But, Anderson seems to be on the straight and narrow now, as he will surely be a contender for wins in the very near future.
Honestly, I have wanted to feature Jason Anderson in this column since round one, as he has been great for much of the year. Although Anderson has had a couple of moto finishes in the top five, he has occupied the positions around sixth and seventh for the most part. Jason has not really shown that he has the speed to break into the top three though – hence why I was surprised to see him on the podium at Millville. If you consider where Anderson was just two years ago, it makes it more surprising that he achieved his first overall podium in the class.
I mean in 2011, the Rockstar Energy Racing squad elected to bench Jason Anderson for a few weeks, in the midst of the season – so that he could get his head straight. At that point, I (like many others) questioned whether he would ever fulfil his potential. It did seem quite unlikely, as he was struggling massively; I would say that he hit rock bottom. Remember, this is not uncommon – how many riders have we seen struggle straight out of the amateurs and never rebound? Fortunately, Jason Anderson seems to be one of the success stories.
Already Jason Anderson has enjoyed a lot of success this year – he made his presence known during the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. I believe that Jason seems to specialise in supercross, as he has had a much larger impact indoors than out. Jason actually won the Salt Lake City round of the 250SX West series earlier this year; I am sure that this has boosted his self-confidence already, and it will do even more going into 2014. In supercross he had three podiums to his name, so he has clearly established himself as a frontrunner in that series, he is now beginning to do the same in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross.
Prior to Millville the best finish that Jason Anderson had garnered was a fourth in a moto; he has captured this finish twice (Budds Creek moto one, and Southwick moto two). Honestly, a third is not a huge step forward from this; so it is not too surprising that he found his way up onto the podium eventually. However you could argue that it was a bit of a gift, as Anderson did benefit from the vicious fall that Ken Roczen had. If Kenny had not fallen, Jason probably would have ended up in fourth. But crashes are a part of our sport; they happen all the time.
It seems certain that Jason Anderson is going to finish the 250MX series in sixth; he is sat in a comfortable position at the moment. Although Zach Osborne (fifth place) has a twenty-three-point cushion over the Rockstar Energy Racing rider, Anderson could potentially capture that spot. Zach has actually been struggling recently, perhaps that is a more realistic goal now? At this point Jason has a twenty-nine-point gap over Justin Bogle (seventh place); I do think that he will manage to stay inside of the top six, as he has scored better than Bogle consistently.
Although the 2013 season has not finished yet, I cannot help but look forward to next year. I am of the opinion that 2014 could potentially be great for Jason Anderson. With Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac – and possibly Blake Baggett – vacating the 250MX class, it is likely that he will have a common presence on the podium next year, and possibly capture a handful of wins. I think that it is cool that the Rockstar Energy Racing squad are now reaping the rewards for sticking by Jason Anderson. Although Mitch Payton has offered him a contract, Anderson has elected to stay faithful to the team that helped him get where he is today, which is commendable. It will not be long until Jason Anderson is no longer ‘under the radar’ – mark my words.
Words by Lewis Phillips