Monster Energy Kawasaki pilot Jason Anderson raced his Kawasaki KX450F to 6-1-1 moto scores in the Arlington Supercross Triple Crown event on Saturday evening inside AT&T Stadium.
Narrowly missing out on the overall victory to Yamaha rider Eli Tomac, Anderson, in his first year with Kawasaki, now holds second in the fight for the Monster Energy Supercross Series, six points adrift of Tomac. Next stop: Daytona International Speedway and its historic Daytona Supercross this Saturday.
Q: I wanted to ask you about your perspective on that battle with Eli Tomac in Race 3 – how hard you guys are pushing when you’re in those battles, and what that intensity is like.
JASON ANDERSON: Right now, we’re riding really good. It’s hard for each of us to break away from each other. If he’s in front, it’s hard for him to break away from me and if I’m in front it’s hard for me to break away from him. So it just makes that racecraft so important.
We went over the finish in one lap. I wanted to square him up, but he read me like a book. So it was hard for me to do it. Then you come in the other corner, and he goes to the inside, because he thinks I’m going to dive in the inside. I’m just setting up outside. So, it’s just a game. But at the same time, we’re ripping while we’re doing it, so it’s pretty awesome. That’s what the fans need. I enjoy racing like that. It’s fun.
Q: You obviously have the race pace here in 2022. We have nine rounds yet to be run in the championship. Do you ever think about maybe picking and choosing your passes, where there’s not so much contact and you can either take out another rider or yourself going forward?
JA: Yeah. That’s the goal, but I just didn’t accomplish that one time last weekend. It was a mistake on my part. It’s tough because you get so antsy to get by guys, and it was a mistake. But at the same time, I’m just trying my hardest and trying to get by guys. That cost me the win tonight overall. So, it was a mistake.
Q: Have you talked to Malcolm Stewart about that?
JA: I tried to say something to him, but he was really heated. I was like, I landed off that triple and I gassed it and as soon as I gassed it, I was like, I’m going too fast. I really didn’t try and turn. I was trying to just stop. Once I made contact with him, it was over. I apologized to him, but he was kind of heated. That’s understandable. I just tried to brush it off and try and ride my race and move onto the next two.
Q: At the start of the season, would you have put money on yourself to be in this position? It seemed like you might have been an outlier. There was a lot of talk about Eli and Cooper Webb and Kenny Roczen. We all know how talented you are, but are you surprised that you are where you are right now?
JA: Yeah. Realistically, I know how good I am, but I just feel like I’ve got a good program behind me. I’ve got good people behind me. I’m in a good spot in my life, with my career. I’m enjoying riding my dirt bike. I guess if you looked at the power rankings, I wasn’t even going to get top 10 at the first round, so it’s nice doing good. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. I would say I expect this out of myself a lot and it just hasn’t happened a lot. But this year I feel like I’m in a groove and I’m enjoying it. Just going to keep pushing.
Q: We hear Eli and Cooper both talking about moving back to home base, whether that’s Florida or Colorado. You’ve done Florida for quite a few years. Now with the Monster Energy Kawasaki Team, I believe you guys are California-based this whole year. Can you explain is there really that much of a difference for you guys, at least in your opinion, of being West versus East Coast based? What advantages have you found moving back to California and being close to the team versus being on the Florida program?
JA: I’m staying close to the team, but I’m not staying close to the team all year round. I think maybe on our off-weekend I’m going to head back to New Mexico and I’m going to start riding at home there. I don’t do Florida anymore, so that’s kind of my whole program. As soon as I go back there, I’ll probably stay there for the whole summer and do that. But right now, I’m staying with the team out in California until then and just trying to make progress. I got a good little program going on. We’re working on the bike. I got Broc Tickle with me and he’s riding with me all the time, helping me test and riding with the PC boys. Their youth is kind of keeping me spunky a little bit from day to day, so it’s enjoyable.
Q: You’ve been riding with this assertive intensity that has really been fun to watch you ride. Is this the Jason Anderson that you’ve always wanted to be?
JA: Yeah. Obviously, I’ve always wanted to be a guy battling for wins and on the podium often. I feel like I’m doing that right now. Being in the championship hunt any year is our goal. Growing up as a kid, that’s always been our dream, is to be in that hunt. Right now, it’s cool because it’s very close. The points keep yo-yo-ing and stuff like that. I just want to fight. My riding, I think I’m showing that. I feel like I want it. As far as the intensity and stuff like that, I think when you have that want to win, it comes pretty easy. So, it’s good.