Features 19 Nov 2019

Debrief: Jason Anderson

Factory Husqvarna rider recalls victory at the S-X Open Auckland.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson kicked off his 2019 Monster Energy S-X Open International FIM Oceania Supercross Championship campaign with victory at the S-X Open Auckland last weekend, to former AMA Supercross champion earning two race wins from three outings to secure the top spot overall.

Image: Foremost Media.

You come in here with big credentials, but it was not easy. You had to battle hard in these three mains…

Yeah, it was wild. All the battling and everything like that, it was intense. And honestly, the joker lane – the race I took the joker lane, he (Luke Clout) beat me [laughs] – in the races I didn’t take it, I won. It was crazy, it was good battling, and even that third one, I was riding up there trying to get to the front, and next thing you know I was in the lead and then I’m in fourth. It was fun, we were all battling – that hardest thing for me was the start. I’ve been setting up my bike a lot for the grate, and last year we had that at Sydney, so it kind of threw me off a little bit. Honestly, at the end of the day, it was good for me to get out there – good starts or bad starts, I had a good time battling. These guys are riding good, and I think I had a few little tricks with some of the jumps, whoop section and stuff like that, that I felt pretty good in. It was a good time and everyone was riding good.

The track seemed tricky – after the big triple there was a rhythm that no one got every single lap. Talk about what made some of those sections so difficult…

After the triple, you’re trying to hop over that one so you can go three-three, and honestly, for how hard-packed the track was, there were some spongey areas. It kind of threw us off a little bit, and it was tough. The three eight-lappers and the short break gives you such a hard time to get ready for the next one. I did the first one and had such bad arm-pump after the first one – I’m like ‘dude, you got to figure out how to get through this’. It was my right arm, and I just didn’t touch my front brake for the second two mains, because if I touched it, I would keep getting worse arm-pump. In my head, I was like I’m trying to flow nicely – it was slick, so it was crazy.

Image: Foremost Media.

All of this, coming off bad starts and having to catch these guys, and not using the joker lane – interval training, which is what the three mains practically are – is this stuff you can use to help for your championship when it comes up?

Well tonight, I think my starts were so horrible that my race craft was pretty good. I had to work my way up and try and battle. It was chaotic, but at the same time, staying calm in those situations is what’s key, and making passes and making decisions that aren’t too wild – and trying to stay consistent. I think that’s something you learn over the years as you get older and keep racing and racing. It’s an experience thing, but at the same time, you still want to keep those skills sharp. I think racing over here, there’s nothing wrong with it. This is my seventh year racing the 450 class, and I’m only 26, and I want to keep racing for a lot more years. So coming over here and doing these races, it gives me a little bit of a breath of fresh air with scenery and everything like that. I think it’s good for me just to stay positive and motivated for the season. It’s something for me to work towards in the off-season, and at the same time, AME and this whole organisation, they do such a good job. It’s a good time too when we come over here, it’s what it’s all about.

You are the points leader of the Oceania championship – you didn’t get it last year because you didn’t race here in New Zealand. Can you get it done this time?

I hope so – I don’t know, these guys are racing for a championship, so they’re probably going to step up their game in Melbourne. We’ll see how it goes…

What are your thoughts on the quality of the Australian guys like Clouty and that now racing up against them – it’s cool to have both Aussie guys up here…

Yeah, it’s impressive. The last few years I’ve come over, I’ve battled Deano [Wilson] and I’ve battled [Justin] Brayton. This year it was not like Brayton was any worse or anything like that, but you can definitely see that Brayton being over here has raised the level of these guys, and they’re riding good. Obviously, you come to America and it’s a different step and a different culture and everything, and you’re away from home, but obviously [Brett Metcalfe] Metty has been there and he knows what it’s about, but for Luke [Clout] going over, it would be a tough move, but at the same time, you see the progression he’s had over the past couple of years and his riding is a lot more mature. It’s cool. I think that’s a big thing of Brayton coming over here – he’s just helped the level be higher and it’s cool. He’s won three championships, and these guys aren’t making it easy for his next one. I’m excited to see how it goes down. I’m going to try and be out front and see the race go down in Melbourne.