News 10 Jul 2024

What Webster took from his Pro Motocross experience

'It's good to know where that next level is and get a feel for it'.

Australian MX1 leader Kyle Webster was able to take positives from his two-race AMA Pro Motocross Championship cameo appearances, debuting at Southwick and then turning heads when he managed to lead 450MX moto two at RedBud. It’s an experience that will assist him across the final three rounds of ProMX at home, while also certain to benefit him when he partners with the Lawrences in Team Australia at the 2024 Motocross of Nations (MXoN).

Webster earned the opportunity with MobileX backing at Fire Power Honda, which is the US team founded by his domestic Boost Mobile Honda Racing team owner, Yarrive Konsky. It was a chance that the 28-year-old was hoping for last year, but a more timely one that saw him execute a pair of top 10 results overall – 10th at Southwick and eighth at RedBud.

Image: Octopi Media.

Despite winning four of the five national rounds contested to date this season in Australia – including eight moto victories in 11 attempts – he only has a seven-point advantage of Jed Beaton (CDR Yamaha Monster Energy) in the title race, but will enter round six at Toowoomba next Sunday with a surge of newfound momentum on his side. While the end result on paper following RedBud appeared worse, he was generally more competitive across the weekend.

“I definitely think I learned a lot over there, just seeing how those guys do it and just see that intensity,” Webster told MotoOnline on return home. “It’s good to know where that next level is and actually get a feel for it. I think it’s going to help down the track, maybe not so much here, but I think down the track if I do go back overseas I’ll at least have an idea of where I need to be.”

“Moto one I got off to actually a pretty good start, I think I was about fifth or sixth, but I went down on the first lap before Larocco’s Leap. I sort of got crossed up in the corner and just went down… I ended up back in about 25th I think, which wasn’t ideal.

Image: Octopi Media.

“I managed to get myself back to around 12th by the midway point of the moto, and eventually into 10th. Once I got there the guys in front were really far ahead and I wasn’t going to catch them, so I just settled in for 10th. I was pretty happy with that ride considering how far back I was.

“Then I got off to a really good start in the second moto and managed to take the lead from Jason Anderson in the second turn. I’d say I probably tightened up a little bit when I realised where I was. I made a few mistakes and a few of the guys got by me, I think I was fourth until about the halfway point. I made a few more mistakes then and dropped back to ninth, but I got my stuff back together again at about the 20-minute mark and caught back up to [Garrett] Marchbanks.

“With about four laps to go, I had an issue with my muffler, it broke and was hanging down by my feet, so I kind of cruised it home. Overall it was a really good day and another solid experience to take away from the trip. I know it was risky to go and race there while I’m leading the title here, but it was one of those things where I knew I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t take the opportunity, especially this one to go and race with the support I had. At the end of the day, racing is racing and riding dirt bikes is dangerous no matter where you do it.”

Image: Octopi Media.

Webster is all but confirmed to be steering the MX2 entry for Team Australia at Matterley Basin in October, with a factory CRF250R understood to be being sourced from Team Honda HRC, which would be in a bid to elevate the Lawrence brothers’ chances of winning the prestigious international race. It’s also expected that Webster will travel to Florida following the ProMX season to train with Jett and Hunter at their facility. Beyond that, however, it appears unlikely that he will take his talents overseas full-time at this point of his career.

“I’d love to go over there and race full-time, but it’s hard,” he explained. “I’m not 18 anymore, I can’t just go over there and ride for free or drop everything here and go. It’s hard, if something came up I’d go and do it, whether it’s in AMA or MXGP, but it would have to be a solid program and a good bike. Like I said, I’m not 18 anymore so I can’t just drop everything and go, I’d need it to be a solid program. I do enjoy what I’m doing here at home, so if I got the chance to just go back and do a few races again, I’d also be stoked with that.”