That's What He Said

450 Class

Jason Anderson.

Jason Anderson (1st)

"Houston was probably the most perfect day I've ever had in my career," said Anderson. "I won every time I was on the track - both practices, heat race and main. It was a battle, but it was awesome. I'm in the zone but, at the same time, I don't want to get ahead of myself. I feel good and I'm in a good spot."

Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia.

Ken Roczen (2nd)

"This was a good weekend for us. I'm really stoked to be able to deliver a podium to the team in only our second race back. I would've loved to win it obviously, but Jason [Anderson] was going good all day so I wasn't going to just send it and do something stupid. I had two good starts in the heat and main event and just tried to ride smart in both. I had some good battles with Justin [Barcia] and Jason; it was clean and fun. We're moving in the right direction. It's only the second round and everything is going how we planned. I don't think there's much more we could ask for."

Erik Kehoe
Team Honda HRC Team Manager

"That was as good as a win tonight. It was great to see Ken back on the podium. He's right on his plan of just building every week and making more progress. He's getting more comfortable on the bike and in race situations, so he'll continue to chip away at it each week. I think we're seeing a more mature and experienced Ken. He knows he's in this for the long haul and is working on staying smart and gaining momentum. Cole rode well tonight too. He still has some things to work on, but it's early in the season and he's already improving. His starts were better today, he was working on different lines all day, and his aggression was there in the heat race. He battled hard to get around Barcia in the main and really should've beat him,but he made some mistakes that I think kind of rattled him and caused him to tighten up. He just needs to go back and learn from these mistakes and improve for next week."

Oscar Wirdeman, Ken Roczen, and Courtney Savage.

Oscar Wirdeman
Mechanic for Ken Roczen

"Tonight was awesome. Ken got a good start and won his heat race, got another good start in the main, and led over half the race. Anderson was just a little faster and got by him but he rode super smart to the end. I think Ken has matured a lot in a year. He seems to be playing the cards he's dealt rather than pushing too hard and getting sketchy—just thinking about it a little more. I think he's looking at the big picture more than ever. Our overall setting was quite different than last weekend. We tested a lot during the week with Showa and made the bike a lot stiffer, which was a great thing for this track. Throughout the day we just fine-tuned it a little more as the track developed."

Cole Seely.

Cole Seely (4th)

"I'm frustrated with tonight because Justin [Barcia] shouldn't have gotten back by me, but overall fourth is still good. Other riders had much worse nights than I did so I can't really complain. I had a hard time getting back into my flow and hitting my lines after he got back by me. We're still making progress and I'm happy about that; I just want to get on the podium where I belong. and tonight I was so close."

Rich Simmons
Mechanic for Cole Seely

"Tonight was better than Anaheim. Cole was better in practice, better in the heat race for sure, and got better starts than last week. He had good intensity for the first 10 or more minutes, but he just really needs to improve that last half of the race. I think the battle with Barcia spiked his heart rate a little. He got away for a bit but with the track breaking down, not being able to take his own lines with lappers, and Barcia hunting him, just got to him. We didn't really make too many adjustments throughout the day. We made the shock stiffer during the week but overall he was really happy with the bike."

Weston Peick.

Weston Peick (5th)

"This weekend went well for me. The goal was to back up my top-five finish from Anaheim 1, and I succeeded. The track was technical and constantly breaking down, with big whoops and lots of ruts. Houston proved that I can handle the ever-changing conditions. I'm excited for Anaheim 2. My next target is to get on the podium. With good starts and consistent lap times I should be able to achieve that. I'm really gelling with the RM-Z450, and I like the progress that we're making."

Jeremy Albrecht (Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory RacingTeam Manager)

"Overall, there were quite a few positives from this weekend. Weston had a solid ride. He improved from last week. Malcolm was doing really well for having been on the Suzuki RM-Z450 a few times. With more time on the bike he should have a better result at Anaheim. Malcolm was great to work with. He was super positive and he loves the bike. It was great that Malcolm also went to the post-race press conference. He wants to be involved, which is awesome."

"The Houston track was super gnarly and very technical,with really challenging whoops. Hill crashed in the whoops in the first timed qualifying session, and I believe that threw him off his rhythm. Justin got hit in the first turn in the main event and lost his rear brake. It was tough for him to manage the track without a rear brake, given how many bowl turns there were. As for Nicoletti, he rode well considering how banged up he was. He was in pain every time he rode, but he fought through it. I expect everyone on the team to come out swinging at the next round."

Broc Tickle.

Broc Tickle (8th)

"I was really looking forward to Houston this weekend,I had a really good week of riding and I felt really comfortable coming into this round. Overall, it was a decent night, I'm not pumped with where I finished but I am better than what I was last year. With that being said, that's showing progress for myself but I'm not okay with 8th, I feel like I should be fighting for podiums and inside the top five each and every weekend so I'll keep working this week, ride with the boys and put in another showing at Anaheim."

Josh Grant (33).

Josh Grant (9th)

"There are a lot of positives we can build on,"said Grant. "Taking the holeshot in my Heat race showed our hard work on my starts is paying off. We're in the hunt, I'm feeling confident and we'll continue to put in the work so we can be on the podium."

Jeremy Martin.

Jeremy Martin (10th)

"Felt good all day on a very tough technical track that became very rutty," said Martin. "Qualified sixth fastest in practice. Got out of the gate good in my heat race but made a couple rookie moves in the next two sections to slide back to tenth before settling in sixth spot when the checkered flag flew. Got a great jump from the outside on the main but [Cooper] Webb bashed the side of me and we both went flying off the track in the first turn. Came from last to tenth place for the main."

Malcolm Stewart.

Malcolm Stewart (11th Place)

"I tell you, going eight months without a gate drop feels like forever! It's great to be back doing what I love to do. I have to give a huge shout out to the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team for giving me the opportunity to race. I appreciate the fans for sticking by me through thick and thin. The Houston fans made me feel like I was home again, so thanks! I'm looking forward to getting more time on the bike and making a big impact at Anaheim 2."

Marvin Musquin.

Marvin Musquin (DNQ)

"After qualifying 3rd today, I went down hard in the whoops in my heat race. I landed on my left shoulder and felt really beat up. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to line up for the rest of night. I'm really disappointed about that given the team and I were in a good place after our win last weekend. But I will get checked up as soon as I get home and will know more in the next few days. Supercross is a longer season so I'm hopeful I will be able to line up in Anaheim 2."

Eli Tomac (DNS)

"We did everything we could this week to work through the injury but I didn't feel right on the bike and I wasn't able to ride at race speed," said Tomac. "We have to think about the rest of the season so we're going to take it day-by-day and focus on getting healthy for Anaheim 2."

250 Class

Joey Savatgy

“I felt really strong tonight,” said Savatgy. “Obviously I wanted the win, but I learned last year that it’s a long season so we’re happy to be on the podium. We’re feeling really good and excited to head back to Anaheim next weekend.”

Christian Craig and Chase Sexton.

Chase Sexton (3rd)

"To be honest, no," said Sexton when asked if he expected to podium so quickly. "Last weekend I got an eighth, and I wasn't really happy with that. I was shooting tonight for a top five. I was riding sixth the whole moto and made two passes and I was in fourth. Then Adam [Cianciarulo] ended up crashing. That was like two laps to go, and I was set up for a podium. I was just trying to get through those two laps. I'm really happy to come away with a podium."

Shane McElrath (4th)

"The track was very challenging as it changed every lap we rode," said McElrath. "Lots of riders were having trouble so I wanted to make sure we kept it off the ground and stayed in the hunt. This is only the second race so we can't throw it away with a track as tough as we saw tonight. I am really looking towards the long term goal as well as winning races, so we'll be back strong next week."

Christian Craig (5th and dealing with an ankle injury)

"It felt fine and then in the main my foot slipped out third lap and it hit the ground. That one kind of spooked me," said Craig. "That kind of made me tense up a little bit, but I'm not going to blame my ride on my ankle. I finished fifth and I had a podium position right in front of me. I was stuck with those guys all race and I'm pretty frustrated of how I finished. At least the ankle injury is out of the way. It's just going to get better, so I don't need to worry about it anymore."

Adam Cianciarulo and Joey Savatgy.

Adam Cianciarulo (7th)

“I expect to be on the podium,” said Cianciarulo. “I came in prepared this season. I have the best team in the business and they set me up to win every single week. We felt great all day, but I made a couple of mistakes in the Main Event that cost me. We’re going to learn from this and come back strong next week.”

Kyle Chisholm (9th)

"I'm glad I was able to better my results, from a 10th to a 9th this week," said Chisholm after the main. "I'm still adapting to the Yamaha and tonight with the deep ruts I was somewhat cautious and played it smart until I learned more how this bike reacts in those situations.  I'll keep chipping away and know a top five is around the corner."

Justin Hill (10th Place)

"I struggled all day and felt off. I've never had an entire day where I made zero progress. From the very first time my wheels touched the track, all of the way until the checkered flag flew in the main event, I didn't get any better. My comfort level was off. We had a few minor tweaks that needed to be made to the rear suspension on my bike, but I didn't ride the RM-Z250 for what it was worth. I was in a funk."

"It's difficult, because I had the speed at Anaheim 1, but bad starts kept me from running towards the front. At Houston, the speed was not there. It was a total 180-degree turn from the opening round. I'm definitely disappointed in myself. Everyone on the team wants to help, and I'm grateful for their support. I will be working with a few members of the team this week to try some different settings. I've never wanted to win so badly."

Phil Nicoletti and Justin Hill.

Phil Nicoletti (12th)

"The track was very demanding. I struggled to find a flow after not riding all week. I had to take time off after my Anaheim 1 crash in order to let my body heal, so I knew it would be challenging to find a good feeling in Houston. I went to the doctor after the Anaheim opener. It was discovered that I had a few cracked and misplaced ribs. I'm looking forward to having a bit more time to let my body heal before coming back strong at Anaheim 2."

Mitchell Harrison crushed the start of his heat race.

Mitchell Harrison (13th)

"I felt really good in practice," said Harrison."The bike was great. I got the holeshot in the heat then crashed, but I was able to come back to ninth and qualify for the main. I got a decent start in the main, but I rode tight. I have some things to work on, and I hope to do better next week at Anaheim."

Hayden Mellross (15th)

"I felt good all night and was having a blast out there," mentioned Mellross. "I was up there during my heat race battling and felt that I really had something for those guys during the main.It's a bummer to go down early like that but I'm glad I was able to get back up and get after it. A 15th doesn't always look good on paper, but I feel good after the effort we put in this weekend."

3 comments
  • cvm

    1/16/2018 1:59 AM

    Good stuff GuyB, Please keep it up & thx for all your hard work.

  • Turbojez

    1/16/2018 1:00 AM

    Great feature GuyB! Looking forward to reading rider's impressions every week. That would be my favourite along with pit bits. Thank you!!!

  • bret191

    1/16/2018 12:04 AM

    250's look GREAT and they are very deep in talent and have a very good race every week,too bad we cant say that about the 450's! Web gets Yamaha money but Reed doesn't? SHAMEFUL they are backing a want-a-be that rides dirty even tho he's not even fighting for a title! Now if Bam Bam can keep from trying to run over people and focus on fast lap times he will be OK but he" looses time" every time he gets close to other riders cause he changes his line to crash them! Malcom Stewart get's snubbed by Honda after he won a championship? No wonder Honda doesn't have anymore titles lately! Malcom is a positive FORCE for MOTOX "people love him" he can be the MOST popular rider and a GREAT spokesman if a factory would just use there brain,look at REED or Mcgrath! You don't have too win every week to sell bikes! If Yamaha or? put as much money, time and hope in Malcolm as they do some of these other guys he'd be on the podium a LOT if not winning!

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