Good, Bad and Ugly | 2024 Glendale 8

Topics following 2024 Monster Energy Supercross' sixth fixture...

Another edition of this feature that has been zeroed in on a particular clique. The likeliness of Glendale being the worst event of the year for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing is rather high: There is almost no chance that the team will complete another event without an athlete inside of the top six. Having their 450SX stars in ninth and tenth would lead some to presume that the sixth stop of 2024's Monster Energy Supercross was an absolute bust.

The bigger picture is so positive, despite that, and the on-track action in Arizona points to a bright future. There is no reason to question whether or not the 'orange' circle has two title contenders – that has been made clear to the naked eye. Even Julien Beaumer earned some momentum in the 250SX division, so those building blocks for the future are well-established. Who would bet against Red Bull KTM Factory Racing taking their sixth Monster Energy Supercross crown?

GOOD

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Octopi Media

There were countless positives for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing to extract from Glendale's round of 2024 Monster Energy Supercross. The fact that Chase Sexton was able to race was rather productive – it sounds like his status was questionable as late as Thursday and so there is no doubt that all involved would have accepted a ninth place before practice. A deficit of six points is almost irrelevant with 11 rounds remaining. There are more twists and turns to come – that much is certain.

"I did what I could tonight to salvage points toward the championship after hurting my hand this week. The week was rough and I was not even sure that I would be able to race this weekend, but we got through the day and I'm just grateful that we have a scheduled weekend off coming up next week. That should really help the healing process a lot. The way the results went tonight, I didn't lose too many points. I'm still right in the title fight." – Chase Sexton

Glance at that results column and one would be forgiven for presuming that Aaron Plessinger is spiraling. A closer examination would reveal that he is on an upward trend – Detroit's heat race was arguably his best ride aboard a 450F and the initial laps in Glendale indicated that he would be a threat for that win. Note that had he not crashed then it is possible that he would be in possession of the red plate now. Plessinger has confronted the preconceived notion that he is 'just a guy' and that is a brilliant narrative.

BAD

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Octopi Media

The Plessinger crash was similar to Detroit of yesteryear because it felt like a win was left on the table. It was also unexpected – the shock factor was just as relevant. There was not a rider who crashed there all day and yet there he was, out of nowhere, but the good should outweigh the bad here. Plessinger can take more from the last two weeks than his triumph in San Diego, because he now knows that he can perform when the odds are not in his favor.

Think about it: Plessinger was the fastest on track at points in Detroit and matching the pace of those at the front in Arizona. Does that sound like the athlete who we have come to know? This would never have happened in previous years, let alone in unfavorable moments. Now it has become the norm no matter the environment. There are six case studies that point to the fact that this is the new normal. It is ludicrous for one to need more proof at this point.

UGLY

What could be deemed relevant for this headline? KTM is in a rather positive spot. Remember those well-documented difficulties that Sexton faced in the off-season? There is little doubt that all involved would've signed up for these results in the first 'swing' of 2024. Consider that '1' believes that the KTM 450 SX-F is more potent on the softer circuits and there are countless reasons to be positive. In addition, Plessinger performing at this level would have been a dream. The staff beneath the tent must be pinching themselves that this is now the reality.

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