Good, Bad and Ugly | 2024 Seattle 11

Discussion after 2024 Monster Energy Supercross' 11th round...

2024 Monster Energy Supercross' jump to Seattle was enough to provide a shot in the arm for the series. Jett Lawrence was toppled for the first time in a month and there was a new winner in 250SX West. Well, kind of. This regular Vital MX feature places a spotlight on a handful of stories to emerge from Seattle's Lumen Field. The written word remains relevant.


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Has Levi Kitchen just established himself as the best 250SX rider in the United States? I would be inclined to answer that with a "yes" – Seattle was a dominant ride that should strike fear into his competitors. It's long been said that Kitchen is capable of such brilliance, yet it took him this long to win a traditional main event and that hovered over him for a lot of the last two terms. There is little doubt that his second career win, which came at Anaheim 2's Triple Crown, would have been prompted more frustration than elation.

Where does his weakness lie now that he has removed this gorilla from his back? Well, he is focused on his intensity across the first couple of laps. I do not quite see that as a problem, like him, but he said that with little trepidation and so it's on his mind. St. Louis' Triple Crown should provide a chance for him to stamp his authority – it is his preferred format and his starts are near perfect. It is all coming up Kitchen as 2024 Monster Energy Supercross rattles towards its conclusion.


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It has been some time since Malcolm Stewart was discussed in this column and, truthfully, there has been no improvement from round one to 11. When will questions be raised? There has not been much concern at Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. There was so much made of Justin Barcia's difficulties, but the rumor mill does not burn as bright for Stewart. Why? It almost feels like results from seventh to ninth have become acceptable or, dare I say, cause for celebration. It is possible that '27' could finish the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross series without a top-five finish and that should be considered diabolical.

A handful of negatives that could have been dropped here are Colt Nichols' lack of oomph, Ty Masterpool's horrid gear design and Jason Anderson's fight for relevance. None of those are quite as confusing as the Stewart saga. The fact that Husqvarna Factory Racing has struggled for notoriety in the 450SX class over the last two years only places more of a spotlight on the lack of results. The outlier is, of course Arlington's heat race, but that was such an odd piece of data that it's more of a source of confusion than relief.


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Jordon Smith's downfall in Seattle's 250SX main event was difficult to watch. Concussion or not – he has been quite adamant that he showed no symptoms and medical professionals seemed to back that up – it was an uncomfortable watch and most were keen for the officials to remove him from competition. I must presume, with no head injury, he was overwhelmed with emotion that his title hopes had evaporated and could not think clearly. It was still quite unacceptable and he could have knocked RJ Hampshire out when he returned to the track after his second incident.

Not to focus too much on it and pile on, but Eli Tomac was placed beneath 'bad' last week and should be in 'ugly' now. The speed is prevalent in the timed sessions as is his intention to win, but his starts are not acceptable in the mains. This is rather peculiar – he was hailed for becoming the best starter just last year and not much has changed from then to now. Is it linked to confidence or wanting it too much? Both are believable. This is the first time since rounds 12 to 14 of 2016's Monster Energy Supercross season that he has been outside of the top five at three successive rounds.


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