Hello Mr Anderson
Rockstar Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson’s inevitable march to the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross championship seems, looking back on it, to make perfect sense but anyone who says they saw it unfold like this is fooling you.
I think even Jason and team manager Bobby Hewitt would agree on that.
Coming out of amateurs Anderson, on a Suzuki then, was awarded the Horizon Award for the amateur racer that shows the most promise to make it as a professional. Right out of the ranch at Loretta Lynn’s, he was put onto a Rockstar Suzuki ride and set loose into the pro series.
He had some decent 250SX results that first season and ended up 15th in the series after some crashes. Outdoors came and thing weren’t really working out for him, in fact it got so bad that at one point Hewitt (who outright owned the team back then, now he’s allegedly the manager while Husqvarna owns it) had to send Jason home for a few weeks to figure everything out. He wasn’t in shape at all to do the two thirty-minute motos week after week that the Pro life demands.
He came for Millville, put it into the top ten there and carried on the rest of the nationals looking better but still not scoring great results. At this point, Jason Anderson’s career was very much in flux.
“The beginning of my career didn’t go well but I always believed in my skill and talent on a dirt bike and I knew if I focused on learning and progressing, it would be a good career,” Anderson told Racer X after his second place at Minneapolis this past weekend. “I didn’t know if I would be a 450SX champion or a long term 250 guy but it’s crazy you get thrown into this deal at a very young age and you have to grow up quick. My team has been good for me because as they progressed, I’ve progressed. I can be honest with them and if I do stupid stuff off the track, I’m honest with them and they’re honest with me.”
We know now that he went on to steadily improve; scoring his first 250SX podium in 2011, his first win in 2012 and after the team switched to a more competitive KTM machine, won the title in his fourth year.
There’s no doubt that Anderson’s indoor results have been better than his outdoor efforts throughout his career but he’s no slouch when it comes to motocross as everyone saw for one moto at the 2016 Motocross des Nations in Italy.
So if Jason makes this happens and wins the most prestigious off-road motorcycling title in the world, he’ll join a rare group of riders who won their first 450SX title before winning anything outdoors. Chad Reed was another who did that and before him, some fella named Jeremy McGrath burst onto the scene. Both Reed and McGrath would go on to win premier 450MX titles after having success indoors so Jason looks good to do that at some point.
But first he’s got to win this one with just three races left and a over a race lead in the points it’s looking good. Monster Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac won his seventh event of the season to Anderson’s four and even though Anderson is only fourth when it comes to leading most laps this year, when the cheque and the title comes to him in Vegas, no one is going to remember the other stuff. As Anderson explained, sometimes you got to think of the big picture.
“It’s cool to have a points lead but at the same time it kind of sucks cause there’s some races that you have to keep a little more mellow so you don’t take risks,” Anderson again told Racer X. “I’ve had some curveballs thrown at me (Daytona and Indy) and I feel like I managed those races very well. Especially for me, in the past I’ve ridden over my head a little bit. And I feel like I’ve been staying in the game and trying my best.”
Still, Anderson’s had the lead all year and as he’s watched one potential champion after another get hurt, or not ride well the #21 Husqvarna rider’s been making it work out there week after week. Some people will always have the “What about…?” syndrome when it comes to Jason winning this title but it says here that this will not be a one and done type of thing. He’s here and he’s for real…indoors anyways!
“We train and stuff, when we’re done we’re chilling on the couch and I’ve been trying to get some hobbies so that I don’t think about stuff. This is stuff we have thought about since we were little kids and it’s tough to not think [about the title]. You go to sleep at night and it’s all you think about. It’s something that would be awesome in my life.”
Yes it will be Jason. Bravo to you and the team.
Photos by Husqvarna/Simon Cudby