Interview: Jason Anderson on that impressive win at Oakland

Jason Anderson took his first supercross win since 2018 and the former champ suddenly looks like he might be a title contender again!

Anderson controlled the race at Oakland despite some pressure from Aaron Plessinger and looked back to his best despite it only being his second race on the Kawasaki – an impressive transition!

This is what Anderson said to the media in the press conference.

Forty-seven races since the last win. That’s quite some time. I have to imagine that was a big one crossing the finish line.
Yeah. Man, it’s been a while. I even had some close ones. I almost won that race in Salt Lake City. The last time I won, I felt like I was on top of the world, being able to win that championship and stuff, and being able to come back… I’m 28 years old. I’m getting older but being able to know that I still got it and able to still win, it feels amazing. Forty-seven races was a long amount of races to go without a win, especially with all that work being put in, but we did it. Now I just want more.

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Like you just said, it’s been so long since all of this. At what point in this off-season did you feel like, I can get a win in my first try, in my first year with this new team?
To be honest, I always feel like I really have the talent and the speed to win, I just haven’t been putting it together. This year realistically, last year I only had two third places and only a handful of top fives. Honestly, if you look at it, it seemed like I was kind of on a decline. For me, I’ve always believed in my talent and things like that, so no matter what I just kept believing and just trying every day. Trying, and trying, and trying, and it happened. Don’t give up.

How long did that main event feel? Aaron [Plessinger] was putting pressure on at times. You had to get around your teammate. Since you hadn’t won in a while, did you feel that pressure? Did it feel like it was taking forever to finally get there?
To be honest, I didn’t even know AP was behind me for the longest time. I was racing and I was kind of gauging off Justin [Barcia] for my pace and everything like that. Then I looked up to see how much more time was left in the moto, and I saw AP and I looked back. I was like, “Damn, he’s really close to me. I got to get going!” So, kind of maybe a little bit of a brain fart that could have been, but we held it together.

Quite a big accident this afternoon. Just take us through that. Are you feeling all right? The replay looks pretty scary.
Yeah. I freaking hit the super kicker, that Tuff Block and looped out. I rolled out of it pretty agile, I guess you could see. Just a couple scratches. We’re good.

Your speed was really good last week and obviously you won this week. Did you expect to adapt to the Kawasaki aluminum frame this quickly to get a race win? Obviously now, I’m sure you feel like you can contend for this title.
Yeah. To be honest, with the Kawi, I really have days to where I’m still trying to figure it out. I rode obviously the steel frame for so many years that I kind of knew what it did good and what it did bad. Riding this bike, I’m still learning it day in and day out. To be honest, I feel really comfortable on it. I felt good in the off-season. Obviously, I had my bad days where you didn’t feel that good. My good days were really, really good. Just working with the team and stuff like that, we really progressed every day. Just the dynamic and the way they go about improving from day to day with the team is what I like. They brought me in, and we work together really well. It’s been awesome. I feel like it’s not a surprise to me, but I’m glad that it’s actually coming as good as it is and happening.

Let’s talk intensity for a minute here. Just in your body language on the motorcycle as well as even between, it just seems like there’s a lot more intensity in your racing as well as actions during training and stuff like that. What has opened that up for you?
Honestly, I feel really comfortable on the bike. For me, I always feel like that beginning of the race has been really tough for me, getting starts and being out there and putting out that intensity to get out front. So, I think that’s something that obviously I’ve been trying to address just personally to get better, but I think it’s working. Just going to try and keep up the intensity, but also just make smart moves. It’s tough to have the balance of both, but that’s part of the game.

This looked like it was a track that was difficult to be aggressive on. What were some of the most difficult portions of the track to be aggressive with?
I got most of my aggression out in the first couple practices. So, I kind of had to calm down just to not make a trip to the Alpinestars medical unit. I figured it out and didn’t really change much, just kind of calmed down. That’s about it.

On the podium, you brought up your grandmother and your grandfather. Obviously, they’re a very personal issue. Your personality is not something we get a lot of insight into. You do kind of keep to yourself when you can. Talk to us a little bit more about the emotions of being back on the top step of the podium and what racing means to you, still.
For me, racing is my number one thing. I’ve done it since I was so little. It’s been obviously a family thing. My grandparents, if it wasn’t for them, they were the ones that took me everywhere. For me, it’s really something that I could possibly feel like I’d be lost if I didn’t have it. Even through tough times or whatever, I love it. That is what it is. Fail or succeed, I just want to keep trying and I want to keep racing. As much as I don’t let people into my life and stuff like that, I freaking love being in the paddock. As much as I dodge all you media guys and don’t want to do interviews with you, I still love racing dirt bikes and that’s how it is.

We’ve seen you’re doing a lot more testing. How different was the bike setup tonight compared to Anaheim? Was there a lot of changes made during the week? Things just looked a lot different for you today.
One clicker on the preload on my shock and that was it. New set of handlebars for the main event.

Can you just describe to us a little bit how challenging it was to figure out the long whoops section in the main event? The rut in the middle got gnarly, and I saw at one point you switched up and went down the right side and blitzed, I think two laps in a row, and then went back to the rut. How was that balance, trying to figure out which one worked best for you?
I was even telling AP that, that I tried to switch it up a couple times, because that rut is really hard. It’s a balance beam going through that thing. So, I was trying to do something that gave me a little bit more freedom to where I wasn’t just tense riding through it. But I did it one time going around a lapper and then I thought I’d try it again. I was like, no, I’ll stick to the rut. I’ll just go patient through it. It was tough, though.

Images: Feld Entertainment Inc.