Sexton, Plessinger and Beaumer discuss their AMA SX opener at A1
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Chase Sexton claimed a podium finish of third position in his first appearance with the team in tonight’s opening round of the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship at Anaheim 1, directly ahead of teammate Aaron Plessinger in P4 at the conclusion of the 450SX Main Event. 250SX West rookie Julien Beaumer placed a solid sixth at the season-opener.
Defending Supercross champion Sexton debuted the number 1 plate onboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, posting the second fastest lap-time following the afternoon’s qualifying sessions.
A costly fall in the first turn of his Heat Race had Sexton down the order, and meant he would have to charge from the rear of the field to get back into transfer position. True to champion form, he would do just that, surging his way into sixth place by the time the checkered flag flew.
A top-five start in the Main Event put Sexton right in the fight as the gates dropped, moving forward as the race unfolded. With consistency a main contributor to winning titles, he posted a calculated ride on the technical Anaheim circuit to seal third place at Round 1.
Chase Sexton: “I come out here to win and be up front, but I’m happy to be on the podium coming out of Anaheim. As we saw last year, it’s as much about consistency as speed, and we know what we need to work on – I feel much more solid this year and I think we’ll be in a really good spot. It was a positive start to my career at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and I’m excited to keep progressing as the rounds continue in these early stages of the season.”
For teammate Plessinger, P12 was the result following qualifying, as the Ohio native looked to begin his season on the front foot. A mid-field start in his Heat Race saw the number 7 claw his way into the top five, racing to a solid second-place finish to enter the Main Event.
Plessinger benefited from a strong start in the final, only to be shuffled back to the tail-end of the top 10 as he rounded the first turn. Another charge through the field was in order, as he steadily made his way through the pack and into fourth place, which is where he would finish to start his 2024 campaign.
Aaron Plessinger: “A1 was a good start to the season! I felt great all day, and then yeah, Heat Race went great, got second behind Kenny [Roczen], but came from a ways back, then got a good jump in the Main Event, but kind of forgot how to go around a first corner… Got shuffled back to about 10th, and then came back strong to fourth. I’m pumped on it, good start to the season, and we’ve got some homework to do, but I’m looking forward to San Francisco and hopefully getting it on the podium.”
Qualifying marked an impressive 250SX debut for Beaumer on the Western Region, who powered his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION to the third-fastest time in convincing fashion. A holeshot in the second Heat Race of the night resulted in a promising ride toward the front of the pack on his way to second place.
The 17-year-old launched out of the gates once again in the Main Event to the holeshot, leading the opening laps. The rookie held his own as he challenged for a podium position throughout the majority of the race, before eventually taking the checkered flag in sixth place.
Julien Beaumer: “Obviously this is A1, so I was a bit nervous at first – the Heat Race was nerve-wracking, but felt good overall. I felt good in the Main Event and got the holeshot, which made things a little scary, but I feel like my pace was good in the beginning. I made a little mistake around halfway and got passed, but just settled in from there. I am happy with sixth and the goal for next weekend is to be in the top five.”
Anaheim 1 also saw the opening stop of KTM Junior Supercross, presented by Wells Fargo, where 15 talented young racers took to the track onboard the KTM SX-E 5, as Ethan Fisher, Dillon Chapman, and Logan Moore featured on the podium.
Words: Press Release
Image: Align Media