Can El Hombre successfully defend his Monster Energy Supercross title?
Monster Energy Supercross Champion Jason Anderson had a successful weekend in Paris, France, as he was the dominant rider inside Paris La Defense Arena and came away with the 2018 King of Paris crown. Anderson knows that defending his number-one plate in 2019 will be a big challenge, but the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna racer is up to the task.
Alright Jason, we are at the second stop of your off-season international tour. Has it felt like a long time away from home?
It's been about three-weeks of preparing, packing, traveling, unpacking, doing obligations, and such. However, at the end of the day, I feel like these races are super beneficial. Tonight, we had a 15 minute plus one-lap and it's really a lot of racing, with it being two nights in a row. It's going to be nice to fly home, get a couple workouts in on Monday, and then start getting back into the groove and riding again on Tuesday. I actually have to come back to Europe in a few weeks for the FIM awards, so I'll be back in Spain soon.
Back in the day, when Rick Johnson and all them raced this supercross, they would just bring suspension and a cylinder for a stock bike. Now, because of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna being a world-wide race team, does the bike you’re racing feel pretty similar to your bike at home?
Yeah, the only difference between the bike I have at home and what I'm racing here in Paris is the footpegs. To be honest, I don’t run a lot of things that aren’t stock on my bike. Obviously, my triple clamps and suspension are completely different, but the frame geometry and such aren’t too different. I ran a stock motor in Australia, but I had the same motor here as what I have at home. Luckily, we do have support here and in Australia, because the whole Husqvarna team helped me out. Husky is just such a great brand that we don’t have to worry about getting anything different from race to race.
Is it pretty crazy to look at where you've taken Husqvarna since you first switched?
I remember first going to test the bike while I had some other offers from some pretty proven teams and thinking there was no way I was going to end up racing the Husky. But, the bike looked so sick the first day I saw it, and I ended up liking it quite a bit on the first day. There were some ups and downs the first couple years, but we’ve come a long way in four years. Even just myself as a racer has come a long way with the brand, now I'm a proven racer contender and champion in the premier class.
How do you feel your fan base is in other countries?
They get pretty loud when I’m here, but I have no idea what they are saying here in France (laughs). They're awesome, though. In Australia, we got so much love it was insane. I'm so thankful that we get to come to visit these countries and live our lives, we get to experience some cool stuff. It's stressful, but a lot of fun.
With your last injury, you spent most the summer healing and recuperating. Do you feel that the time off with will benefit you or hinder you going into Anaheim One?
As soon as I was able to start walking, I jumped right back into things. I broke my foot, was in the wheelchair for about six-weeks, pulled the pins out, rode six days, and raced Budds Creek. I went right back into it and I don’t feel behind at all, but it's a tall order to go back to back. However, I'm up to the challenge and I’m ready for it.
When you came on the Swapmoto Live show, you said that your goal was to be on the MXoN team. After seeing how the event unfolded and the conditions, were you almost okay with not racing?
I was super gutted because I really wanted the MXoN team to do well, with me on it or not. I wanted America to win, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to go there and lose. So, I don’t envy the team on the results, but I do envy them on the opportunity to go represent your country. I think it was kind of an anomaly with how the track conditions turned out and I don’t think team USA got a fair shot, just because of how crazy mud races are. There is an art to mud, but at the same time, anything can happen. I really wanted to be on the MXON team, but we have years to come so maybe next year I’ll make the team. If so, I'll come out to Europe for a month and ride in the sand before it.
Has being a 450 Supercross champion changed you at all?
I will say that it has created a little bit of tension between the team and I because there are obligations that come with being the Supercross champion that I do not like at all. Some days I hate it, but at the same time, I want to be known as a champion (laughs). There are so many obligations, it’s not just going to ride your dirt bike and go fast anymore. You have to go do interviews everywhere and be wherever the team wants you, everyone wants to celebrate with you. You have to go to celebration parties all the time (laughs).
How many Supercross Championship parties did you have?
I still have more left, and that was eight months ago (laughs). I'm super excited to have the sponsors I have behind me. I may bitch about it every now and then, but I’m beyond thankful for everyone I have in my corner. Hopefully, we can do it again, but it is a stressful process and it definitely makes you grow up. It's just crazy (laughs).