It’s hard to believe that Jason Anderson has been a professional racer for three years. Sometimes it feels like the Rockstar Energy Racing rider has been on the circuit for years, and other times it’s as though he’s only just made the transition. That may have something to do with the time it has taken Anderson to achieve the results many believed he was capable of, but it is difficult to be immediately competitive in a class comprised of veteran, albeit young, racers. A Supercross main event win and third place overall have been the highlights to the 250 rider’s season, but Anderson makes it obvious that he wants more in 2014.
It’s been a long year but finally we are coming to the end of it. Looking back at all of the highs and lows, how do you feel it has gone?
I think was an alright year; it was a good Supercross season and the outdoor season has been up and down, but not stellar. Moving forward into next year, I can’t wait to ride Supercross and hopefully be up front.
This is your third year as a professional. How much have you learned through these first few seasons?
I’ve learned a lot. Everyone is going super-fast and the one thing that has held me back every year has been my starts. It’s something that I need to work on. I think that if I had better starts, my results would have been way better than what they were every year.
Undoubtedly the highlight to the season so far has been Salt Lake City. Did you go into that main event knowing that you could feel comfortable in the lead, but that you just hadn’t had the chance?
Yeah, and I think that is how I am right now, too. I think that if I get a start in the top-three, then I will finish in the top-three. I just need to get the starts. Every start I had in Supercross, I was in the top-three, and outdoors I have been in the top-three or the top-five.
How do you feel the Nationals have been this year? It’s a very stacked class, but you have been right there plenty of times.
It’s been alright. I am seventh in points, and I was eighth last year, so I feel like I am having a better season this year. I am just trying to look forward and keep taking steps to the top.
Have things like the cooler weather and the longer breaks between rounds helped you on the track?
I think that finishing the year up quicker will help all of us. We all need a little break because our seasons are so long, and a month to recoup my body will be nice. I think the way they have it set up this year is way better than the way it was last year. By this time in the season everyone is worn out, so we are looking forward to having a break while finishing out the last two races the best that we can.
In the last few weeks you’ve had a highlight in your ride at Millville, but a bad weekend at Unadilla. How do you adjust and not let the bad days get to you?
I’ve been fast, and that is all that I can really take from Unadilla. Millville was good because I had a good start and got a podium in that moto, and in the other I had an alright start but still finished fifth, and got on the podium. Anything can happen from race to race, so I have to look forward and see how I can step up.
Something that was pointed out to us the other day was that even though you guys race numerous times throughout the year, when you come off of the track after a moto that you don’t feel you did your best in, you looked emotionally crushed. How do you push that aside and not let it affect you in the next race?
I think it adds up. We are always bummed when we finish a moto, even if we finish in the top-five or the top-three. You don’t want someone beating you after all of the effort you put into your work. You have to let it go off your shoulder, that way you aren’t stressing over it in the next moto. But by this time in the season, it wears on you. You have to build from year to year and be as emotionally balanced as you can. You cannot let the lows get to you, but enjoy the highs.
After getting benched by the team in your rookie season, does it feel like redemption to ride as well as you have these last few years?
Yeah, I think it feels good, but at the same time I’m not too pumped on how I am doing. I think I should be a top-three guy every weekend, and I haven’t done that at all in these three years. I want to be there in 2014 and I’ll be bummed if I am not.
How will you relax in the off-season?
I’m having surgery on my foot right after Lake Elsinore, and then I will go home to New Mexico and enjoy my family and friends. I want to kick back and relax.
And then big changes for next year…
Yeah, when I get back I will be riding a KTM. I think that our bikes will be heaps better than what they were this year, and that will help my starts. I think you’ll see me up front more. I rode KTMs when I was on mini-bikes, and I didn’t want to ride anything else. The only reason I got off of them was that they had trouble with their program. Even when they didn’t have linkage, I thought they were great. I’m pumped to be back on them and it will help my motivation.