It was a big night for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson. The 22 year old not only scored his first career 450 Supercross win at the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season opener in Anaheim, California, he put his name in the history books as the first one to do so for the Husqvarna brand.
“To get a win for Husqvarna, the first Supercross win is insane,” Anderson said. “It’s cool to go into the history books as the first 450 Supercross win for the bike. Man, I’m just looking forward to getting more of them.
“Your first win is always special, but adding weight to that victory was the competition itself. Unless you had a crystal ball, it was anyone’s guess as to who would take top honors at Angels Stadium, Anderson added.
“I felt like you could not have picked a shoe-in winner tonight,” he said. “All those guys on the gate are gnarly. And it’s awesome to see the field that stacked. The competition is so crazy; it’s insane. But it makes the victories feel that much better when you know that you’re racing guys whom none of them are slouches.”
Winning one however wasn’t just a stroke of luck. Anderson has been working hard, grinding everyday since the Monster Cup back in October to prepare for 2016. To keep him honest was well-known trainer Aldon Baker. But Anderson felt that his secret to success was not just Baker himself but his fellow champions (current and former) that train together in Baker’s camp down in Florida—Marvin Musquin and the reigning Supercross/Motocross champ himself, Ryan Dungey.
“Working with him is awesome,” he said about Baker. “But I also think it’s the whole crew we have down there, we push each other everyday. That race scenario we had out there, we do two of those on Tuesdays. I think it’s going to help us keep upping our levels.”
If anyone wanted to go out on a limb and question the importance of preparation, the proof was in the results—an Anderson-Dungey 1-2 finish.
“I had Dunge’ [Ryan Dungey] behind me,” he said. “I think we’re both going to be the top two guys. No matter if I’m first or second it will to be cool to be up there with him.”
Perhaps a bigger reward for his hard work was being able to race for the win itself. Especially when you factor in that after he got a taste of the podium in his first Supercross race at last season’s opener in Anaheim he struggled for most of his rookie season.
“The guys that I was racing against tonight and had to battle with were all guys that were just destroying me last year,” he said. “To know that all my hard work and everything has come full circle is very cool. It’s definitely a tough thing to do—to stick with it whenever you are having those struggles and not doing so good. But I felt like I just kept striving.”
While Anderson is soaking up the glory of that first win, he’s not resting on his laurels.
“We’re obviously going to have more hard times, it’s just the way the sport is,” he said. “Everyone is competitive and those guys are going to come and try and beat me. I’ve got to be on my toes and hopefully come the end of the season, I’m there with a shot at the championship.”
You can check out video highlights of the Anaheim 1 Supercross below: