Rookie Report: Seattle

Rookie report, it’s back! I thought I was bringing this new great idea to the table. Then Troy said that Vurb did this 14 years ago, but to hell with that I’m taking over now. Each week I’m going to report on the rookies in the 250 class and give you a little insight on how the new guys are doing.

Julien Beaumer – Red Bull KTM

Qualified – 14th

Heat – 3rd

Main – 7th

Grade – A

Juju has had a stellar rookie season and he continued that this past weekend. Beaumer qualified a little below where we have seen him most of the season, but track conditions during that time weren’t the best. He was almost able to sneak in the inside and just missed the holeshot behind points leader Levi Kitchen in Heat 1. Juju fell back to third after RJ Hampshire made a quick pass and would finish there. Beaumer has four top ten finishes, but has yet to break into the top five. A triple crown this weekend in STL, does JuJu have the speed and consistency to break into the top five?

Ryder DiFrancesco – Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull Gas Gas

Qualified – 12th

Heat – 4th

Main – 13th

Grade – D

Ryder seems to be struggling this year, maybe he’s still getting used to his bike and Supercross? Track conditions for the west coast have not been the best, with what like 3-4 races involving rain? Ryder looked great in his heat race and I thought maybe the switch had clicked and we could see him at his full potential.  I’m really not sure what is going on with Ryder D but hopefully he and his team can get some things dialed in and finish the year with some good races.

Anthony Bourdon – Toyota of Redlands Bar X Suzuki

Qualified – 10th

Heat – 5th

Main – 8th

Grade – A

The Frenchman has easily become my favorite rider of the 2024 Supercross rookie class. Coming into the season on no one’s radar, Anthony has continued to make a name for himself in the 250 class and backed it up with another strong finish in Seattle. Aboard his Suzuki, Anthony sits sixth in points and is 15 points behind HRC Hondas rider Jo Shimoda. Bourdon is yet to finish in the top five, but with a triple crown this weekend in St Louis, could we see him put a Suzuki on the podium in the 250 class? Who was even the last guy on a 250 to podium a Suzuki?

Slade Varola- HBI Race Team

Qualified – 31st

Heat – 10th

LCQ – 6th

Grade – C –

A rough weekend for the HBI rider. Slade just couldn’t piece it all together this weekend. A rough qualifying would continue into the night show, where he would miss the main out of his heat race by one position, and unfortunately that same luck would end his night in the LCQ by two spots. I’m not sure if the tough conditions hurt Slade or just had an off night, but hopefully we can see him back in the main in STL.

Matti Jorgensen – AJE Motosports

Qualified – 38th

Heat – 11th

LCQ – 4th 

Main – 19th

Grade – B-

Matti got it done the same way he’s got it done almost all season, just missing the main and then battling for the last spot in the LCQ. Matti has the speed to be making it straight into the mains out the heat race, but just seems to struggle in the heats. When it comes to the LCQ he seems more confident and aggressive in his riding. If Matti can bring that intensity earlier in the day and keep himself out of the LCQ, I think his confidence will rise and we will start see some strong finishes from the kid.

Lux Turner – AEO KTM

Qualified – 4th

Heat – 10th

LCQ – 1st

Main – 17th

Grade – A

Lux returned from an injury that had him out since A1. Well, you wouldn’t have guessed he was coming off an injury. Turner was the fourth fastest qualifier and just missed his transfer spot by one spot in the heat race. Lux bounced back in the LCQ and took home the win. He seemed to struggle a bit in the main, but he and the team had to be juiced on the results for the day. Qualifying fourth and the LCQ win have to be a huge confidence boost.

Blake Gardner – Team Green

Qualified – 16th

Heat – 12th

LCQ – 9th

Grade – A

While I did not see this one coming, I blame my buddy Ronnie Orres who also trains at Renners for not giving me this inside knowledge. Blake was the 2023 Arenacross rookie of the year, he had some good finishes in the Futures program and in 2024 he made his pro debut at Seattle SX. Blake had a rough start in his heat but was able to charge from 20th all the way up to 12th. He grabbed the holeshot in the LCQ, but mistakes would keep him out of the main. Gardner gets an A because he hopped into the middle of this west coast series, with guys who are in mid-season form and coming off a long break. He was able to show he can roll with these guys and just needs to clean up the small mistakes.

Main Image: Octopi Media

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