Notice that this column now has a sponsor? That’s right! Troy Dog joined the Blu Cru and you should too! I have one in my garage right now and I can’t wait to go shred it! Thank you to Yamaha for believing in my ELITE columns on this dirt bike website enough to sponsor me. What a dream come true! BTW: Have you seen the all-new YZ450F? OH. MY. GOODNESS. I can’t wait to test that bad boy.
Before the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season began I did an interview with Hunter Yoder to discuss his rookie SX season with Ti Lube Honda. It didn’t go to plan and he was frustrated and unsure of what he wanted to do. He didn’t even know if he wanted to race anymore.
Since then Yoder signed with PRMX and has been putting in the work and is living at South of the Border with his team and contesting the 250SX West Region. On Saturday night, Yoder was a big talking point as he grabbed the holeshot in his heat race and was a close second off of the start behind Stilez Robertson in the main event.
“I feel like that’s every kid’s dream,” Yoder said. “Everyone is watching those heat races, there is always all of this carnage, and someone is always going down. To get out front and lead, I think three laps, was such a surreal experience. I made a mistake in one of the rhythm sections. I just didn’t get enough pop and I framed one of the triples pretty bad. I was sticking with the two guys ahead of me, but then that took the wind out of my sails a little bit.”
Apparently at this point during the race, Yoder realized that after his pre-race pee that he’d forgotten to tighten up his pants all the way and they were falling down. He said that he tried his best to ignore it, but he had to slow down a bit due to the fact that every time he sat down or stood up it was an issue.
When it was time for the main event, Yoder had second guessed his gate pick, but had his mind set on pulling another start like he did in his heat.
“I was back and forth between two gates,” Yoder said. “I stuck with the one, but I was still a little skeptical about it, until I nailed my start on the site lap. I had that confident feeling where I wasn’t second guessing anything. When the gate dropped for the main event I was up front. It felt good to prove to myself that I could run up front with those guys. I know that I can, you just have to prove it to yourself. It was really big for me and my confidence. I think this is going to bring a whole lot more to these next couple races.”
This was the first opportunity that Yoder has put himself in the position to lead a Supercross race. Yoder learned a lot being out front including how different racing feels at the front of the pack.
“In the back you’re fighting for your life, so when you’re upfront the race is a little more calm,” Yoder said. “I have to do a better job at, when I do get out front, at staying a little more calm. People can say that this weekend that I faded or that my fitness isn’t there, but they’ll never understand what it’s like being at the front of a 250 main event. I’ve only raced a few mains in my life, so to be up front like that in my first few starts, that was just like a game changer for me and definitely a big eye opener.”
Yoder feels like his best is yet to come and he said that he knows that he will continue to build on his performance in Seattle.
“Everyone has a different trajectory and their own path,” Yoder said. “I’m just accepting the fact that I obviously didn’t come out in my first or second year and put it on the podium, but I still believe that in the near future that I will be up there. I’m working on being the best I can be as fast that I can.”
Main image: @jasonfribergphoto