Anaheim 1 is officially in the books, and now that their nerves have likely calmed down, riders are now settling in for the long-haul of the 2016 Supercross championship. While shooting at Milestone MX this week, Geico Honda’s Jordan Smith caught our eye as he consistently laid down blistering lap times throughout the day in preparation for San Diego, and at A1 the young gun’s speed was impressive, to say the least. If it weren’t for a small mistake during the main event, Smith could have very well landed on the podium. With only a handful of Supercross races under his belt from the 2015 season and the unmatched support from team Geico Honda, Smith’s 2016 season looks to be bright.
Everyone at A1 was witness to the speed that you have up your sleeve. Was it up to par with what you expected?
Yeah, A1 was pretty good for me. I got off to great starts all night since my Geico Honda is so fast this year. I just did my best to put down solid laps, but most importantly to remain calm and ride smooth. I had a little tip over in the main, which ultimately cost me a podium finish. It was a good night overall, though. I still need to work on a few things before we head into San Diego.
As you mentioned, you were so close to the podium this past weekend. Is it nice knowing that you have that speed and those good starts to run up there with the top five guys?
Yeah, for sure. During the off-season, you put in all of this work and you feel like you’re completely prepared, so to show up at Anaheim One and prove to yourself and everyone else that you have the speed to run up there is always an incredible feeling.
Did you find yourself tightening up or maybe not riding like your normal self since you’re not exactly used to riding up there towards the front?
Yeah, I was a little bit nervous. I mean I haven’t been up at the front of the pack like that yet. I’ve come from the back of the pack towards the front, but that’s totally different. It was a cool feeling to be up there, though. It was nice to get away from all of the carnage in the first few corners.
If you were to gauge your speed against everyone else now that A1 is in the books, are you about where you expected yourself to be?
Yeah, absolutely. I definitely expected myself to be up there, and that’s where I expect myself to be every single weekend. Somewhere within the top five. I think there are a few things holding me back from staying up there with Jessy Nelson and Cooper web – both of which have been riding really good – but I’ve been working on those things throughout the week, so I’m excited to see where I stand at San Diego.
There’s always a lot of hype and pressure on riders heading into Anaheim one. Do you feel your nerves subsiding at all now that the season opener is behind us?
Yeah, definitely. It’s a little easier to go out and practice now that the first round is out of the way. I’m not nearly as nervous anymore. I’m just trying to focus on the goal at hand, which is standing on the top step of the podium.
As we mentioned earlier, you’ve shown the speed and everything else it takes to stay up front. What are your expectations for this weekend?
I think I proved it to myself and everyone else that I have what it takes to land on the podium, so I won’t be expecting anything less from myself.
Now that you have the first round out of the way and the rest of the season ahead of you, can you now settle in for the long-haul?
Yeah, I think so. If I keep getting good starts I’ll get more and more comfortable running up front now that I’ve seen the pace that the top guys run. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing right now, and everything should be a lot better for me.