After watching Jess Pettis during the first two rounds of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Series, I have been thoroughly impressed with his riding. Not only has he been finishing well, at Round 1 he was 10th and in Glendale he finished 12th, but in my opinion, he’s also been riding very smart. I know that we’d all love to see him battling each weekend for a Top 5 with the elite riders in the 250SX West class, but I feel that Pettis has to keep these races in perspective, and it appears that is exactly what he’s doing. Not only is he racing against some of the top SX riders on the planet but he’s also in the process of getting comfortable on a brand new motorcycle. Since he’s only been on his KTM since early December, how the bike reacts in different conditions is still relatively new to our 2018 MXTour and SXTour Champion, not to mention that so far this season the two tracks have been completely different. Anaheim was muddy and slow while Glendale was dry and very fast.
Learning how to properly set up his KTM for each type of track condition takes time, and in some cases it can just be a case of trial and error. The Glendale track appeared to be a very difficult track to get the proper set-up on. The soil was hard as concrete, it was dry and slippery, and the riders were hitting the obstacles at a very high rate of speed. With two completely opposite tracks now in the rear view mirror, Pettis and his new team have some set-up experience to draw from moving forward. With Pettis being able to get good starts, this will definitely serve him well in the shorter main events of the first Triple Crown event this weekend. For a closer look at Pettis’s day in Glendale, here are some more amazing James Lissimore photos from Round 2.