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Kitchen Finishes Supercross Season with Back-to-Back Podiums

Kitchen Finishes Supercross Season with Back-to-Back Podiums

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Levi Kitchen wrapped up his first full supercross season with a second-consecutive podium at last night’s 250 East-West Showdown in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Washington State rider’s third-place finish at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season finale advanced him to third in the 250SX West Championship standings. Eastern Regional teammates Jordon Smith and Haiden Deegan crossed the line fifth and eighth, respectively, with Deegan’s top-10 finish securing the runner-up spot in the 250SX East Championship. In the Supercross Futures final, the young Daxton Bennick fought his way back to sixth after a tip-over early in the race.

Kitchen qualified fourth in the 250SX Western regional division. From there, he got a flying start in his heat race, grabbing the holeshot and leading from start to finish for a dominant victory. Although he got a taste of the track with some rain in his heat race, it really started coming down right before the East-West Showdown. He got another good start in third and rode his own race to maintain the final spot on the podium. It was a strong finish to his first full season in the championship, which saw Kitchen score a win and a total of four podiums to end the year third overall. 
Smith showed strength straight away, topping the 250SX East free practice session and qualifying second. He got a decent start in his heat race inside the top five and crossed the line fourth. The North Carolinian was seventh after the start but worked his way to fifth in the challenging conditions where he would ultimately finish. Smith also enjoyed a solid season aboard the YZ250F, scoring five podiums to end the year fourth overall. 
Deegan was fifth in qualifying and came out swinging in the 250SX East Heat Race, grabbing the holeshot and setting the pace up front to remain unchallenged for his second heat race win of the season. Unfortunately, in the main event, he didn’t get off the gate as he had hoped in the tricky conditions and found himself 13th after the start. The Californian kept cool amidst the chaos of the first laps and put his head down to advance to seventh. He battled with the newly crowned 250SX East Champion but ultimately crossed the line eighth to secure the runner-up spot in the championship. He was also awarded 250 Rookie of the Year honors for his impressive debut season, where he never finished outside of the top 10 and earned six top-five finishes, including three podiums.
The final round of the Supercross Futures class that would crown an amateur champion occurred before the opening ceremonies. With two wins to his credit, Bennick was eager to get back to the top at the finale. He qualified second and got a great start in the main event. The North Carolinian was battling up front with his championship rival and quickly moved into the lead. Unfortunately, shortly after, both riders went down in the tricky, slippery conditions, with Bennick rejoining towards the back of the pack. Undeterred, he put his head down, set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 3, and fought his way back to sixth before the end of the 6-minute plus one-lap race.
Next up for the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team is the opening round of the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross Championship and the 18th round of the SuperMotocross World Championship on May 27 at the Fox Raceway in Pala, California. 

2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX Futures Salt Lake City Results

2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX Salt Lake City Results
2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX East Championship Standings
2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250SX West Championship Standings

Levi Kitchen

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a pretty day good for me – qualifying fourth, getting the heat race win, and then finishing third in the main. I’m not only really happy with the day but with the season as a whole. It was just a big learning year for me, so I’m ready to come out next year and be one of those guys fighting for wins every time. I’m really looking forward to that and looking forward to the outdoor season.” 

Jordon Smith

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It feels good to get through another supercross season and be healthy and make every round. We had a pretty good season overall. Other than a few races, I was in the top five and got a lot of podiums. We got close to that win a couple of times; it just eluded us this year. We’re going to keep working all summer, for outdoors and SMX, and be ready to come back and try and battle for the championship next year.”

Haiden Deegan

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“Today was really good. We just tried to get everything dialed in during qualifying. I was able to win the heat race, and with the showdown, it was pretty much half the main event for the heat race, so I was definitely excited to win that. It gives me some confidence for next year. 
“In the main event, it started raining, and I slid off the gate and didn't get a great jump and had to work from the back. I made my way up to eighth and ended up securing second in the points because (Max) Antsie was right in front of me, which was where I needed to finish to get second. So yeah, second in the points, three podiums, and two heat race wins in my rookie season; I’m pretty hyped about it!”

Daxton Bennick

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

“It was a good day. I felt great all day, and my start was good in the main event, which set me up for a win. Then after the finish line, I overjumped the over-under, and JuJu (Julien Beaumer) passed me. I got him back right after the whoops, but unfortunately, the next berm was like ice, and we both fell. I had to dig my way through the pack with only six minutes, but I’m happy to be healthy and ready to grind for some motocross!”