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Kitchen Scores Career-First Supercross Victory at Anaheim 2

Kitchen Scores Career-First Supercross Victory at Anaheim 2

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s 250 team enjoyed a stellar night with a double podium in the 250SX West class, and a 250SX Futures win.

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Levi Kitchen stood on the top step of the podium at last night’s first Triple Crown of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season in Anaheim, California. It was a career-first for the young Washington rider who took the overall victory in the 250SX West class with a 4-2-2 score. Stilez Robertson also tasted victory, winning the second main event and joining his teammate on the podium with a third overall finish (6-1-3). In the 250SX Futures class, the young Daxton Bennick rode his YZ250F to victory, making for a stellar outing at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Teammate Haiden Deegan showed strength and fought his way back from a tip-over to salvage a top-five finish.

Kitchen qualified fifth to have a decent gate pick and then got a flying start in the first race of the three-main-event format but ultimately finished fourth. It was a war of attrition in the challenging conditions in race two, but Kitchen rode a smart race and made his way from fourth to the runner-up spot. Going into the final race of the night, he held a one-point lead and just needed to finish third overall to secure the win. Kitchen got another good start and slotted into the runner-up spot, maintaining the position to take the overall victory for a career-best result in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.

Robertson also had a solid start to the day, qualifying sixth. He got a good start in the first main event but was shuffled back to sixth on that first lap, where he would finish. In the second main event, the Californian came out swinging and rode his YZ250F to victory, putting him in the runner-up spot heading into the final race. Robertson had a solid start in fourth and advanced to third, ending the night third overall and moving him into the top five of the 250SX West points standings.

The third round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the inaugural season of the SuperMotocross World Championship also marked the first round of the 250SX Futures. Both Deegan and Bennick enjoyed a good start to the day, qualifying second and third, respectively. In the main event, Bennick was third after the start and made his way to the front after the halfway mark. He continued to ride his own race and crossed the line with a 7.5-second lead. Deegan didn’t get the start he was looking for and was sixth, and then, unfortunately, had a tip over. Undettered, he put his head down and fought back to fifth by the end of the seven-lap race.

Next weekend, the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250SX East team makes their 2023 debut at Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and SuperMotocross World Championship, on Saturday, February 4, at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Jensen Hendler

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager

Overall, our day went very well. Levi Kitchen rode smart and went 4-2-2 to get the win, which is fantastic. I’ve been watching Levi since he was just a little kid riding at Washougal for fun, and then here we are – the top step of the podium. I’m extremely proud of him. He has worked very hard and deserves it. Stilez also had a good day. Although he didn’t ride the best in the first main and faded back a bit, we had a pep talk, and he went out in the second main and won it. He was third in the last race and ended up third overall. Leaving Anaheim with two guys on the podium was exciting. We’ll do some work during this West Coast break and, hopefully, do it again in Oakland. 

We were excited to come here for this first 250SX Futures race to see if all our hard work paid off, and it has. Dax surprised us. He told me before the main he was going to win, and he did just that. I’m proud of him and excited to see what else he can accomplish. Unfortunately, Haiden got a terrible start and was trying to fight his way back to the front and ended up tipping over in the dragon’s back. It’s a super short race, so he did what he could and finished fifth. He’s leaving healthy, so we’re happy with that, and we’ll continue that journey and keep working. We’re excited about what the future holds for both programs. We’ll just keep working hard to keep winning.

Levi Kitchen

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

It was a good night. I just knew that I needed to get some good starts, and that’s what I did. I rode consistent laps and just tried to forget about what was going on behind me; a lot of guys were falling. It feels good to get this overall win, but it also feels a little weird because, in my book, I didn’t win a moto or anything today. I want to win and be the first guy to the checkers, but I’m stoked to bounce back after last weekend. We’re going to keep working during the break. I’m still hungry.

Stilez Robertson

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

The first main event was definitely not what we were looking for. Honestly, I did not ride well at all, but I talked to the team, and they pepped me up. I came out and won the second main event, which was really good for my confidence. In the third main, I didn’t get as good of a start as I should have, but I still ended up on the podium, which is a big turnaround for us. So, I think there are a lot of positives to take away from today, and it will be good to go into this break on a high. We’re going to get ready and come out swinging at Oakland.