The 2020 Supercross season was arguably the most stacked field ever, in both 450cc and 250cc divisions. Honing in on the West Coast, 10 factory riders lined up at A1, meaning that one rider, on big salary, along with factory equipment, was going to finish 10th (Alex Martin in this instance). Mixing it up with the best riders in the world was New South Welshman Luke Clout, who took on the world’s best aboard a Penrite Honda CRF250f – an extension of Yarrive Konsky’s powerhouse domestic Honda squad.
Overall, how would you rate your 2020 AMA Supercross campaign?
Overall it was pretty good. It was an insane series with all this COVID stuff happening and not knowing what was going to happen with it, but overall I think we achieved some pretty good results.
You’d raced supercross over there before as a part of the MAD Suzuki program, was there anything that stood out to you this year that didn’t then?
Everything. This time it was totally different; that stint in the US in ’16 was nothing compared to this season. But the racing and competition and how professional everything over in the states is the same, if not better then before.
We hear all the time that the overall intensity the US circuit competes at is extremely high, is that the biggest adjustment from racing in Australia compared to the United States?
There’s a lot of things honestly, but the intensity is probably the biggest thing once you’ve figured the other pieces of the puzzle out. The tracks are totally different, the dirt, the bikes, just everything is different. The guys have world class trainers, nutritionists, programs and their bikes are insane. There’s so much involved in it that not everyone realizes until you’re over there competing at that level.
When you left Australia you’d just jumped off a YZ450 onto a CRF250, how was the adjustment period to the smaller bike?
It was pretty easy when I was at the practice/test tracks. But when we went racing that was the hard part, it is a total different ball game from practice laps to race laps. I struggled with the power of the 250 to get me out of trouble if I made a mistake, when you make a mistake on the 450 you have the power to get out of it, the 250 you have to be really precise and make minimal mistakes. It was an adjustment but I got better over time.
Caption: Luke Clout contested the 2019 Australian Supercross campaign on board a CDR Yamaha YZF450.
The team was based on the West Coast, and it’s cheaper logistically to run West as there’s less travel. However east is notoriously less stacked year on year. Did you ever think that on that coast you could turn a sixth on the west into perhaps a podium on the east?
West was insane this year; there were over 10 guys who could win a main, when you would read the entry list it was just factory guy after factory guy. The East was pretty thin with some guys getting injured, I definitely think I could have had a podium in the East, in the East/West Shootout round my first qualifying time put me 3rd in the east class! Either way, all those guys are fast no matter what coast your on!
Plans for the immediate future?
I wish I had an answer, and I think everyone’s in the same position with all this covid stuff. I’m back in Aus now and if there’s some racing here I’ll more then likely do that and then head back to the US for 21.