Honda’s Ken Roczen grabbed his third straight win in a nail biter as Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb pushed closer in the final laps but had to settle for second in the final Indianapolis SX on Saturday night. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin grabbed the final spot on the podium with a hard charge and a little luck.
The action was also wildly exciting in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class everywhere on the track except inside the helmet of Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig; he made his second win of the season look effortless.
When the 450SX Class gate dropped Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia came out with the holeshot but Roczen was into the lead almost instantly. Cooper Webb was in good position for the win with a third place start just ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo. Less than three minutes into the race Barcia and Roczen came together hard when Barcia cut low on a 180 degree bowl turn just as Roczen cut aggressively down. Neither rider went down and Roczen remained up at the front.
Soon it was a race of four, with the top runners, Roczen, Barcia, Webb, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac separating from the pack and staying in a tight four-rider train. Roczen seemed to gain a little breathing room over Barcia until Barcia would pull back up, just as the same dynamic was happening with Barcia and Webb, and with Webb and Tomac. With just over five minutes left on the race clock in the 20-minute plus one lap race, Webb took advantage of a small mistake by Barcia and shouldered his way into second.
With less than a minute on the clock Barcia tangled with a lapped rider and went down hard in a transfer. Tomac jumped in, and without enough room to stop or swerve, hit Barcia’s bike and also went down. The mishap opened the door for Musquin to grab third.
But up front the fans saw Roczen’s nightmare coming to him again – Webb has stolen several wins from Roczen on the final lap and Webb was once again in position to steal the Honda rider’s chance, this time at an Indy hat-trick. On a night when Webb had posted the fastest lap time in qualifying, Roczen kept his composure, got through the lappers efficiently, and held on down the last corner to take his third win of the season, by only half a second, and stretch his points lead to 16 over Webb.
Webb had put himself in a favourable position off the start in the Main Event, where he sat in third just behind an intense battle for the lead. The 2019 450SX Champion patiently raced in third for the first 18 laps as he slowly began chipping away at the gap to second. Making his move into second on lap 19, Webb immediately looked ahead as he attempted to catch the leader of Ken Roczen. Webb was successful in catching Roczen in the final laps as he brought the pressure down to the last few turns before the finish. With a hard-fought effort, Webb ultimately finished less than one-second away from the win. Six rounds into the season, Webb continues to hold second overall in the 450SX Championship.
Webb:“It was a great day, a step in the right direction. I had good qualifying times and just came up short on the Main Event. It was a hard charge, so close but so far. Ken rode great and adjusted to the race as it went. I felt like I charged hard at the end and got close, but just not enough. I missed the rhythm with two to go and that kind of killed it for me but he rode a great race and beat me straight up, so we will go this week and try to get better. We made a huge step today with bike setup and comfort, so I feel like I am right there. It’s a long series so we will keep fighting every weekend and get back to that top spot soon.”
Musquin managed to turned things around for himself after experiencing a tough start to the night in the heat race. Musquin had a good jump off the line but he got shuffled back to eighth on the opening lap. He moved into seventh by the next lap, eventually working his way into the top-five. The French rider put himself into the right position late in the race as he capitalized on two riders going down in front of him with three laps to go. Assuming third, Musquin held strong in the final laps to round out the podium for the second time this season.
Musquin:“My goal tonight was to stay on two wheels and be patient. The last two or three rounds it’s been super frustrating for me, I’ve been very aggressive trying to make it happen in the first lap and ended up going down, so tonight I wanted to be patient. I was the fifth best guy tonight but it’s racing and the two guys in front of me went down so I got third. It definitely feels good to be on the podium, I’ll take it.”
Barcia proved he was hungry right off the start as he clawed his way across the line to the claim the holeshot. He diced up front early on before settling into a solid rhythm in second. He went back-and-forth with Cooper Webb, who finally got around him for second later in the race, only to then fend off defending champ, Eli Tomac, seconds later. Barcia shut down that attempt and staked his claim on third heading into the final laps. With a podium finish in sight, Barcia got tangled up with another rider mid-air and went down hard with only three laps to go. He was able to dust himself off and take the checkered flag in 19th, salvaging a few valuable points toward the overall championship.
Barcia: “The day was going good, I had my best qualifying position with fifth and I felt like we got the bike working really well and I felt really comfortable out there. The Main Event was going good, I was battling for the podium and unfortunately had a lapper come across on me and take me out and that’s pretty much how the night ended. It’s pretty disappointing but onto the next one.”
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team wrapped up another jam-packed week of racing in Indianapolis with Round 6 of the 2021 AMA Supercross World Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jason Anderson, who missed the last round due to a finger injury, returned to the 450SX lineup on Saturday where he claimed a season-best finish of sixth in the premier class.
With only four days off between rounds, Jason Anderson immediately went to work on rehabbing his dislocated finger so he could join Husky team-mate Zach Osborne for the final round in Indy. Anderson got off to a great start in 450SX Heat 2 and he battled for the lead early on lap one. He held onto second for the first three laps before ultimately securing a third-place transfer. In the Main Event, Anderson got a ninth-place start and he worked his way up to eighth just after the halfway point. The 2018 450SX Champion maintained a steady pace in the final laps to pick up two additional spots for a sixth-place finish.
“My night went decent, I was just pumped to be able to do enough therapy on my finger to be able to race tonight,” Anderson said. “I had a better heat, which made myself feel a little bit better and we did some suspension work. In the main, I didn’t get that great of a start but I was able to get better and move through the pack. I’m slowly getting better but not where we want to be, so we’ll get there.”
Osborne had a strong start to the night in 450SX Heat 1, grabbing a third-place start and mixing it up with the front-runners. He rode a sturdy pace to maintain that position all the way through the checkers, carrying a third-place transfer into the Main Event. He didn’t get the best start in the main, battling around the top-10 throughout the entire 26-lap race. In the end, Osborne secured 10th for the night.
“It was a little bit of a tough night,” Osborne said. “I didn’t get a start in the main and it wasn’t one of my best rides of the season. Back to the drawing board this week, I have a few things I would like to really work on and focus on to be better for next weekend in Orlando.”
Team riders Dean Wilson and RJ Hampshire were absent from Round 6 as they continue to recover from injuries sustained early in the season.
After four corners the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event looked like it would be another win for Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols, who got into the lead after a second place start at the holeshot line. But Nichols crashed exiting a corner on that opening lap and flew from his bike, remounting in last place after dodging opening lap traffic. Christian Craig capitalized immediately, taking over the lead and never being challenged.
Just before the race clock ticked down to five minutes in the fifteen minute plus one lap race, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda, moved past Muc-Off Honda’s Mitchell Oldenburg to take over second place; he would hold it until the end, making his career-best finish.
But the drama was a little further back in the pack; Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence was slowly recovering from a mid-pack start while well behind Nichols was frantically recovering from his crash. With eight minutes remaining on the clock, Nichols caught Lawrence, who sat in fifth. The two locked into a fierce but respectful battle as they crept forward, with Lawrence passing into third place with less than a minute on the clock. Right after clearing the white flag, Lawrence went off the track, dashing his hopes of a top three finish.
Coming off two consecutive podium finishes in the 250SX Eastern division, Michael Mosiman’s championship run came to an abrupt halt at Round 6 when he sustained a broken hand at the end of the day’s final practice session. Prior to getting injured Mosiman was in the mix fighting for pole position, ultimately qualifying third overall despite not being able to line up for the night’s racing. The next step for Mosiman will be surgery to repair his broken hand.
Mosiman:“I made a stupid move at the end of the last practice and I seem to have broken my hand in three places. I qualified third was riding great, looking to get my first win here tonight but looks like it’s going to need surgery so we’re going to do the work necessary and be back out there to battle with the guys. I’m super bummed and disappointed. Thanks to everyone sticking behind me and supporting me, we will be back.”
450SX Class Results
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
- Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
- Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM
- Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (138)
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (122)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (114)
- Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (105)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (96)
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (96)
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (95)
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (94)
- Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (87)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (82)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha
- Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
- Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda
- Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
- Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda
- Hunter Sayles, Chassell, Mich., KTM
- Devon Simonson, Laurinburg, N.C., Kawasaki
- Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
- Luke Neese, Jamestown, N.C., Kawasaki
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (143)
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (137)
- Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (119)
- Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (102)
- Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (97)
- Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (88)
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (73)
- Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (65)
- Grant Harlan, Justin Tex., Honda (64)
- Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM (64)