The final Texas race and Round 12 of the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship was once again Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb’s night. The 450SX Class racer took a well-earned and dramatic win in front of the enthusiastic limited capacity, pod-seated crowd inside AT&T Stadium. Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen led most of the event and held on for a close second place finish, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac was a threat until the end but finished the night in third.
In Round Five of the Western Regional 250SX Class, Round-One winner Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper grabbed his second win of the season and recaptured the championship points lead.
Full 450 main evet…
When the riders cleared the first corner Ken Roczen jumped into the lead with Webb on his rear tire, Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia close and Tomac right behind – all four 2021 race winners were up front with only each other and a very technical Texas track to deal with. Roczen looked composed and smooth as he kept a small lead over Webb, who had Barcia close behind for the first three minutes of the 20-minute plus one lap race. Just over three minutes in, Tomac got around Barcia and chased after the front two riders, but Barcia did not let the group break away from him.
The gap between the top four racers grew and shrank but rarely got to more than a second between any of them; on the longest rhythm lane the lead four were on the same straightaway even at the race’s midpoint. Tomac looked bound to pass Webb five minutes in, but the KTM rider hung tough and held off the Kawasaki rider’s charge. With just over five minutes left on the race clock Tomac ran into a Tuff Blox, allowing Barcia to get past. The two traded positioning several times until Tomac finally re-establishing himself in third.
Less than a minute after the scrap behind them for third, Webb made his move for the lead. Roczen fought back, and the riders went side by side through several sections before Webb finally made the pass stick exiting the whoops. Roczen mounted a late charge and closed on Webb, but it was not enough to prevent the red plate holder from sweeping the three Arlington races, giving Webb five wins in the past six races and a 15-point lead in the title chase.
Webb said :“I was just focusing on being consistent. I rode terrible in that heat race and didn’t like being put on the ground – that fired me up and got me going for the Main Event. To ride with Kenny that whole race and make a late charge was awesome, I felt really good out there. It’s incredible to get three here in Dallas, it’s unheard of for me. I’m pumped!”
Barcia got off to a good start as he powered the MC 450F into third on the opening lap. In an intense back-and-forth battle, he dropped to fourth early on but then powered his way back into the fight for third after taking advantage of a mistake by Tomac. He held onto a podium position for about four laps but a mistake allowed Tomac to reclaim the spot with a few laps to go. That didn’t stop Barcia from fighting all the way to the chequers, where he finished only two seconds from the podium in fourth.
Barcia said: “This was one of the hardest fourth-place finishes I’ve ever gotten. I charged so hard and was so close to the podium, it was a little bit frustrating. It was definitely one of the more intense races I’ve ever had and with such an aggressive track, the top four of us were just on top of each other the whole race trying as hard as we could. All-in-all, it was a great race but I definitely wanted to be on the box. We’re going to be working hard going into Atlanta, wanting more – to be on the podium, up front and getting wins.”
After missing the first two Main Events in Arlington due to the aftermath of a crash last weekend, Marvin Musquin returned to racing on Saturday. He got off to a good start in 450SX Heat 2, racing his way to a clean transfer with a fourth-place finish in the heat. In the Main Event, Musquin got pinched off after the start and came through mid-pack on the opening lap. Working hard to re-gain positions early on, the French rider made a mistake going through the sand section on lap two where he got tangled with another rider and went down hard. Despite a deep desire to get back to racing, Musquin made the tough decision to sit out for the rest of the night.
Musquin said:“Going through the sand section, I made a mistake and another rider behind me jumped and landed right behind me, hit me and I went down. I landed wrong on my hand and tweaked my wrist. With the pain and having no strength, I couldn’t keep going. I wanted to gain more riding out of it, considering I didn’t race Tuesday and even Saturday, but now we are going into a break so we’ll do our best to recover and get better for Atlanta.”
In the Western Regional 250SX Class, Justin Cooper broke his three-race podium-less streak with a confidence-inspiring win from the holeshot stripe to the checkered flag. Second place went to Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo who crossed the holeshot stripe in about fifth position but was into second place two corners later. McAdoo remained close for the first ten minutes of the fifteen-minute plus one lap race but slowly lost touch as Cooper pulled a comfortable gap over the final laps.
Previous round winner and holder of the red plate going into the event, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence hung strong in third for most of the race, but with just a couple minutes on the race clock overjumped a triple and the mistake sent him off a 180-degree berm. He remounted in fifth and held the position until the finish. Grabbing third place was rookie Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker who fought up to fourth then benefitted from Lawrence’s late-race mistake. Fourth place on the night went to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jalek Swoll with a steady ride after earning his first podium at the previous round.
The series now takes a 20-day break in the schedule before resuming with a rapid-fire five-race finish. Tickets are on sale now for the triple-header in Atlanta kicking off on April 10th and the final two rounds in Salt Lake City beginning on April 24th.
450SX Class Results
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
- Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
- Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
450SX Class Championship Standings
1 Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (275)
2 Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (260)
3 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (234)
4 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (214)
5 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (183)
6 Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (179)
7 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna (171)
8 Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (153)
9 Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM (138)
10 Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (136)
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
- Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki
- Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki
- Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha
- Jarrett Frye, Mechanicsville, Md., Yamaha
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1 Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (108)
2 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (106)
3 Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (102)
4 Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (93)
5 Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (93)
6 Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (88)
7 Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS (68)
8 Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (63)
9 Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda (57)
10 Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (56)