Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb took the win again in front of a limited capacity, pod-seated crowd of excited race fans in the second Arlington Supercross on Tuesday night, extending his series lead. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac earned second place points and Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen rounded out the podium in third. And there was controversy as Jason Anderson was docked a place after cutting the track, while the same track-cutting meant penalties in the 450LCQ and 250 main.
The Western Regional 250SX Class served up its fourth different winner in four rounds when Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence took his first Supercross win in only his sixth start. He also takes the red plate after Cameron McAdoo is penalised for cutting the track, dropping him from seventh to 10th on the night. He fell in the whoops and cut the track to rejoin.
When Cooper Webb grabbed the holeshot in the 450SX Class Main Event with Tomac and Roczen directly behind, the race that fans have been waiting for all season had arrived. The three front runners in the championship chase, each with at least two wins on the season already, had an open track ahead and 20 minutes plus one lap to throw down and see who has the best speed just past the midway point of the season. Tomac stayed close, pulling right up behind Webb through the whoops five minutes into the race, but Webb held strong and seemed unfazed by the pressure.
For the rest of the race Webb held roughly one second over Tomac even as they lapped other riders while Roczen slowly lost touch with the front two. With five minutes left on the race clock Tomac got close again but spun out in the corner before the whoops and could not make up the two second deficit the mistake cost. Webb stretched his lead to over five seconds by the race’s end. One rider on the move throughout the race, Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia rounded the first lap in the back of the pack and fought his way steadily forward, earning a fourth-place finish by the checkers, with Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton grabbing a fifth place finish.
Webb once again powered his way to the front with a convincing holeshot and early lead. Defending champion Eli Tomac settled in behind Webb and applied constant pressure throughout the 24-lap race but Webb didn’t break as he came away with a comfortable margin of 4.634 seconds upon crossing the chequers.
Webb said: “That was a huge confidence booster for me, to lead the whole race again with that amount of pressure. Eli was probably the faster guy tonight but I just tried to hit my marks and not make any mistakes. After that [practice] crash today, sometimes it’s good for you to get those big hits, get that fear back in you and ride the thing that kicked you off. I’m super pumped on that Main Event, to battle with those guys and be able to lead wire to wire, it’s awesome.”
Anderson once again found himself at the back of the pack after getting tangled up and going down in the first turn. As he was working his way forward, Anderson got stopped up behind a few downed riders and lost a lot of momentum but he did his best to continue climbing. With an impressive charge, Anderson worked his way up to just outside the top-five battle, ultimately finishing seventh after being docked a place for cutting the whoops.
“My riding was actually really good once I figured out some issues we were having,” Anderson said. “I had a little mishap in the heat race and ended up eighth. In Main Event, I had a not-so-good of a gate pick and had a first corner fall, starting in dead last, but I was able to get back up to sixth. I’m looking forward to the next round, I think we can do some damage.”
Wilson got a seventh-place start in 450SX Heat 1 and he put himself into a favorable sixth-place position early on. With consistent laps, Wilson held onto sixth for a majority of the race until encountering a race-ending issue with the rear wheel on the final lap. In the LCQ, Wilson secured a fifth-place start and he charged his way up to second late in the race, ultimately passing for the lead and securing the win. In the Main Event, Wilson started in ninth and he battled around the top-10 for most of the race. He locked in 10th heading into the final laps, where he finished 10th on the night.
“It’s not an amazing ride for me but I’ll definitely build from it,” Wilson said. “I need to keep being in the top-10 and then to the top-five and eventually on that podium. It’s been a tough season so far with injuries but I’m working through it and trying my best. Thank you to the team, my bike was awesome!”
Barcia had some struggles off the start that set him back as far as 16th on the opening lap but he quickly turned things around to jump into 10th early on. He continued to chip away, finally reaching a top-five spot around the halfway point and that’s when he charged full-steam ahead to secure fourth. Later in the race, Barcia found himself just outside the podium battle once again but he wasn’t able to close the gap enough to make a move and he brought it in for a solid fourth in the Main Event. With six rounds to go in 2021, Barcia maintains fourth overall in the 450SX Championship standings.
Barcia: “My riding was awesome in the Main Event. I just pushed through and got as far as I could but unfortunately missed out on the podium, which is frustrating, but all-in-all it was a good ride and I’m looking forward to getting back up on the podium on Saturday. The bike is really good, the team is good and I’m good, so we just need to nail those starts and we’ll be up there.”
Briton Max Anstie made the main again and finished 16th on the HEP Suzuki.
KTM’s Marvin Musquin did not line up on after suffering a hard crash during his heat race on Saturday. The French rider received stitches immediately after the race and doctors later confirmed that he did not sustain any broken bones; however, due to the quick turnaround in the series schedule, Musquin was not cleared to race. Upon clearance from the medical staff, Musquin looks to make a return on Saturday for the final round of racing in Arlington, Texas.
Muc-Off Honda’s Mitchell Harrison grabbed the early lead in the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jalek Swoll right on his rear wheel. Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper, the fastest racer in all of the division’s qualifying this season, sat in sixth but contact with another rider on the opening lap put him back to nineteenth place. The previous round’s winner, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker, was running just inside the top ten and not in a position to repeat his win.
Just over five minutes into the fifteen-minute plus one lap race Lawrence made a bold move, passing two riders in one bowl turn to jump from third place and into the lead. From there he rode like a seasoned veteran, stretching his lead to five seconds near the end of the race. Shortly after Lawrence took command up front, points leader Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo crashed in the whoops and dropped back, meeting up with Cooper who was up to eleventh at that point. By the checkers, Lawrence had the win, Swoll sat solidly in second, recently crowned Kicker Arenacross champ Phoenix Racing Honda’s Kyle Peters grabbed third, and ClubMX / IAMACOMBACK / Yamaha’s Garrett Marchbanks took fourth with Justin Cooper rounding out the top five.
It was a superior day all around for Swoll, who placed a season-best sixth in qualifying before setting out to a strong start in 250SX Heat 1. With a top-three start, Swoll ran up front throughout the entire race to ultimately capture third, his best heat race finish of the season. In the Main Event, Swoll kept the momentum rolling with another great start, sitting second right away on the opening lap. He diced back-and-forth inside the top-three in the first few laps but he eventually set claim to the number two spot. Maintaining his composure through the pressure up front, Swoll went on to secure his first career podium with an impressive second-place finish.
“I’m so happy right now, I can’t even put the words together,” Swoll said. “It was such a long road but I kept my head down and I knew I was going to get here. First podium – I’m pumped and just happy to reward the people who have stuck behind me. I definitely want to carry the momentum into Saturday.”
It was an unfortunate ending to the day for Daytona SX runner-up Stilez Robertson, who made it through qualifying and his heat race before ending his night early due to a foot injury. In 250SX Heat 1, Robertson grabbed a sixth-place start and he raced in that position until two laps to go, when he overtook fifth. Although he secured a fifth-place transfer position, Robertson was unable to line up for the Main Event due to a foot injury sustained earlier in the day.
With one more round in Arlington this Saturday the series then heads into a short break before an Atlanta triple-header and then the two-race season finale in Salt Lake City, Utah.
450SX Class Results
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
- Martin Davalos, Tallahassee, Fla., KTM
- Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
450SX Class Championship Standings
1 Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (249)
2 Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (237)
3 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (213)
4 Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (195)
5 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (169)
6 Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (162)
7 Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna (153)
8 Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (137)
9 Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (135)
10 Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (123)
250SX Class podium (riders left to right) Jalek Swoll, Hunter Lawrence, and Kyle Peters. Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
- Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha
- Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
- Mitchell Harrison, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
- Jordon Smith, Ochlocknee, Ga., Kawasaki
- Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standing
1 Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (84)
2 Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (83)
3 Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (82)
4 Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (76)
5 Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (74)
6 Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (67)
7 Chris Blose, Phoenix, Ariz., GASGAS (52)
8 Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (48)
9 Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda (48)
10 Stilez Robertson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (45)