Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb made a last lap pass on Ken Roczen to capture the 450SX Class win in the third Houston Supercross after the HRC man was held up behind lapper Dean Wilson for almost the whole last lap.
“Part of me wants to punch a hole in the wall. But I’ve been practicing my patience so I’m going to keep it cool. It was a bummer last lap. He (Wilson) was ahead of me for about three quarters of it. I was screaming and yelling but he told me he didn’t hear me. It is what it is,” Roczen said on the podium.
Wilson said: “First off I ****ed up. I fully own this. I never knew it was the leaders behind me Kenny, I’m sorry and sincerely apologise. I ruined your race and wish I could take it back.
“I should have been more aware of who was behind me – I just locked on to the guys ahead. I can’t apologise enough for pretty much being the idiot of the race,” said Wilson who was battling for 12th place.
It was ironic that last week, Roczen was docked points for failing to notice a red cross flag. There was no penalty for Wilson for ignoring blue flags.
Roczen’s second behind Webb and took the series lead as Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo brought home his first podium in 2021.
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class also delivered its third winner in three rounds when Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols fought past his teammate to grab his first win in two years.
Webb led at the 450SX Class Main Event holeshot line but Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen hung close then moved past him two minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race. Adam Cianciarulo settled into third with season-opener winner Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia close behind. Defending champ Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac was off to a mid-pack start and moved up through the field steadily.
Barcia was the fastest rider on the track, but a crash in the sand section after the midpoint of the race ended his chances of a podium finish. Roczen pulled, what appeared as, a comfortable lead of over three seconds late in the race, but Webb started his charge and moved his KTM up to the Honda rider’s rear wheel in the closing laps. Webb benefitted when a lapper flustered Roczen on the final lap; Webb took advantage and tucked inside a 180-degree corner, cut across the ruts, and sealed his spot in the lead.
The win was the twelfth for Cooper Webb and the 50th Monster Energy Supercross Main Event win for KTM; an impressive milestone with their first win coming in 2012. The second place finish pushed Ken Roczen into the points lead, only one point ahead of both Webb and Barcia.
Webb: “It was a close race the whole time and Kenny [Roczen] rode a solid race with not many mistakes. The track was really tricky, easy to over-ride and get impatient. The lappers there at the end was a bummer, I felt like we were going to have a really good battle, and obviously we did, but the lappers were really tough tonight. I hung in there and I pounced on that last lap and made it happen. I’ve really got to give it up to my team, they’re amazing.”
Red plate holder going into the event, Justin Barcia found himself just inside the top-10 with his work cut out for him early on. About 10 laps in, Barcia started clicking off consistently fast lap times and it wasn’t long before he was in podium contention. A small mistake cost him some time in the sand section but he reclaimed fourth and kept it on two wheels all the way to the finish.
Barcia: “I felt good going into the Main Event. The track was pretty rough and beat up and I came off the line a little bit late and didn’t get the best of start but I worked my way up to fourth. I was behind third and made a mistake in the sand and went down. All-in-all, I should have been on the podium but we’ll regroup and be ready for Indy. We are in a good spot, the bike feels great, I’m feeling good and the speed is definitely there, I just need to keep it on two wheels, keep nailing the starts and put myself in a good position to be in the fight.”
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class delivered its own excitement as Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig took the early lead and looked poised to repeat his round one win, but his teammate Colt Nichols kept close and made his first pass into the lead with just under three minutes left on the race clock. Craig fought back, but within two laps Nichols charged past again and made it stick to put himself into a title points tie with Craig.
Last weekend’s first-time winner, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence, got a bad jump at the start and had to play catch up. An aggressive pass on Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Michael Mosiman for third earned the Honda rider a podium on the night. Title favorites Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire both sat out with injuries incurred in qualifying and free practice.
Briton Dylan Woodcock crashed hard in his heat race while in a transfer spot. He qualified for the opening two rounds and looked set to continue his form until he fell.
Woodcock said: “Gutted I’m writing this post, My rear end skipped out and I tried to keep it wide open but ended up landing on my bum from being 5th gear in the whoops to a dead stop. I have had a lot of pain in my back and numbness in my legs and feet pretty scary right now but I’m still smiling and taking the positives from this all in the hospital. Thanks for all the messages and everyone for the Support I’m sure I’ll bounce back better then ever.”
450SX Class Results
1. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
3. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
7. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
8. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna
9. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
10. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (60)
2. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (59)
3. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (59)
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (54)
5. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (51)
6. Justin Brayton, Charlotte, N.C., Honda (51)
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (51)
8. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (50)
9. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (48)
10. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (40)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
2. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha
3. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
4. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
5. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS
6. Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM
7. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda
8. John Short, Pilot Point, Tex., Suzuki
9. Kevin Moranz, Topeka, Kans., KTM
10. Thomas Do, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (70)
2. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (70)
3. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (64)
4. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (56)
5. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (53)
6. Max Vohland, Granite Bay, Calif., KTM (46)
7. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (42)
8. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (40)
9. John Short, Pilot Point, Tex., Suzuki (39)
10. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (34)