2019 AMA SX, ROUND 6: THE WONDER OF WEBB

There’s a rule in racing, never let the opposition get a taste of victory, it boosts their confidence. Messrs Tomac, Roczen and Musquin are right now regretting Cooper Webb’s Anaheim II win…

Tuesday 12th February 2019

Supercross headed east last weekend, picking up a new field of 250 riders – who typically shot out of the gate wild with energy. But in the 450s – aside from the propensity of burnt family jewels (thanks to the lime at San Diego) – it was pretty much business as usual. And boy are the points tight at the top!

  

450SX

1

Cooper Webb. Mr Webb has the wind on his back, having just sailed to his third victory this year. Most could see him stepping it up this year, given the team he’s now in, but he’s gone way better, now he’s the strongest rider in the series. He followed his old classmate Joey Savatgy for half the race, gently worrying the Kawasaki rider, but once he nipped past he was gone, straight off putting a second and half buffer into the following gaggle. Webb rode confident, practically unchallenged. Alarm bells are no doubt ringing around the paddock.

2

Ken Roczen. Gentle Ken will be relieved to have pulled a podium result this week and no doubt delighted to have the red plate returned; but for his fans, as happy as they are to see him challenging for the championship, this steady-away approach to the season feels so wrong. Roczen got a good start, slotted into the number three spot but after that he just held station only passing Savatgy once the Georgian’s energies faded.

3

Marvin Musquin. Another podium is good news for Musquin, he’s right in there for the championship. But Webb’s third race win seriously challenges Marv’s number one status at KTM – in fact that’s probably already gone. At best these guys are now considered equal in the team. It tests friendship too, this kind of thing. Marv had to battle to make the podium in Minneapolis and no doubt would have loved to have ambushed Roczen again at the finish, but he’d run out of fight by then. Possibly it’s time for a Marv start-to-finish masterclass of speed.

4

Joey Savatgy. Some recompense here for Savatgy after his bike broke in Oakland. Savatgy – a class rookie let’s not forget – again showed he can ride with the best. Only it would seem not for an entire race. That’s harsh, heck he led a quality four-bike freight train for a long time there and it was only after Roczen got by that Savatgy lost his rhythm allowing both Musquin and Blake Baggett by in the next two corners. Otherwise a sterling ride and one that suggests he’ll be a 450 rider of some quality!  

5

Justin Brayton. Old Guys Rule. Kind, of. But the second oldest rider in the series (after Grandpa Reed) – and winner of the Daytona SX last year – put in some nice rides in Minneapolis, winning his heat, then hanging around the edge of the top five in the main, scooping up the fifth after Baggett crashed out with five laps to go.

The others

Taxi for Mr Tomac! Jeez, Eli Tomac’s season is not looking anything like we expected. Buried in 16th off the start it was a long night and not exactly a blazing ride either, making it back to 6th. Not the follow-up he’d have wanted to his San Diego win. Still, even that result keeps him right in there in the championship battle. And Justin Barcia could have done without a 9th – that’s costing him precious points and he’s losing touch with the championship leaders.

 

Race of the night

Top tip – if you only watch one race from Minneapolis, make it 450 Heat 2. Brayton in great form, Musquin playing up-down-up-down and great battles between Barcia, Savatgy and the Rocky Mountain ATV duo of Bogle and Baggett – cracking stuff! More of this please AMA SX.

 

RUST’s predictions for Arlington: Last year this ran Tomac–Musquin–Baggett. We could see those three doing that again. Only the championship this year is TIGHT. So Roczen is in there, Webb too, while Savatgy’s coming up to speed. And some class rookie by the name of Zach Osborne is due to ride too (will he smoke or get smoked?). What we’re missing so far is a real duel. Everyone’s playing nice, too nice. Like we said, Osborne’s coming…

 

250SX

 

Welcome to 250SX East. It kind of looks exactly like 250SX West, where a green bike runs away while orange and blue bikes chase. So, substitute AF (Austin Forkner) for AC – pulling off a very similar start-to-finish win in the main. Jordan Smith is the new TLD KTM guy (playing Shane McElrath), having a real yo-yo of a main, while Justin Cooper is channeling Dylan Ferrandis (rather than Colt Nichols) such is his fiery riding on his Yamaha. Cooper not only had RC in a pickle with the commentary – calling a Webb/Cooper/Justin mash-up – but rode Alex Martin off the track to get that last podium place in this his debut ride in the series. Only to be fair to Cooper, Martin had just been dusted-up by Smith leaving him in the wrong place at the wrong time with Cooper looking pretty committed to his line. And besides, what comes around goes around… Martin had earlier taken out Martin Davalos who’d been sitting pretty in second. So 250SX East – hmm, much the same game.

 

RUST’s predictions for Arlington: If Smith gets a clean run he has the speed to match Forkner – and that could make for an entertaining race. We’re hoping for that. Biggest job in the 250s right now is pulling back the speed advantage the Kawasakis have out of the gate….

 

Results

2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross

Round 6, Minneapolis, MN

 

450SX

1. Cooper Webb KTM 26 laps

2. Ken Roczen Honda +3.190

3. Marvin Musquin KTM +10.695

4. Joey Savatgy Kawasaki +15.423

5. Justin Brayton Honda +18.325

6. Eli Tomac Kawasaki +21.942

7. Chad Reed Suzuki +26.057

8. Dean Wilson Husqvarna +28.282

9. Justin Barcia Yamaha +28.981

10. Aaron Plessinger Yamaha +44.952

 

450SX standings after six rounds

1. Ken Roczen 125 points

2. Cooper Webb 124

=3. Eli Tomac 123

=3. Marvin Musquin 123

5. Dean Wilson 95

 

 

250SX East

1. Austin Forkner Kawasaki 20 laps

2. Jordon Smith KTM +6.087

3. Justin Cooper Yamaha +9.900

4. Alex Martin Suzuki +12.953

5. Chase Sexton Honda +17.935

 

250SX West standings after two rounds

1. Austin Forkner 26 points

2. Jordon Smith 23

3. Justin Cooper 21

4. Alex Martin 19

5. Chase Sexton 18

 

 

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