Race Recap: Webb Sweeps Arlington
There are five more races left in the 2021 Supercross schedule and Cooper Webb seems to be making the statement that this championship is all his. There is a two-week break coming up, then we are heading down to Atlanta for the next three races. Currently, Webb has a 15 point lead on Ken Roczen.
Chase Sexton, the 450 rookie for Team Honda HRC, was able to make a leap forward in this 450 career by qualifying first overall. Monster Energy Kawasaki, defending champion, and third in points, Eli Tomac qualified second overall after a disappointing last two races. Tomac needs to make a push if he wants to maintain his championship crown. Ken Roczen rounded out the top three qualifying spots and Cooper Webb qualified 5th.
Heat one was a battle between Eli Tomac and Troy Lee Designs Red Bull Gas Gas rider Justin Barcia. Barcia jumped to an early lead on the field but during lap 5 Tomac took over the lead to finish the heat in first place. Both Tomac and Barcia ran away with 1st and 2nd place as they gapped third place, Malcolm Stewart, by 9 seconds. Heat 2 was stacked with riders including Honda HRC teammates Roczen, Chase Sexton, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Jason Anderson, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Marvin Musquin, and Cooper Webb. Webb got out to an early lead but Roczen was able to take over on lap 5 as Webb started getting out of rhyme which eventually lead him into contact with Sexton leaving him on the floor. Webb finished in 5th. Now most fans think it’s just the heat race, and let’s be honest it is, but everything that Webb does from here on out will be under a microscope as he is the point’s leader.
The 450 main event got off to possibly the most competitive start we have seen this year, all four riders on top of the points standings were running upfront. Roczen earned the holeshot leaving Webb, Barcia, and Tomac to fight it out for second. The leaders settled into the race for the first 18 laps until Webb and Tomac began to apply pressure to Roczen. Tomac, riding in third, eventually made a mistake over the finish line jump, resulting in him getting tangled up in a tough block. He wasn’t injured, but he did lose his third-place position to Barcia. Tomac did eventually pass Barcia and finish third, but seeing how he is 41 points down to Webb I think the best season finish he could make is 2nd. Roczen had a comfortable lead on Webb until lap 19 when Webb started showing Roczen he was there. The two started the chess match, Webb making moves to pass, but Roczen defending every attempt until a lap later. Webb eventually went on to complete the pass and sweep Arlington in dominating fashion.
The 250 West class has given us four different winners in the first four races of their season. Last weekend Cameron Mcadoo was docked 3 positions giving the points lead over to the newest winner Hunter Lawrence. In qualifying the four winners of Justin Cooper (qualifying 1st), Cameron Mcadoo (qualifying 2nd), Seth Hammaker (qualifying 3rd), and Hunter Lawrence (qualifying 5th) topped the field, But would this week bring a new 250 class winner again? Could that be 4th place qualifier and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Jordan Smith? Smith has battled through crashes and injuries this year so most fans were hoping he could break through this race.
In heat race 1 the results will show Smith did not start; however he did, but he didn’t make it very far. Smith made the first turn in third but he made contact in the first double with FXR Chaparral Honda rider Coty Schock which forced Smith to jump to the far left of the track where he made midair contact with Mitchell Harrison. Harrison had to be helped off the track, but Jordan Smith walked off under his own power holding his right shoulder. No word on the severity of his injuries just yet. Mcadoo finished the heat race in first place leading all but the first lap. Heat race two, fortunately, didn’t have the same carnage as the first heat, and Justin Cooper decided to make it as least interesting as possible, leading every lap and finishing first in front of Hunter Lawrence, and Jalek Swoll.
The 250 West main event started out with Justin Cooper firing out of the gate and grabbing the holeshot leaving Coty Schock and Hunter Lawrence fighting it out for second. Cameron Mcadoo got a decent start in fourth followed by Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Seth Hammaker in fifth. Mcadoo made a quick move up to second place. Hunter Lawrence was settling into third place when he miscalculated a triple jump landing hard at the base of the jump causing him to grab throttle which sent him into the catch fence and through it. He grabbed onto the netting like Tarzan and seemed to get up without injury. Lawrence finished in fifth place. The 250 night belonged to Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider Justin Cooper. His second win and the first repeat winner in the 250 West Championship. This dominating ride by Cooper earned him back the lead by two points over Mcadoo.
The next two weeks will be long without supercross racing; however being that the racers have committed to putting on a supercross season for us fans and racing three races in a week, I think they have earned a well-deserved rest as they head into the home stretch of the season. Riders like Ken Roczen will probably take this break and rest, spend time with his newborn, and get back in the mindset that carried him to a sweep in Indianapolis earlier this season.