Race Recap: Webb Wins Championship and a Pair of Championship for Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha.
The final race of the 2021 Supercross season was built up to be the best race of the year with the 450 championship being decided, most likely for Cooper Webb, and the East-West Coast Shootout. With a massive points lead over Ken Roczen, Webb looked to be in his premier mental space ready to TAKE the title win. It’s also inevitable that with the end of the Supercross season that the “Silly Off-Season” talk will start and the major talk looms over the RED Bull Factory KTM team.
The race weekend started with the 250 West Heat race which Justin Cooper held the points lead over Hunter Lawrence. Both Cooper and Lawrence would make contact in the first turn of the heat race which would leave Cooper in the 18th starting position. That incident would result in the lead going to the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki Cameron Mcadoo. That lead stood until Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider, and future Supercross star, Jalek Swoll. Swoll ended the season with 153 points, good enough for a 5th place finish this year. He has proven that he will be a strong rider with his great starts and constant battling at the front of the pack all year. Mcadoo and Swoll fought for the lead racing each other hard and banging bars in the turn trying to steal the racing line from each other, until the end result of Mcadoo winning the heat race, Team Honda HRC rider Hunter Lawrence taking 2nd place and Swoll finishing in 3rd. The biggest surprise was Justin Cooper finishing in 8th getting the automatic transfer spot to the main event.
The 250 East race was much more of a calm race. Michael Mosiman got a great start off the line and was able to take the heat race win while the battles took place behind him. Series point’s leader, Colt Nichols started in 7th but was simply looking for an automatic transfer to finish out his first championship title run in the East/West shootout. Team Honda HRC rider Jett Lawrence and close friend Jo Shimoda, of Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, would battle for the second-place finish with Lawrence getting the best of Shimoda in a clean but authoritative pass. Colt Nichols would finish in 4th.
The first 450 heat race saw defending series champion Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac grab the holeshot with Marvin Musquin in 2nd until Team Honda HRC Ken Roczen took a flat track style power slide pass on Musquin to take the second place position. The heat race was an easy win for Tomac, Roczen placed second, and Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider Malcolm Stewart in 3rd.
The 450’s second heat was Jason Anderson’s from the beginning to the end. The top six riders in the heat were all so close that they crossed the line one right after the other. The final running order had Anderson in 1st, series point’s leader, Cooper Webb in 2nd, Aaron Plessinger in 3rd, Justin Barcia in 4th, Chase Sexton in 5th, and Dylan Ferrandis in 6th.
Undoubtedly, the best race of the 250 season is the West v East shootout, and the race definitely lived up to the hype. To begin the race Colt Nichols grabbed the holeshot followed by Hammaker in 2nd, Jett Lawrence in 3rd, his brother Hunter Lawrence in 4th, Justin Cooper in 5th, and Cameron Mcadoo in 6th. All six racers have had a race victory this season. With both 250 championships wrapped up, Colt Nichols and Justin Cooper were racing to wrap up the titles. Copper took a spill and fell to 8th, BUT he only had to finish better than 17th so he could pretty much take a stroll around the track and ride cautiously. The 250 shootout is so highly valued as a rider because you can finish off your season and make a statement for the season to come. Jett Lawrence did just that. The battle for the race win came down to Team Honda HRC rider Jett Lawrence and Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha Colt Nichols. Lawrence took the top position with a fast run into the whoop section with 3 minutes left. The podium consisted of Jett Lawrence taking 1st place, Colt Nichols taking 2nd place and the East Coast championship, and Hunter Lawrence in 3rd place. Justin Cooper ended up finishing 9th while clinching he 250 West championship.
In order to win the 450 Supercross title, Ken Roczen would have to win the final race and Cooper Webb would need to place 19th or worst. The likeliness of that happening with Webb in the final stretch of winning his second championship was very low. The final holeshot of the supercross season went to Marvin Musquin, Roczen in 2nd, and Webb in 3rd. It didn’t take long for Roczen to take the lead over from Musquin followed by Webb. The latest take around the pits are linked to Marvin Musquin and the possibility of him retiring at the end of the season. That would leave an open seat at possibly one of the most coveted rides in the field. The person closest linked to that rider is Aaron Plessinger who finished 5th in overall points, but it’s still very unclear the route Musquin will take or if Plessinger will stay with the team that he had so much success this season.
For the remainder of the race, Cooper Webb looked to be toying with Roczen by changing race lines causing Roczen to ride defensively. Roczen attempted a block pass and Webb simply shrugged it off and continued to push for a win. Chase Sexton the Team Honda HRC rider took advantage of Webb and Roczen playing cat and mouse and made a pass for second with 16 minutes left. Roczen relinquished the lead to teammate Sexton. Webb was not finished and eventually made the mentally crushing pass on Roczen that would see him fall to a finishing position on 10th place. Webb finished and made the final pass of the season over Sexton to claim his title. Another notable finish for the season is Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing Team in their first year.