Supercross Preview: Cooper Webb’s rivals need to make a stand in the West

Leave a comment

Round 12 of the Supercross season heads back to the West Coast for a trip to CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash. and the separation among the top four in the 450 class is becoming the top storyline.

Despite an impressive showing in the first weeks of the season, Cooper Webb was unable to create much of a gap over his three closest contenders. The red plate changed hands several times in the opening rounds and at one point, fewer than five points separated the top four. If Webb can extend his points lead at Seattle, his fate is in his own hands and he could run the table with second-place finishes to win the championship.

Marvin Musquin has 14 points to make up to catch Webb. Eli Tomac needs 22 points. Both riders have won, but have not been nearly as productive as the leader. Meanwhile, with back-to-back eighth-place finishes and no wins, Ken Roczen has all but fallen out of tittle contention.

The 250 class is back in action this week and the burning question there is whether Adam Cianciarulo can pick up where he left off. With the exception of the East/West Showdown in Round 5 at San Diego. With four wins to his credit so far this week, he has a chance to catch 250 East rider Austin Forkner for the most victories in class.

MORE: Marvin Musquin’s Indy win may have come too late

Schedule:

Qualifying: 1 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold
Race: Live, 7 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold and 11 p.m. on NBCSN

Last Week:

Eli Tomac climbed to second in the points with his third win of the year over Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin in the 450 class.
Austin Forkner remains perfect in the East with a win over Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper.

Last Year:

Marvin Musquin won over Dean Wilson and Justin Brayton in the 450 class.
In 250s, Jeremy Martin won over Adam Cianciarulo and Luke Renzland in the 250 class in an East/West Showdown.

Winners

450s:
[5] Cooper Webb (Anaheim II, Oakland, Minneapolis, Arlington, and Atlanta)
[3] Eli Tomac (San Diego, Detroit and Daytona)
[1] Justin Barcia (Anaheim I)
[1] Blake Baggett (Glendale)
[1] Marvin Musquin (Indianapolis)

250 West:
[4] Adam Cianciarulo (Glendale, Oakland, San Diego and Atlanta)
[1] Colt Nichols (Anaheim I)
[1] Shane McElrath (Anaheim II)

250 East:
[5] Austin Forkner (Minneapolis, Arlington, Detroit, Daytona and Indianapolis)

Top-5s

450s:
Ken Roczen (9)
Marvin Musquin (9)
Cooper Webb (9)
Eli Tomac (8)
Blake Baggett (7)
Joey Savatgy (3)
Dean Wilson (2)
Chad Reed (2)
Justin Barcia (2)
Jason Anderson (1)
Justin Bogle (1)
Justin Brayton (1)
Aaron Plessinger (1)

250 West:
Adam Cianciarulo (6)
Shane McElrath (5)
Colt Nichols (4)
Dylan Ferrandis (4)
RJ Hampshire (3)
James Decotis (2)
Jacob Hayes (1)
Garrett Marchbanks (1)
Jess Pettis (1)

250 East:
Austin Forkner (6)
Justin Cooper (6)
Chase Sexton (6)
Jordon Smith (3)
Martin Davalos (3)
Alex Martin (2)
Mitchell Oldenburg (2)

Points Leaders

450s:
Cooper Webb (243)
Marvin Musquin (2229)
Eli Tomac (222)
Ken Roczen (216)
Blake Baggett (184)

250 West:
Adam Cianciarulo (140)
Dylan Ferrandis (125)
Shane McElrath (123)
Colt Nichols (120)
RJ Hampshire (86)

250 East:
Austin Forkner (151)
Chase Sexton (125)
Justin Cooper (123)
Alex Martin (92)
Martin Davalos (89)

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

Leave a comment

Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).