Cooper Webb’s new mindset resulted in 2019 Supercross championship

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Cooper Webb’s remarkable 2019 season saw him rise from what seemed to be impending irrelevance in the Supercross 450 class to his first championship.

The difference between two years of struggle and his meteoric ascent was resetting his mindset, not once but twice.

“I was with Yamaha the last two years and really had an abundance of injuries and really couldn’t stay healthy and this year I switched teams to the Red Bull KTM team and I think the bike just really fit me really well,” Webb said on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America. “For me it was just a reset and I think it really motivated me to get back where I was in the 250 days.”

Webb’s rapid progression through the Supercross ranks was interrupted in 2017 and 2018. After winning the 2015 and 2016 250 West championship plus the 2016 250 Motocross championship, he suffered through multiple injuries that could have left him on the sidelines. With factory support from KTM, it was time to prove himself.

“The last two years have been tough and there was a lot of talk – a lot of negativity being said by fans and riders that I would never be relevant again,” Webb continued.

Webb finished third in the first Anaheim race on a heavy, muddy track. He finished 10th in Round 2, but with expectations still raised by the move to his new team, he knew that was an aberration.

Photo: SupercrossLIVE

It didn’t take long to prove his critics wrong. Round 3 of the Supercross season saw him win the first two Mains in that week’s Triple Crown format. That single race became a microcosm of his season. Comfortable with two victories against the sport’s toughest competition under his belt, he rode both an aggressive and safe race. He would not put his bike at risk in the third Main, but still finished third for the overall win. It was his first career win in the 450 class.

“As soon as you win that first race – get on that podium – it’s that belief instantly is there again,” Webb said as he described his second mental reset of the season. “I think for me that was the biggest thing. I knew I had the opportunity and the ability to win this year, but as soon as I did it, it was just a whole new mindset and a whole new belief that, ‘hey you achieved it.’

“You just want to keep going and that feeling (of winning) becomes addicting.”

Webb won three of the next four races, stood on the second step of the podium at Detroit and then won again the following week in Atlanta. He would fail to stand on the podium only once more (a fourth at Seattle) on his way to the championship.

“Now that I’ve (won the championship), the sky’s the limit,” Webb said.

With his head in the clouds, Webb will test that limit next week in Rancho Cordova, California at Hangtown as the Motocross season begins.

For more, watch the video above.

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Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen finish 1-2 at High Point, tie for points lead

Rich Shepherd, ProMotocross
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Time was running off the clock and Eli Tomac was going to give up the overall win to Ken Roczen, until the Colorado native dug deep and made the pass for second in Moto 2 at High Point Raceway at Mount Morris, Penn. Roczen would win his third Moto of the season, but Tomac won the war.

With a third-place finish in Moto 1 and his second in Moto 2, Tomac grabbed the overall victory for the second time this season in Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championship.

For Tomac, it was another difficult start to the race. He tipped his bike over in Moto 1 and fell back to fifth while battling two seconds behind the leader Blake Baggett. Tomac had to battle his way back toward the front again after barely cracking the top five in the first Motos in two of the first three rounds.

Roczen fared even worse in Moto 1. He finished sixth in that race – more than 34 seconds behind the leader Baggett. Determined to make up for his bad start, Roczen charged through the field in Moto 2 and took the lead from Cooper Webb on Lap 9.

“I was just going to charge,” Roczen told NBC Sports after his Moto win. “Do the best I can. I went back to my Colorado (last week) settings because the first race was awful; I couldn’t even ride.”

Tomac entered the round two points behind Roczen and was able to make up only those two points. The battle continues onto Florida next week with a tie for the top spot.

With a 2-5, Jason Anderson grabbed third overall.

Battling back from injury, Anderson faded in the closing laps of Moto 2, but is regaining strength each week.

Webb (third) and Zach Osborne (fourth) rounded out the top five in Moto 2 and finished fourth and fifth respectively overall.

Moto 1 featured a rider searching for his first Moto win in two years. Baggett earned the holeshot and held off an early advantage by Tomac. When Tomac fell, it handed second to Anderson, who finished nearly 10 seconds behind the leader.

“Every time I get out front here, I have that weird sensation of trying to keep it on two wheels,” Baggett said on NBC Sports Gold following his win.

Tomac was not the only rider to go down in Moto 1. Webb lost his pegs on Lap 9 and became the cape to his KTM motorcycle as he flew along holding tight to the handlebars. He recovered in that race to finish seventh.

450 Moto 1 Results
450 Moto 2 Results
450 Overall Results
Points Standings

Adam Cianciarulo remains perfect in the 250 class. Winning Moto 2 in each round so far this season, Cianciarulo has capitalized on his late event surges to sweep Victory Lane in the first four weeks.

It wasn’t an easy run for Cianciarulo, nonetheless. He was only fifth at the end of Lap 1 in Moto 1 and was forced to slice through the field to get to second at the checkers of that race.

“Just coming to the races now – coming to outdoor nationals now – compared to the past, it’s just an entirely different vibe,” Cianciarulo said on NBCSN after the race. “It’s like I’m experiencing it for the first time because for the first time in my whole pro career I believe in myself.

“It’s a process when you hit rock bottom and start coming back.”

Hunter Lawrence stole the show in Moto 1. Earning his first career win handily, he came out in Moto 2 and proved it was not a fluke by finishing third in the race and taking second overall.

“It’s awesome,” Lawrence said on NBC Sports Gold following his Moto 1 victory. “It’s just a Moto win, but it’s a big milestone in our trip and campaign.”

Chase Sexton earned the holeshot in Moto 1, but faded to fourth at the end. Sexton kept Cianciarulo in sight in the back half of Moto 2 to finish second in the race and third overall.

With a 3-4, Dylan Ferrandis finished fourth overall with Colt Nichols (5-5) finishing fifth.

After losing the overall at Thunder Valley amidst controversy, Justin Cooper wanted to make a statement. He barely raised his voice with a sixth in Moto 1 and a ninth in Moto 2 to finish ninth overall.  He lost another 20 points to the points leader as Cianciarulo starts to edge away from the pack. Cooper remains second in the points, but is now 26 back.

Garrett Marchbanks went down hard on Lap 4 of Moto 1 and had the bike land on his head. He did not start Moto 2, but there have been no report of injury yet.

250 Moto 1 Results
250 Moto 2 Results
250 Overall Results
Points Standings

Moto Wins

450MX
[4] Eli Tomac (Hangtown II, Pala I & Pala II, Thunder Valley II)
[3] Ken Roczen (Hangtown I, Thunder Valley I, High Point II)
[1] Blake Baggett (High Point I)

250MX
[4] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II, Thunder Valley I, High Point II)
[3] Justin Cooper (Hangtown I, Pala I, Thunder Valley I)
[1] Hunter Lawrence (High Point I)

Next race: WW Ranch Motocross Park, Jacksonville, Fla. June 22

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

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