Cooper Webb wins second race in Supercross Round 7; Jett Lawrence also doubles


Cooper Webb’s win in Round 7 of the Monster Energy Supercross season felt a lot different than his first of the season.

When Webb won his first race of 2021, he did so by stalking Ken Roczen and upsetting him with a last-lap pass. Saturday night in Orlando, Florida, Webb led 22 of 25 laps and maintained a solid advantage.

The two experiences were vastly different.

“These last two (races) have been great,” Webb said on NBCSN from the top of the podium. “Last week, we were close like that, and this one was a great race. I got a good start. I had a lot of good speed at the beginning of the race. Made some good passes right away; got in the lead. The track broke down a lot especially from the beginning laps. I felt really good in the whoops and then they went away.”

Webb finished second to Roczen in last week’s finale to the three-race Indianapolis residency. It was his fifth consecutive finish of fourth or better after getting off to a slow start in the season opener.

“I haven’t led like that in a while,” Webb said. “It’s definitely different when you’re leading the majority of the main event. So I kind of had to get used to that. Made a few mistakes those last few and Kenny caught up, but I was able to get it done.”

Webb was able to shave a little bit from Roczen’s championship lead. Roczen currently holds a 13-point advantage over the field, but it is important to start taking small bites out of his lead with 10 races remaining.

“I feel like we needed to stop that momentum that Ken has,” Webb said.

POINTS, RESULTS: All the postrace statistics from Round 7 in Supercross

Despite giving up three points, Roczen was happy with his runner-up finish.

The same can be said of his season so far. The current points leader is coming off a three-race winning streak. Equally impressive, Roczen has finished first or second in all but one race this season. He was fifth in the second of three Houston races.

“About midrace I kind of lost touch a little bit,” Roczen said. “After that we kind of yo-yoed. I reeled him in a little bit at the end, but I had a couple of close calls in the whoops and just got kicked a little weird; and almost went down. I simply wasn’t fast enough to get back on and make a pass.”

Zach Osborne grabbed his first holeshot of the season and led early. He fell to fourth quickly but was able to keep the leaders in sight. When Justin Barcia stumbled, he was in a position to pounce and score his first podium of the year.

But it was Barcia that had the save of the race. In the closing laps, he bobbled in the whoops and dismounted his GasGas bike at full speed. Barcia ran alongside the bike through the next jump and was able to regain his seat without crashing. That was enough to stall his momentum and relegate him to fourth.

After winning the season opener, Barcia wanted to ensure he was not a one-trick pony. He now has four top-fives in seven rounds of the Supercross season.

It was another bad start for defending series champion Eli Tomac, which preceded another spirited charge through the field. Tomac rebounded to finish fifth at the end of Supercross Round 7 and trails Roczen by 29 points. Tomac scored a win in his heat over Shane McElrath, who was making his 450 debut after starting the year with an injury.

McElrath led his heat early and finished second. He started the main event in ninth but faded to 17th at the end.

A rookie season is concerned with building speed and education. Jett Lawrence has the first and rapidly is earning the second.

Last year an injury early in what should have been his freshman campaign sidelined him for most of the season. That almost happened again in the second Indy race when he crashed three times before ultimately taking that night’s main event off. He nursed his shoulder and was back up to speed for the first of two Orlando shows.

Lawrence won his first 250 East race in the second Houston race, and that made him hungry for more. He finally sated that appetite for the second time Saturday night with the Round 7 win.

“I finally got my start sorted and it was just a good ride,” Lawrence said after the race. “I had no idea where Colt (Nichols) was and halfway through I saw a Star Racing helmet (across the track). I didn’t know if it was Christian (Craig)’s or Colt’s and I was like, ‘Oh! Did he go down?’ and I started to relax a bit – but then I heard the Star bike right behind and thought I’d better get going again.”

In fact Nichols had nearly crashed halfway through the event.

“No real decisions really,” Nichols said after the incident. “It was just get back on the horse and go. I had a pretty good moment on that triple. I was just trying to do everything I could to catch Jett. He had a few seconds. He was definitely better than me tonight on this track.”

It was important for Nichols to maintain his mount after falling in Round 6 and allowing teammate Craig to close the gap.

Saturday night in Orlando, it was Craig’s turn to experience trouble.

On Lap 1 of his heat, Craig crashed hard and injured his right hand. He failed to finish that race and was forced into the Last Chance Qualifier, which he handily won by riding a safe race without any risk. In the main event, he finished a distant third to Lawrence and Nichols but managed to salvage what might have been a disastrous night.

“I’ve never had a day like this when I had to push through and injury – and I’m in a title chase so there is no giving up,” Craig said. “When I got out there in the Main event my adrenaline kicked in, and the pain went away.

“I’m just happy and glad to be up here. Salvaged points; only lost a couple. We got a big break. I can heal up and just be ready for Salt Lake.”

Craig finished third.

Still having a career-defining season, Jo Shimoda finished fourth and kept a perfect streak of top fives alive. With one race remaining, Shimoda is 28 points behind Nichols, so it will be a two-man race in the finale at Salt Lake City.

Nichols and Craig will have to wait more than two months for that final showdown, however, as the 250 West riders take center stage beginning next Saturday.

ROUND 1, HOUSTON: Justin Barcia wins opener for third consecutive time

ROUND 2, HOUSTON: Eli Tomac rebounds, wins after Round 1 disappointment

ROUND 3, HOUSTON: Cooper Webb wins, Ken Roczen denied revenge

ROUND 4, INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen makes it four winners in four races

ROUND 5, INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen goes back to back for first time since 2017 injury

ROUND 6, INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen is perfect in Indy for third straight win

Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.

Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX