Cooper Webb wins Supercross Round 8, sweeps Orlando to close points gap


Cooper Webb took the lead of Round 8 of the Monster Energy Supercross season from Adam Cianciarulo in the second of two Orlando, Fla. races and never looked back. It was Webb’s second consecutive Supercross win and his third of the season.

Equally important, the victory allowed Webb to close the points margin to just six markers to Ken Roczen as the season hits the halfway mark and takes a week off before heading to down the road to Daytona International Speedway for the annual race on that track’s famed fronststretch.

“This one is huge,” Webb said from the top spot of the podium. “Back to back wins is amazing. Battling with AC. To be in Orlando? I guess this is my new spot.

“Start to finish, I felt like I was in my comfort zone, just clicking laps away.”

Most of Webb’s deficit was built in the first race of the season when he finished ninth in the opening round at Houston. Since then, he has swept the top-five with a worst result of fourth and five podium finishes in his last six races.

For his part, Roczen has also been nearly perfect with a worst finish of fifth through eight rounds.

Webb’s teammate Marvin Musquin has had a much more ragged run in 2021.

Coming back from a knee injury, Musquin got off to a strong start in the first Houston race and immediately stood on the podium. But he fell hard in the next three races with a sixth at Houston 2, a 10th in the first of three Indianapolis races and an 11th in Indy’s second event.

Musquin rebounded to finish third in the final race of the Indy residency before sliding to seventh last week in the first of two Orlando races.

POINTS, RESULTS: All the postrace statistics from Round 8 in Supercross

“It feels really good to be riding up front,” Musquin said after Orlando 2. “I had a great start, lost a couple of positions – I was maybe fifth or fourth – but I came back and was able to pass Justin Barcia. He’s not an easy guy to pass.

“I was aggressive. I made it happen. I felt confident.”

Barcia won the opening round for the last three seasons, but in 2019 and 2020 he faded soon after. He was determined that would not happen this season. He may have felt discouraged by a ninth-place out the next week, but the Houston residency ended with a fourth-place finish. For the next several weeks, he established a pattern of one strong then one poor race.

Until this week.

Barcia finished fourth in the first Orlando race. On Saturday morning, he crashed in practice and bruised his ribs. It would have been easy to ride a safe race, but that is not in the nature of a rider nicknamed “Bam Bam”.

“It was a tough day for sure,” Barcia said after holding off determined charges by both Roczen and Eli Tomac. “I had a big crash in practice that banged me up. I’m hurting right now. This track was very difficult for me.”

Roczen fell back as far as 17th after getting pinched out of the gate. He lost 10 seconds to the early leader Cianciarulo, but maintained that relative spot on the track. As Webb and Musquin settled into a comfortable rhythm, Roczen charged through the field and wound up seven seconds back in fourth.

It was enough to allow Webb to cut Roczen’s lead in half, but it could have been much worse.

Jason Anderson rounded out the top five after winning his heat with a last-corner pass on Musquin.

Tomac finished sixth and is now 31 points outside of the lead.

It was another disappointing night for Cianciarulo – and another missed opportunity.

Cianciarulo grabbed the early lead with a two-second advantage over Webb. When Webb caught him, Cianciarulo seemed comfortable in the runner-up position until he got a bad launch off a jump and endoed.

Musquin was riding behind him at the time and also struggled through this section of the track.

“The whoops started to be very, very tough,” Musquin described the section. “I think the humidity came around and it started spinning when I hit the first whoop to jump. Every lap I was like, ‘be careful’.”

Cianciarulo retired early and finished 21st, which dropped him from fourth to eighth in the championship standings.

It was finally the 250 West riders turn to compete.

For the second straight season, Justin Cooper led them to the checkers in the opening round. Before doing so, however, he had to get not one, but two strong starts.

On the opening lap of the 250 Main, Stilez Robertson jumped onto Jeremy Martin’s back, triggering a multi-bike crash on the opening lap. Martin walked off the track holding his right shoulder, but the carnage wasn’t over.

With the red flag waving and a local red cross flag out, Cooper and Cameron Mcadoo picked their way through a crash scene. Cooper almost clipped a medical worker; Mcadoo could not avoid him as the worker got tagged by his front wheel.

A red flag in the first three laps of a Supercross race requires a complete restart, so the field went back to the gate.

“Those red flag situations – I actually never really had one” Cooper said afterward. “The first (start), and I’m out in front of the Main event. My starts have been so awful. I’ve been really bummed about it, because you really need to start. I nailed it in the Main and I was like: ‘Here we go. I’ve put myself in a good position’ and I saw all the medics running out there and I was pretty sure there was going to be a red flag.

“I just had to put my head down and focus and nail the start again.”

He did. Cooper was just as strong with his second start and jumped out to a comfortable lead. He was never seriously challenged.

Mcadoo came home second.

“It was a long offseason, so it feel great to get up here and show that the work paid off,” Mcadoo said.

He scored only one podium last year, so he has already matched that mark.

It was an emotional night for the third-place rider Garrett Marchbanks.

After losing his factory ride last year and suffering an injury at Salt Lake City, Marchbanks was highly motivated to ride well in the opener.

“It’s been such a long time since I’ve been up here,” Marchbanks said. “The last time was Salt Lake, Round 1. After the injury it’s been a long eight months. A long recovery.”

The Supercross series heads to Daytona next where Marchbanks scored his first career win last year.

Fourth-place finisher Jalek Swoll scored a career-best finish, bettering a sixth from last year’s sixth race in Salt Lake City.

Hunter Lawrence, brother to Jett who races in the 250 East series, rounded out the top five.

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

ROUND 7, ORLANDO: Cooper Webb trims Ken Roczen lead

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.