The Monster Energy Supercross Round 11 is in the books and Cooper Webb is establishing himself as a frontrunner after winning back to back in the first two rounds of the Arlington residency.
Out of the gates, it became immediately apparent that the top three in points where there for a reason. Webb grabbed the holeshot with Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen in hot pursuit. At the one-third mark, the margin between the three riders appeared to stabilize with one second separating them, but 20 minutes is a long time for the slightest bobbles to occur.
With an unaccustomed strong start and great sessions in practice, qualification and his heat, Tomac closely stalked Webb.
Three-fourths of the way through the race, Tomac decided it was time to pounce. He rode hard into the bowl turn leading into the whoops and over-rotated at the center. That cost him two seconds and a chance at the win.
Nothing ventured. Nothing gained. And Tomac cannot afford to be timid if he wants to defend his championship.
The loss of momentum cost him another two and half seconds at the checkers.
POINTS, RESULTS: All the postrace statistics from Round 11 in Supercross
The further back one goes in the pack, the more difficult it is to navigate traffic.
Once Roczen lost contact with the two leaders it became more difficult to get through lapped riders. Roczen finished three seconds behind Tomac and nearly eight behind Webb.
“It’s not often that we are all three up there,” Webb said in the post-race conference. “Getting the holeshot was definitely key to that. Even though we were all there, the holeshot was super important tonight. To be able to race up there and get the win was incredible – super motivating. And for the fans to see us up there in the mix was cool for everyone.”
Webb’s win was his sixth consecutive result of first or second in as many races.
To kick off this streak, Webb finished second in the third race of the Indianapolis residency. He swept Orlando and finished second on the hybrid track on Daytona’s frontstretch before earning back to back wins at Arlington. He has more momentum than anyone in the field and left Arlington 2 with a 12-point advantage over Roczen.
“I haven’t been on the podium recently, but I’ve been trying a few new bike settings that haven’t been working out as well,” Roczen said. “But I went back to the old faithful here in the Main event and that felt a lot better.”
Roczen finished third in the event.
Tomac was second as he tries to stay relevant in the championship chase.
“I was just excited tonight to have a better run in the stadium environment ,” Tomac said.
Justin Barcia in fourth and Chase Sexton rounded out the top five.
The battle for sixth was decided after the checkers waved.
Jason Anderson crossed under the checkers in that position, but was later docked a spot for an on-track incident.
When Vince Friese went down in a the turn leading into the whoops, Anderson ran up on the crash sight and stopped. Instead of blitzing the whoops, he sped alongside the course and avoided all of those slow bumps. Anderson was back in the pack after falling in the first corner of the first lap.
Aaron Plessinger, who won his heat race, finished a position behind but was elevated one spot after Anderson’s penalty.
Dylan Ferrandis in eighth, Martin Davalos in ninth and Dean Wilson rounded out the top 10.
Wilson qualified for the Main after advancing through the Last Chance qualifier when his rear tire seized in his heat.
The 250 class has been egalitarian.
In four races this season, there have been four different winners and each have had a story to tell.
Hunter Lawrence thought about quitting after being involved in several accidents that forestalled the beginning of his career. The older brother of Jett Lawrence, the rivalry between the two is fierce. Jett Lawrence won his first 250 race in his eighth start. Hunter’s first win came in his sixth.
Lawrence’s win comes immediately on the heels of his career-best, second-place finish last week.
His pass for the lead was decisive. Lawrence got a run down the straight, zipped past the two leaders and then yarded the field.
Jalek Swoll held onto finished second to score his first career podium. Swoll’s previous best was a fourth-place finish in the 250 West opener at Orlando.
Kyle Peters took the final spot on the podium. This was not his first top-three finish, but it has been a while since he last stood on the steps. Peters’ last podium was earned in the 250 East series at Foxborough in 2018.
Garrett Marchbanks finished fourth.
The big story of the race involved the points battle, however. Justin Cooper fell on Lap 1, but was able to remount and rounded out the top five.
After getting the holeshot, Mitchell Harrison faded to sixth at the checkers.
It seemed like Cameron Mcadoo would be able to make up a lot of points over Cooper, but he proved to be fallible as well.
McAdoo fell on Lap 7. He then shorted the track by a wide margin as he attempted to reenter the competition. The points as they ran at the checkers gave Mcadoo a one-point margin but he was penalized and dropped to 10th for his short cut.
As a result, Lawrence took the points lead by one over Mcadoo.
When Lawrence was informed that he was the new leader during the post-race conference call he said, “Are we on the whole call, or are we on a personal call and are you [expletive} with me?”
Jordon Smith in eighth, Chris Blose in ninth and Nate Thrasher rounded out the top 10.
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
ROUND 8, ORLANDO: Cooper Webb sweeps Orlando to put pressure on Ken Roczen
ROUND 9, DAYTONA: Eli Tomac ties Ricky Carmichael at Daytona; Ken Roczen, Copper Webb war
ROUND 10, ARLINGTON: Cooper Webb takes the points lead with five straight top-two finishes