Marvin Musquin narrowly held off teammate Cooper Webb to win Round 16 of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season to top the results at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is Musquin’s first podium finish in the past six races and his first win in two years.
Early in the race, Musquin put pressure on then-leader Ken Roczen, who was trying to cut into the points’ lead of Webb and make a more realistic battle out of next week’s season finale in Round 17. When Roczen fell for the second consecutive week, he handed the lead to Musquin and allowed the KTM riders Musquin and Webb to finish first and second in the race.
Webb would have preferred to win – or at the very least, see Roczen fall back another couple of positions – in order to wrap up the championship, but now all he realistically needs is a safe race next week to win his second Supercross title. Webb won the 2019 championship and finished second to Eli Tomac last year.
Malcolm Stewart kept the pressure on Webb until Roczen’s crash and then fell more than 10 seconds behind the battle for the lead. He was running third when the checkers waved for his first career podium.
Dylan Ferrandis finished fourth. That was his best finish since crossing under the checkers second at the beginning of the season in Houston 2.
Chase Sexton rounded out the top five for his fourth top-five in the last six races. He finished on the podium in the first two rounds of the Atlanta residency.
After his fall, Roczen finished sixth. With a 22-point deficit, he needs something to happen to Webb in order to have a shot at becoming the fourth new champion in as many seasons.
Jason Anderson in seventh, Aaron Plessinger in eighth, Dean Wilson in ninth, and Tomac rounded out the top 10.
With a 50-point deficit to first, 10th-place finisher Tomac has been eliminated from contention for the 2021 450 championship.
The title hunt in the 250 East class changed complexion quickly in practice.
Christian Craig had a hard crash in practice and limped off course. He lined up for his heat, but was unable to complete it and retired from the event with an injured ankle.
After 10 weeks off as the 250 West division competed, the East riders got back on course with two races remaining on their scheduled. Salt Lake City 1 will be the only time they race against their division only. Next week will be an East/West battle that can change the balance of points.
With Craig’s retirement, that meant the title battle would come down between Jo Shimoda and Colt Nichols.
Shimoda entered the race 28 points in arrears. In order to have a mathematical shot at winning the championship, Shimoda needed to make up at least two points on Nichols.
Shimoda responded to the pressure by taking the early lead and holding it to keep his championship hopes alive.
But Michael Mosiman and Jett Lawrence did not make matters easy.
In the closing laps, Mosiman jumped wide and left the course – taking himself out of contention. But Lawrence stayed tight on Shimoda’s bumper and made him earn the win. Lawrence ended up 1.15 seconds behind in second and closed the gap on third in the points with Craig’s retirement.
Nichols salvaged what he could, but will enter next week’s East/West Showdown needing to qualify of the Main in order to win the title.
Mosiman’s mistake in the closing laps meant he was unable to challenge for the win. He finished fourth and allowed the title championship to tighten up slightly.
Thomas Do rounded out the top five.
Next Up: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 1.
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 1 AT HOUSTON: Justin Barcia, Christian Craig take early lead
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 2 AT HOUSTON: Eli Tomac closes gap, Jett Lawrence wins his first
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 3 AT HOUSTON: Ken Roczen earns one-point margin; Colt Nichols, Christian Craig share 250 lead
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 4 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen wins to extend points margin, Colt Nichols doubles down
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 5 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen makes it two in a row; Colt Nichols threepeats
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 6 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Ken Roczen continues to roll; Christian Craig stops Colt Nichols
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 7 AT ORLANDO: Cooper Webb gets second win as Jett Lawrence also doubles
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 8 AT ORLANDO: Cooper Webb wins again to close the gap on Ken Roczen
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 9 AT DAYTONA: Eli Tomac gets back in contention with fifth Daytona win
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 10 AT ARLINGTON: The Battle of words between Webb and Roczen ends with Webb win
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 11 AT ARLINGTON: Cooper Webb two-for-two in Arlington; Hunter Lawrence wins first 250
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 12 AT ARLINGTON: Cooper Webb gets second residency sweep with perfect Arlington effort
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 13 AT ATLANTA: Eli Tomac surges to second win on NASCAR infield course
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 14 AT ATLANTA: Ken Roczen isn’t done yet; Justin Cooper extends 250 lead
POINTS, RESULTS AFTER ROUND 15 AT ATLANTA: Title contenders finish 1-2-3; Cooper Webb extends advantage