The Cooper Webb we have been waiting for, is finally here. Feature photo by: Simon Cudby
Round three of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series, and the Anaheim 2 SX gave us a first-time 450SX winner for the second weekend in a row and the third-straight Saturday night with two new winners for 2019. With three rounds in the books, we have seen six different winners in the two classes. Can this incredible parity continue?
In the 450SX class, Red Bull / KTM’s Cooper Webb went 1-1-3 in the first “Triple Crown” of 2019 to score the first 450SX win of his young career. Landing on the box with Webb was his Red Bull / KTM teammate, Marvin Musquin, in 2nd (3-2-2) and Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac finishing 3rd (4-4-1).
In the 250SX class, it was Troy Lee Designs / KTM’s Shane McElrath (3-2-1) getting his third-straight podium and first win of 2019. Shane was once again joined on the podium by the Star Racing / Yamaha boys, Dylan Ferrandis (2-1-3) and Colt Nichols (1-3-4).
After the first “Triple Crown” main events of 2019 were in the books, we gathered quotes from the riders to find out how their Anaheim 2 SX played out for them.
Cooper Webb: (1st in 450) “Last weekend I was tenth and that wasn’t what I wanted, so I had some redemption this week. But to win is insane – to win two races and be on the podium in the last one is incredible! I really have got to give it up to the group at KTM, they took me under and they changed everything for me. It’s been a struggle the last two years, so those guys just constantly pushing me to get back to where I was and reminding me that I still got it. I can’t believe it and I’ll never forget this day. I hope to keep it going, this is an incredible feeling. Man, I’m speechless.”
Shane McElrath: (1st in 250) “We’ve been learning a lot throughout the season so far. I mean, we had a really good off-season but you can’t really do bike setup without going to the races and that’s my comfort – that’s really what we’ve been searching for. The last two weekends have been upsetting because of the way I’ve been riding but we’ve just kept pushing – perseverance produces hope, so this is good for us.”
Marvin Musquin: (2nd in 450) “It’s not always been my strongest point on the start but I’ve been very consistent today. This week I only rode a little bit on Monday. I stayed in California and we got a lot of rain, but obviously it helped on the knee. I tried to work on it the whole week and I felt good getting on the bike compared to last weekend, so it was important and that’s what I need – to feel good and not have any pain. It was great racing tonight, I didn’t win any motos but I got second overall, I was consistent and I was able to battle for the lead and for the podium.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (2nd in 250) “The short amount of time between each main event made it physically demanding, but I felt good and strong all night. All the rain from the week, made for a really technical rhythm section, but the bike was awesome. My teammate and I were able to put the bike up front at every start. I’m a bit disappointed to finished second again, but me and my team are going to analyze our race and work on what we need for the win.”
Eli Tomac: (3rd in 450) “In the first two main events I didn’t do myself any favors off the start but I was happy that we were able to charge forward both times into fourth place. The third race was awesome because I was able to get out in clean air and just ride. The track tonight was technical and even sketchy in some parts, but I am happy to be leaving here healthy and only two points back in the championship”
Colt Nichols: (3rd in 250) “The track was very difficult. It got really rutty and soft during the third main event, so made it very hard to continue to jump the rhythm sections and keep everything consistent. The bike was incredible, got off to three really great starts. I’m a little bummed with the way I rode in the last main event after getting the holeshot, but overall it was a good night. Still came out with a podium, can’t be mad at that. It was also pretty tough to bounce back in between each race, with there being a short time in between each one of the main events. Made it physically demanding, but happy with the way I rode. Just have to get a little bit better.”
Ken Roczen: (4th in 450) “Overall, it was a good night of racing. We showed a lot of speed and are happy with this Triple Crown race. We got off to a great start in the first race, getting the holeshot and leading the whole race until I made a mistake in the one of the last rhythm sections, which unfortunately cost me the win. We still came in second, which was great. I didn’t get the best start in the second race but weaseled my way through and felt like I was going really fast. I found myself in third and was catching the guys up front but I made a mistake and went down in the whoops and had about five guys go by me. I didn’t let that distract me, rode strong and worked my way back up to fifth. We were just trying to get through the third race, where I finished fourth and unfortunately, just missed the podium. It was a bummer not to be on the overall podium, but we still have the points lead and red plate so that’s awesome.”
RJ Hampshire: (4th in 250) “Felt good all day. My speed was better this weekend, just my starts were terrible! It’s hard to be bummed about another fourth because of how bad my start was but I was so close to a podium. That’s the goal every weekend and we’ve been just off. I’m really happy with how I feel on my bike right now and excited to see the progression each week!”
Adam Cianciarulo: (5th in 250) “It was a rollercoaster night to go from being out front to falling to finishing on the podium,” said Cianciarulo. “I really want to put the mistakes behind me and I think with three races, I was able to show that I could still be up front even on an off night. We are still in the hunt and will be working hard to make sure we get back on top.”
Cole Seely: (6th in 450) “Once again, there are a lot of positives to take away from tonight. My starts were much better in two out of the three races, and I was able to run more toward the front of the pack. Being up there and feeling the pace of the front group was huge. The Triple Crown format is definitely a challenge because the turnaround time is really short and you’re basically doing three sprint races, so you have to be on it. I’m getting back into the flow and am excited to go racing each weekend, so seventh is another step in the right direction.”
Cameron McAdoo: (6th in 250) “Anaheim 2 was a big step forward for us!. The track was really technical which made for good racing, and I felt comfortable. I think it’s coming together now. I ended up 9-5-6 for sixth overall, but I’m a little bummed I let fifth slip away with two turns to go in the final main. The whole night was good, but I should have kept racing forward there on the last few laps. Still, I was happy with my riding and felt like I belonged up front all night! Can’t wait to get to Oakland.”
Aaron Plessinger: (7th in 450) “Anaheim 2 was a pretty good race for me. I kind of was struggling with bike setup all day and then after the last practice we made a shock change, and it was great. I got a few bad starts in the first two main events, which hurt my results, but I felt good all night. I rode what I thought was the best that I have ridden. I went 12, 9, 6, for seventh overall. So, I think I did pretty good for it only being my third 450 race. I’m really amped for Oakland next weekend. I’m going to go back and work on my starts, practice them all week and get it down pat so hopefully we can get up front and get a podium.”
Joey Savatgy: (8th in 450) “t has been a shaky past two weeks for me, so to bounce back from last weekend and land inside the top 10 tonight is something we’ll take. We set out to be consistent today and we did that for the most part, so overall I am happy with where we are. We will clean up a few things this week and come out swinging in Oakland.”
Michael Mosiman: (8th in 250) “I was looking to flip the switch this week. I haven’t been myself the past two weeks. I was feeling really good after practice. I ripped the start in the first moto but got pushed wide and didn’t ride aggressively enough. I think I have the speed, so it’s just a matter of putting it together. It’s insane how fast these guys go, but I’m able to do it.”
Jason Anderson: (9thin 450) “I was able to get a top-10 overall. It wasn’t a horrible weekend, but I’m going to keep pushing and I’ll try to be better next weekend.”
Enzo Lopes: (14th in 450) “The track was very tricky, with big jumps and challenging rhythm sections. I qualified well going into the night program. The Triple Crown took a lot of fitness. I stalled the bike in the first race while battling for sixth. I came through the pack in the second race, but then I crashed. I struggled in the last main and couldn’t figure out the lines. It’s not for a lack of trying. Sometimes I think I’m trying too hard to do well. We have a couple more 250 West rounds before the break, so I want to get a good result.”
Chad Reed: (13th in 450) ““It was a good night of racing. I felt race ready, even though my qualifying times were not where I would have liked them to be. I was a little too kind about making my way forward in the first main. Unfortunately, we had a technical issue in the second race. In race three I felt like I needed to pull one of my customary Suzuki starts out of the old bag. From there I really felt like I rode my best all weekend. Moving forward I want to focus on believing in myself more and getting great starts more often.”
Jimmy Decotis: (13th in 250) “Anaheim 2 was a tough round for me. I had a big crash in the second main, which put me a lap down and took me out of contention for a good overall result. I’m riding well and super comfortable on my Suzuki RM-Z250. I feel like my breakthrough ride will be coming soon. I love the dirt in Oakland, so I’m excited to get some redemption this next weekend. Thanks to my whole crew and all of the mechanics for working so hard on my bike with the short turnaround between main events!”
Justin Hill: (11th in 450) “So far this series I have blown the races on the very first lap. If I harden up and get aggressive right from the gate drop, then I believe I can go straight to the podium. I’m going to work on that intensity this week back at JGRMX in North Carolina.”
Garrett Marchbanks: (21st in 250) “It was a tough day after seeing some progress in practice,” said Marchbanks. “I felt good after getting into a rhythm in the first race, but after going down it was tough to get going again. I felt pretty banged up and we decided to sit out the final race. After a day like that, it makes you look forward to bouncing back so I’m looking forward to getting back to the normal format next week.”