Photo by: Simon Cudby
Round 7 of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series, and round 2 of the Eastern Regional 250SX Championship and the Arlington SX made history in the 450SX class as the closest finish in SX history. Red Bull / KTM’s Cooper Webb passed HRC / Honda’s Ken Roczen right at the finish line and won the race by 0.028, while the 250SX saw Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s make it two in a row to start the 250SX East season.
After the 7th round was in the books, we gathered quotes from the riders to find out how their 2019 Arlington SX went for them.
Cooper Webb: (1st in 450SX) “I knew it [the pass for the win] was going to come down to the whoops. I think I could tell where I was catching him a little bit and he would pull me a little bit. I was able to do that quad into the turn a few times, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to it with him going to the inside so I followed in behind him. I knew he was going to jump [through the whoops] so I went to the left and tried to skim. I knew he had the inside, and I knew it was going to happen in the last turn but as a racer you never know which direction you want to go or the guy wants to go. I saw the opening, went and dang what a close race. I didn’t think I actually won until I saw the big screen. (laughs) It was an incredible race for sure.”
Austin Forkner: (1st in 250SX) “Man, this weekend felt good! I felt great all day but I struggled a bit in the main because I was so focused on what I needed to fix from my heat race that the first five minutes I didn’t really breathe. I got a bit winded after about halfway, but I was able to bounce back and create enough of a gap to pull off another win though. We’re two rounds in and I’m stoked on how well our program is doing. Back-to-back wins is exactly how you would want to kick off the season, and you can bet that we’ll roll into Detroit ready to go and to defend this red plate.”
Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450SX) “This was one of the spots that I struggled with throughout the main event: the turn before the whoops and in the whoops actually—just going side to side and getting off balance there. It’s where I feel like I lost the most time. If I could have done that better or if I could have worked a little better with the bike, I could have just kept my flow a little better and maybe had a little bit more of a gap between 1st and 2nd. This is things to learn from and I’m using that as fuel for the next race. I feel like each weekend I’ve been getting better, which is super important. It might have been the closest race ever. It’s kind of crazy but fun at the same time. Obviously finishing 2nd after leading almost the entire race is not so fun, but overall we’re healthy and still in the Championship.”
Justin Cooper: (2nd in 250SX) “It feels great to get two podiums in a row. Compared to last year we were sitting out the second round, so to start the season out like this is pretty cool. The track was pretty tough today, we just had to take what we could get out there. Still, big improvements, and we’re not going to stop here. The bike was great all day again. We’ll just keep searching for new things and keep trying to better our self each time we get out on the track.””
Marvin Musquin: (3rd in 450SX) “I had a good pace and I felt comfortable but then I started tightening up a little bit and that’s when Cooper caught me. It was too much playing defense for me and he was right there, and then he got me. From there, I had nothing left so I salvaged a third place. It’s good, but I was in a good position for better, so I am a little bit disappointed with that but I’m also happy that we were able to turn it around after the heat race.”
Chase Sexton: (3rd in 250SX) “I had a pretty good start in the main. I was finally somewhere where I could make something happen. I felt really really good on my bike. I didn’t really feel that great all day and then in the heat race I felt really good and in the main I felt really good going into that. I think we had five minutes left and I made two mistakes which cost me big time. We’re going to go back and work so we don’t make those mistakes next weekend and hopefully bring a change.”
Eli Tomac: (12th in 450SX) “Tonight is a tough pill to swallow. I know the team and I expect better results but I am grateful to be leaving Dallas healthy and without injury, especially after my tip over in the main. This is part of racing, some things are out of my control and other things are completely manageable as well as fixable. We’ll get back to work this week and work on those things as we head into the halfway point of the season. I still have a lot left in me and I plan on proving that, starting next week in Detroit.”
Martin Davalos: (5th in 250SX) ““After a tough start to the series last weekend in Minneapolis, I’m really happy with this weekend’s result. I know what the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team is capable of, what I am capable of, and I’m going to do everything in my power to get us there. Mitch has put a lot of faith in me and I don’t want to let him down. Two rounds down and I’m ready to continue improving and moving forward with better results.”
Joey Savatgy: (5th in 450SX) “Back-to-back top-5 finishes feels great. I know I belong running up front and earning these results. The Monster Energy Kawasaki team has my KX450 dialed, and I feel like it can only get better from here. We’ll keep aiming for that podium finish and will continue this momentum into Detroit.”
Mitchell Oldenburg: (6th in 250SX) “The track conditions were tough tonight; it was super soft and rutted. I kind of got off to a slow start in the main again this week, but I was able to regroup fairly well and finish with a decent sixth. I’m really pumped on my heat race and how the practices went this morning. So I’m looking to build on this race and go to Detroit for the Triple Crown next weekend and come out swinging.”
Cole Seely: (6th in 450SX) I’d say the day went pretty well—overall, I’m pretty happy with everything from qualifying all the way down to the main event. Times were really close in qualifying, which is cool because it shows there’s a lot of talent in the class but it also means if you’re a tenth off, you’re way back. I was happy to qualify in the top five, and in the heat race it obviously felt good to lead some laps and win the thing; it was also cool that Kenny won his heat, so we sort of shared that I guess. The main went pretty smoothly. I got off to a pretty bad start, but I was able to make some passes right away—like five guys in the first lap. I managed to eventually get into sixth and ride there for most of the race. I didn’t really get too tired at the end, but after three rough weekends and seeing things finally coming together, I didn’t want to push the issue too hard. For most of the race, the top six were running a similar pace, and it felt good to actually have sight of the leaders.
Justin Barcia: (7th in 450) “Crazy day of racing for me for sure. I felt good, the bike was working well. I had a pretty good practice, was right in the times, but in the heat race, didn’t get off to a good start. I was working my way through the pack and got taken out.In the main event, I was on the far outside and got a really good jump off the gate. I was right in it, but I was just so far outside I got pushed out and went into the hay bales and started last. I went from last to seventh. I was riding well, but again wasn’t able to make things happen that I needed to happen. I need to get a better start and put myself in front of the pack where I belong. We’re moving on from this weekend and will get ready for Detroit.”
Kyle Peters: (7th in 250SX) “Overall, I made improvements from the opening round in Minneapolis. I felt better in practice. We did some testing this past week and made some quality changes. Having said that, I’m still not where I want to be. I am better than my finish shows. I had a good start in my heat race, but then I slid a bit in the first turn and almost crashed. I figured things out for the main event and got a nice holeshot. Then I rode a bit tentative in the opening laps and got tight. From there, I had to play catch-up, trying to relax and breathe. We will keep working until we’re up on the box again. I’m excited for the Triple Crown in Detroit.”
Alex Martin: (8th in 250SX) “It was nice to be back racing in Texas for the first time in three years. Practice went well. I qualified sixth again, like last weekend. I was really happy with my riding and passed into third place in my heat race. I double-clutched the RM-Z250 off the start and came out just inside the top-ten. I was up to eighth on the second lap when [Mitchell] Oldenburg cleaned me out in a left-handed bowl turn. I struggled to get going again and salvaged an eighth-place finish. I’m not happy with the end result, but I’m feeling really great on the bike. I can’t wait for Detroit!”
Kyle Cunningham: (10th in 250SX) “I’m really happy with my riding for the short time on the bike. Placed 10th last night after a crash and being dead last. Everything is coming together. Onto Detroit.
Jordan Bailey: (12th in 250SX) “I had a good start to the day qualifying 10th and going straight to the Main with fifth in the heat race,” Bailey said. “In the Main Event, I got a good start and was running in eighth or ninth and on the last lap I made a little mistake and slid out. It was unfortunate but it happens, I just have to learn from it. Overall it was a good weekend, despite the mistake, but we had good starts and we just have to keep learning each weekend and look forward to Detroit.”
Aaron Plessinger: (9th in 450SX) “We made big steps in the right direction at Dallas. The bike worked pretty good all day, I just need to get my starts dialed in. We’re going to go off to Florida and ride with Justin for a little bit and hopefully can build some intensity. All in all, I’m pretty happy with tonight and taking steps in the right direction. We’ll move forward from here, and on to Detroit.”
Dean Wilson: (10th in 450SX) “My night was not amazing but not too bad either. I think the best part of my race was that I came through the pack really well and I passed a lot of good riders. By the time I got to the position I was in, there was really no one in front of me that I could catch so I ended up with an eighth. It’s not what I want but the beginning was promising with the speed I had. I just need to get a better start and get up there and we’ll be good. I’ll take it but we want to get on the podium for sure.”
Chad Reed: (11th in 450SX) “It was a tough weekend. The speed wasn’t there for some reason. I’m disappointed in my performance. I know that I’m better than 11th place. We will work on some things this week and then hopefully come out swinging in Detroit.”
Thomas Covington: (DNQ in 250SX) “It really wasn’t a good day. I struggled a bit in practice and in the heat race I was in a qualifying position and I went off the track and fell way back. I had to go to the LCQ and went inside of a guy to pass him and wasn’t able to jump the triple so a bunch of people went by me and I ended up not qualifying. I’m definitely not happy with this but all we can do is move forward and head to Detroit.”
Justin Hill: (13th in 450SX) I’m fired up. I have the speed, and I feel like I’m making major improvements with my starts, as well as my intensity in the opening laps. It’s time to get it done. I’m sick of looking at these dudes talk on the podium. It needs to be me now.
Lorenzo Locurcio: (14th in 250SX) “Arlington was good. Made a lot of improvements on the bike just results didn’t show . In free practice I cased a Rhythm and jammed my wrist pretty good causing inflammation & pain. Toughen it out but half way through the main couldn’t hold any more ! 14 is all I could do . Taking the positives into the week to apply at Detroit I got way more in the tank . Thank you to all of you who support me we’ll get there just need a dang start.”
Zach Osborne : (22nd in 250SX) “All-in-all, it was a decent day for my 450SX debut and there are some positives I can take from it. The result is obviously not what I wanted – I’d like to be top-10 or top-five coming back – but right now I think if I can get a good three or four weeks under my belt and really grind some motos in, I think it would be good. I’ve been riding for eight days after six weeks of injury and I feel like I’ve got a lot left in the tank as far as me being comfortable and being able to go out there and just hammer laps. I think prior to today, the most laps I’ve done in a day was something like 35, so it’s a big jump to today’s 55 or so. We’ll come back next week and just keep building.”
Dylan Merriam: (DNQ in 450SX) “Dallas 2019 in the books. Bummed to miss out on the main but man it felt good to get back under the lights. Struggled a bit with my bike set up but made the best of it. Got hit on the first lap of the LCQ and broke my shifting mechanism leaving the bike in 2nd gear all race. For how many times it fell into neutral, I’m thankful to walk away healthy. Looking forward to Atalanta in 2 weeks. Huge thank you to everyone behind me. ”
Vann Martin: (DNQ in 450SX) “Glad to be in Texas this weekend. Was hurting most of the day from last weekends crash but rode through the pain and made it out pretty good. Thank you to everyone who came by the pits and came to support the Team All South Texas boys! Going to heal up some more this week and come out swinging in Detroit!
Feature Photo by: Octopi