Ken Roczen is back to his winning ways and now shares the points lead after nine rounds. Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross an FIM World Championship crossed the season’s halfway point, and round 9 of the 17-race series was a barn burner in Atlanta in front of 59,743 fans inside Mercedez Benz Stadium. The 450SX Class Main Event was a thrill-a-minute battle for nearly everyone except race winner Ken Roczen of Team Honda HRC. Roczen pulled the holeshot and disappeared from the pack to convincingly grab his third win of the season. The victory brings the Honda rider into a championship point tie with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac.
After two fourth-place finishes in the past two weekends, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia grabbed a podium finish the hard way – the Yamaha rider recovered from a 15th place start to steadily and aggressively push through the pack to finish in second place. Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb spent all week recovering from a brutal crash seven days prior; after an eighth-place start Webb fell back a bit in the early laps but kept his head down. Eli Tomac also started poorly, then mistimed a block pass on Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS’s Blake Baggett, sending both riders to the ground. Tomac remounted in 14th and made the push toward the front.
With four minutes left on the clock, Tomac reached Webb and started applying the pressure – at that point battling for sixth place. The two moved forward on the leader board and with two laps remaining had reached Team Tedder / Monster Energy Racing’s Martin Davalos who ran in third. On the final lap, Webb squared up a 180-degree berm and cut under and passed Davalos with hardly an inch to spare. Tomac followed and kept the pressure on Webb, but the defending champ held strong until the end and turned what might have been a no-show event for most riders into a podium finish.
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class, GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton brought home his second win of 2020, making it two in a row and breaking the title points tie. Sexton is now the sole owner of the Eastern Regional red number one plate after three rounds of that series, but once the Atlanta points were tallied the 450SX Class has a shared points lead between Tomac and Roczen. All the racers will resume the battle next Saturday night as the Monster Energy Supercross series heads to Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida.