The third round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series went to Houston, Texas’ NRG Stadium—final of three in a row in Houston—and we were treated to amazing racing for the win in both classes. In the 450SX class, Cooper Webb (1st) edged out Ken Roczen (2nd) with Adam Cianciarulo (3rd) grabbing the final spot on the podium, while Colt Nichols (1st), Christian Craig (2nd), and Jett Lawrence (3rd) took the top three spots in the third 250SX East main event of ’21.

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After the racing was over, we gathered quotes from many of the top riders in Houston. Check out what those riders had top say below.

Cooper Webb: (1st in 450SX) “Obviously it wasn’t ideal, we caught a pack and it was tough with lappers. I lost a lot at that point and I knew we were close in time and I knew it would be hard. We closed the gap a little and I made a good charge at the end. t was a close race the whole time and Kenny [Roczen] rode a solid race with not many mistakes. The track was really tricky, easy to over-ride and get impatient. As I said, the lappers there at the end was a bummer, I felt like we were going to have a really good battle, and obviously we did, but the lappers were really tough tonight. I hung in there and I pounced on that last lap and made it happen. I’ve really got to give it up to my team, they’re amazing. We are getting better (from an off season back injury) but it’s been a struggle and it wasn’t the off season I was hoping for and we have some new things on the bike and racing conditions are different than testing. We are changing stuff every time we are on the bike and the biggest thing we didn’t want to do was not have the bike dialed in and there are massive changes since round one.”

Colt Nichols celebrated his first win of ’21 after hunting down and passing his teammate Christian Craig. The two will share the red plate at round 4. Photo by: Octopi

Colt Nichols: (1st in 250SX) “It felt just like another day at the Yamaha test track out in California with me and Christian just kind of trading laps. I got a good start. I’ve been struggling with my starts all day, so I’m glad we turned that around. I really just tried to be patient. I knew where he was a little faster, so I tried to pick up on a few lines. It felt great to finally get a win. It has been a while so I’m going to soak it in. It’s awesome to have the red plate, me and Christian will be sharing it so that is cool for the team. I’m looking forward to Indy and ready to keep the momentum rolling.”


Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450SX) “I was racing the final laps to battle. As we ran into lappers I had to switch the lines up and I was ready to give it everything, but he said he didn’t hear me, but I am sure there were blue flags around. I thought he would move over and let us by and I was ready for action, but I hit the back of his wheel and then also almost jumped in the back of him. It was tough to move around, but at the same time it was slot car racing a bit. If it wasn’t for the Dean innocent it would have been mine tonight.Part of me wants to punch a hole in the wall. I have been practicing my patience, so I am going to keep it cool. It was a bummer last lap, he (Wilson) was in front of me and I was screaming and yelling and he said he didn’t hear me. It is very frustrating, but I am going to keep it cool. Also though put yourself in my shoes. It is extra big because these points are valuable, and this win was mine if you weren’t in front of me for 3/4 of a lap. 3 points here, 4 points last weekend… I mean it’s starting to get kind of funny. As if it isn’t already difficult enough to lead the championship. Then I get 7 points taken away from me. Anyway, I don’t want to hold grudges. Just be aware of your surroundings. Thank you.”


Christian Craig: (2nd in 250SX) “Houston 3 went pretty well. I qualified fastest again which was great. In the Heat, I don’t know how but I was in third gear so I had a terrible start. I worked my way up from almost last to win it. In the Main, I led most of the laps but Colt was right on me the whole time. He ended up getting me with a few laps to go. I was bummed but nothing I can do now but learn from my mistakes and keep trying to get better.”

Adam Cianciarulo celebrates his first podium of ’21. Photo by: Octopi

Adam Cianciarulo: (3rd in 450SX) “I finally finished the race where I started and in all seriousness, today was a good day to build on. The first round in Houston was decent but I didn’t have the speed to run with the front group, and then I blew it on Tuesday at Round 2, so I told myself today that we just needed to stay present-minded and execute the way we practice each week. I felt good all day with being quickest in free practice and then right behind Eli (Tomac) in qualifying. I was pumped on my heat race. Did you see that start I got on my KX450? That thing is a beast! I was able to gain some confidence heading into the main event from leading that heat from start to finish. In the main, I got another good jump and in the opening laps, I thought I could get second place at one point, and I thought I might be able to get both of those guys in first and second, but as the race went on the lapped traffic was a real challenge to find safe and efficient passing lanes, so we settled for third. I am looking forward to getting away from these tight tracks and sand sections that we had here in Houston and excited to carry the momentum to Indy.”


Jett Lawrence: (3rd in 250SX) “I had a terrible start, I swear my mechanic could have ran out of the gate faster than I rode. I was riding a little tight and holding my breath early. I had to make that pass on Mosiman, he’s kinda annoying to get around. Man, it’s annoying enough to see one red plate. Now I’m going to see two!”


Justin Barcia: (4th in 450SX) “I felt good going into the Main Event. The track was pretty rough and beat up and I came off the line a little bit late and didn’t get the best of start but I worked my way up to fourth. I was behind third and made a mistake in the sand and went down. All-in-all, I should have been on the podium but we’ll regroup and be ready for Indy. We are in a good spot, the bike feels great, I’m feeling good and the speed is definitely there, I just need to keep it on two wheels, keep nailing the starts and put myself in a good position to be in the fight.”


Jo Shimoda: (4th in 250SX) “My day was good overall. I qualified in fifth place and in my heat race there were a bunch of riders that got tangled together off the start and I got held up by that and was only able to manage fourth. In the main event, I struggled with that right-handed start and was inside the top-10 in the opening laps, but I knew that if I was patient and just focused on each lap rather than rushing anything, the race would come to me. I ended up fourth again and moved into fourth in the points, but I want to get on the podium.”

Jett Lawrence bulldozed his way up to 3rd after a bad start. Photo by: Honda

Eli Tomac: ( in 450SX) “Overall, my day was alright. This morning I was able to find the right setting and as a result, I was able to qualify fastest heading into the night show. I didn’t get the best jump in the heat race and Adam (Cianciarulo) was riding well. I could see that I was catching him, but just ran out of time, so I knew my speed was good going into the main event. I had a decent jump out the gate in the main event, but that tricky right-handed start made some riders near me bobble and resulted in me getting shuffled back. Again, I was able to charge forward, but the track broke down and was pretty gnarly tonight, so we just had to manage for fifth. We are leaving Houston healthy and just six points down from the leader in fourth. We’ll spend the few days off we have getting ready for Indy.”


Micheal Mosiman: “I was just a little bit off all day but I brought it together for the night show. In the heat race I was really frustrated; I feel like Jett kind of walked away from me. I made a couple little mistakes but I think I had the speed. In the Main Event, I made some adjustments, got a better start and then there was chaos. I was in third and things were looking good, I got into some lapped traffic and Jett caught up to me and absolutely plowed me. There is blood in the water and it’s going to be an exciting season.”


Malcolm Stewart: (6th in 450SX) “I guess I’d say H3 was not bad, actually. Throughout the day, we didn’t have the best qualifying, but the lap times were right there with the top guys. For us, it was more about riding smart and picking the right lines. I struggled a little bit in practice, but then in the Heat, I actually rode really well. I just tried to keep that same mentality going into the Main Event. I had Eli (Tomac) right there but made a few mistakes. We ended up sixth and AP (Aaron Plessinger) was right behind me. So hats off to him. He rode excellent. I feel like we made a lot of improvements with the bike and are getting it in the right direction. I’m really excited for Indy. It’s going to be a completely different track, dirt, and everything. I’m really looking forward to that and to see how that goes. But for now, I’m going to go home and watch some football, get a couple of days off, and get ready for the week.”

Malcolm Stewart is 8th in the points, but with the depth of the 450SX field, that’s only 9 points behind the leader. Photo by: Octopi

Aaron Plessinger: (7th in 450SX) “I think it was a better day overall than Houston 2. It started out well. I qualified 10th and then in the Heat race, I got an okay start. I got passed by (Jason) Anderson and kind of got stuck there. I didn’t really go forward until the last lap, and then it was too late. The track was really, really sticky going out for the Main. I got a great start in fourth until a few guys got me and I went backward a little bit. The whole race I was feeling good, but towards the middle, I kind of tightened up a little bit. I think I just need to keep charging. Overall, it was a good day and I’m happy with it. We’ll keep moving forward. The next race is Indy, a hometown race for me. We’re going to bring the heat.”


Jason Anderson: (8th in 450SX) “My night was pretty good. I ended up getting a top-10 and I feel like I’m coming around, just going to try to keep getting better from here.”


Zach Osborne: (9th in 450SX) “My night was rather disappointing honestly. I feel like I’m riding the best I’ve ever been riding in my life – and in my 450 career – and to start with two 10th places and a ninth is a little disappointing. I’ll improve this week and be better in Indy.”


Dylan Ferrandis: (11th in 450SX) “It was a difficult track. Nothing really crazy, but it was hard to do everything correctly and make no mistakes. We struggled a little bit with the bike and tried some different settings today. We wanted to give it a chance and try some stuff, but it didn’t work. We came back to what we had at the last race, but I just didn’t feel good on the bike today. I was a little tired from the past two races with the lack of training this winter. It was a hard day. In the Main, I was doing what I could to finish in the top 10 but then I crashed alone at the end of the race and lost some places. It was not a good day of racing for me. We’re going to try to rebound at the next race.”

Cooper Webb (#2) passed Ken Roczen (#94) on the last lap after their battle was held up by Dean Wilson. Photo by: Simon Cudby

Marvin Musquin: (12th in 450SX) “I started off not so good with the heat race, I was in a decent position but Malcom Stewart overshot the end of the whoops, blocked me and I went down. I got back to 8th, which was decent for the Heat race, I did not want to go to the LCQ. In the main I was on the outside, and couldn’t get a great start, and couldn’t close the guys on my right. I went too quick over the wall and hit Friese, I don’t know what happened, but after that I was dead last. I tried my best to make up as many points as possible. I’m very disappointed, but ready for a week of work and to come back stronger.”


Max Vohland: (6th in 250SX) “Tonight was great! The heat race was awesome, I got off to a really good start and was able to get out front early and lead a majority of the laps. I felt really comfortable riding up front. In the main, I got off to another good start and I got into third early and was hanging onto those guys but I got into a run-in with another guy and ended up breaking a spring in my shifter. I couldn’t shift and I let that get to me a little bit but I was still able to come back and get sixth so overall it was an awesome night. I learned a lot and I’m looking forward going into Indy.”


John Short: (8th in 250SX) “The rhythm lanes were a little taller, and had deeper pockets and they got rutty. It was the first track of the year that had the time to be lost in the rhythms if you didn’t hit your marks. Normally, my times between when the track’s rough and when it’s smooth are about the same, so when the track breaks down I feel like it lends a hand to me.” But getting a late-season change to race the earlier-starting 250 East series put Short a little behind with his training goals, “I had another rider right ahead of me for the whole main tonight. I passed him once and made a mistake before I could seal the deal. In the last six minutes I’m thinking, ‘Just throw down two fast laps and you’re gonna blow by him and you’re gonna keep moving forward,’ but I had to tell myself, ‘Hey, be smart, just keep it on two wheels, you’re fatigued.’ I know as my fitness gets a little better I can do really well.”


Dean Wilson: (17th in 450SX) “First off, I f***ed up, I fully own this. I never knew it was the leaders behind me. Kenny, I’m sorry and sincerely apologize. I ruined your race and wish I could take it back. I know the fans are pissed and the team which I would be too. I hate that I was that guy in the way and ruined a win and a race. I should have been more aware of who was behind me, I just got locked into the guys ahead. You guys can tear me apart in the comments, do whatever you got to do. But I can’t apologize enough for pretty much being the idiot of the race. Once again I’m sorry, it sucks to be that guy. My night was okay. I didn’t get a great start, I really pushed the first corner trying to be up there but everyone is so good at starts. I was outside top-15 and came back to 11th, which is not really what we want but we’ll keep pushing to be better.”

Ken Roczen has a 1 point lead over Cooper Webb and the #94 will be over the red background in Indy. Photo by: Honda

Brandon Hartranft: (DNQ in 450SX) “The track suited me a lot better today. I was riding really well in the heat race. I think I was sixth or seventh when I went down in the whoops and then got hit by another rider. So I had to go to the LCQ with the last gate pick and just had a terrible start in the LCQ; I was fourteenth on the first lap so there’s not much I could really do. I just have to take the positives away from the night and build for next weekend.”


Adam Enticknap: (DNQ in 450SX) “The Houston round three track was definitely more technical,” confirmed Enticknap. “I had a decent-sized crash in the whoops tonight in the first qualifier, and that shook me up a little. But I got back and finished second. In the LCQ, I got a decent start and had some complications in the first corner and then just didn’t get it done. I’m looking forward to Indianapolis and looking forward to another round, but there’s definitely some stuff I need to work on this week and get my Twisted Tea Suzuki into the main event.”


Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.