The seventh round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series went to Orlando, Florida for the first time in over a decade and the first of two in a row at Camping World Stadium. In the 450SX class, Cooper Webb (1st) won the main event and ended Ken Roczen‘s win streak at three in a row with Roczen finishing 2nd and Zach Osborne (3rd) grabbing his first podium of 2021.
In the last 250SX East main event before they go on a break and the 250SX West debuts next weekend, Jett Lawrence (1st) took the win with Colt Nichols (2nd) and Christian Craig occupying the final two spots on the overall podium. When the East reconvenes later in the year in Salt Lake City, Nichols (166 points) will be protecting a slim 8-point lead over his teammate Craig (158 points) in the 250SX Eastern Regional SX Championship chase.
After the racing was over, we gathered quotes from many of the top riders in Orlando. Check out what those riders had to say below.
Cooper Webb: (1st in 450SX) “It was a great race tonight, we were one and two for pretty much the whole thing, tooth and nail. It was a tough race, the track really broke down a lot, especially from the beginning laps and it’s definitely a little different when you are leading the majority of the Main Event. I made a few mistakes those last few and Kenny caught up, but I was able to get it done and man does it feel good.”
Jett Lawrence: (1st in 250SX) “Today was a smooth day; I felt like I rode very smart and made smart decisions in qualifying and was P3 in both sessions. I felt like I was smarter with my thinking process. Going into the heat race, I didn’t get a very good start; I popped the clutch a little, which made me wheelie out, but I was able to manage the first turn and get further up in the pack. With [Christian] Craig going down, I ended up winning that, so got pretty lucky. In the main event, I executed my start very well and was able to manage the race to the checkered flag. Colt [Nichols] was on me, which was good to have the pressure there, keeping me on it. I’d like to thank the team, my mechanic Christian [Ducharme], and my trainer Johnny [O’Mara] for all the support. We’ve been working really hard and it’s good to leave on a good note. I can’t wait for Salt Lake.”
Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450SX) “Orlando was a different kind of race. The schedule was delayed due to the possibility of rain and lightning, so we only had two qualifying practices, with completely different types of dirt. The first practice was kind of sketchy because it was super hard-packed on the jumps and soft and wet at the bottoms, from the water sitting. Then it ended up being really slick and tricky. By the night show, we felt pretty decent; got a holeshot and heat-race win, which set us up nicely for the night show, and grabbed another good start there; it wasn’t quite a holeshot, but I was in the top three, battling up there with Cooper [Webb], who ended up getting by me. By then it was basically just him and me battling all the way to the end. It wasn’t quite enough for the win, but with the track a little tricky, I was happy to keep the rubber side down and take second place for the night. Hopefully we can turn it around for Orlando 2 and see if we can get back on the top step.”
Zach Osborne: (3rd in 450SX) “It feels so good to get back on the podium and kind of find some mojo tonight. It felt good to get a start, that’s where I have really been struggling. It felt so good to get out there out front, getting in some clean air and breathe a little bit. I am super grateful to be up here.”
Justin Barcia: (4th in 450SX) “It was a bummer mistake in the whoops that really cost me the podium. I pushed as hard as I could to try to get the pass on him but wasn’t able to get it done. I definitely know I have the speed, I just need to put everything together and move on from it. It was a little frustrating but it was good riding and I’m healthy and ready to move onto the next Orlando.”
Colt Nichols: (2nd in 250SX) “I was just a touch off of Christian all day in practice. I was able to get the heat race win, which was nice. I got to line up where I wanted on the gate. I just didn’t quite execute the start as well as I wanted to. Jett (Lawrence) got ahead of me and was able to control the inside. So that was kind of the race right there. The track was a little difficult to pass on, and it was so slick. The moisture started to come up, and it got slicker and slicker as the night went on. So that made it tough. But overall, I can’t complain. I got some points in second place, and that’s always a good thing. I just was a little bummed about my riding. I felt really flat at the beginning of the race. I didn’t have much intensity there, so that’s why I was a little frustrated. We’ve got a long break now, so I’m going to try to enjoy things and get some outdoor riding and come back swinging in a few months.”
Eli Tomac: (5th in 450SX) “I said this last week but starts are so important this year. I’m not going to beat myself up too much because my speed is there and, when I can get a start, my KX450 has the power to keep me up front, but it’s up to me now to make the right adjustments at the gate. I’ll be traveling back home this week to put in some extra work on my starts and better prepare myself for our next race in Orlando.”
Aaron Plessinger: (6th in 450SX) “It was one of my better days, for sure. I started off pretty hot in practice. Got up there on the board for a second, then I ended up qualifying 11th. I didn’t get the greatest start in the heat race, so in the Main Event, I absolutely went for it. I jumped the gate and then backed up, and then took off with all the other guys and came out 10th. Then somebody rolled the first supercross triple, so that put us back quite a bit. I think the guys said I was 17th going into the first lap, but I just put my head down and charged. The track was so slick and replicated the test track in Corona. I think my bike really liked that, and I really liked that. I charged as hard as I could until the end of the race and clicked off a lot of passes and wound up in sixth place. That’s one place behind my best career finish. If that doesn’t give me confidence, then I don’t know what will. I’m really stoked about my riding tonight. I’m pumped to come back here next Saturday because I think I’ve got more to prove.”
Christian Craig: (3rd in 250SX) “The weekend started off great. I qualified first. I loved this track, everything about it. The dirt was hard-packed, just like the test track, so I was feeling so good. I got off to a good start in the heat race, and then on the second lap, some sort of little case turned into a big fall. I’m sure everyone has seen it on TV. I banged up my hand pretty good. I wasn’t sure I was even going to race, but we had it taped up by Dr. G. and had to grit it out. I knew I had to do what I could to get through tonight. We have 10 weeks after this, so I can heal up then. I was able to get out to a good start from way on the outside in the Main. I got into third quick and stayed with Colt for a lot of the race. Then I had some sketchy moments, so I backed it off and finished third. I only lost two points to Colt. After the Heat race, if you would have told me I’d get third, I would have been jumping up and down. It was a win in my books after that crash. We’ve got a long break, so we’re going to heal up and get ready for Salt Lake.”
Marvin Musquin: (7th in 450SX) “I had a good heat race to put myself in good position. I was so ready for the Main Event, I had a good gate and when I let the clutch go it started spinning and my rear wheel went sideways. I lost balance and was dead last off the start, exactly what I didn’t want to do. I put my head down and tried my best, as always. It was sketchy making passes in the beginning but I ended up seventh. I’m just bummed. It was a bit muddy behind the gate and things like that happen.”
Jason Anderson: (8th in 450SX) “It was an improvement all around for me today. My practices were better and my racing was quite a bit better, so If I could get a start it would help my results. In the Main Event, I got up there after a not-so-good start and got behind Tomac in sixth but I came together with someone, it was more my fault than anything, and dropped back but we’ll move on to next week and keep progressing.”
Jo Shimoda: (4th in 250SX) “We had another solid day today as a team. Track conditions were rough at the start, but I had no issues finding traction and qualified in fourth aboard my KX250. I finished my heat race in second, which I’m happy about. The main event didn’t go as planned as I started in sixth, and by the time I made the pass for fourth, the gap to third was too much for me to overcome. We will take the next few weeks to continue improving on the little things that will help put us at the top step of the podium when we return to racing in late April. I want to wish all of my Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates the best of luck next weekend. I will be cheering them on from home!.”
Malcolm Stewart:(9th in 450SX) “The day started out great. It was so nice being back home in Florida. In the Main Event, I had a decent start, but I made a few mistakes. I just wasn’t jiving with the track. All in all, I guess I would say it wasn’t a bad day. I still managed to finish in the top 10, finished ninth on a tough night. It could have been worse. A lot of guys went down. A lot of guys were definitely fatigued and having problems. We rode a solid night. That’s the best I can say. We’re going to dig deep and keep finding our way. We know what we’re capable of. Let’s get back up into those top-fives and get on the box. I know we’re all right there. It’s just a matter of when and where. We’re seven rounds in and getting close to halfway now. It’s time. I’m ready to do it. We’ll come back to Orlando next Saturday for Orlando 2.0 and go for it.”
Adam Cianciarulo: (10th in 450SX) “My day started well. I was fastest in qualifying aboard my KX450 and was feeling ready for a good night. I took the momentum from qualifying into my heat race and came away with a solid third place finish but come main event time I was feeling flat. I know I have more in me, but we have a lot of racing left. I have a great team supporting me and we’re going to figure this out; it’s only a matter of time.”
Dean Wilson: (12th in 450SX) “My night was very difficult but it feels really good to be back at the races. I think the hardest part for me was not being on the bike for almost three weeks, I felt like a fish out of water. I’m happy to get through the night, I know 12th isn’t really what we want but I could see ninth right there and with a good start, I think I’ll be pretty good.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (22nd in 450SX) “It was a difficult day with only two practices on a tough track. I managed to get a good start in the main and was feeling good. I tried some different rhythm sections then ended up crashing. I got hit by the rider next to me in the stomach and couldn’t breathe for a moment. I was okay in the end, but my race was over.”