The ninth round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series—round 2 of the 250SX Western Regional Championship—went to Daytona, Florida’s Daytona International Speedway for the 2021 Daytona SX. In the 450SX class, Eli Tomac (1st) won his third Daytona SX main event in a row and a record-tieing 5th Daytona main event win of his career. Grabbing the final two spots on the 450SX podium was Cooper Webb (2nd) and Aaron Plessinger (3rd)—the first of AP’s career.
In the second 250SX West main event of 2021, Cameron McAdoo (1st) scored his first-ever win with Stilez Robertson (2nd) and Pierce Brown landing on the podium for the first time in their young careers.
After the racing was over, we gathered quotes from many of the top riders in Daytona. Check out what the riders had to say below.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450SX) “That was fun! I always enjoy riding at Daytona and it’s always been good to me. I was pretty strategic when picking my gate in the main because I was watching the other class and heat races and realized the inside might be my best shot at getting up front, which is exactly what I did. I fought for it too. Once I got out front, I wasn’t looking back. We’re still in this championship, so I’m not going down without a fight. I think we’ve found a good groove and I’m looking forward to our next stop in Dallas. I’m grateful for all the hard work and support from my entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team, I couldn’t have done this without them, especially five times!
Cameron McAdoo: (1st in 250SX) “That was unreal. That is what we work so hard for. I can’t thank all of the guys at Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki enough for providing me all of the tools to get here. I have such a great team behind me. I have to give a special shout out to my mom because in 2016, she drove me all the way out here to Daytona in a van and now this is where we are. This is just the beginning and I look forward to continue working my butt off for more nights like this.”
Cooper Webb: (2nd in 450SX) “It was a great night. I was trying to hang with Eli but he was hauling butt. I definitely rode pretty tight that Main Event but is what it is, I put my head down there at the end and made some good lap times and I was able to get AP there at the end, which was nice to get another podium tonight. It’s always fun coming to Daytona, it’s always a great event.”
Aaron Plessinger: (3rd in 450SX) “This is definitely a monkey off my back, for sure. Going back to Daytona two years ago, I was lying in the emergency room with a shattered heel and not too sure what was going to happen after that, so to come here and rebound like I just did, it’s crazy. I’m speechless. I felt like I had more to give on the last couple of laps, but a podium is a podium and I’ll take what I can get. I feel like it’s going to come a little bit easier now. The track was so gnarly, with the black sand and then beach sand and all the ruts. Some of the transitions of the jumps had such big kickers on them. It was crazy. It was a long race, but we ended up on the podium, and that’s all I can ask for right now. I just want to give a shout-out to these guys for working their butts off and believing in me. We’re going to keep going.”
Stilez Robertson: (2nd in 250SX) “My first qualifying was not that great but the second one came around and I was feeling good. the heat race, I actually felt pretty good and made the decision to go back to the knobby for the Main Event and I ripped a start! I put down a good eight minutes out front and started thinking about it too much and that’s when Mcadoo got around me. I didn’t want to make any rookie mistakes so I decided to settle into second and learn.”
Pierce Brown: (3rd in 250SX) “I had some highs and some lows during my downtime and thought it would be a while before I was back up here but first race back and a podium – this is awesome and I’m so stoked! I had a really good start, I got shuffled back for the first couple of corners but I got into my pace, started making passes and next thing I know I was in third. I saw the white flag coming and I knew Justin [Cooper] was right on me, so I knew I had to make it happen.”
Ken Roczen: (4th in 450SX) “I got a really good start and Webb just pushed me really wide into the tough blocks which caused me to lose a bunch of spots. I think he’s scared of me, that’s why he plays these kind of games but little does he know I like to play as well. From here on out I’m just going to put that little bit extra focus on a daily basis, even at home, to speed up and be that much better on the weekend. He’s fuelling the fire and I’m ready for it! I like to play so let’s go!”
Malcolm Stewart: (5th in 450SX) “Daytona is one of the tracks I struggle on, so to get a top-five tonight was a good deal. The fact that I rode really well and made it happen is a big confidence booster, especially since we’ve got three more races in Atlanta that are kind of similar to this. I just want to give a shout-out to my teammate, Aaron Plessinger, who got a podium. That was a good one for him. Also, we got two Yamahas in the top five tonight. I think that’s a good stepping stone for us. We’re just going to keep digging, keep having fun, and enjoying the moment. We’ve made a few mistakes, but we’re sitting fifth overall in points. The podium’s coming. We’re getting closer and closer.”
Justin Cooper: (4th in 250SX) “The day started off really well. I was fastest in both practices. I spun off the gate in my heat race, and that didn’t go too well. I just kept pushing to get the transfer and brought it home in fourth. In the Main Event, I got a top-five start, and then in the third turn, a hay bale got kicked out in front of me, and got stuck under my bike and put me on the ground. So I started around 21st. I did what I could. It was really hard to pass out there. I only made it up to fourth, but I charged the whole way, and my lap times were pretty consistent. It’s not what I was hoping for, but that’s all we had tonight. We definitely got challenged here in Daytona. We’ll learn from it and come into these Texas rounds ready to win again.”
Justin Barcia: (6th in 450SX) “Daytona was a tough day. I kind of struggled with the track a bit and trying to find the comfort, which unfortunately didn’t happen. I’m going back to California this week to do some work, get more comfortable so we can head into Texas and crush it. I’m definitely not pleased with the results today so I’m trying to put this one in the past, move forward and regroup next week to come out swinging in the next three races, I’m looking forward to it.”
Hunter Lawrence: (6th in 250SX) “This weekend was pretty good. We had a solid heat race and got my first ever heat-race win, which was really cool. My body is starting to come around and I’m feeling better and better. I made one mistake in the main event that really let me down in the sand section. I was in a good position to fight for a podium spot, so I’m bummed about that. All things considered, my body is feeling healthy, my shoulder is coming around and I feel great on the bike. This is a good, calm way to head into Arlington for three rounds back to back, which I am really looking forward to.”
Jason Anderson: (7th in 450SX) “My night was pretty mediocre all around. I was P7 in qualifying today and in the heat race, I fell in the first turn and got up to eighth. That gate position didn’t put me in a good spot for the main but I made it up to seventh and that’s where I ended up.”
Chase Sexton: (8th in 450SX) “My first race back here in Daytona was a rough day overall. I fell in the first practice, and in second practice I tried a wall jump but landed hard in the next jump face; I put a hole through my lip and chipped my tooth really bad, which was frustrating. The heat race was okay; I got a good start but got caught up in the second corner and then came back to fourth. I got a good start in the main event but then went backwards. I got freight-trained and just didn’t feel like I was racing out there. I’m pretty frustrated with the ride, but it’s a start and we’ll go only up from here. I’m looking forward to Dallas.”
Justin Bogle (9th in 450SX) “I felt good and had the flow tonight. This was my type of track, hitting my marks and riding like I know I should. We’ll continue to progress and be ready to fight for another top ten in Arlington next week
Dean Wilson: (10th in 450SX) “My night was a bit eventful. I was in qualifying position in the heat race and I tried to make a pass in the last corner and crashed in the rhythm section before the finish, so I had to go to the LCQ. I was far outside gate in the main and didn’t get a good start at all but I just plugged away and ended up with a top-10. It’s not great but it’s a starting point and we’ll just try to build and get better from there.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (11th in 450SX) “I felt good during practice today in Daytona. I had a good start in the Main Event, but I got tangled up in the first turn, and then I had a small crash in the sand. It was another frustrating night for me. We’ll go back to work again for a better result in Arlington.”
Jalek Swoll: (8th in 250SX) “It was kind of a poor performance on my end, to be honest. I had to line up really far on the outside, which was not the best start. I worked my way up to fifth for a while but I got into some haybales, which lost me three positions and couldn’t find a flow after that. I’m going to take the steam from this race and use it next weekend to hopefully get on the box.”
Jordon Smith: (10th in 250SX) “Tonight was definitely a rough one. After crashing in qualifying and really being unsure if I would even be able to race the rest of the day, I would say we pulled off a good result. I did my best to fight through the pain and ride as smoothly as possible. I’m thankful for all of the team’s efforts and support I’ve received even throughout my injuries, so I put it all out there for them tonight. I’m hoping to get some rest and then back to work.”
Seth Hammaker: (11th in 250SX) “I felt great all day and thought I was riding well, especially in my heat race. I definitely had some confidence built up after the results of the last race, so I was looking forward to racing today. Unfortunately, I made an error in the sand section in the main event which cost me big time, but something I never do is give up and I just kept trying to make up positions as fast as I could. I want to thank Mitch and the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for all their support this far and I’m already looking forward to lining up next weekend in Arlington.”
Jarrett Frye: (12th in 250SX) “I struggled all day in practice. I couldn’t really find a flow and put the track together. In the heat race, I finished ninth to transfer into the main, but I still had a hard time finding my flow and ended up 12th. It’s not where we want to be. We’re going to go back to work and try and be better next weekend in Arlington.”
Max Anstie: (14th in 450SX) “From the moment I arrived at Daytona I felt like I was Lightning McQueen in the Piston cup! It’s always been a dream to race Daytona Supercross with the best guys in the world! The team and I made progress all day and we learnt a lot. I rode my laps in the main event and came away with a 14th. I’m looking forward to heading to Texas next week. Let’s just say I can understand now when the Americans go to Europe and they struggle… sitting on the start line for this race felt so alien and “not normal” everything about the whole day and track conditions were for lack of a better word…GNARLY. I’m loving it though.”
Brandon Hartranft:> (19TH in 450SX) “Today was a lot better for me then my previous races,” said Brandon Hartranft. “Gain some confidence back, had a good solid two weeks of riding building up to this round. Both practices, I went out first and that was a confidence booster. I have done well here in the past and I felt like I had a flow here all day. In my heat race start, I came around second off the start and was able to make it straight into the main. The main event was solid till about halfway when I got arm pump. I need to work on that and show up ready to go in Arlington.”
Nate Thrasher: (20th in 250SX) “It was an okay weekend in Daytona. We struggled a bit in qualifying, but in the heat race, we rode well. I felt like we had good speed. I came from way back and ended up sixth, so I was happy with that. In the main, we got a decent start and started moving through the field, but then we started to have an issue. I was trying to baby it, but we didn’t finish. We’ll do better next weekend.”
Ryan Sipes: (21st in 250SX) “The day was cool! We had some rain and it made the track perfect. My hand was pretty sore but adrenaline kicked in and I was able to mix it up with those guys for a little while in the heat race, so that felt cool. The adrenaline wasn’t quite there in the main, and I had a lot more swelling, so I was having a hard time hanging on. I went and got X-rayed and no broken bones, just some bruising, so we’ll go back and recoup to be back for Atlanta.”
Marvin Musquin: (21st in 450SX) “I was glad to be back at Daytona after only being able to watch last year. The riding was good today. I made a mistake and got passed by two guys but I fought my way back up to Ken [Roczen] and Cooper and unfortunately, I started hearing noise in the engine. I didn’t know what was wrong and I couldn’t keep going and take risk with that without knowing what was going on, so unfortunately, I had to DNF. It’s heartbreaking, I can’t believe it. Those situations are tough to accept but we’re moving onto Dallas for a week of racing and it should be good.”
Zach Osborne: (DNS in 450SX) “I’ve undergone some treatment this week and I feel that I’m on a good path to recovery as well as eliminating this from happening in the future. I look forward to being back with my team as soon as I’m fully fit and ready to race again.”