The thirteenth round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series—round 6 of the 250SX Western Regional Championship—went to Atlanta, Georgia’s Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time in the series’ history and the first of three in a row at the new venue.
In the 450SX class, Eli Tomac (1st) won his third main event of the year and the final two spots on the 450SX podium were occupied by Chase Sexton (2nd) and Cooper Webb (3rd)—who extended his points lead to 22 points with his tenth podium finish of ’21.
In the sixth 250SX West main event of 2021, Nate Thrasher (1st) became the fifth different 250SX West main event winner over the first six rounds and the fourth rider in the class to score his first-ever win in ’21. The final two spots on the Atlanta 1 SX 250SX podium were occupied by the two men battle for the Championship, Justin Cooper (2nd) and Cameron McAdoo (3rd). Cooper now leads McAdoo by four points heading into the next round that will take place this Tuesday.
After the racing was over, we gathered quotes from many of the top riders in Atlanta. Check out what the riders had to say below.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450SX) “I came in here with a good mindset. The longer track layout felt like it was going to suit me, and it did today. The track was a beast today and it changed up a lot throughout the main. I was able to switch up my lines in the whoops and made up some great time there. I made a few good passes in combination with a couple of gifts, but I’ll take it. I’m happy we’re coming away from this one with a win, especially with the challenges the rainy weather brought us. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy/Kawasaki team for getting my KX™450 set up perfectly today. I can’t wait to get back out there on Tuesday and battle for another win.”
Chase Sexton: (2nd in 450SX) “It was a really good race for me. Everything was going well. Obviously, Aaron [Plessinger] went down and that was unfortunate for him, but it ended up giving me the lead and from there I was just putting in my laps. I really felt like I was putting in solid laps. I saw…You know, I really couldn’t tell if it was Eli [Tomac] or Jason Anderson because they were both wearing similar gear and it ended up being Eli obviously, but I knew he was coming seeing him out of the corner of my eye in corners. I was really struggling in that first set of whoops and it was costing me time. I really felt like I was good in the back side of the track and Eli would catch me on the front. I was riding a really good race and felt like I was doing consistent laps, but then Eli dropped the hammer with three or four laps to go and sucked up right onto my rear wheel. I felt like I had a decent amount of energy left and was riding well but I jumped inside to get around Cade [Clason, lap rider] really quick and I knew Eli was right there. I knew in the next corner I was volnerable to get stopped and block passed before that double so I wanted to get through those two corners really quick. Honestly, the one after that, my mechanic, Jade, put on the pit board, “two laps to go” and I thought I saw the white flag and I thought the race was over. Then I saw Eli keep going and thought, “uh-oh, the race isn’t over.” It wasn’t the best ending, but it was my first 450 podium and that’s a positive. ”
Cooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “I wasn’t pumped with that ride. I got a good start like I needed and was put in a really good situation. Plessinger was riding really well out front and he had that mistake so I got into the lead but I just didn’t execute. Guys got around me and pulled away, definitely not the best race for me but to able to leave on the podium is a huge relief, and to gain points is always good on your bad days.”
Nate Thrasher: (1st in 250SX) “It feels amazing. We put a lot of hard work in, and it’s paying off. At the beginning of the off-season, we weren’t even thinking that we were going to race supercross, but we kept chugging away, and I started feeling really good, so we were like, ‘we might as well go racing.’ I’ve been getting better every weekend. I knew that if I got a good start, I could run with these guys, and I finally got one tonight. It was a crazy day. We only had seven laps for timed qualifying, and the track was totally different for the race. We weren’t even doing half the jumps earlier, so a lot changed. It was good that I adapted so quickly because most of the time, it’s tough for rookies to adapt to tracks. It was just my night and I felt really good. I lined up on the very inside and pulled a great start, made the pass for the lead, and just checked out from there. We’ve got another one on Tuesday, so we got to put our head down and try to do the same thing.”
Justin Cooper: (2nd in 250SX) “It was a bit of a tough day, going down in the heat race. I was pretty banged up from that, so I’m just happy we were able to regroup and get some points. Once the adrenaline wore off after that heat, it was pretty tough to get motivated to get back out there for the main. I’m feeling a little bit looser now, so I think by the time Tuesday comes around, we’ll be all set to go. All in all, it was a good day and we expanded our points lead, which is the main thing. I definitely like this venue so I’m looking forward to Tuesday.”
Jason Anderson (4th in 450SX) “Atlanta one was a good day for the most part. I qualified P1 in practice and went into the heat race and got first. In the Main Event, I got a little tangled up in the first corner and ripped my shifter off but I was able to get into third, manage my race and still get fourth so it was pretty good.”
Cameron McAdoo: (3rd in 250SX) “There was a lot of chaos out there on the opening laps, and the track was extremely slippery today which led to some mistakes that really cost me a chance at the win in both the heat and main. Overall, I’m still happy we came away with a podium during a race like this. I want to give a big thank you to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team for getting my bike fixed after my spill in the heat. I’m already shifting my focus to Tuesday and another huge opportunity picking up valuable championship points.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (5th in 450SX) “or sure, it was a good ride, but I’m a little disappointed because crashing at the start is never good. I was all the way back in last and came back through. I didn’t rush but just gave everything I had until the last lap. I passed some really strong guys, so that was a good feeling. I was really tired and had a little bit of arm pump, but it was good. It’s always good to be back in the top five, and with that kind of riding, it’s also good for your confidence. We made some small changes on the bike, and the team decided to go in one direction, and it was really good. The bike was much better today than the previous race, so we made one step in a good direction. I’m really happy.”
Aaron Plessinger: (6th in 450SX) “I felt good coming into this race and had a really good week of riding. Even though I felt great, I was just kind of pumped up a little bit all day. It was just something about this track – big jumps, two sets of whoops, I think I held my breath a lot. It was a good day overall, and we’ll take the positives. I got some really good starts and led the heat race for a long time. Before that, I had my best qualifying result in third. I was leading the main for half the race, and then I tossed it in one of the tighter sections. I just tightened up and couldn’t really get a flow back after that. We’re going to come back Tuesday with a vengeance.
Marvin Musquin: (7th in 450SX) “It’s good to be back racing but it was crazy to only get one practice considering you have to learn the track and go straight to qualifying. The laps were super long and the practice was super short so I only got one really good lap and then I made a mistake and it cost me big time. Racing was completely different – it was tough conditions but the track turned around and shaped up really well for the main and I ended up seventh. Considering the whole day, I’m not happy with the result but I’m trying to be more consistent and just rebuild from some of the problems I’ve run into this season.”
Joey Savatgy: (8th in 450SX) “I’d like to be more towards the front than I am, but at the same time everyone in this class inside the top 13 guys are no slouches. In a field where it’s this stacked—something we haven’t seen in a long time or ever—the biggest thing for me is getting good starts. I need to put the whole main event together and if we can do that we’ll be closer too a standout ride. To get inside that top five is not easy by any means.”
Seth Hammaker: (4th in 250SX) “”The track conditions were rough today. I ended the day in fourth, but I’m happy I pulled off a heat win in the slippery conditions. Overall, we had a solid day as a team, and I’m only getting more and more comfortable riding with the lead guys on my KX250. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad for all the hard work today. I’m looking forward to an even better result on Tuesday for Atlanta 2″
Kyle Peters: (5th in 250SX) “If I cover my eyes and open them back up it won’t be muddy anymore. Atlanta 1, I had some good adversity on the day with only getting limited time on the track. Ended up fifth in the main, I know what I need to do to be back up front. Thanks to the team and everyone for all the hard work!”
Ken Roczen: (9th in 450SX) “Atlanta 1 was a tough one. I really messed up on the start and then [Justin] Barcia crashed in front of me. I got caught up in his bike, so I had nowhere to go and ended up dead last. I wasn’t feeling myself all day and ultimately didn’t feel good. I finished in ninth place, which is the last thing we needed at the moment, but all I can do is go out there and try my best. I’m going to forget about this past weekend, move on, and see what we can do on Tuesday. I’m looking to bounce back, get a good start and hopefully finish somewhere on the podium so that we don’t get too far back in points. As of right now, I just keep losing too many points, which is not ideal, but I’m just going to keep my head high and do some work with the team, try some new settings and see what we can do.”
Justin Barcia: (10th in 450SX) “It was a tough day for sure. I felt good at the start of the heat race but unfortunately, I had a crash early on that roughed me up pretty good. Luckily, I was able to salvage a qualifying position and get my lip all stitched up before the main but I was definitely feeling the effects from the crash all night. We’ll try to use the next couple days to recover and get back at it on Tuesday.”
Malcolm Stewart: (11th in 450SX) “The weekend wasn’t that bad. We were riding really well. It was just a long day, sitting around and not really riding that much because of the rain. We had a really good Main Event going, but I had really bad arm pump and hit a wall. It was kind of devastating because we were fifth and then went all the way back to 11th. It’s a bummer, but part of racing, you’re not going to feel great every race. The only thing that we can do from here is build on it. We had a really good talk with the team and we have to look at the positives. We were riding so great except for the last few laps, so that’s a good starting point. I think we had the potential to fight for a podium if we had a better start. I think this is the longest racetrack I’ve probably ever been on. They tried to replicate Daytona, but I think now I can say Atlanta has its own style. It’s set up like a Daytona track – fast and a lot of switchbacks and things like that, but it has the technical jumps like a regular supercross track, they’re really steep. The whoops are really cupped, so it definitely kind of threw a curveball for everybody, especially with the rain today. We’ve got Tuesday to come back out swinging, hopefully, the track will be a little bit different and the rain stays away. We’ll be ready and I’m excited for Tuesday, it will be here before you know it.”
Hunter Lawrence: (7TH IN 250SX) “Rough day in the main event today. I got a good start thanks to a good heat race, where I took the win, but got hit from behind in the first turn of the main event and ended up crashing. It wasn’t really ideal to shoot ourselves in the foot that early. It was a tough start, especially with the conditions. I made as many passes as possible and ended up seventh, which obviously isn’t what we wanted. Sometimes things happen though, and I’m looking forward to Tuesday.”
Jalek Swoll: (8th in 250SX) “It was survival out there today with the muddy and tough conditions. The heat race was going decent but then I went down and it left me with a not-so-great gate pick for the Main Event and I got pinched off in the start. We’ll be back for the next Atlanta round and try to land on the box.”
Pierce Brown: (9th in 250SX) “The day ended up decent for how it started. In the main, I was too far outside and didn’t get the start I needed but I pushed the whole time and ended up ninth. I almost had eighth but I gave it everything I had and I can go to bed tonight happy knowing that I left everything on the track. We’re definitely looking to improve for the next two Atlantas.”
Stilez Robertson: (11th in 250SX) “The day started off pretty good with qualifying and the heat race got off to a pretty good start but then I ended up going down in the mud. With 14th gate pick, I messed my start up in the main and in the second turn I ran into someone and went down. I think I started 18th and finished 11th, which isn’t great by me but we’ve got another one on Tuesday and I can try and redeem myself.””
Ryan Sipes: (12th in 250SX) “Dust, mud, crashes, close calls, but all around, I had a lot of fun! Started great qualifying 4th overall in practice. Then the rain came. I was first heat race, and although the track didn’t look bad, it was like riding on a sheet of glass. With grease on it. Got a so-so start, then shuffled back in the first few corners. Proceeded to crash twice trying to make up time and got tenth—one spot out of transfer position. The LCQ was a doozie. Started around 6th and told myself to just relax, be smart, and slowly pass my way up. Fast forward a few laps, white flag, and I was still not top four Had to put the hammer down but made it happen. FYI: the far outside gate is not the best choice in the main. Started around 18th, passed up into 9th, felt really good. Hit a soft spot, got sideways and landed on a tuff block. Back to 18th, then passed my way back to 12th. Should have been a whole lot better but stuff happens. Massive thanks to all who make it possible. Love you guys!”
Chris Blose: (13th in 250SX) “Atlanta 1 was not how we wanted to end with a 13th. I went down in the first turn but all in all I had a lot of positives like qualifying 5th and a 3rd in the heat race. I’m ready for Tuesday! ”
Dean Wilson: (DNQ in 450SX) “The day started off good, I qualified fifth and I really liked the track and felt good on it. First heat, I ran out of tear offs and I was really struggling with finishing because I couldn’t see. I put myself in a bad position for the LCQ and then I came together with another rider, went down, got up, went down again and that was it really. It’s a big disappointment but all I can do is come back on Tuesday fired up and ready to do well.”
Jarrett Frye: (DNQ in 250SX) “It was another tough day for me. We didn’t get that much track time with all the rain. I had an okay qualifying but unfortunately went down in my heat and had to go through the LCQ, which is where we don’t want to be. I didn’t get a good start and finished eighth. We’re going to keep working and try for a better result on Tuesday.”