The fourteenth round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series—round 7 of the 250SX Western Regional Championship—went to Atlanta, Georgia’s Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time in the series’ history and the second of three in a row at the venue.
In the 450SX class, Ken Roczen (1st) won his fourth main event of the year—cutting his points deficit to Cooper Webb down to just 13 points—and the final two spots on the 450SX podium were occupied by Chase Sexton (2nd) and Jason Anderson (3rd).
In the seventh 250SX West main event of 2021, Justin Cooper (1st) led every lap on his way to his third win of ’21—extending his points lead to 9 points over Cameron Mcadoo. The final two spots on the Atlanta 2 SX 250SX podium were occupied by Hunter Lawrence (2nd) and Cameron McAdoo (3rd).
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.
Ken Roczen: (1st in 450SX) “I changed my mindset bigtime for tonight’s race. It started already in free practice, with setting the fastest lap time by just being aggressive. At the same time, we did some changes to the bike that helped out, but of course it’s always unproven until you start racing it. We did a bunch of changes throughout the entire day, and it really seemed to pay off. I was pumped with how I was riding, but I knew the main event was going to be a long one, just because of how tough and long the track was. I’m so pumped for Honda to have pulled off a first and second; it was a huge night for us, also in the points chase, and I hope we can keep this up and come back and battle again for Atlanta 3.”
Chase Sexton: (2nd in 450SX) “It was a good night–obviously, ending up on the podium is always good. I felt good all day; the faster track really seems to be suiting me, just having more room overall, to move around a little bit and have different options. I really liked the track and obviously it’s paying off with getting on the podium twice here. Second-place finishes are going to get old really fast–I just want more–but it’s cool to see Honda 1-2 on the podium. I’m looking forward to building on this Saturday, and we’ll try and get a win”
Jason AndersonCooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “Today was pretty stressful. It started out amazing and I felt like everything was going smooth, and then I stalled it on the gate for the start but I was able to come back and ride good. I was lacking a little bit of energy at the end but I feel like my speed is good and my riding is really well so I’m excited.”
Justin Cooper: (1st in 250SX) “It was a good day starting with being fastest in every practice again. I got a pretty bad start in the heat race and got shuffled back to fifth, but I came back and made a last-lap pass on Hunter (Lawrence). We had a pretty good battle there. The Main Event got red-flagged a couple of laps in, which made it pretty tough. It was hot out there. Honestly, sitting on the line before the restart, I was like, ‘wow!’ I had to take my goggles off because I was sweating, and then we had to do the whole 15 minutes again. It was really physically demanding tonight, especially with not having a lot of rest after last Saturday’s race. It was good to get out of this one with a win and extend our points lead. We’ll recover for Saturday and try to do the same thing again.”
Hunter Lawrence: (2nd in 250SX) “It was a tough day, actually. We were struggling with bike setup all day, and after the heat race the team made a really good decision. We made a shock change for the main, and we had to test it on the site lap, when I had to push to get a feel and make sure we didn’t have to change any clickers; I was happy with how the bike felt. In the first part of the race, before it got red-flagged, I was feeling really good but then crashed in the whoops. Thankfully, that race got scrapped and we were able to start again. I didn’t get the best start, but we just kept fighting the whole way. I had a really good ride and am pretty content with that for where we were during the day and for the start I had.”
Justin Barcia (4th in 450SX) “It was a tough day to start with, I was pretty banged up from my crash at the last race so I was just really glad to be racing. I was running third in the Main Event and shuffled back to fourth, I got pretty tight, but all-in-all it was a good recovery for not knowing if I was going to race this one. It felt good to finish strong but I definitely want to be on the podium and go for the win this Saturday.””
Cameron McAdoo: (3rd in 250SX) “That crash was a scary moment for me. I struggled to move my leg for a moment and didn’t expect the medical staff to continue letting me ride, but I wasn’t going to give up. We’re in the middle of a heated battle for the 250SX Western Regional Championship, and I’m going to give it my all until the very last lap. Once I got the okay from the Alpinestars medical team, I refocused on the goal at hand and tried to salvage as many championship points as possible. I’m happy with the third tonight, especially considering how hard I crashed, but now it’s time to rest up and recover as much as possible before we run again on Saturday.”
Eli Tomac: (5th in 450SX) “I got a decent start aboard my KX450 during the main event but had to check up before a few turns because of all the chaos going on around me. I tried avoiding as many riders as possible, and that forced me to take a different line in the whoops section, which slowed me down even more and allowed others to get around. I worked hard to get into fifth place, but the track was so demanding that by then, it was already too late, and I ran out of time. It’s not the result I was expecting, but we managed a top-5 finish, so we’ll take it and now shift our focus on how we can improve for Saturday.”
Cooper Webb: (6th in 450SX) “It was a bit of a rough day for us. In the Main Event, I got a great start and put myself where I needed to be but I didn’t execute. I finally turned it around, started riding well and hitting my marks a bit and then I caught Barcia and was trying to make a pass. We had some close calls and then over the wall, I hit his back tire and fell. It’s a bummer but we’ll come back for Atlanta 3 and work with the team and myself to hopefully be in the winner’s circle.”
Marvin Musquin: (7th in 450SX) “I had a really good start in the Main Event but unfortunately I was missing a little bit of intensity and I ended up getting passed by a couple guys, which killed my momentum. It was a tough race physically so I was trying to be consistent and just keep pushing until the checkered flag.”
Aaron Plessinger: (8th in 450SX) “I wish it would’ve gone a little better. I came from the back in my heat race and ended up fifth. In the Main Event, I had an okay start going, then Malcolm crashed off the first double, and his bike chased me off the track. I had to work my way back through to eighth. I was happy with my riding but definitely not happy with my starts. The track was pretty good. It wasn’t too slick, and the dirt was pretty grippy overall. It got rough and rutted, and the whoops broke down quite a lot, but I was hitting them good and was just moving along. I’m not happy with the result. So we’ll come back Saturday and get out front as I did at the last one and hopefully get up on the box.”
Nate Thrasher: (4th in 250SX) “It was a good weekend, I felt good all night and we put in solid laps in the main. I was sitting in second pretty comfortably, but it ended up being red-flagged, which I’m pretty bummed out about. I ended up pulling a good start again and was sitting third for most of the race; we were fighting for it until the end, but ran out of time and finished fourth. We wanted another podium, but I can’t be mad about that, we’ll get them Saturday.”
Garrett Marchbanks: (5th in 250SX) “I finished 2nd in heat race and almost grabbed a 2nd in the main. I ended up having some bad luck in the whoops and some trouble starting my bike but it happens! Thank you to my team for having my back and let’s finish these last few rounds strong! ”
Dean Wilson: (9th in 450SX) “I was riding really good today, definitely a step up from the last round. I was happy with second in the heat race and in the Main Event, I got a pretty good start and was really in the mix of the battle until about halfway and unfortunately just struggled to the end. If we can figure out the second half and just get in the top five, I’d be happy with that.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (11th in 450SX) “=I felt good all day. I was fighting for the top five in qualifying, and then I had a pretty bad crash in the last session and kind of hurt my hand a little bit. I had a pretty good race going and was battling with the guy ahead of me. Then after the big wall, I opened the throttle a little bit too hard and wheelied, losing a little bit of control with the bike, and I crashed. I pushed so hard in the first few laps that I kind of burned myself out. After that, it was difficult, and I couldn’t really get my rhythm back and finished 11th”
Broc Tickle: (13th in 450SX) “Atlanta has been a challenge and a change of the pace for myself. Looking forward to wrapping up racing here in Atlanta strong before heading into the last two in SLC. Thank you to the crew around me that supports #BT20 week in and week out ”
Max Anstie: (14th in 450SX) “We are back from Saturday. I did a lot of recovery over the past couple days. We did well today and I will take it. We will move forward to Saturday. The heat race went well and I got a really good start. Each session I went out there got better and better. I want to be better. I got some things to take away and I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Pierce Brown: (8th IN 250SX) “We’re getting better slowly, but surely. After the red flag I couldn’t really find my flow out there. I got off to a bad start and it was kind of follow the leader out there with not much passing going on. I did everything I could, put everything out there and ended up with eighth. It’s definitely something to build off of, but I’m hungry for more this Saturday.”
Seth Hammaker: (8th in 250SX) ”I had an okay day today. My bike was feeling great, but I couldn’t find my flow out there all day, and in the end, that cost me. Having to go through the LCQ to qualify took up a good amount of energy before the main event even started, but I pushed as hard as I could for as long as possible and came out with a ninth-place finish. I’m going to take this as a learning experience and head into Saturday’s race refreshed, refocused and ready to battle with the top guys.”
Jalek Swoll: (9th in 250SX) “It was not the result we wanted but riding-wise I feel like it was really good. I made a lot of progression from the first round but I found myself on the ground early and that was unfortunate. I feel like the speed was there, so at least we can take the positives and come back in three days to have another go at it.”
Jace Owen: (12th in 250SX) “Atlanta has been a tough one but I’m still fighting. Atlanta 2, I ended up 12th in the main. Looking forward to lining back up in a few days and getting in the mix.”
Henry Miller (19th in 450SX) “It has been a long road back from my wrist injury sustained last September.
We checked a box at Atlanta 2 [by making main] and it felt so good to be back behind the gate for the main event. There’s lots of work to be done still! Looking forward to keep improving and moving into the great outdoors. Thank you to all who continue to believe and stand behind me.”
Chris Blose: (12th in 250SX) “Atlanta 2 was a rough one. I put myself in great position for both main event starts and the cards just didn’t fall my way with a red flag and going down while rounding the first turn in 3rd. Onto The next one and ready for redemption.”
Malcolm Stewart: (21st in 450SX) “The night started off with a good heat race, finishing third. I got an okay start in the Main Event but went down hard in the first double. It happened so fast I don’t even know what happened. I’m feeling pretty beat up and disappointed with how the night ended, but we’re going to rest up and come back fighting”
Jarrett Frye: (16th in 250SX) “Atlanta 2 was a better day for me. I had my best qualifying result so far and qualified eighth. Then I had a good start in the heat race but went down and had to go through the LCQ. I got another good start there and was able to win that. I lined up for the main, but I just didn’t have any energy left. It was pretty hot today, and I was just flat. It’s still not the result I’m looking for, but it was a better day, so we’re going to build on that and be ready for Saturday.”
Adam Enticknap: (DNQ in 450SX) “The track was really good today. I felt better today, our bike was really good today. Clark Jones made some really good changes to the suspension. I rode a good heat race, but not the best one I ever had. In the LCQ I made a mistake right off the gate. I wasn’t really able to make my way forward. The track was good, my Suzuki was great. I just have to do a couple tiny things throughout the race to get it done. I think with everything I have going on, coming off the collarbone injury, scapula and ribs that got broken, things are getting better. I’m excited for Saturday.”
Stilez Robertson: (DNQ in 250SX) “Definitely not the night I was hoping for. In the first qualifier, I had a big get-off through the whoops and wasn’t feeling too good. I went out for the last qualifying session and ended up seventh but the team and I made the decision to sit it out but we should be good to go for Saturday.”