2020 ARLINGTON SUPERCROSS | THE AFTERMATH: TRIPLE CROWN CHAOS, CRASHES & INJURIES
2020 ARLINGTON SUPERCROSS | THE AFTERMATH: TRIPLE CROWN CHAOS, CRASHES & INJURIES
The 2020 Alrington Supercross was another exciting one, but sadly, round eight of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season had more of a heart wrenching feel than heart warming feel to it. Hosting three Main Events on a tough Arlington track meant that fans had more opportunities to watch their favorite riders, but it also meant that the riders had more opportunities to crash—and crash they did. The night show was full of carnage, but it can’t be blamed on the amount of laps, because many riders crashed during the qualifying practices as well. With Cooper Webb, Adam Cianciarulo, Broc Tickle and Jimmy Decotis being injured in Texas, the entire industry has taken a sobering hit to the stomach. Luckily, both Cooper Webb and Adam Cianciarulo were able to walk away with minor injuries compared to what could have happened in each of their crashes. Broc Tickle and Jimmy Decotis also look like they could return to racing in a decent time frame. In Motocross Action’s The Aftermath, we like to expound on the top story lines of the race and share our favorite photos as well.
Photos by Brian Converse
Words by Josh Mosiman
COOPER WEBB INJURED: HEMATOMA & DEEP BONE BRUISING
Cooper Webb’s crash (as well as Adam Cianciarulo’s in practice) was hard to watch for a lot of race fans. We all know crashes are bound to happen and that’s definitely part of the excitement of Supercross, but it’s not too often that you see a Championship contender go down hard. It’s also not too often that you see a rider fly off the track and land on concrete straight onto his back. We were very glad to see Cooper crawling right away because at least he was well enough to move. We were also very glad to hear that Cooper’s injury isn’t worse, Cooper said via instagram: “I got very lucky with hematoma with deep bone bruising to my pelvis as well as my sacrum. Extremely lucky and blessed to only walk away with that. Thanks everyone for the support and prayers. Not quite done yet”
Cooper Webb was in fourth on lap fifteen of the second Main Event when he crashed on the dragon’s back. His night was shaping up to be a good one. If he wouldn’t have crashed and he if could’ve finished fourth in the second Main, his 2-4 finishes would’ve had him tied with Eli Tomac in points for the overall going into the final race. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can click here to see the video of Cooper Webb’s crash.
ADAM CIANCIARULO INJURED: BROKEN COLLARBONE
Adam Cianciarulo was the first big named rider to fall victim to the dragon’s back in Alrington. Just like Webb and the multiple other riders who crashed on the same obstacle, Adam skimmed the whoops and missed the last whoop with his front wheel which sent him over the bars to and finally into the lip of the triple. Adam got up quickly and moved his arm around to feel if there was any damage to his shoulder, but he quickly stopped moving it when he realized that he a broken collarbone. With both Adam and Jimmy Decotis injuring themselves on the dragon’s back in practice, we wish the Dirt Wurx crew would’ve addressed the problem and made an adjustment to the section before the night show.
After Adam got checked out by the Alpinestars medical team, he posted via instagram to release the news. “Had a crash in Q1 and broke my left collarbone. Gonna have to sit this one out tonight. Sucks but it is what it is. My fault. I’ll keep you guys updated on the recovery!” Click here for a video of Adam Cianciarulo’s crash.
Adam Cianciarulo and his trainer Nick Wey walking the track earlier in the day. Adam had the fastest qualifying time at the first seven rounds in a row coming into Arlington, but his injury at round eight ended his streak.
THE ARLINGTON DRAGON:
Supercross is dangerous no matter how the track is designed, but it always a bummer when multiple riders crash on the same obstacle. The dragon’s back was challenging for many reasons; (1) The last whoop was lower than the ones before it. (2) The angle of the dragon’s back wasn’t as steep as usual which allowed riders to hit it faster. (3) The whoops were smaller which also increased speeds. (4) There was a triple immediately afterwards which the riders were trying to gain momentum for. (5) They were soft, rutted and chewed out, (which isn’t abnormal for a dragon’s back.) Out of these issues, the worst part was that the last whoop was the smallest. This meant that the riders would have to let off the throttle to make sure they don’t miss it with their front wheel. Obviously, everything is different from the riders perspective and that’s why we added the opinion of the top three 450SX finishers below:
Ken Roczen said about the dragon’s back: “I already saw during press day and during track walk, that they’ll have five whoops (on the dragon’s back) and then the fifth one is the lowest one out of all of them.” Eli Tomac sat next to Ken in the post race press conference and nodded his head in agreement when Ken mentioned this. Then Ken went on: “I’ve seen it happen multiple times, and I don’t know what the thought process behind there because you want the last one to obviously be the tallest one, that’s the whole point of it. Also, they’re breaking down because it is, so they’re getting squarely a little bit.” Ken also mentioned that it was unusual to have five whoops where normally they only have three or four.
Jason Anderson said about the dragon’s back: “I also think that they’re so small that you can go so fast through them. You can get ahead of yourself and obviously we’re trying to go as fast as we can. Just that split little bounce off the last one to get you over the top one, obviously it can eat you up. Then with the ruts and everything too, when you’re front end drops into one of those, it’s soft.”
Eli Tomac agreed with Anderson and Roczen, he said: “I’m with these guys, I don’t get why they build the last one lower than the first four. It seems like they’ve done it multiple times and you can sit there and scratch your head. You want to hit the last one and they make that thing low and it’s not good and you see the crashes.”
JIMMY DECOTIS’ CRASH ON THE DRAGON’S BACK
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Unfortunately I won’t be racing tonight in Arlington. I was so close to saving this crash but I got hung up on the side of my bike and my momentum took me straight into the face of the triple. I was able to walk off under my own power but I took a hard hit to my head and after a VERY hard decision I’m going to sit out tonight. Bummed for my whole team, I just want to compete. “life can only be understood backwards but we must live it forward.”
The video above was posted by Jimmy Decotis of his crash on the dragon’s back in Arlington.
RJ HAMPSHIRE TAKES OUT CHASE SEXTON
Here Rj Hampshire takes out his former teammate Chase Sexton for the lead in the first Main Event at Arlington.
The corner after the finish line also acted as the first turn and because of that, there wasn’t a big berm built up for it. It was a wide flat turn and some riders would go wide to gain momentum for the rhythm section, while other riders could hit the inside and make a block pass to get by. In the press conference, both Chase and Rj talked about the incident in the post race press conference. Rj mentioned that it was payback for an incident between the two of them at the Millville National in 2019 and Chase acknowledged it and moved on from it.
BROC TICKLE INJURED: LEFT HAND
The first rhythm section after the start straightaway was challenging the riders all day long. It was awkward and even the top guys would make mistakes in it. With the section being right after the first turn, there was a lot of carnage. Sadly for Broc Tickle and the JGR Suzuki team, Broc got tangled up with another rider in that rhythm lane on the first lap and got his hand smashed in between his handlebars and another riders rear wheel. Broc was unable to race the rest of the night and he said that he is still unsure of the full extent of his injury.
JUSTIN BRAYTON CRASHES FIVE TIMES IN TEXAS
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What a rough night in Dallas! I had five crashes in one day!! That’s more than I’ve had the past few years🤷♂️. This was my third one in practice and the one that I thought was gonna end my night. Caught my foot on the take off. I decided to suit up for the races after being checked out and cleared by the medical staff. First main I ran fifth and felt pretty good till a few minutes to go, I crashed in the whoops. Second main had another get off and that ended my night. Kinda sitting here in disbelief how it all happened but also very thankful nothing is seriously injured. See y’all in Atlanta👊
Justin Brayton had a rough time at round eight in Dallas. He had five crashes throughout the day which was completely out of character for the veteran HRC Honda rider who is mostly known for his consistent and small style. This crash he posted on instagram above was his worst wreck of the night when he caught his foot on the lip of the jump sending him through the air totally off balance. Justin commented about the night: “Kinda sitting here in disbelief how it all happened but also very thankful nothing is seriously injured. See y’all in Atlanta”
The first Main Event did not start out well for Eli Tomac, but he fought his way from thirteenth on the first lap up to fifth by the end of the race. In the second one, he was behind Blake Baggett in second place on the start and he quickly made his way into second and pulled away for the win while Ken Roczen struggled to make passes and finished seventh. In the third main, Eli once again found himself outside of the top five on the first lap, but he put his head down and started charging. Blake Baggett went down, he made his way around Malcolm Stewart and was behind Ken Roczen by lap four. Then, Eli followed Ken until Ken made a mistake on lap ten in the unique rhythm lane after the finish line. Ken tried to get back next to Eli over the famous Alrington dragon’s back, but when they landed Eli crossed over about four feet on Ken to take his line away up the lip of the triple. Eli cleared it while Ken Roczen slowed down to double it and lost touch with the points leader. Then, three laps later Eli did the same move to Jason Anderson. Some people looked at Eli’s moves as dirty and dangerous while others relate it to aggressive racing. Either way, Tomac was on the move and luckily, nobody both Ken and Jason had the skills to dodge his rear wheel.
Ken Roczen dominated the first Main Event of the night which gave him four Triple Crown Main Event wins in a row. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to complete the deal in the next two Main Events, but Ken was still happy to salvage a second and leave healthy when many other riders had big crashes.
Here both Jason and Ken fight for the inside line in the tight and flat turn after the finish line. Ken is looking to make a move up the inside while Jason is doing everything he can to block the line.
Justin Hill very well and finished 6th overall in Arlington, but he also dealt with crashes that hurt his results. Justin was upfront in third place on the opening lap of the first Main Event when he was taken out by Jason Anderson right before the finish line. He crossed the line in 15th and came all the way through the pack to finish 6th in the first Main. Then in Main Event two, he finished in third and in the final race, Justin crashed all on his own in the same corner he was taken out in and he once again charged from the back to finish 8th.
Justin Hill also logged the fastest qualifying time in both 450 sessions in Arlington. He commented after the race that he is proving to myself that he has the speed and fitness to win. Then he said that he just needs to put all the pieces together and claim it.
450 OVERALL POINT STANDING (ROUND 8 OF 17)
Chase Sexton looks like a whole new rider in 2020. He won the 250SX East Coast Championship in 2019 after only winning one Main Event. Austin Forkner dominated before he tore his ACL and a lot of people discounted Sexton’s Championship because of it. This year Chase has said many times that he doesn’t want to win like that again, he wants to be the dominant guy.
Chase Sexton was close behind Shane early in the final Main Event, but he didn’t need to pass him to get the overall win. So Chase rode smart in second and finished just over four seconds behind Shane.
The ClubMx Yamaha team has been very impressive so far in the 250SX East division. Michigan native, Joey Crown qualified for his first Main Event at Tampa and finished eighth in the Main Event, then he backed it up at Arlington with events overall when he finished 7-5-10 in the three races. He also battled with his teammate, Josh Hill, as pictured above.
The JGR Suzuki team has had a rough go this year with Joey Savagty injuring himself at the Aus-X Open Australia, Freddy Noren injuring himself at round two in St. Louis and Jimmy Decotis getting injured during a practice crash before Tampa and then crashing on the dragon’s back and injuring himself again in Arlington and with Broc Tickle injuring his hand in the first Main Event at Arlington, the JGR Suzuki team had all their attention on Isaac Teasdale. Issac is a young rider from North Carolina who scored 31-points during the 2019 AMA Nationals on a JGR supported RM-Z450. Isaac had only qualified for one Main Event before 2020, but the JGR team took a chance on Isaac and he qualified for the Main Event at round one of the 250 East Coast series in Tampa and then he qualified straight into the night show Main Event at the Triple Crown in Arlington. Isaac looked especially good in the first qualifying session when he logged the seventh fastest time, just ahead of Geico Honda’s rookie, Jo Shimoda. Sadly, Isaac had a crash in the whoops during the second qualifying session in which he injured his knee. Isaac did his best to ride through the pain and represent the JGR team in Arlington, but he could only manage 20, 18, 17 scores for 20th overall.
250 EAST COAST POINTS STANDING AFTER ROUND 2
WORDS FROM THE RIDERS:
Cooper Webb said via instagram: “Some times you ride the bull sometimes you get the horns. Just left medical examinations and I got very lucky with hematoma with deep bone bruising to my pelvis as well as my sacrum. Extremely lucky and blessed to only walk away with that. Thanks everyone for the support and prayers. Not quite done yet”
Adam Cianciarulo posted via instagram: “Had a crash in Q1 and broke my left collarbone. Gonna have to sit this one out tonight. Sucks but it is what it is. My fault. I’ll keep you guys updated on the recovery!”
Ken Roczen posted via instagram:“Round 8 at Arlington turned out pretty good! I went 1st 7th and 2nd for 2nd overall! A lot of carnage happened all day so getting out of there in 2nd i am totally cool with. Time to prep for next weekends race and see if we can fight back! PS the Fans were amazing! The stadium was packed and people were also going nuts in the pits which is awesome”
Broc Tickle posted via instagram: “Tough night in Arlington last night. Struggled a little throughout the day but was excited to go racing for the night show. Got off to a rough start in Main 1 and came through first rhythm, first lap and collided with another rider. My left hand got smashed in between my bars and rear wheel of other rider at contact. I am unsure of full prognosis of my hand, but will have more insight tomorrow and will give you guys an update as I know more. Thank you to all my supporters”
Justin Brayton posted via instagram:“What a rough night in Dallas! I had five crashes in one day!! That’s more than I’ve had the past few years. This was my third one in practice and the one that I thought was gonna end my night. Caught my foot on the take off. I decided to suit up for the races after being checked out and cleared by the medical staff. First main I ran fifth and felt pretty good till a few minutes to go, I crashed in the whoops. Second main had another get off and that ended my night. Kinda sitting here in disbelief how it all happened but also very thankful nothing is seriously injured. See y’all in Atlanta”
Justin Hill posted via instagram: “I felt the racing went pretty well with 6-3–8 Scores. I crashed in both Main events # 1 and # 3, which hurt my overall finish. I’m proving to myself that I have Win speed and Win fitness. Nothing left now but to put every piece together and claim it”
Chase Sexton posted via instagram: “What a night in Arlington. Happy with how everything went last night and how we bounced back after the chaos in the first main! I’m really just having fun out there racing with these guys and stoked to get a win for the team to reward all their hard work this off season. Thank you Texas! Grateful”