THE AFTERMATH | 2021 ATLANTA SUPERCROSS 2 | CAMERON MCADOO’S INCREDIBLE COMEBACK
The 2021 Atlanta Supercross 2 was one for the record books. We’ve seen a lot of exciting racing and unforeseen action this year in Monster Energy Supercross, but nothing compares to the emotional roller coaster that was round 14. From Jason Anderson being landed on and finishing the race, to Cameron McAdoo having one of the most violent wrecks we’ve seen in recent memory and then re-joining the race to finish third place after the red flag, to Ken Roczen overcoming the mental and physical battles he’s had against Cooper Webb to commandingly win the 450 Main Event, to Cooper Webb dropping backwards under pressure in the Main Event, it was full of unexpected events and incredible comebacks. In this Motocross Action’s The Aftermath, we dive into the hot topics from the Atlanta Supercross #2 and share quotes from many of the riders as they recap their night.
CAMERON MCADOO’S CRASH & RE-ENTRY INTO THE RACE, WAS IT LEGAL?
Cameron was running in fifth place when he went triple-double in a rhythm lane and, while scrubbing the double, got kicked forward into an endo and went over the bars, head first into the face of the tunnel jump. The initial impact was horrifying as it was shown on TV, but the second part of the crash made it even worse. After slamming face first, it looked like Cameron was briefly knocked out. His feet hooked underneath handlebars and kept him attached to the bike while it went flipping. Then, as everyone saw, Cameron flew like a rag doll through the air and landed on top of the jump.
Thankfully, Cameron moved his limbs right away which showed that he had strength and mobility still after the wreck and gave everyone watching a sign of hope. He stayed on the side of the track for almost two minutes as Justin Cooper, who was leading the race, lapped him and continued racing until further down the track when he was notified that the race had been red flagged.
From there, it looked like the championship was over, but we were just happy that Cameron was conscious, and he was able to move after slamming so hard. We watched on the Peacock premium service as the broadcast took a commercial break, but, since the peacock service doesn’t have commercials, subscribers watching could hear background noise from the race and it just so happened that Cameron McAdoo and an Alpinestars medic were talking to each other, behind the starting line, and next to an NBCSN microphone. The hot mic recorded their conversation as McAdoo pleaded with Dr. Reiman, a popular motocross and Supercross orthopedic surgeon who’s operated on many of the top stars of Supercross (including MXA’s Assistant Editor Josh Mosiman twice). Cameron begged to be allowed back into the race, and eventually he was granted his wish.
Now is when the AMA Rulebook comes into play. Many people, including Justin Cooper, thought that a rider wouldn’t be allowed to rejoin a race if his wreck was the cause of the red flag. To add to this theory, the 2021 AMA Supercross Rulebook, in section 4.25 A.5 says: “Riders who were present at the starting gate for the original start of the race but were unable to start and who did not join the race before the red flag was displayed are not authorized to take the restart.”
Taken out of context, this reads like a racer who is not on the track and still racing when the red flag waves, shouldn’t be allowed to race.
2021 AMA SUPERCROSS RULEBOOK: SECTION 4.25, RED FLAGS AND RESTARTS
If you scroll through the AMA Rulebook quickly without reading it thoroughly, you’ll find another excerpt that, taken out of context, seems to speak directly towards Cameron McAdoo. In the same article 4.25 under section B.6.G, it says: “Riders who were no longer actively participating in race at the time when the red flag was displayed are not authorized to take part in the restart.” This, however, is underneath section B of article 4.25 which is referring to races that have already completed three laps, but haven’t completed over 90-percent of the race. Therefore, it falls into a different category of rules. If the incident had happened after lap three was completed, then it would’ve been a single-file restart and Cameron wouldn’t be eligible.
The second rulebook argument against Cameron McAdoo’s eligibility to re-enter the race is that he received medical help while on track. Article 4:15, section H says: “Receiving medical treatment while on-track during a race, outside of the scope of evaluating their ability to continue, will be considered outside assistance and the rider will not be allowed to continue that race.” To combat this argument, the race was technically “restarted” so he didn’t get right back into the same race, that race was canceled and a new one began later. Yes, Cameron got assistance as he walked off the track, but it wasn’t like when Adam Cianciarulo was a 250 rookie and had a medic pop his shoulder back into its socket and he got straight back onto the track only to pull off later at the Toronto Supercross in 2014.
So, the legal implications of Tuesday night’s incident in the 250SX Main Event has been solved. Now, what about the moral obligations of what we saw transpire? Cameron McAdoo was involved in one of the most violent crashes we’ve seen (besides maybe when Ryan Morais landed on Trey Canard) and he was able to re-enter the race. The Alpinestars medics cleared him to race, but would they stand by their call to let him race if Cameron McAdoo would’ve crashed again and further injured himself?
This is obviously a very tough situation to call. It was an incredible display of heart, passion and savagery for Cameron McAdoo to comeback to the starting line with a mangled bike and body. He originally said only his groin was sore, but the TV cameras showed him moving his shoulder and neck around to try and loosen them up before the restart. No doubt, every part on McAdoo’s body is sore after a wreck like that. If the AMA or Alpinestars medical team would’ve denied Cameron the ability to race, it would’ve been heart breaking for him and for the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team.
We here at MXA aren’t doctors and we don’t know the full extent of Cameron McAdoo’s injuries or if he was truly knocked unconscious or not in the crash. We can only report on what we saw and form our opinions on the outcome. All in all, we’re glad Cameron was ok and was able to keep his dreams of winning the title alive. In the same token, we hope this doesn’t motivate other riders who injure themselves to continue racing, especially if it’s a brain injury (i.e. concussion). Riding through a broken finger, broken rib or broken collarbone is one thing, riding through a concussion is a completely different situation.
CAMERON MCADOO’S CRASH VIDEO
JASON ANDERSON: THE OTHER RIDER WITH AN INCREDIBLE COMEBACK
Jason Anderson has been ramping up his speed lately and he attributed his increase in intensity at the races to his attitude. He said, “I want it more now.” Because he’s been having more fun during the week in training, he’s been more motivated to battle with the leaders on the weekends. Now, with the fastest qualifier award at both Atlanta races, we thought Tuesday night would be his time to shine and grab his first 450 Main Event win since 2018 when he won the 450 Championship. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so smooth in the night show. Jason would stall his FC450 off the start of his Heat race and then get landed on by Alex Ray in a rhythm section when Jason made a mistake and went double-single on a triple while Ray got cross rutted and jump sideways, landing directly onto Jason Anderson’s shoulder and arm.
Amazingly, Jason and Alex were both ok. Anderson gave Ray a piece of his mind immediately after the wreck and then rejoined the race, almost making it to ninth place, the position needed to qualify, but he just barely came up short. If Jason wouldn’t have spent time to yell at Alex Ray, he might’ve been able to catch ninth (Justin Starling) and make the pass sooner.
The 450 LCQ came and Jason Anderson easily won, putting down lap times on par with Ken Roczen who won the first Heat race of the night (on a smoother track too).
Then, in the 450 Main Event, Jason Anderson fought his way from seventh on the first lap to third place by the end of the race. He made quick and aggressive passes on Justin Barcia, Marvin Musquin, Dean Wilson and Cooper Webb to get into a podium position.
JASON ANDERSON’S CRASH VIDEO
COOPER WEBB’S POINTS LEAD DROPS BY 9-POINTS
Cooper Webb is constantly praised for his ability to fight through adversity and overcome when the pressure is on. Ken Roczen has been criticized for struggling when the pressure is on and not rising to the occasion. After Ken Roczen’s three-race win streak at Indianapolis, Cooper Webb caught fire and won both Orlando races and all three Arlington races.
At Altanta #1, Ken Roczen was caught behind Justin Barcia who crashed on the start and he had to come from nearly last in the first turn to finish ninth place. We expected more from Ken Roczen at Atlanta 1, but it didn’t come. Cooper Webb wasn’t dominate there either, he got passed by Chase Sexton and Eli Tomac, but still managed a third place on what seemed like a. sub-par night for the points leader.
Cooper wanted to turn things around and do even better at Atlanta 2, and Ken Roczen’s back was up against the wall with a 22-point deficit. Amazingly, Ken Roczen grabbed the holeshot and never looked back in the Main Event, but Cooper Webb’s race wasn’t as smooth. He dropped backwards on the opening laps and then continued to go get passed through the middle of the race, mostly struggling in the whoops.
Finally, Cooper Webb picked up the pace and was holding off Eli Tomac, looking to re-pass Justin Barcia for fourth place, but Barcia crossed over in front of Webb on the wall jump, causing Cooper to run into his rear wheel and tip-over, letting Eli Tomac by and causing Webb to finish the race in sixth.
At the checkers, Cooper Webb’s 22-point lead dropped to a 13-point lead. It’s not the end of the world for his title hopes, but with another Atlanta Motor Speedway race on the schedule this Saturday and only three races left, it does make things a lot more exciting.
KEN ROCZEN’S COMEBACK RIDE: THINGS JUST GOT INTERESTING AGAIN IN THE TITLE CHASE
This season, with the residency effect in play having multiple races at one venue, it’s been more of a challenge for riders to rebound from one round to another when the next race is at the exact same facility, on the exact same dirt, only a few days later. We repeated it multiple times, but it’s worth noting again, the “residency effect” has seen Ken Roczen win all three Indianapolis races and Cooper Webb win both Orlando and all three Arlington races. At each venue, the rider to win the first night carried that momentum through.
This time, Eli Tomac was victorious at the first Atlanta race while Ken Roczen scored his worst finish of the year, a ninth. Then, after only two days to recover, Ken showed up on Tuesday a new man. He scored the second fastest qualifying time behind Jason Anderson, won his heat race and won the 450 Main Event over his teammate Chase Sexton.
Still, the Championship battle has 13-points separating Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen, but it’s a whole lot closer than 22.
RYAN SIPES’ CRASH VIDEO
DYLAN FERRANDIS’ CRASH VIDEO
2021 450 SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 14 OF 17
250 WEST COAST SUPERCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 7 OF 9