THE AFTERMATH | 2021 SALT LAKE CITY SUPERCROSS 1 | CRASHES, CLOSE BATTLES AND MORE
The 2021 Monster Energy Supercross only had two more rounds after finishing the tripleheader held in Hampton, Georgia which featured three massive speedway tracks that were high speed and full of close action. Now, the series has made its way to Salt Lake City, Utah for the 16th and 17th round of the season where the East Coast rivalries would be stirred up once again before the East/West Showdown in the 250 class. Observing the traditional track layout, the track was laughably small in comparison to the previous three rounds. However, the standard track size and layout would feature zero exciting obstacles and we suspected that the majority of the riders would only race on one line, which ended up being the case on race day. In Motocross Action’s The Aftermath, we dive deeper into the biggest news and topics from Round 16 and some of our favorite photos we took. There’s a LOT to unpack from SLC 1 so scroll down below to get the full rundown of the action, crashes, and close battles of the second to last round of the 2021 season.
Photos by Travis Fant
TOP NEWS FROM SALT LAKE CITY 1:
MARVIN MUSQUIN WINS AFTER 765 DAYS
Right place, right time. Marvin Musquin got a good start in the Main and after making a pass on Rocky Mountain’s Joey Savtagy, would sit in second place. Ken Roczen would get a healthy lead on the 25 but after 3/4s of the race had past, Marvin would begin to close the gap, and eventually make his way around the 94 who was laying on the ground. Then Cooper Webb would knock on his door on the final laps of the race, but he would hold off his teammate and win the Main Event. Marvin’s last Supercross win was on March 23, 2019. Marvin is often brushed off as an older rider nowadays and with a less-than-desirable placing in the championship, he still shows that he can be a very competitive racer. You can say he was pretty stoked about the win.
COOPER WEBB SOLIDIFIES HIS PLACE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Heading into the first Salt Lake City round, we figured it would have Cooper Webb’s name written all over it. Standard SX track, only one set of whoops, and plenty of tight technical sections. When both of the riders we suspected would do best won their respective Heat Races (Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac) the anticipation of a battle breaking out between the two was on an all-time high. However, that wouldn’t be the case when the Main Event gate dropped. The two both got a horrible start, while the other championship contender, Ken Roczen, grabbed the holeshot and led the premier class. Cooper Webb was buried in the pack and Eli Tomac was nowhere to be found after tipping the bike over on the slick Utah soil. Then with every race Cooper Weeb is in, the number 2 proceeded to find the fast lines halfway through the event, knocking off other riders from the leaderboard.
Then the race leader, Ken Roczen, would have yet another disastrous mistake while leading a race in the 2021 season, and tip over right before the whoops and letting several opponents make the pass. Marvin Musquin grabbed the lead and would win the race but with the 94 landing in sixth place, Cooper Webb now leads the championship with a 22 point gap on his rival. It is almost a guaranteed championship victory if Cooper Webb shows up to the Main Event and doesn’t finish last.
FIRST 450 PODIUM FOR MALCOLM STEWART
The 27 got a decent start, sitting in the middle of the pack with plenty of very fast riders sitting in front. After several mistakes by his competitors, Malcolm snaked his way through the pack and even past teammate, Dylan Ferrandis, who has also been riding extremely well this season. It felt like a long time coming but Malcolm expressed plenty of emotions on his first Main Event podium.
“LIFE’S A GARDEN, DIG IT” – JOE DIRT
It’s hard to count how many times Chase Sexton has taken a soil sample of Dirt Wurx’s tracks, but unfortunately for the 23, Chase has had numerous amounts of gnarly get-offs, usually ending head first. In qualifying, Chase would suffer a similar result to Christian Craig, coming up short and then having to ditch the bike in mid-air. To show how tough Chase is as a competitor, he still lined up for the Heat Race, got second, and then also finished in fifth place in the Main, passing his teammate Ken Roczen. Chase has some serious potential to be a regular on the podium with how fast he is in qualifying and the races. But as of right now, we’re just hoping he takes a break from the research and development on Alpinestars’ helmets.
YOU’VE HEARD OF COW TIPPING, BUT HAVE YOU HEARD OF DIRTBIKE TIPPING?
You can say the Main Event was pretty eventful with how many slid and slides the fastest riders in the world were riding on. One, in particular, would be the second time Ken Roczen felt the pressure from the rest of his competitors and fall over just before the whoops. In Atlanta 3, Ken had fallen over in the whoops section and lost the Main Event as well. It is still remarkable that four riders had small crashes with big consequences in the Main Event, and we were hoping that the championship would come down to the very last race. Well, it’s starting to seem whoever can stay on two wheels will win.
JO SHIMODA: FIRST JAPANESE RIDER EVER TO WIN A SX RACE
Jo Shimoda was quick to get to the holeshot line first and lead the race. There was plenty of intense racing in the pack, but Jo was focused on racing his own race. Jo eventually felt the pressure from Michael Mosiman, but after several failed passing attempts, would get some breathing room as Jett Lawrence would make the pass on the 42. However, the breathing room wouldn’t last long as Jett would be breathing down his neck for the last couple of laps, but it was Jo who crossed the finish line first. It is pretty amazing how Mitch Payton and the rest of the Pro Circuit team took a chance with the SX rookie showing that some gambles pay off. Jo’s consistent riding throughout the entire season has also paid off as despite only winning one Main, he now sits second in the championship.
CHRISTIAN CRAIG HAS SEASON ENDING CRASH
Near the very end of the second qualifying session, Craig would come up just short of the landing before a triple, losing lots of momentum and ground to get speed to make the jump. This would aim him directly at the face of the next hump, coming up short and bailing before things would get worse. Christian’s bail (no not Christian Bale) was well calculated but his ankle barely snagging the landing would come with its consequences. It was immediate that Christian was not feeling right as the medics drove over and carted off the fastest qualifier. Christian then lined up for the second Heat Race but after half a lap of rolling every obstacle, he pulled off and went back to the rig.
Christian via Instagram: “Me having higher hopes that the ankle & fib would last longer in that heat :/ Glad I tried but bummed I couldn’t make it work. Heading to the doctor tomorrow morning to make sure we are set for May 29th”
Colt Nichols expressed his disappointment about his teammate and championship rival crashing as well. Similar to the 450 class, we were also hoping that we would see a close battle at the final race between the two competitors. But now, Colt Nichols will most likely get the championship title as long as he stays healthy and on two wheels.
COLT NICHOLS HOLDS DOWN THE 250 EAST COAST CLASS
Similar to Cooper Webb and Colt’s teammate Justin Cooper, Nichols has worked hard to create a massive lead over the rest of the competition. With the sad news that Christian Craig is out of the picture, Colt now sits an impressive 23 points ahead of Jo. With the other two classes showing that their leader is most likely going to win, the East Coast class was the one to watch out for till the very end, and it was certainly looking that way until the end of qualifying.
MICHAEL MOSIMAN’S BATTLE FOR FIRST, SECOND, AND THEN THIRD
Jo Shimoda held onto first place in the 250 Main while Michael Mosiman hung on to second. Several passing attempts were made on Jo during the race by Michael but unfortunately for the 42, the passing attempts would result in losing time and letting the rest of the 250 guys catch up. Soon Jo would start to break away while Jett started to close the gap on Michael. Eventually, a mistake through one of the rhythm sections and coming up short would not pay off for the GasGas rider, allowing Jet to slide by. Michael then aimed for the side of the HRC 250 rider just before the finish, failing to make the pass and earning himself a #1 finger over the jump by Jett. Then Colt started to knock on Michael’s door but another costly mistake would cost Michael the fourth place position in the race.
The 250 pack was close, we just wish there wasn’t one line for the entire track, which would allow more passing opportunities and close battles.
250 EAST COAST GHOST TOWN
13 riders, yes that is correct. 13 riders each lined up on the gate for both of the 250 East Coast Heat Races with only 29 officially registering for the weekend. Unfortunately for many of the East Coast riders, the contingency purse simply does not pay off the massive drive, expenses, and living that would come out of many privateers’ pockets. It is a huge bummer to see only 13 riders line up on each gate but the LCQ was even more saddening. By the time the LCQ took off for the 250s, several riders were already hurt or DNS’d, leaving only one spot in the entire race to be a non-transfer position with only five total riders on the track at the end of the race. It’s sad to see that there weren’t more riders in the 250 East class trying to qualify for the Main Event.
MARTIN DAVALOS RETIRE’S FROM PROFESSIONAL RACING
Martin Davalos via Instagram: “Welp. Here it is guys. I am sitting here with my eyes tearing up thinking about how amazing my career has been…how I came to the states when I was 15 years old— alone and as a nobody from such a small country. I left my family behind to do what I loved the most which was to race my motorcycle. I am so grateful that my family sacrificed so much to help my dream come true. And I am proud of all I’ve achieved. With that being said, I have decided it is time for me to hang my boots up and step away from racing. My plan was to retire after the last round but unfortunately during press day today I had a crash that caused a broken collar bone and concussion. This career has been full of highs and lows but I have accomplished things I never thought or dreamed of doing and I’m so thankful to the Lord for allowing me to do so…
There have been so many who have helped me along the way and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making an impact in my career. To all the fans that have followed my career over these last 15 years thank you for your support it means the world to me. And the Asterisk medical unit for always taking care of me. I am looking forward to new beginnings!”
450 SX CLASS:
450 SUPERCROSS POINTS AFTER ROUND 16 OF 17
250 EAST COAST CLASS:
250 EAST SUPERCROSS POINTS AFTER ROUND 8 of 9