THE AFTERMATH: DRAMA, CRASHES, AND CLOSE WINS IN INDY
The three-round series held in Lucas Oil Stadium started off with a bang for round four of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season. As the day began, the track crew was already hard at work remodeling the track for the third time. The reason being that when the riders came around turn two, they would be double backing on the first turn, which presented itself as a danger if there are first turn pileups. The riders would then jump across the start straight after turn two and later revisit the section that was remodeled by going over two huge doubles. It was a common phrase amongst the riders how difficult the track and its conditions were when racing. The dry Indianapolis dirt began to chip away as riders rode over it leaving large ruts in the g-outs between jumps. As we reached the Main Events, the ruts would become larger sending riders left and right as they tried to navigate the difficult course.
We saw familiar faces when it came time for qualifying. In the 250 class, riders Jett Lawrence, Christian Craig, Michael Mosiman, and Colt Nichols dominated timed qualifying. For the 450 class, it’s hard explaining just how close the riders were from each other unless you saw the lap times. From the fastest rider to the 20th, only two seconds separated the riders. Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin and Zach Osborne were the fastest on the 450 leaderboard before we headed into the night races.
When the racing began, we knew again the racing was going to be close but we did not expect there to be a three-way battle in the 450 class and riders knocking each other off the track in the 250 class. In Motocross Action’s “The Aftermath”, we look back and analyze exactly what went down in the second round of Monster Energy Supercross and dive into the details of the race while sharing our favorite photos from the event. MXA’s Brian Converse was at the Indianapolis Supercross to capture all the action.
Photos by Brian Converse
Words by Trevor Nelson
KEN ROCZEN AND ELI TOMAC BATTLE TO THE CHECKERS
Ken has fully embraced the dad lifestyle. From taking his family to the races and getting his son’s name painted on his helmet, it’s cool to see the 450 veteran focus on other things than racing.
The Main Event for the 450 class started and Eli Tomac grabbed the holeshot followed by Adam Cianciarulo and Ken Roczen. The three would battle each other as the race went on and Eli Tomac would fall over in a turn letting the other two competitors go by. Ken Roczen would make the pass on the number 9 of Adam Cianciarulo a few laps later. As Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac carried on, Adam Cianciarulo would make a mistake tipping over in another turn losing the charge on the three riders and eventually getting passed by Cooper Webb. Ken and Eli both continued to race each other, however, Ken would accidentally go off the track losing the lead to his competitor. Despite this fallback, Ken would get back on the track and catch up to the 2020 champ, make the pass, and cross the checkers in first place. Eli described it as being one of the closest races he’s ever had in his racing career and despite getting second, was really happy as how the battle went.
CHRISTIAN CRAIG AND JETT LAWRENCE DITCH PODIUM FOR TUFF BLOCKS
The two former teammates weren’t going to make the 250 Main Event easy for each other.
After shifting into neutral and getting a poor start, Jett Lawrence would be set back to almost last place in the race and make one of the most impressive comebacks we’ve seen in a while, but it wasn’t going to be easy for the Australian. Jett would also stall the bike on one of the walls in the middle of the race setting back his progress even further. But with a fistful of determination and speed, Jett eventually made his way back through the pack with only a few laps left. He worked himself into third place behind Christian Craig and set his eyes on the second place spot on the podium. On the last lap, Jett attempted to make the pass on his former Geico Honda teammate on the outside of a turn, but Christian Craig attempted to close the door. The two locked arms together and rode into the Tuff Blocks causing Christian Craig to go down and Jett tobe pushed off the track, where he lost positions to both Michael Mosiman and Jo Shimoda. It was very apparent that Jett Lawrence was upset after the race after making a miraculous comeback but he’s already set his focus on the next round of Indianapolis.
COLT NICHOLS BECOMES FIRST MULTI-MAIN EVENT WINNER IN 2021
The only one who seemed to have an uneventful race was the one who won it.
Colt Nichols started the Main Event off strong by gaining ground on the start and grabbing the holeshot. From that point forward, he would lead every lap of the race and ride perfectly all the way to the finish. Christian Craig hung with him for a while but just couldn’t keep up with the Oklahoma native as Colt made zero mistakes. Colt would become the first rider in the series to win multiple Main Events as the previous three rounds have had a different winner at each of them.
MAX VOHLAND OUT OF INDY WITH DISLOCATED HIP
The young rookie had a scary get off in the whoops section.
Unfortunately, 17-year-old Max Vohland had a bad crash right after the whoops and the qualifying session was red-flagged halting the session. From a distance, it appeared that Max had sustained a really nasty broken leg, but thankfully it was only a dislocated right hip. We’re already hoping to see the KTM rookie hop back on the saddle as his performance for his first year of racing was exceptional. Before the fourth round, Max sat sixth in the points chase.
COOPER WEBB GETS THIRD
Cooper Webb did not get much airtime, but a third is still impressive.
The TV camera may have been focused on the leaders during the night show but Cooper Webb still rode amazingly strong in the Main Event. After making the pass on Adam Cianciarulo, Cooper Webb would hold onto the third place position for the remainder of the race while Roczen and Tomac duked it out for first place.
450 SUPERCROSS CLASS
Ken Roczen battled it out with Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo or the win. The 94 would prevail and will keep the red plate heading into the fifth round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season on Tuesday.
Eli Tomac grabbed the holeshot and would lead the majority of the race before switching positions with Ken Roczen a handful of times. You know it was a good battle after Eli, who lost to Ken, admitted that it was one of the most exciting battles of his career. With a stacked roster this year, if Eli can get a good start like he did last night, we may see more battles between the number 1 and 94.
Cooper Webb got a solid third place during the first of three races held in Lucas Oil Stadium this seasaon. Cooper’s performance has been extremely consistent and that consistency may be what he needs to finish all 17 rounds strong.
Adam Cianciarulo would again show that he has a lot of talent. But unfortunately, a couple of mistakes would prevent the number 9 bike from landing on the podium. Adam still managed to get fourth place by the end of the Main Event.
Zach Osborne got stuck on the gate and was last off the line. However, Zach raced all the way back to fifth place! We wonder how well he would have finished had he gotten a good start because making up a dozen positions in a field filled with champions is quite impressive.
Dylan Ferrandis had another pretty successful night on the 450 landing himself in the sixth place spot.
Jason Anderson got held up in the heat races and landed himself in the LCQ. Fortunately for the Rockstar Energy Husky rider, he would win his first-ever LCQ and head on to the main event where he would salvage a solid seventh place.
Joey Savatgy had a very good start early in the 450 Main Event, but could not keep pace with the top 5 riders. Joey ended up landing in eighth place.
Aaron Plessinger has been very consistent rider and has finished in the top 10 multiple times.
250 SUPERCROSS CLASS
Colt Nichols put the Main Event on cruise control as he effortlessly crossed the finish line in first place. Colt is now the only red plate holder in the 250 class as he gained the points lead on his teammate Christian Craig.
Michael Mosiman won his heat race and moved onto the Main Event where he would get a good start. Mosiman would hang on to the two Star Yamaha riders, but lost little bit of energy late in the moto when he got caught up with lappers. Michael Mosiman would eventually finish in second place after Christian Craig and Jett Lawrence wadded in the Tuff Blocks. Racing is not just about being the fastest, it’s about finishing.
A similar result to Michael, Jo Shimoda would ride a race in a comfortable fifth place, but his conservative riding would pay off with a third place finish because of Craig and Lawrence’s last lap off-track adventure.
Jett Lawrence made a mistake on the start and stalled on the wall jump midway through the main event, but had the sheer speed to get all the way up to third place locking arms with Christian Craig and taking a trip off the track. Jett salvaged a fourth place finish.
Christian Craig (29) rode the Main Event in second place for almost the entirety of the race. His speed nearly matched Colt Nichol’s (64), however, Colt would eventually pull away from his teammate. When Jett Lawrence tried to pass Christian on the last lap, Christian over-cooked his block of the Australian rider’s line and neither one of them made the podium . Christian managed to get up quickly to get fifth overall.
Mitchell Oldenburg snagged the eighth place spot for the Muc-Off Honda team.
WORDS FROM THE RIDERS:
Ken Roczen via Instagram: “What an epic night. We were battling the whole time and I am stoked I came back from a big mistake jumping off the track and having to let Eli by, to regaining the lead and fighting all the way to the checkered flag to get the W. I m going to marinate on that today a little bit and let it set in and then it’s already almost go time again. Thank you to my supporters out there.”
Colt Nichols via Instagram: “Indy part 1 treated me well. Felt nice to get a good start, put in clean laps, and bust a nac over the finish. Now looking forward to Tuesday.”
Eli Tomac via Instagram: “Fought all the way to the end tonight, but one too many mistakes cost us the chance at the win. PS- on the podium I said “that was the race of my career” for sure not the case! Meant to say “one of the best races!”
Michael Mosiman via Press Release: “It was a great night. I got off to a better start this time and I was right there with those guys. I haven’t been able to see those Star Racing guys a lot this year so it was really nice to catch a wheel and ride with them. We got into some really bad lapped traffic – guys who were all in a battle – so it was tricky out there and honestly, I have some things I need to work on still but that pace isn’t crazy – it’s not out of my reach – and we’ll have a go at it again on Tuesday.”
Cooper Webb via Press Release: “I actually nailed my start in the Main Event but I got shuffled back in the first few turns. The leaders just got out front and they rode awesome. I kind of got buried in fifth and it was hard to make passes tonight, you had to be patient and wait for some mistakes. I dug deep, AC [Adam Cianciarulo] and I had a good battle at the end and I was able to get third place but you can’t give Ken [Roczen] and Eli [Tomac] that kind of track position and we saw what they did tonight.”
Jo Shimoda via Instagram: “Indy 1 P3 on the day! It’s my first time ever on the podium but like I said in my speech, I’m happy with the position but definitely want more for a solid podium. But we will fix some things and fight for that spot again.”
Adam Cianciarulo via Instagram: “4th last night. Wasn’t super stoked on my riding. Just struggled a bit to find a flow. Still, some laps lead and plenty be encouraged about! Thanks for the support guys.”
Zach Osborne via Press Release: “I got a second place in my heat race and qualified third from the day, so that was solid. In the Main Event, I went a little too early and hit the gate. I pulled it back and set my sights on getting far as I could, and I was able to make it all the way up to fifth. It was a solid night and solid result considering all of the challenges.”
Dylan Ferrandis via Press Release: “I had a good Heat race. I fought with (Eli) Tomac and finished fourth. In the Main Event, I had a good start and battled up front. It was good to be back in front because my last race in Houston wasn’t that good. I gave everything I had. I was in fourth fighting with Adam (Cianciarulo) for the podium and on the big double with the ruts, I got unbalanced a little bit and jumped on the side of the track. I had to go all around the corner outside of the track, so I lost a lot of time and some positions. I came back and finished sixth. It’s not great to be sixth but it was good to have a good pace, ride up front and fight for a podium. We’re going to learn from that and try to improve for our next race Tuesday.”
Marvin Musquin via Press Release: “I felt really good with the bike all day and qualifying second was awesome. I was confident going into the Main Event and then waiting for the gate to drop, I think Adam [Cianciarulo] flinched, so I moved and the gate felt like it didn’t drop as quick as usual, which messed me up and my start was really bad. I tried to push as hard as I could on the first lap but it went from bad to worse – I had to jump off to the side of the track when a rider cross-jumped in front of me and I crashed again and lost more time. I put my head down and passed one guy at a time and I saw another opportunity to pass later in the race but I washed the front-end and went down again. I am super disappointed, I felt like I could have fought and come back, even with a bad start, to a top-five or on the podium but we’ll regroup. We have two days of rest and I just want to get back out there and do my best again.”
Jason Anderson via Press Release: “I got my first W of the season in the LCQ and just going to try to build off that and keep moving forward.”