CAMERON MCADOO’S CRASH & RE-ENTRY, WAS IT LEGAL? | 2021 ATLANTA SUPERCROSS 2 | THE AFTERMATH
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 McAdoo came into the 2021 Atlanta Supercross 2 at a four-point deficit behind Justin Cooper in the 250 West Coast regional Championship, but after his major crash at the beginning of the Main Event, all of the focus shifted off the Championship and onto the health and well being of Cameron. His wreck (shown in the instagram video below) was one of the worst accidents caught on camera that we’ve seen in recent history.
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
The fifth point reads like Cameron McAdoo shouldn’t have been allowed to line up for the restart. But, really, the AMA Rulebook doesn’t say anything specifically towards the rider who causes the red flag. It just indicates that it is a complete restart. The fifth point is focused towards riders who didn’t start the race originally.
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 posted via instagram: “All I can say is THANK YOU. To my team @pcraceteam , the medics, the AMA, all of the fans, and my family for the support, and genuine concern for my well-being after lastnight. I am very grateful to be able to come away from that crash okay for the most part, and to be able to line back up to compete. As racers when we get on the bike we understand the risks, but I’m going to do my best to not do that again.. Supercross is one of the gnarliest sports on the planet. Yesterday night I pushed myself to a new limit trying to achieve a goal. I’m excited to have another shot this Saturday.”
CAMERON MCADOO’S CRASH VIDEO
JASON ANDERSON: THE OTHER RIDER WITH AN INCREDIBLE COMEBACK
If it weren’t for Cameron McAdoo’s insane comeback, Jason Anderson would’ve been the headline from Atlanta 2. Instead, getting landed on in the Heat race and finishing third in the 450 Main Event was only good enough to be the second most exciting story of the night.
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.
Cooper Webb said via press release: “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.”
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.
Ken Roczen said after the race:“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.”
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
WORDS FROM THE RIDERS:
Justin Barcia via press release: “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.”
Chase Sexton via press release: “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.”
Justin Cooper via press release: “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.”
Pierce Brown via press release: “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.”
Aaron Plessinger via press release: “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.”
Marvin Musquin via press release: “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.”
Hunter Lawrence via press release:“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.”
Nate Thrasher via press release: “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.”
Dylan Ferrandis via press release: “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.”
Jalek Swoll via press release: “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.”
Malcolm Stewart via press release:“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 via press release: “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.”