THE AFTERMATH | LAS VEGAS SUPERCROSS
The underdog, Cooper Webb raises his 450 Supercross Championship trophy high in Las Vegas.
The 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season is officially over and we are left with great memories from a spectacular season of racing. The underdog, Cooper Webb joined a new team and while most were doubting if Cooper would become a great 450 rider, he went to work and rejuvenated his career in 2019. In the 250 class there were many unexpected twists and turns and both 250 Championships were decided in an exciting 250 East/West shootout. How would the 17 race season conclude? Find out here with Motocross Action’s The Aftermath.
Photos by Brian Converse
Story by Josh Mosiman
Coming into 2019, Cooper Webb wasn’t expected to win. He struggled during his first two years in the 450 class and with the change from Yamaha to KTM, many thought he would be the second tier rider to Marvin Musquin. With that being said, Cooper’s never say die attitude prevailed as he went on to win 7 races and finish on the podium 13 times throughout the 17 race season.
Eli Tomac won in Las Vegas, but he finished second in the 450 Supercross Championship. Once again Eli made too many mistakes early in the season which put him in a hole that he couldn’t dig out of. 6 wins and 9 podiums was enough to place Eli second again, 18 points behind Cooper Webb.
Dylan Ferrandis wasn’t expected to win the 250 West Coast Championship. He came into Las Vegas 8 points behind Adam Cianciarulo who has always done well at Sam Boyd Stadium. He even admitted that he didn’t think it would happen, but he did what he needed to. He won the race and the cards fell his way.
Adam Cianciarulo was in third place which was good enough for him to win the Championship. But unfortunately for Adam and the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, with six laps to go, he crashed and bent his front end so badly that he wouldn’t be able to recover. Adam cruised around the track, rolling the jumps to finish 20th place.
The crash that lost Adam Cianciarulo the Championship.
Chase Sexton placed fourth in the 250 East/West shootout and won the 2019 250 East Coast Championship. With Austin Forkner out, Chase came into the finale with a 9-point lead over Justin Cooper. After his first ever professional Supercross win in East Rutherford, Chase Sexton rode smooth on the challenging Las Vegas track to secure the title.
Not many people would’ve have expected to see this just a few weeks ago. Both Adam Cianciarulo and Austin Forkner had a good grip on the point standings in the 250 East and West divisions. But in racing, it’s not over until the final checkered flag waves. Dylan Ferrandis and Chase Sexton happily capitalized on mistakes from the Pro Circuit riders to win the 250 East and West Championships.
WORDS FROM THE TOP THREE—
Eli Tomac was asked about what he needed to do to win the title in 2020. He said: “It’s putting the whole season together, I just need to fill in all of the gaps, we haven’t done that yet. I felt like at the beginning we were playing catch up and then we kind of found ourselves and our stride here at these last few races. So that was the positive outlook on the season and that’s about it. Just too much playing the catch up game at the middle of the season there.”
Marvin Musquin posted on Instagram after the race: “Las Vegas SX – P.2 | We wanted to finish this season on a good note. Vegas is always a pretty dry track and this year wasn’t any different with the heat. Qualifying went good with a 2nd place. Then it was a 2nd place again in the heat race, and same in the main event. Supercross season is officially over ! Let’s work on outdoors !”
Cooper Webb was asked about when he realized he could win the Championship, he said: “Obviously after the first two, it was a huge confidence booster and it kind of just led to the charge really and gave me a lot of confidence. I wouldn’t really say there was a moment but obviously towards the end when things were going well and we’re coming towards the end that’s when you think man it could actually happen. It’s incredible to make it happen and what a journey. It’s crazy really, I’m in shock.”
Dylan Ferrandis was asked how it feels to beat Americans on their home soil, he said: “Actually, I feel a little bit proud because it’s really tough for a non-American rider to race in America. It’s a little bit funny because just yesterday I got a really bad comment from a popular guy in the industry on my Instagram and he put “Go AC” on my Instagram, really stupid. Sometimes people can be a little bit hard. But I show every time that I try my best and I try to be a good rider, a safe rider. I never try to do dirty moves and I think that people respect that and I hope that they respect that. I’m a little bit proud to put my French name on the American list of Champions, it’s a really good accomplishment for me.”
Rj Hampshire finished second, he posted on Instagram: “Crazy night in Vegas! Heat race win and P.2 in the east/west shootout. That main event was such a rollercoaster. I was struggling so bad in the beginning of the race and was super happy with how I recovered the last 4-5 laps. Huge weekend for my team @fchonda, just want to say thank you to everyone that plays apart and hung in there this year. Congrats on the championship Chase Sexton! Let’s get this outdoor season started.”
Cameron McAdoo finished third in the shootout. He said via Instagram: “WOW. The feeling of getting your first podium, and it being the shootout in Vegas is indescribable. I can’t thank everyone in my corner enough for believing in me the entire time. The progress we have made with the @fchonda team this year has been awesome Thank you to every single crew member for their work day in and day out to make this happen”
Chase Sexton finished fourth in the race and won the 250 East Coast Championship. He said via Instagram: “WE did it!!! 2019 East Coast Supercross champion sounds so good!! Proud of how we progressed through the season and really found my stride toward the end when it counted! @fchonda has been with me through it all, along with my family and it feels so good to share this with them!! Got the job done and now the focus is on outdoors! Thanks for everyone that has reached out it means so much!! Vegas treated us well!! #illinoisboy”
Eli Tomac and Cooper Webb both had great starts in the 450 main event. Eli would grab the holeshot and Marvin Musquin would sneak underneath Cooper Webb in the second turn to pick up the second place position.
Ken Roczen was close to Cooper Webb at the end of the race, but he couldn’t get close enough to make the pass. Ken finished fourth at the finale and after finishing on the podium six times, Ken placed fourth in the 450 Supercross Championship.
Ken Roczen talks about his season on Instagram: “Although the whole season didn’t go like I wanted it to, we have a lot of good things to take away from it. I have shown some good speed here and there and most importantly made it healthy thru all 17 rounds. That alone will help me for the future. For now, we have to take it as it is. I as a rider and of course also my team will never give up chasing our dream of many wins and championships. To all my fans and supporters of the sport, you guys were amazing. Very fun to see the support and positive vibes every single weekend. It is much appreciated!”
Zach Osborne finished his season off strong in Las Vegas. Zach missed the first six rounds of the season due to an injury and he had some struggles when he started racing. But the difficulty didn’t change his mindset. Instead of shifting his focus towards the Nationals and putting more emphasis on preparing for that, Zach worked hard to improve his 450 Supercross skills. It ended up going well for the 450 rookie as he finished on the podium in East Rutherford and at the finale he won his heat race and finished fifth in the main event.
Joey Savatgy had a tough crash in qualifying, he posted this on Instagram: “Just a update, all good. Bruised and beat up, hematoma in my leg and it was bleeding so my leg was swelling to the point where the pain was unbearable.. These last couple weeks have been miserable, dealing with my shoulder. I’ve rode maybe 30 laps in the last 6 weeks. I’ve rode thru a lot of pain, but I appreciate the support from the fans… I’ll be back.”
FINAL 2019 450 SUPERCROSS POINT STANDINGS (ROUND 17 OF 17)
In the 250 East/West main event, Dylan Ferrandis grabbed the holeshot when it counted most. Rj Hampshire, Cameron McAdoo, Chase Sexton and Adam Cianciarulo rounded out the top five on the opening lap.
The two Geico Honda 250 West Coast teammates ran second and third early in the main and they battled at the front for the whole race. McAdoo passed Hampshire on lap two and then held the position for most of the main event. Then Rj Hampshire put on a charge towards the end to make the pass on his teammate with two laps left.
At the end of 2018, Cameron McAdoo had lost his ride with the Geico Honda team and he was planning to be a privateer in 2019. But after riders on the Geico team were injured, an opportunity opened for Cameron McAdoo to fill in. Now his fill-in ride is over with as Christian Craig and Hunter Lawrence will be back with the team to race at Hangtown. Cameron is now searching for another opportunity to race the Nationals for a factory team.
Michael Mosiman navigates the sand corner with Justin Cooper following. After finishing second in the 250 West Coast heat race, Mosiman grabbed a mid pack start in the main event. He battled with Colt Nichols and ran 6th until Colt was able to pass him on the final lap, Michael finished 7th place.
Justin Cooper came into Las Vegas with a shot at the 250 East Coast Championship. He was 9 points behind Chase Sexton in the East Coast Championship and in a similar situation with his teammate Dylan Ferrandis who came into the race 8 points down in the West division. It was going to be tough, but the possibility was there. Unfortunately it seemed like Justin struggled on the hard pack Las Vegas dirt. His 13th place start didn’t help either, Justin Cooper finished 8th in the shootout and 2nd in the 250 East Coast Championship.
Rj Hampshire finished his 2019 Supercross season strong. He won the 250 West Coast heat race and placed second in the East/West shootout. With two podiums at the end of the season, Rj finished fourth in the 250 West Coast Championship.
After crashing and losing the championship, Adam Cianciarulo posted on Instagram saying: “A few years ago I had almost come to terms with the fact that I would never get back to the level of competing for a championship. I fought and clawed my way back slowly but surely to give myself that opportunity again last night. Obviously, it ended in devastating fashion for me. I’m disappointed in myself. I’m disappointed I didn’t deliver for the people that have supported me and invested in me. I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, though – because I don’t believe in luck. I don’t believe in “why me”. I believe in taking accountability. I made a mistake at a crucial time and it cost me. That’s it. I will continue to give it my absolute best and I will overcome this, just like that kid who thought he was done back in 2016 did. I appreciate all the support, and I’m looking forward to a great summer.”
250 WEST 2019 OVERALL SUPERCROSS POINT STANDINGS
250 EAST 2019 OVERALL SUPERCROSS POINT STANDINGS
Martin Davalos announced on Instagram that the Las Vegas Supercross would be his final 250 race. He finished 9th in the shootout and 4th in the 250 East Coast Championship. Martin posted after the race saying: “Well guys I have officially pointed out of the lites class! I’m sure a lot of you are very happy, I am too!!!. 101 races is a lot of races but it was a good run. I really hope I get an opportunity to show what I’m capable to do on the big bike…. until then I’m going to have fun racing outdoors and we will see what happens in the future. Stay tuned!!!!”
Brandon Hartranft finished 11th in the shootout and 6th in the 250 East Coast division. In his second year of Supercross, the young Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha rider turned a lot of heads with two fifth place finishes.