THE AFTERMATH | 2021 ARLINGTON SUPERCROSS 1 | UNDERDOGS BEAT THE BIG DOGS (UPDATED)
THE AFTERMATH | 2021 ARLINGTON SUPERCROSS 1 | UNDERDOGS BEAT THE BIG DOGS
The first of three Arlington Supercross events is over and with it came awesome racing. The tenth round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season was one to remember, just like many of the others we’ve seen this season. However, this was was extra exciting because now there’s a new points leader in the 450 class. As we walked into AT&T Stadium located in Arlington, Texas, we noticed the track was built like a normal Supercross track but with plenty of passing opportunities and line choices. Thankfully, for the first time in a while, there wasn’t any crazy weather that affect the track conditions because the AT&T stadium has a roof over it. In timed qualifying in the 250 class, Justin Cooper was once again the fastest qualifier. In the 450 class, the 25 of Marvin Musquin was the fastest. But, unfortunately for these two riders, their Main Events didn’t go as smoothly.
When the Heats began, Seth Hammaker took the holeshot in the first 250 Heat, led the race, and would win his first Heat race of his rookie career. Jalek Swoll grabbed the holeshot in Heat two, but it was Justin Cooper who made the pass and win the race. In the 450 class, a close battle between Dean Wilson and Jason Anderson would ensue, and it was. 2018 Supercross Champion Jason Anderson who would win. In the second Heat, Joey Savatgy grabbed the holeshot but Aaron Plessinger made quick work of the 17 to get into the lead and win the race. As good as the racing was in the Heats, it only got better as the Main Event gates dropped. Find out what went down at the first of three Arlington rounds below:
MARVIN MUSQUIN’S BIG HEAT RACE WRECK
Marvin posted via instagram to update his fans on his injuries after the race. Marvin Musquin stated: “Our day in Arlington started really good with grabbing the pole at practice. In the Heat race while I was running in 2nd, I hit neutral on an on/off jump and went over the bar. Got a concussion, a few stitches on my arm and an overall really sore body.”
THE UNDERDOGS BEAT THE BIG DOGS
The underdogs beat the big dogs, what do we mean by this? Well, no, they didn’t beat Cooper Webb (big dog); but Aaron Plessinger did beat Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac. Joey Savatgy held off Eli Tomac to finish 7th. Dean Wilson ran strong in his Heat race to finish second and beat a long list of top guys. Chase Sexton is basically an underdog, he’s a 450 rookie and he missed 7 races in a row after getting injured at Round two, he finished fourth.
In the 250 class we saw rookie, Seth Hammaker win his third ever professional race. Before this season started, most people had no idea who he was. Cameron McAdoo is an underdog, he’s rode good in the past, but he earned his first career win at Daytona and then backed it up by passing Justin Cooper and beating him to extend his points lead at Arlington 1, another underdog success story. Hunter Lawrence came into the season not quite 100%, he even said that he was shooting for top 5 finishes in his post race interview and wasn’t expecting to fight for races wins, he finished second at the third race of the 250 West season and was close to Hammaker at the end.
COOPER WEBB NOW LEADS THE POINTS CHASE
Cooper Webb didn’t have to battle through the pack this time, he got out front early and maintained his lead.
The day was going well for Cooper as he scored a very fast qualifying time and a third place in his Heat Race. When the gate dropped during the Main Event, Cooper would get a good start, sitting behind Dean Wilson and eventually taking the lead a few turns later. Cooper practically remained untouchable for the entirety of the race and would win the Main Event. What made the race even easier for Cooper Webb was the difficulty his rival had all day. Ken Roczen overjumped one of the rhythm sections and cased another landing in their Heat Race, resulting in a sixth place and a poor gate pick in the night show. What made the gate pick poor? Well, the only gate pick left on the inside of the start had a deep rut right out of the gate. Ken lost traction off the start and sat around eighth place after the first turn. Often we’ve seen Cooper Webb have to make late race charges to get into the lead; but, this time, a good start would let him stay in the first place position and gain 9-points on Ken Roczen taking him from 2-points behind to 7-points ahead going into Round 11 on Tuesday.
WHERE WAS ELI TOMAC ON SATURDAY?
Sadly, Eli Tomac wasn’t able to bring his momentum from Daytona into Texas and turn it into a win or a podium. The #3 struggled at Arlington and wasn’t even mentioned on the TV broadcast until 9-minutes into the race when they panned to Eli battling with Dean Wilson. Now Eli Tomac is 33-points behind Cooper Webb in the Championship standings. That’s going to be a tough hole to dig out of with only seven races left.
KEN ROCZEN STRUGGLES AT ARLINGTON 1 SUPERCROSS
Ken Roczen didn’t look like himself at Round 10. His starts hindered him and he wasn’t passing through the pack like we’re used to. He also made a big mistake in the Heat race that caused him to go into the tough blocks, lose positions and ultimately end up with a bad gate pick for the Main Event. Hopefully Kenny can bounce back on Tuesday so that the Arlington triple crown doesn’t turn into another residency with only one winner. So far with the different residencies we’ve had this year, the first three races in Houston provided three different winners in Barcia, Tomac and Webb. Then, Roczen won all three Indianapolis races, Webb won both Orlando races and the only single race of the year, Daytona, was won by Tomac. Now Webb has won the first Arlington race, will he win all three? Only time will tell, but it’s going to be hard to stop him now that he has extra confidence in this stadium and on the Texas dirt.
AARON PLESSINGER KEEPS THE BALL ROLLING
Aaron Plessinger said before the season started that he feels like a new man. He feels like he is picking up where he left off after winning Supercross and motocross titles in 2018 on his Star Racing Yamaha 250. After the Yamaha factory team was handed over to the Star Racing team, Aaron has picked up the pace big time and he said he’s much more comfortable on the bike now. Aaron fought through the pack, battled hard and finished fifth on Saturday. We’re excited to see how his confidence carries him into the next two Arlington races.
MALCOLM STEWART EXPLAINS HIS CRASH WITH ANDERSON
Jason Anderson came up the inside on Stewart after the split lane and no doubt it spooked Mookie as it would’ve spoked anyone since Jason came from so far outside to dive underneath him. This type of move wouldn’t be as sneaky if it wasn’t for the split lane separating the riders more than usual.
Malcolm Stewart via Press Release said: “All day was great. The Main Event was going good but (Jason) Anderson just got into me. It wasn’t a big deal. I was just going to square him up, but when I went to square him up, my tire hooked up, and I went straight into the guy. That wasn’t my intention at all. It wasn’t the night we were looking for, but I’m just glad I didn’t get hurt when I hit the concrete because I went flying. It’s nice having these three races because we can quickly regroup and come back out for more.”
JASON ANDERSON: STAR YAMAHA’S WORST NIGHTMARE
After the gate dropped in the Main, Jason didn’t get the greatest start but was determined to keep up the results from qualifying and his Heat Race. Jason made an aggressive pass on Malcolm Stewart which painted a target on his back. Malcolm Stewart tried to give Jason Anderson the berries with an even more aggressive pass, but, it didn’t quite work as planned for the 27. Malcolm got ejected from the bike and sent into photographers Ryne Swanberg and Bubb Lannan who were standing next to the track but got out of the way with cat-like reflexes. Later in the race, Jason continued the carnage with another aggressive pass on Dylan Ferrandis. Whether he just spooked him and caused him to tip over, or he ran him extremely high into the berm, either way, Star Yamaha probably wasn’t so happy with El Hombre by the end of the night. During the TV broadcast it was announced that the AMA took investigation into the race incidents, but we haven’t heard any news regarding the passes and we don’t expect there to be any issues. Rubbing is racing.
Jason Anderson said after the race: “I’ve been following those guys all year and I want to be on the podium and want to start doing good, so I’m going for it and that’s all there is to it. We’re going to be firing every time we come out of that gate for the rest of the year. Let’s go!”
DYLAN FERRANDIS PROVIDES UPDATE AFTER RUN-IN WITH ANDERSON
Dylan Ferrandis via. Press Release: “The day started off well, I had a good start in both my heat and Main Event. Unfortunately, I got kicked out by another rider which made me crash. I hit my leg pretty hard and it was too painful to finish the race.”
A PRO CIRCUIT RIDER WINS HIS FIRST 250 MAIN EVENT FOR THE SECOND WEEKEND IN A ROW
And it was only his third ever professional race.
Seth Hammaker has shown to be strong ever since the 2021 Championship season started with holeshots and incredibly fast qualifying times. But the first night in Arlington was when Seth would be dealt all the right cards. After winning his first-ever Heat Race. The rookie would surprise again with another fast holeshot, getting in front of his teammate Jordon Smith. Jordon Smith would keep up for a little bit with his younger teammate but Seth nearly seemed untouchable besides a small fumble in one of the rhythm sections. In his third ever race, Seth won his first Supercross Main Event. Like Jo Shimoda and Cameron McAdoo, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Pro Circuit race team this 2021 season. Surprisingly, it’s the newer and less experienced guys who are doing well under the Pro Circuit rig while Austin Forkner, a Championship hopefully on the East, is out with injury and Jordon Smith, an experienced rider and a Championship hopeful has been riding through injuries and having big crashes each weekend on the West.
JORDON SMITH HAS ANOTHER ROUGH NIGHT
It’s been heart breaking to see Jordon Smith have hard crashes at all three of the 250 West races so far this year. Luckily, Jordon was still able to finish the 250 Main Event on Saturday after rolling around the track. But he still looked sore.
OPENING CEREMONIES PHOTO BLAST:
450 SX CLASS
It was Cooper Webb’s night in Arlington. It makes us wonder if we will see another case of Orlando, where Cooper Webb went flawless, winning on both nights in the same stadium. We said it earlier in the season that Ken Roczen was the man to beat and it looks like the points chase will be a close one all the way to Salt Lake City.
One rider who got nearly zero TV time but finished with a second place was Justin Barcia. Justin rode exceptionally in the Main Event and with how little television time the GasGas rider got, you might have forgotten that he rode that well. Justin is actually starting to close the gap on Eli Tomac for a third place finish in the championship. Especially after Eli Tomac finished 8th at Arlington.
Jason Anderson may have played bumper cars in the Main, but we’re glad to see another competitor battle it out for a podium position this season. The top five was filled with diversity and it just goes to show that there are plenty of riders in the 450 class easily capable of landing in the top five. Even with riders like Adam Cianciarulo and Zach Osborne injured. Jason Anderson scored a third place in the first Arlington round and made it a KTM, GasGas, Husqvarna, one, two, three.
If you thought Justin Barcia barely got any TV time, then Chase Sexton wasn’t even mentioned during the night. After slamming his face onto handlebars the weekend before and getting a new tooth, Chase Sexton rode very well in the night show. Chase Sexton scored a fourth place finish.
We saw another very good performance by the former GNCC racer, Aaron Plessinger. Aaron may have not have landed on the box at the end of the night but his finishes are getting more consistent.
250 WEST SX CLASS
Seth Hammaker is proving to us every race that he has what it takes to stay with the veteran 250 riders. It’s exciting to see some rookies in the 250 class ride so well when the field on the East Coast is dominated by veteran riders.
Hunter Lawrence was stoked on his second place finish as the Australian rider has struggled in the past with Supercross. It’s been said that the 2021 season is being used for HRC’s Hunter Lawrence to develop his Supercross skills, but with a second place finish, we think he has what it takes for a possible first place finish soon as well.
Cameron McAdoo didn’t get the started he needed in the Main Event but still rode very well as he made quick work from eighth place all the way up to third. Even at the end of the race, Justin Cooper and Cameron went back and forth trading positions but Cameron ultimately snuck ahead of his opponent and finished in third.
Justin Cooper used to be known for getting amazing starts in the outdoors season but we’ve seen him struggle as of late getting in front of the pack when the gate dropped. Justin got another poor start just like Daytona and would sit all the way back in ninth. However, Justin wasn’t as quick at passing the competition as Cameron was and would make his way up to fourth place at the very end of the race. Justin made a pass on Cameron, but would get passed back again before he tried one last attempt to get around his Championship competitor and ultimately slide out at the turn before the finish. He quickly got back on his bike and held onto fourth place.
Garrett Marchbanks had to make his way up the pack by a few spots to get into the fifth place position. The ClubMx rider would hold onto his spot in the race all the way through the checkers.
WORDS FROM THE RIDERS:
Cooper Webb via Press Release: “This is an incredible night. I got a bad start in the heat race but I made some passes and ended up third. In the Main Event, I got a great start and made my way into the lead early on and I led every lap. It’s awesome and it feels great to have these Texas fans here. It was a huge night and to get the red plate is great, I’m super grateful.”
Aaron Plessinger via Press Release: “I’m stoked about how the heat race went with the win. Then we went into the main, and there weren’t too many great gates, so I just tried to pick the one that I felt would be best. I got a mid-pack start and just charged. I tried to ride my own race, and I started to click off people one by one, but the track was tricky; it was rough and started to dry out. You had to be patient in the berms otherwise it was easy to go down. We’ve been clicking off the check marks the past few weeks, and I’m ready to get back out here Tuesday and do some work.”
Justin Cooper via Press Release: “My night was a bit up and down. It was a good start to the night getting the win in the heat race, but I got a pretty bad start in the main and was kind of just fighting for track position with everyone. I slowly made my way through the pack because it was really hard to pass. I got up to fourth and could see the leaders ahead. They were riding really well. I reeled Cameron (McAdoo) in and was able to make the pass but we went back and forth. I tried for a pass on the last lap and ended up washing out the front in a turn. Those guys are riding really well and I can’t afford to give them that much space at the beginning of the race.”
Justin Barcia via Press Release: “It was a good week leading up to this, I did a lot of testing and my team did a great job helping me get comfortable and feeling good again. Tonight was very special for us, our boss from Austria was here, so that’s super awesome to get second and make him proud in front of these Texas fans. The track was super challenging and I pushed hard and closed on Cooper a little but I just couldn’t make it happen, he rode really well. I’m looking forward to the next two rounds here, I’m going to push it hard and try to take another win.”
Jason Anderson via Press Release: “I’ve been following those guys all year and I want to be on the podium and want to start doing good, so I’m going for it and that’s all there is to it. We’re going to be firing every time we come out of that gate for the rest of the year. Let’s go!”
Seth Hammaker via Instagram: “Man what a night!! So stoked to get my first career main event win. I was pretty speechless and was trying to take it all in. So much hard work put in to get here and I want to thank the team for everything I appreciate all the hard work and belief they put into me. Thanks to my family and friends for the support you guys are awesome! I’ll remember this one forever let’s keep it going!”
Cameron McAdoo via Instagram: “Hard-fought 3rd at Arlington 1! I made it very tough on myself starting mid-pack last night, but we gave it everything we had, and that was able to put us on the podium. I am really happy to be in the position that we are in going into round 4! Huge congrats to my teammate Seth Hammaker on his win, and the Pro Circuit Race Team on the double podium! Let’s keep it rolling into Tuesday”
Wil Hahn, Star Racing Yamaha 250 Team Manager via Press Release: “It was a roller coaster night for us, our day was going well but in the main we didn’t execute our game plan. We just have to be better, that’s the bottom line.”