THE AFTERMATH | 2021 ARLINGTON SUPERCROSS 3 | WEBB GOES UNDEFEATED AT ARLINGTON
THE AFTERMATH | 2021 ARLINGTON SUPERCROSS 3 | WEBB GOES UNDEFEATED AT ARLINGTON
The Arlington triple header has come to an end and now the riders have a three-week-long break before the racing commences again in Atlanta, Georgia, for the thirteenth round of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season. But, before we stretch our legs and relax for three weeks, let’s take a deeper look at the final round of the Arlington triple header, one that was action-packed and had us standing at the edge of our seats yelling at the racing. Heading into the third Arlington round, the track was a standard track layout but the rhythm sections featured multiple options in some parts where the riders had a “go big or go home” option, resulting in not just jumping a quad, but a 5 hump long jump, a quintuple, or a “cinco” if you’re one of the announcers. This resulted in the top 5 in the 450 class just sending it and ending up a second faster than the rest of the competition. This section was far too difficult for the 250s to manage but it was exciting watching the top dogs in the premier class absolutely stretching it out.
In the 250s, it was Hunter Lawrence who was in the points lead thanks to Cameron McAdoo’s blunder in the previous round, where the 31 rejoined the track at a later point than where he left it after a crash in the whoops. Hunter was in the lead, but the points chase was still incredibly close as the top in the class only sat a few points from each other. In the 450 class, Cooper Webb still held onto the lead after having a dominant performance the previous two rounds. We were excited to witness the battle between Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb heat up as we all know that Ken certainly doesn’t want Cooper to walk away with the championship.
In MXA’s The Aftermath, we look back at all the exciting racing that went down at the most recent round while MXA’s Brian Converse was there to capture all the action. Scroll down below to see what went down at the third Arlington round.
COOPER WEBB GOES 3-FOR-3 IN TEXAS
Cooper Webb would go undefeated for a second residency.
The Cooper Webb took command in Arlington as he crossed the checkers first at all three rounds. We were excited to see the battle between the rivals Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb heading into the third round of Arlington as the previous points leader, Ken Roczen, kind of seemed like he was done being pushed around by his opponent. After having a mediocre finish in his Heat, finishing fifth, most people (including us) had assumed that this was Ken’s night to win. And after the gate dropped in the Main Event it sure looked like it. Ken led almost the entire race with Cooper right on his tail. Then an extremely close battle ensued between the two with only a couple of minutes remaining in the race, where Cooper would become successful, passing his rival, and ultimately winning the race.
In timed qualifying, Jeremy McGrath came onboard Race Day Live and had stated that if Ken wants to win this championship, he’s going to have to punt Cooper into the tuff blocks. Ken is undoublty one of the cleanest riders in the sport and when the battle between Cooper ensued, Ken refused to get physical even when multiple “punting” opportunities presented themselves. The most dangerous thing to happen for Ken in the races is for Cooper to get a good start, and even after getting the holeshot, it looks like it’s going to make more than leading the race for Ken to win.
JUSTIN COOPER WINS AGAIN
We were wondering when the guy with the fastest lap time was going to win again.
It is typically strange for the guy with the fastest lap time at every single round to not win multiple times. Justin Cooper and the rest of the Star Yamaha squad were notorious for getting downright amazing starts during outdoors so it was weird to see the 32 struggling to get in front of the pack for four rounds. Well, third time’s the charm in Arlington as Justin Cooper grabbed the holeshot and only saw the rest of the competition after the finish line. With his win came the position change in points, moving Cooper up to the top of the leaderboard, only two points ahead of Cameron McAdoo.
SAFETY NET SAVES HUNTER LAWRENCE
The safety net not only saved Hunter’s bones from breaking but, surprisingly, it saved him several positions in the race as well.
What could have gone so wrong actually went surprisingly well for Hunter Lawrence during the Main Event. With a few laps left in the race, Hunter Lawrence was sitting in third place. Going through one of the rhythm sections, Hunter got bucked after coming up short and proceeded to whisky throttle up the face of one of the berms. Thankfully for the Australian, a safety net found its self in the right position, stopping Hunter from flying. Hunter then dropped down to his bike that was still upright, came back on the track, and finished in fifth place. Now we just wonder what seat Hunter would have sat in had the safety net not been there.
CHASE SEXTON’S FACE CAN’T GET A BREAK
We’re hoping one of our favorite rookies still looks the same after the 2021 Supercross season. His face has taken a beating.
One of the riders that we assume would be one to crash less would be Chase Sexton. Chase Sexton has a precise riding style and technique, however, the sand section at some tracks begs to differ. Unfortunately for Chase, the 23 would slam his face again for the third time in the 2021 season. Chase sustained a nasty crash at Houston 2 in the sand, ate the handlebars at Daytona after attempting to launch off the wall jump onto the lip of the step-on-step-off, and now went for round 3 in the ringer with the Arlington sand. Despite having the brain rattled three times, Chase is still incredibly fast on the bike, setting the fastest lap time of the day in qualifying and even giving Cooper Webb some grief during their Heat Race on Saturday.
Chase via Instagram: “Man, what a tough way to end the day yesterday. I felt so solid on the bike and had a bit of my speed back which was nice to see and had a solid one going until the Main Event. On the Heat race incident with Cooper it was by no means my intention to take him out or even make contact I just underestimated how much he was going to cut down in that corner. That’s not how I like to race and just wanted to put that out there. A bit sore this morning from my crash and my face looks like I just went rounds with Mike Tyson but overall I’m healthy and able to fight another day.”
Chase after his crash at Houston 2.
ELI TOMAC VERSUS JUSTIN BARCIA: THE RIVALRY CONTINUES
Justin Barcia got a third place start in the Main Event, was passed by Eli Tomac on lap four, and continued to stay with the leaders until Tomac made a mistake over the finish line on lap 19. This allowed Justin Barcia to reel him in and the two started playing cat-and-mouse.
It looked like Barcia might hold Eli off for a podium finish, but the defending Champ was able to get back into third. The battle between Barcia and Tomac certainly hindered both Eli Tomac’s chances at passing Roczen and Webb. Still, Tomac finished 3.4-seconds behind Webb at the checkers and Barcia was 2.1-seconds behind Eli.
JORDON SMITH, MITCHELL HARRISON, & GARRETT MARCHBANKS DOG PILE
Jordon Smith has been plagued with horrific crashes this entire season but continues to race. He’s a fighter.
At the beginning of the 250 Heat 2, Jordon Smith would get swung sideways after running into another rider, cross-jumping the opening rhythm section, bumping into Mitchell Oldenburg and Garrett Marchbanks in the air. The three would slam into the face of the jump following, leaving Jordon holding his shoulder again as he walked off the track and Mitchell laying on the ground. Mitchell Harrison and Garrett Marchbanks lined back up for the 250 LCQ, but only Garrett would line up for the Main Event. Jordon has had an extremely rough go at the 2021 season, crashing at nearly every race, but continuing to line up. His determination is incredibly admirable but thankfully for him, he will have two weeks to rest before racing again.
Jordon Smith via Press Release: “I felt really good on the bike today and was pumped on how I was feeling going into the night show. When we came around that first corner, the guy next to me squeezed me as we took off on the jump and it made me cross jump and that’s when I collided with the other rider. I am going to get everything checked out and come up with the best game plan with the team for my return to racing. We’ve got two weeks off, so I am going to do all the rehabbing I can do to get back out there with my Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team.”
MARVIN MUSQUIN IS ANOTHER VICITM OF THE SAND
Marvin Musquin was cleared by the AMA’s concussion protocol (after his crash at Arlington 1) to race on Saturday at Arlington 3, but he only completed two laps in the 450 Main Event. Marvin was another rider who fell sand section. He said: “Going through the sand section, I made a mistake and another rider behind me jumped and landed right behind me, hit me and I went down. I landed wrong on my hand and tweaked my wrist. With the pain and having no strength, I couldn’t keep going. I wanted to gain more riding out of it, considering I didn’t race Tuesday and even Saturday, but now we are going into a break so we’ll do our best to recover and get better for Atlanta.”
OPENING CEREMONIES PHOTO BLAST
450 SX CLASS
The 450 Main Event first turn. Surprisingly, we saw the heavy hitters at the front again from the beginning of the race. Ken Roczen grabbed the lead, Webb was second, Barcia third and Tomac fourth on the first lap.
Because Cooper Webb lined up right next to Ken Roczen on the gate, he was able to follow Ken into the first turn, dive underneath him and end up side-by-side with his rival going down the first rhythm lane.
Cooper Webb appeared to struggle in qualifying and the Heats, but after studying Ken’s weaknesses in the Main, Cooper made the pass with a few laps left and won the Main Event. Cooper Webb’s points lead only grows stronger with his three-peat in Arlington and with only five races left, Ken and Eli are running out of time to make it happen in the championship.
Ken Roczen was incredibly fast in his Heat race, passing Cooper Webb and winning the top gate pick. After his win, it was looking like it was going to be Ken’s night in Arlington, breaking Cooper Webb’s win streak. Ken grabbed the holeshot but his rival remained just behind as well. With only a few laps left, Ken didn’t let off the gas battling with Cooper but became unsuccessful in the end. Ken now sits 15 points behind Cooper on the points leaderboard.
Eli’s finishes haven’t been good for his chances at defending his 2020 title. He’s struggled to perform well consistently through the rounds. Eli may have had a hard time at the first Arlington round but redeemed it by getting a second at Arlington 2. Now, Eli managed to get another podium position, however, his opponents in the championship have yet to let up, beating him in the Main Event. If Eli wants any sort of chance for a first or second in the championship, he will have to dig deep, and beat both Ken and Cooper at the next three races in Atlanta.
Justin Barcia rode exceptionally well in the main event, battling with Eli for the third-place position. But it is quite remarkable when Eli finds a ton of power on his KX450 and makes back his position in the race. Even though the two would go back and forth for third, Justin wouldn’t hold his position, dropping to fourth in the race. There is still a third place championship in sight for Justin with Eli only sitting ten points ahead of him after round 12.
Jason Anderson has dug deep these past few rounds to redeem the poor finishes he’s had at the beginning of the season. Jason Anderson scored a fifth place at Arlington 3 and now sits seventh in points chase.
We recently just interviewed Jason Anderson and made a riding video with him. If you are interested in hearing him talk about his Supercross season and see the 21 rip in the sand, CLICK HERE.
250 SX WEST CLASS
Justin Cooper has been the leaderboard king when it comes to lap times. The 32 has made the Yamaha the fastest bike on the track every round of Supercross so far but had only obtained one win before Arlington 3. Justin has struggled to get a good start throughout the season but at Arlington 3, he found the secret. Justin grabbed the holeshot, and led the entirety of the race, winning the Main Event. Now, Justin sits on top of the points leaderboard.
We thought that Cameron McAdoo was about to dethrone Justin for the fastest lap time, but on the very last lap of time qualifying, Justin grabbed his first place position back. In the first Heat, Jarrett Frye would lead the race until Cameron made a pass on the rookie, and win the Heat. Cameron would be on Justin’s tail for the entire Main Event but failed to get the win. Cameron still sits second in points, just two behind Justin Cooper.
The third place position was looking to be Hunter Lawrence’s, well, until he flew off the track. Seth was in fourth in the Main Event and took advantage of the flying Aussie, grabbing the third place position and getting yet another podium finish for his first Supercross season.
Jalek Swoll’s smooth riding through the Main Event landed him in the top 5. Top 5 finishes are becoming more consistent for the young rider as he puts the Rockstar FC250 through its paces.
Luckily for Hunter Lawrence, he got an awesome start in the Main Event. Un-luckily for Hunter Lawrence, he would go flying over one of the bowl turns following a rhythm. Luckily, for Hunter Lawrence, a giant net would catch his fall. What could have been so worse, turned out to pretty good for Hunter. Hunter picked the Honda up, and still got a top 5 finish.
WORDS FROM THE RIDERS:
Cooper Webb via Press Release: “I was just focusing on being consistent. I rode terrible in that heat race and didn’t like being put on the ground – that fired me up and got me going for the Main Event. To ride with Kenny that whole race and make a late charge was awesome, I felt really good out there. It’s incredible to get three here in Dallas, it’s unheard of for me. I’m pumped!”
Ken Roczen via Press Release: “We had a really good practice and I felt comfortable on the track. There were a lot of big rhythms and overall it was a much better supercross track. My heat race went well; I started in third and worked my way up to first, giving me a good gate pick. In the main event I got the holeshot, felt really good and led for most of the race, with most of the fast guys behind me. I’m guessing they were studying me, and Cooper made the pass happen. I tried to keep on his wheel all the way until the end, which is what I did, and we ended up in second. This finish was a lot better. The dream is still alive, and we have five races to go. I’ve been getting better and better, and I’m not going to give up. We’ll take a couple of weekends off and come back to Atlanta with hopes of continuing to improve through the end of the season.”
Eli Tomac via Press Release: “My KX450 was hooking up great all day. I know my speed is there and the bike is working great, I just need to work on cleaning up a few little things and making some passes stick earlier on in the race. I kept getting close to Cooper (Webb)’s rear wheel and just needed to make something happen. I am looking forward to having this two week break and get ready for Atlanta’s three races.”
Justin Barcia via Press Release: “This was one of the hardest fourth-place finishes I’ve ever gotten. I charged so hard and was so close to the podium, it was a little bit frustrating. It was definitely one of the more intense races I’ve ever had and with such an aggressive track, the top four of us were just on top of each other the whole race trying as hard as we could. All-in-all, it was a great race but I definitely wanted to be on the box. We’re going to be working hard going into Atlanta, wanting more – to be on the podium, up front and getting wins.”
Jason Anderson via Press Release: “It was kind of a mediocre night for me, nothing too crazy,” Anderson said. “I feel like today was my ‘slower’ day on the track, so I’m hoping that we can get a little bit better so we can be on the podium.”
Malcolm Stewart via Press Release: “We rode well all day. We didn’t get the best start in the Main Event, but we made it work and made a few passes during the first couple of laps. The track was pretty intense just because of all these big jumps. It’s been a while since we’ve had some big jumps, so it’s always fun to bring that back. Even though there wasn’t that much sand, it was actually really tough. I will say, Arlington kicked my butt. Man, the first two rounds were pretty rough. Usually, I go really well at this track, but I was hitting the ground left and right. I’m happy that we rebounded with a sixth-place finish and left here on a better note than what we started with. I’m looking forward to this three-week break, and hopefully, we will start riding a little bit of outdoors. Before you know it, we’ll be right back at it and getting ready for Atlanta.”
Dylan Ferrandis via Press Release: “We made some improvements today. The team did a good job on the bike, and they made it a little better for me. I keep learning and keep trying to do better, but today I was honestly really tired all day. Physically it was just not a good day. I tried the best I could and finished seventh in the Main Event. It’s not too bad, but not what I’m looking for. I think we made a good step in the right direction with the team on the bike, so now I need to work on myself and try to get back in shape. The last few weeks, I’ve been up and down with a lot of crashes and some small injuries that I’ve had to deal with, so now I need to heal up and get back to work and try to be more fit for the last five rounds.”
Aaron Plessinger via Press Release: “I kind of struggled all day from the first practice on. We had an issue, and I didn’t really get to do the free practice. Then I went back out and tried to learn the track quickly, but I wasn’t really gelling with the bike that well. Even in the heat races, it was just a tick off. In the main, I got it to where I liked it, but I was too aggressive and gave myself arm pump about halfway through and it kind of deteriorated after that. The track broke down a lot. The whoops got really slick, the sand was gnarly, and there were a lot of ruts jumping in there. If you didn’t gel with this track, it beat you up, so it was definitely a tough one. I’m going to go back and do my homework and come out swinging for Atlanta. We have another three races in a NASCAR stadium, so I’m ready for it!”
Justin Cooper via Press Release: “It was a great night. It kind of gave me flashbacks to the first round in Orlando. I was first in every practice, won the heat race, and won the main. It was nice to get two holeshots tonight. We’ve been working to get back to that. It’s been a tough road this season with being on the ground and working my way from last in the main. I’ve had to fight for every position, so this was the kind of race I’ve been looking for. You can take it for granted when it comes so easy. I definitely showed myself what can happen at these last couple of races, so it was really good to have some clean air again, and it was nice to click off laps like I was at the practice track. I had a good flow and was just managing the gap the whole race. It feels good to be back on top and to leave with the red plate. I’m looking forward to the Atlanta rounds.”
Cameron McAdoo via Press Release: “This podium feels good, but obviously we fell short of the goal and that was to win. My KX250 was a rocket out of the gate and helped me move into second place at the end of Turn 2. Justin (Cooper) rode solid tonight, I kept trying to put in as many clean laps as possible to try and show him a wheel, but I just didn’t have enough time to make a pass stick. We’ve got the next two weeks off, so we will take some time to regroup and make sure we come out swinging in Atlanta. We are only down by two points and I want that red plate back, so we’ve got to make these races in Atlanta count.”
Seth Hammaker via Press Release: “Today was pretty good overall. I think my goals have somewhat shifted now that we are halfway through our races, and for me being on the podium or at the very least a top-5 finish is all that I expect from myself. I am happy with my performance and glad we were able to get onto the podium tonight. At the beginning of the race, I actually made a mistake and the rider behind me smashed into the back of my bike and mangled it up pretty good, so I was just pumped to finish the way I did. Every time we line up it’s a learning experience for me, so I just want to keep learning and pushing to be up front running the pace of these guys like Cameron (McAdoo) and Justin (Cooper).”
Jalek Swoll via Press Release: “I felt like the riding was good but the lapped riders didn’t play out in my favor tonight,” Swoll said. “I’m looking forward to the two-week break and we’ll come out swinging in Atlanta.”
Hunter Lawrence via Press Release: “I had a bittersweet ending here in Dallas. It was a pretty good weekend, getting second in the heat race, but a bit of an unfortunate ending in the main. I was riding well in third, pushing and pushing, but I kept getting caught up with lappers. I felt like I was catching the guys just inch by inch, and I pushed myself but made a mistake. I landed on the far righthand side of the berm, where they built a little lip into it. It was a pretty harsh landing, as I’m sure the videos show, with me ending up in the net. I’m so thankful that the nets were there to save me and the bike so we could finish and bring it home in fifth. It was good considering what it could have been with the crash. Coming into Arlington, we were in fourth and 16 points down, but now we’re only six points behind. Having the red plate and then passing it on is a bit of a bummer, but we’re still in it. I’m looking forward to two weeks off now to regroup and come back swinging in Atlanta. I can’t thank the team and everyone enough!”
Nate Thrasher via Press Release: “It was a good night at Arlington 3 after a tough start to the day. In the first timed qualifying, I had a pretty big crash and hit my jaw pretty good. I thought I broke it. I finished up the session and just pushed through it to end up seventh. I missed the second qualifying and went to go get an x-ray at the hospital. We got back here probably 30 minutes before I had to go out. So we got dressed, got ready, took a little medicine, and then we went out and rode the best we could. Ninth was the best we had tonight, but we had the speed to be up there in the top five for sure. We have got to keep pushing and keep getting a little bit better on the weekend. We’ve got a three-week break, so the plan is to just get healthy and come back in Atlanta.”
Jarrett Frye via Press Release: “Arlington 3 was a better day for me. I qualified 10th and pulled the holeshot in the heat race. It was pretty cool to lead a lap and then finish second after some tough races. In the main, I didn’t get the start I needed. On the second lap, I had a big moment and almost went down, so I just tried to finish the best I could. I ended up 10th, which is not what I’m looking for, but it was a better day, so we’re going to go back to work and get ready for Atlanta.”