THE AFTERMATH: THE CARNAGE CONTINUES AS THE RIDERS SAY FAREWELL TO THE COLD
THE AFTERMATH: THE CARNAGE CONTINUES AT THE FINAL INDY SUPERCROSS
The third round in Indianapolis, Indiana is finally over as we head to head Orlando, Florida for the seventh round in the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season. As we look back on the three Indy rounds, Indianapolis definitely provided both its quirks and exciting moments of racing. The third round of Indy was very similar to its previous three rounds in track difficulty with ruts stretching the full length of turns and large crevices at the base of jumps. All the riders have explained how the slick Indy dirt had caused each of them difficulties and there was no shortage of crashes and hiccups made by the world’s fastest riders.
With the 250 class getting smaller by the rounds due to injuries, it’s almost certain who will be placed in the top four now (just as long as they stay on two-wheels). And with the 450 class, the title hunt continues as Ken Roczen walks further away from the competition with the points lead with another dominant performance by the 94. While we look forward to the Orlando racing and the beginning of the 250 West Coast class, we look back at what went down in Indy 3 and make future predictions as to what is to come in the 250 and 450 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 LEADS WITH A THREE-PEAT IN INDY
We love seeing Ken and his family at the podium.
Ken has already established that he is the man to beat in the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season. Other competitors such as Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo are in the chase for the points hunt but for now, Ken Roczen extends his lead with red plate in hand. Similar to the previous two rounds, Ken had another dominant performance in Lucas Oil Stadium with extremely fast times in qualifying, placing well in the heats and taking the win during the Main Events. Like we’ve said before, if Ken’s health remains to stay at the current condition it’s in, we expect an amazing performance throughout the remainder of the season.
CHRISTIAN CRAIG WINS IN INDY 3
Christian was pretty stoked on his win.
With the absence of many top riders in the 250 East, the two Star Yamaha teammates are each other’s biggest competitors on the East Coast. As the days went on in Indy, we witnessed the two go back and forth in qualifying times and heat races. But one sector where the 64 of Colt Nichols remained in control of was the Main Events. Christian ran into problems in the first qualifying session and turned to the pits to work on the bike to make a return for the second session. The gate dropped in Indy 3 and Colt Nichols took the lead, however, the difficult track conditions would present itself a problem for the Oklahoma native. Colt cross-rutted one of the jumps and his teammate took the lead and would win the race. Colt still holds onto the lead but Christian’s win would close the gap in the points chase.
FROM DEAD LAST TO THIRD PLACE
Colt Nichols made one of the most impressive comebacks we’ve seen in a while.
Colt Nichols continues to show his skill in the 2021 Supercross season after making a ginormous comeback. Colt grabbed the holeshot in the Main Event but would be thrown over the handlebars face-first into the face of a jump after getting thrown sideways from cross-rutting. Colt sat in last place by the time he got back to his bike and it was up to him to salvage points for his current lead in the championship. Colt made quick work of the entire 250 field as every lap, multiple positions were gained and the 64 made progress towards the lead. With so many of the top 250 riders injured this season, the rest of the 250 field didn’t stand a chance as Colt finally made his way to a podium position. The effort made by the Star Yamaha rider would preserve his championship lead as they head to Orlando, Florida.
COOPER WEBB FINISHES SECOND
The mind games played by the 2019 champ aren’t quite working out as expected. Cooper Webb and his mechanic have been taunting the current points leader as they try to get in the head and in the lead of Ken Roczen. Despite having an exceptional performance in timed qualifying, Cooper Webb wasn’t been able to catch up to the leader in the Main Event. Webb usually puts in the most effort near the end of the race and as the 2 gained on the 94, Ken would pull away and win the race.
Cooper sits in second place but 16 points behind the leader.
THE TOP 10 VS. LAPPERS
Blue Flag? Never heard of her.
With lap times being so short this season and the field stacked with so many talented riders in the 450 class, many of the top 10 riders run into the rear end of lapped riders throughout the race. Unfortunately for the 2021 Supercross season, many lapped riders have disregarded the blue flag and proceeded to stay on the race line. This incident would happen again as Justin Barcia would attempt to get around Vince Friese who was a lap behind but the results were a little bit ugly. Vince Friese disregarded the blue flags, cross jumped in front of the triple and cutoff Justin Barcia resulting in the GasGas rider getting knocked down and taking Eli Tomac with him. Maybe we have too high of expectations for the very well experienced premier class to obey the blue flags but this is the second time this season a lapped rider has cost the race for one of those upfront in the 450 class.
THE 250 CLASS CONTINUES TO SHRINK
The 42 of Michael Mosiman missed out on the racing as he sustained a broken hand in qualifying.
The 250 East Coast class continues to shrink as Michael Mosiman sustained a broken hand in three different places in Lucas Oil Stadium. Michael’s hand will require surgery, unfortunately. Austin Forkner, Rj Hampshire, Max Vohland and Michael Mosiman are currently out of racing and we wonder if any of them will make it in time for the Salt Lake City rounds and put a little heat on the rest of the top 250 East Coast riders.
450 SX CLASS
Ken continues the wins throughout Indianapolis and walks away with a healthy points lead on the rest of the 450 field. How well will the 94 of Ken Roczen do when it comes time for Orlando racing as we head to the first open roof venue of the 2021 season?
The 2019 champ was seriously fast in timed qualifying but when the time came for the gate to drop in Indy 3, Cooper Webb would struggle to keep up with Ken Roczen even in the later portion of the race where the 2 shines brightest. Cooper still sits second in the points chase but 16 points behind Ken Roczen.
The other KTM factory rider, Marvin Musquin managed to get third place after not getting the best start in the Main Event. This also made it easier for the 25 after both Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac went down letting Marvin get by.
Malcolm’s performance in the 2021 season has also been very consistent as he inches his way up the pack each race. If Malcolm gets a good start, he can prove to be one difficult to pass and hold his position throughout the race. Malcolm finished fourth in the Main Event which is his career-best.
Adam Cianciarulo has been very good at getting good starts and staying upfront, however, has been having trouble maintaining the position in the race. There is no doubt that Adam is seriously fast and the more defensive the number 9 gets, the better his results will be. Adam still got a very impressive fifth place in the night show and we can’t wait to see him progress throughout his 450 career.
250 SX CLASS
Christian had grown tired of seeing the numbers on the back of his teammate’s jersey and would pass the downed 64 on the first lap and hold onto the lead. Christian finished first in the Main Event and closed the gap on the points chase as they head to Orlando.
2021 has been the year for Jo Shimoda as the new Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider has ridden exceptional throughout the season. Jo finished in second place in the Main Event and his performance has continued to improve each and every race.
Colt grabbed the holeshot but the 64 discovered first hand how nasty the track had gotten. After getting thrown off the bike he sat in dead last. Colt still managed to work his way all the way up the 250 class and into third place.
The results put on by the entire Muc-Off Honda team have been very well this year as Mitchell Oldenburg would cross the checkers in fourth place.
Jett Lawrence walked into Lucas Oil Stadium for the third time banged up and sore. As the day went on, you could see that Jett’s performance hasn’t been exactly what we’ve seen throughout the season. In the Main Event, Jett would perform a couple of clever blocks on Colt Nichols but would end up getting passed as the Main ended. Jett still managed to end up fifth in the race.
WORDS FROM RIDERS:
Ken Roczen via Instagram: “Indy, you have been very good to us! 3 in a row. It was not my favorite track by any means but we always try and bring it in the race. Super thankful for these moment.”
Christian Craig via Instagram: “This one felt extra special after a crazy day. Thankful for the team and people that are behind me. Thank you Indianapolis. Humble in defeat. Humble in victory.”
Cooper Webb via Press Release: “It was a great day, a step in the right direction. I had good qualifying times and just came up short on the Main Event. It was a hard charge, so close but so far. Ken rode great and adjusted to the race as it went. I felt like I charged hard at the end and got close, but just not enough. I missed the rhythm with two to go and that kind of killed it for me but he rode a great race and beat me straight up, so we will go this week and try to get better. We made a huge step today with bike setup and comfort, so I feel like I am right there. It’s a long series so we will keep fighting every weekend and get back to that top spot soon.”
Jo Shimoda via Instagram: “Indy 3 P2 on the day!! To me I feel much better podium because I started out front and kept the position to the end. Maybe some people might say some riders got hurt but in that case I can only control myself and I’m going take this as an earned podium! Thank you!”
Marvin Msuquin via Press Release: “My goal tonight was to stay on two wheels and be patient. The last two or three rounds it’s been super frustrating for me, I’ve been very aggressive trying to make it happen in the first lap and ended up going down, so tonight I wanted to be patient. I was the fifth best guy tonight but it’s racing and the two guys in front of me went down so I got third. It definitely feels good to be on the podium, I’ll take it.”
Colt Nichols via Press Release: “There’s not really much to say, I guess. It started out about as good as it could, though. I got a great start and was in the lead. I don’t even know what happened, to be honest. I just came out of that turn, and all of a sudden, I was on the face of the tabletop looking backward. It was just a big mistake. I can’t really give that away, but that’s racing. That’s why we line up. It’s frustrating for sure because I felt like I was on it today, and I did everything right after that point. It’s all right, though. We’ll regroup. I dug down deep all the way to the finish. I kept fighting and came back to third, so I’m happy with that. I just can’t make those silly mistakes. I’m looking for some redemption in seven days. We’ll try again.”
Malcolm Stewart via Press Release: “It was typical Indy, where you’re going into corners, and you think it’s there and it’s not. Overall I feel really good about how the night turned around for me. Indy has treated me well. I had a lot of great rides, and I rode well all day today. We just struggled a little bit in the first two (rounds). In the Main Event, I told myself, ‘Bro, you have got to get a top-five in this thing no matter what, because the boss man isn’t going to be happy. I might be finding myself doing it on my own if I don’t put the results in.”
Mitchell Oldenburg via Pres Release: “I am pleased to have finished higher up in round six but it’s bittersweet as I gave away 3rd, I tightened up and started to make mistakes which ultimately cost us the podium. My lap times in the heat race and qualifying were solid, I just really tightened up in the final and threw away an opportunity. I am going to take away the positives. My bike is fast, our starts are strong and I am getting faster and I am healthy. Indy threw everything at us that’s for sure”
Adam Cianciarulo via Instagram: “Just going to keep plugging away at it! Appreciate my squad and all their hard work.”
THE RIDERS VS. THE TRACK
Wonder why the riders say the track was difficult? Most of the ruts were a foot deep making the precision and balance required very difficult.