At the Salt Lake City 1 Supercross, Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb finished in second place behind teammate Marvin Musquin to earn his 12th podium finish of the season. Although Webb came up just short of the race win (0.326 seconds behind Musquin), he did gain nine points on Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen in the standings to now sit with a 22-point lead heading into the finale. Webb joined the media via a Zoom post-race press conference to talk about his night.
Cooper Webb | 2nd in 450SX
Racer X: Coop, you had a good night. You found some momentum with seven minutes left in that main event. Talk about what made that surge. What did you find out on the track here tonight?
Cooper Webb: Like you said, late in the main it was really good. I didn’t get the greatest start tonight. The track was key to get that good start. I was around eighth or so in the first turn and made some quick passes to get around some guys. Felt for the second lap I was around fourth or fifth. Made some passes and got behind Jason [Anderson]. It was me, Jason, and Mookie [Malcolm Stewart] for a while, all kind of in that pack and trying to move forward. Was able to get around Jason, which then kind of set my sights on the lead two guys. I had some good laps. Was able to close the gap with a solid second place. Overall I’m happy and great for the points. It was a hard-fought second place, so we’ll take it.
That was a hard-fought race. You have your teammate in front of you. Your championship rival goes down. What was it like for you to chase Marvin [Musquin] like that and know, "I’m going to have to do this the whole way. He’s not going to pull over. I’m going to have to earn this one." And even then, it wasn’t going to be enough?
Like you said, it was kind of a sigh of relief honestly when Ken went down because I felt like me and Malcolm and Jason were riding a really good pace. Those guys kind of got away early with the better starts, but I felt like we were slowly but surely kind of catching on. When Kenny went down, I think it was kind of like a sense of urgency for at least me, to kind of get going. I kind of knew this is my shot to maybe go at this win. Just kind of buckled down. I got some good laps going. Was able to catch him. Honestly, I kind of saw him making those mistakes in the whoops and I kind of knew that was going to be my spot. He found the line that I had kind of felt comfortable with and sort of taken it. So I had to kind of search around and would make a run, but it was kind of like Malcolm on me. You could make a run, but never quite close enough to make the pass. It was definitely a track that was very tight and tough to pass. I felt like if it was a do or die situation I maybe could have gotten aggressive, but overall it was an awesome race. We battled hard to the very end. It’s pretty spectacular for KTM to go one and two, and for Marv to get a win after a long time.
Is it a sigh of relief for you to be closer to the championship now, in the 20 points? Or is it more stress because you have to wait another week?
That’s all good. I think honestly I kind of moved past that. At Atlanta, I was pretty in my head about it but now I know on any night that I can be up there and in the mix and be in the fight. So I think now it’s obviously a sigh of relief. The more the better, absolutely. But I feel like lately I’ve just been honestly racing to go for wins. I think that I would love nothing more to go out that last one and have that same mindset.
|1||Marvin Musquin||25 Laps||0:48.172||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2||Cooper Webb||+00.326||0:47.977||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Malcolm Stewart||+10.463||0:48.399||Haines City, FL||Yamaha YZ450F|
|4||Dylan Ferrandis||+15.705||0:48.243||Avignon||Yamaha YZ450F|
|5||Chase Sexton||+17.099||0:48.229||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|
In the 250SX Class, Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence fought through the pack before finishing second to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda. Lawrence joined the media via a Zoom post-race press conference to talk about his fourth podium finish of the season.
Jett Lawrence | 2nd in 250SX
Racer X: Jett, you also had a difficult start to that main event. Just take us through your night and what progressed and how you developed through the track.
Jett Lawrence: I kind of already screwed myself a little bit on the start because my bike was already pretty hot because I was obviously in second gear and I had to rev a lot and I didn’t want to rev the bike when it was cold. So I just warmed up a bit too much and ended up overheating a little bit which didn’t make it explode out of the gate as much. So I felt like I was a bit off balance, but it wasn’t too bad. Didn’t give myself much hope with a win there, but I was able to kind of keep my head down and keep pushing through. Mosiman and Jo kept on monkeying around and that stuff, so I was able to kind of catch up to them a bit and at least get second. I tried having a go at Jo but I just made those few little mistakes and it was costly. But congrats to Jo. It was not a bad night from how my start was.
We caught a glimpse of you having a chat with Jo there at the end of the main. What were your emotions for him? You having got your first win, what did you have to say to him?
Yeah, I was really pumped for him. As a friend I’m pumped for him to get his first win. Like you said, I know how that feels. So it was cool to see that and see my mate being able to get one, which is really cool. Then again, on the competitive side I was a bit bummed. But I’d rather him win than probably anyone else. He’s a good kid. I was pumped for him. I was able to talk to him about it. We were talking about the first few laps and he was like, “Dude, I was so nervous,” and all that. So I’m pumped for Jo. It doesn’t help me in points, but I was pumped. Really good kid. I couldn’t be more pumped for him.
Walk us through the pass on [Michael] Mosiman and the hand gesture.
Now you understand what type of rider he is. I passed him clean and then the next turn he came right like he was going to T-bone me. Luckily I committed so over the finish line I showed him that he was number one, and left it at that. Now you guys understand why I took him out at H2. If you don’t bump him and make sure you get a gap on him, he goes for your front wheel. He’s just that type of dumb rider. As you seen, I passed him clean. Didn’t do anything dirty, and then he goes straight for the almost T-bone. He could have ended my night or even worse both our nights. I could have been injured. Just shows how brainless he is. I just had to make sure I showed him he’s the number one rider of that list.
Colt Nichols | 3rd in 250SX
Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing’s Colt Nichols claimed his eighth straight podium finish of the season with a third-place in the main event. The points leader joined the media via a Zoom post-race press conference to talk about his day.
Racer X: Colt, you rounded out the podium in third. Had a difficult race. You had to battle up. You didn’t have the conventional Colt Nichols start that you usually get. Just take us through your night.
Colt Nichols: It was I guess a little bit of an emotional night, really. My main rival being Christian [Craig] goes out, and the focus changes quite a bit. I kind of just botched that start pretty hard. I didn’t really do anything right on it. Just got a horrible start and I didn’t ride very good the beginning of that main. Then once I finally started to get it together, straight up kind of ran out of time. I just waited way too long to find my stride. At the beginning of the race I was really struggling to get into a flow. Just little mistakes and cutting the track really tight and not opening it up really well. Just straight up wasn’t riding very good. I noticed Jo was out front and that was the one guy I needed to beat. He was in the lead and I was back battling for sixth or seventh right off the rip. It was what it was. Definitely a different perspective being in this position during the race. I just wish I would have got off to a better start and made my life a little easier. But overall, I felt like I got it together pretty well at the end. Just didn’t quite get the start we needed tonight.
I’m curious, you mentioned Christian going out kind of messed with you a little bit. You had that long break and a lot of time to think about, this is the guy that I need to beat. So did it just kind of change and throw a wrench in your program?
Yeah, of course just because that was the focus. We ride together every day and train together every day. I knew he was my closest rival. But at the end of the day, I still had a job to do and I just didn’t really execute the way I needed to tonight, regardless of what was on the line or what the situation was. I felt like I was good enough to win, and I didn’t. That’s the part I was bummed about, just how I actually rode the beginning of that race. But overall, going into the day I was up eight points. Now my next closest guy is 20… I don't know exactly where Jo is, but if you would have told me that at the beginning of the day going into the east/west shootout I would have had that kind of lead, I would have been pumped. Perspective is good. The big picture is nice. It was weird, just kind of a lot of emotions going on where your main rival goes out. It kind of just shocks you a little bit. That’s why I said I was a little bummed on the podium. I just felt like I didn’t execute very well. But overall, we’re healthy and we’ll try again next weekend.
Does it change up the program for next weekend, the mindset? There’s a lot of chess pieces out there and two coasts full of fast guys.
Yeah. Maybe to some extent, but not really. Tonight I would say I rode a little, especially at the beginning, a little conservative. That didn’t really do me any good. So I think the best way to do it is to continue to try to be aggressive and go after it and try to win. That’s the best way to kind of try to handle that. We’ll regroup and go back and do some work this week and come out swinging next weekend.
Sitting on the line you had to know that that championship was yours to wrap up. That pressure that must have been mounting, you could see it on the screen. You could see that was mounting. Just run us through sitting there before the start of the race. What was going through your mind at that particular point in time?
You’re trying to block it out a little bit, but I had everybody and their mother being like, “Christian’s out. You got to beat Jo. You have a 20-something point lead,” and whatever the case was. But at the end of the day there was still a job to get done. I needed to execute and I definitely did not. So that was just a lot of frustration on my end. But at the same time, the big picture like I was saying earlier is great. I’m in a good spot. One round left. Just a privileged position to be in, really. I would have loved to have just gotten the job done and wrapped it up and been done with it, but it didn’t happen tonight. So we’ll regroup and try again next weekend and try to put myself in a better position and go get it done.
If you think back to where we were last year at the Salt Lake City races, you left. You got hurt in that incident that broke your hand. You missed the entire summer and pretty much just worked from that time last year until this point to be in this position. Thinking about all of that now, being back in this stadium, being in a championship clinching position going into next week, how does that feel? That’s got to be a lot to kind of take in. Knowing you and knowing all the people that are around you, you guys do have a very big awareness of that. You don’t just blow by it.
No, not at all. Like I said, it’s a privileged position to be in and somewhere I’ve always wanted to be. Leaving Salt Lake last year, I was down in the dumps. I was not really ready to be racing at Salt Lake, but I showed up to maybe try to help the teammate out a little bit and just kind of get my feet wet back at riding supercross. It was frustrating to leave there and miss the whole summer. I just knew if I put my head down and came into this season healthy I could maybe be in this position. I felt like I rode really well this season. I’ve done a lot of things right and been able to execute when I needed to and get good starts, put myself in good positions. That’s why I was just a little flustered about tonight. Just got a great group of people around me. That’s what kind of keeps you moving and keeps the whole wheels turning on this thing. Like I said, it’s a pretty crazy position to be in, but we’ll look forward to next weekend and go try to get it done.
What do you do during this week? What’s the plan?
That’s a great question. I’m not real sure. I need to I guess talk to Swanny [Gareth Swanepoel, trainer] and the team and figure out what the game plan will be. This past week we only rode on Tuesday. I only rode one day and then fly out Thursday, do press Friday. So probably the same thing. Probably just do the same program. Ride one day and make sure we’re fresh coming into the weekend. Try to be a little better than we were tonight. But overall, no real big changes to the program. Probably just ride once and try to come into the weekend and give her hell.
|1||Jo Shimoda||19 Laps||0:49.331||Suzuka||Kawasaki KX250|
|2||Jett Lawrence||+01.150||0:49.190||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|3||Colt Nichols||+03.050||0:49.284||Muskogee, OK||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Michael Mosiman||+21.717||0:48.978||Sebastopol, CA||GasGas MC 250F|
|5||Thomas Do||+52.011||0:49.773||KTM 250 SX-F|