RED BULL KTM’S COOPER WEBB WINS MINNEAPOLIS SX; MUSQUIN ROUNDS THE PODIUM IN THIRD
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The AMA Supercross Championship made its way east on Saturday for the first time in 2019 as Round 6 of the 17-race series took place inside U.S. Bank Stadium amidst Minneapolis, Minnesota’s frigid temperatures. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb made a major statement this evening by becoming the first and only three-time 450SX winner this season as he sits within one-point of the early championship lead. His teammate, Marvin Musquin, battled to his fourth-consecutive podium appearance with a third-place finish in the class.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing’s Jordon Smith made a strong season debut for the opening round of the 250SX East division, where he overcame some last-minute chaos to rally his way to a second-place finish in the Main Event.
In 450SX Heat 1, Cooper Webb came out blazing aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, as he captured the holeshot and early lead. He held off a hard-charging pack of riders to take the win and the top transfer position into the Main Event. The three-time winner kept the momentum rolling into the Main Event as he seized the holeshot and immediately engaged in a battle for the lead. Sitting in second early on, Webb was eventually joined by two other riders for what turned out to be an intense four-way battle for the race-win. Webb remained patient throughout the first half of the race and he finally pulled the trigger just after the halfway mark to launch himself into the lead. From there, Webb began to pull a small gap over the second-place rider to eventually claim the win by a three-second gap.
Webb: “To get three wins this year is pretty spectacular, especially bouncing back from last week – having that bad race in the mud – but I never lost belief, never lost faith and knew I was still good. I felt good all day today and to be able to apply it in the heat race, win that, and then win the main was pretty special. It’s cool, I have to pinch myself because I’ve come such a long way in a short amount of time. It’s crazy what a year or half a year will do to you. The last two years this place ended my season, so it’s pretty cool to bounce back from that and never give up, never doubt myself, make a change and stick to it. I want to keep doing well and doing what I’m doing. I definitely feel like I have a lot to improve on and a lot to learn but we’ll see if we can keep going.”
After qualifying third overall, Musquin had a rough start to the evening in 450SX Heat 2. He got off to a good start and immediately put himself into second on lap two, battling for the lead for most of the race. However, a couple of crashes late in the race ultimately took him back to an eighth-place finish. With a 16th place gate pick for the Main Event, Musquin didn’t get the best start as he got pinched off heading into the first turn and he began the opening lap in eighth. Musquin put his head down and charged through the pack to put himself into a top-five position on lap ten. From there, he fought hard to catch the freight-train ahead and it wasn’t long before he inserted himself into the podium battle. He made the pass for fourth late in the race and with five laps to go he moved into the third-place position, where he ultimately finished for the night.
Musquin: “It was definitely a tough night. I made it really hard on myself going down in the heat race while running in second – I made a little mistake that cost me big time and then again, I hit neutral and went down again. With a really bad gate pick, I knew it was going to be hard to choose either inside or outside on the gate but I chose to go very far inside and I didn’t get the start I wanted. I was tight inside and came out top-ten but on a track like that, it’s super tough to be in that position to make passes. It took me a long time to get into the top-five and I was pushing to get around [Blake] Baggett and unfortunately, he went down hard, hopefully he’s okay. Once I was in third, I tried to give a push for second but there was a gap and physically I gave a lot when I was trying to pass guys for most of the Main Event. Definitely tough, but to be third on the podium tonight is a good result considering where I came from with the heat race and the start, so I’ll definitely take it.”
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – FLY – KTM’s Blake Baggett ran fourth for a majority of the race before passing his way into third with five laps to go. Unfortunately, while running third, Baggett had a big crash that ended his race early.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing’s Jordon Smith had a great start to the night as he powered his KTM 250 SX-F to a convincing win in 250SX East Heat 1. In the Main Event, Smith had a one-off incident with a flat tire on the sighting lap, where the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM crew quickly replaced the rear wheel just minutes before the gate drop. Smith didn’t seem to be bothered as he pulled a top-five start and climbed his way into second by lap five. He went down on lap seven and dropped back to fourth but he was able to fight his way back to second by the halfway mark. Smith charged after the race-leader to ultimately finish six-seconds back for second-place in the opening round of the 250SX East competition.
His teammate, Mitchell Falk, made his AMA Supercross debut on Saturday after racing only one professional AMA Pro Motocross race in 2018. Falk got off to a great start in 250SX East Heat 1, rounding out the top-five with a solid transfer into the Main Event. Falk put his KTM 250 SX-F into 11th place on the opening lap of the main before pushing his way into a top-ten position by lap two. On lap five, Falk went down and dropped outside the top-15 and from there he struggled to make his way through the pack, eventually finishing 17th in his first-ever professional supercross.
Next Race: Arlington, Texas – February 16, 2019