Monster Energy Supercross Houston 3 Observationsby Jack Gaffney January 24, 2021 1 comment
The final of three Supercross rounds in Houston is now in the books. The 450 class saved the best for last with a noteworthy Main Event on Saturday night. The third winner of the season was crowned due to a controversial moment in the late stages of the race.
Cooper Webb – Red Bull KTM (1st Place)
Despite not finishing on the podium in either of the first two rounds of the season, I wasn’t overly concerned with the 2019 series championship simply based on his past season’s results. In the first two races of this and the two previous Supercross seasons, Webb has averaged a finish of a seventh with only one podium. However, in the third race of this and the previous two seasons, he has two wins and a third. I had a feeling either last night or in the first race this upcoming weekend in Indianapolis, Webb was going to get on the podium one way or another. After losing the lead to Ken Roczen despite getting a holeshot, Webb was able to keep pace and end up getting a last-lap pass on The Honda HRC Rider. The win was his 12th career 450 Main Event win.
94 Ken Roczen – Honda HRC (2nd Place)
I would imagine that after his points penalty on early Wednesday morning, followed up by losing the lead on the final lap of the main event by no fault of his own, Ken Roczen may not be the happiest of campers. Ken found a way around Cooper Webb in the early stages of the main event and found himself having a solid three-second or so cushion between himself and Webb for the majority of the Main Event. Roczen was not able to keep pace with a hard-charging Webb down the stretch. He left the door open for him when on the last lap disaster struck.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Dean Wilson, who was a lap down, held up Ken coming out of the whoops and going to the wall jump section. Wilson was riding in his Rozen’s line, causing Roczen to hold up, which gave Webb a window to get by him. Despite feeling like Webb would have gotten a chance to pass him at the very end, I think Roczen has every right to be upset with Wilson. Wilson essentially took any chance Roczen had out of his hands.
Postrace, Roczen was quoted as saying “I want to punch a hole in the wall right now”. I would imagine that every single fan of Roczen’s feels the same (and that may or may not include the editor of this article, but that is neither here nor there). However, there is good news for Ken as he leaves Houston as the 450 Points leader by one point over both Cooper Webb and Justin Barcia.
15 Dean Wilson- Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (17th Place)
Just to get a quick thought in on him since he played a huge role in the outcome of Saturday’s Main Event, I have no clue what Wilson was doing on the last lap. He was getting blue flagged, which in most forms of racing is an indicator for lapped racers to move out of the way of the leaders. Wilson was being blue-flagged for the entire half-lap prior ahead of Roczen. He then proceeded on the final lap to run in his exact line coming to the wall jump despite the blue flags, which ended up costing Roczen a win.
I feel bad harping Wilson here, but this was not a smart move on his part, and I would not be shocked if some form of fine came his way. But for what it’s worth, Wilson has apologized via his Instagram. I don’t think what he did was intentional by any means necessary. Wilson is one of the better guys that Supercross has to offer in terms of likability.
51 Justin Barcia- Troy Lee Designs Red Bull Gas Gas Factory Racing (4th Place)
Despite not having a good start in Saturday’s Main Event, on top of having a wreck in the sand section, Barcia was able to leave Houston with a fourth-place effort. He ended up around ninth on the start but was the fastest rider on track for a brief period in the early going on his GasGas bike. After his wreck in which he was in fourth, Justin was able to get right back by the lone rider who had passed him in Eli Tomac.
Though he was not able to make any more gains due to the top three of Webb, Roczen, and Cianciarulo being very far ahead, Barcia held steady and now has put himself in an excellent position going forward for the rest of the year. He is only one point out of the points lead as the series shifts to Indianapolis. I imagine that the brass at GasGas is more than pleased with their maiden voyage so far in Monster Energy Supercross.
7 Aaron Plessinger- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (7th Place)
I feel like Plessinger deserves some praise here, and since I have the opportunity to do so, I will do just that. His 450 career has not gotten off to the best start. He has suffered from injuries and poor results since moving to the 450 Class in 2019. However, it feels like he has been noticeably better this year, having two top ten finishes in main events to this point, as well as some strong heat race performances. A 16th place finish last Tuesday night is what keeps him out of the top 10 in points. It feels like Plessinger may have found his stride in Supercross’s top division.
14 Dylan Ferrandis- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (11th Place)
Coming off a podium finish on Tuesday, Saturday saw Ferrandis finish with an 11th place finish a lap down. A poor start, where he got pushed to the far outside of the first corner was not a great start to his night. Ferrandis ended up around 18th as he came by the finish jump on the first lap and never really gave himself a good chance to contend for a second consecutive podium.
This especially stings because he could have potentially left Houston with the series points lead. Ferrandis now finds himself in eighth-place but only 10 points out of first. Like every sport, there is likely to be growing pains for rookies. And you could chop it up to that for Ferrandis’ performance on Saturday.
25 Marvin Musquin- Red Bull KTM (12th Place)
From one Frenchman with a lackluster result to another, Musquin, even more so than Ferrandis, is very much looking forward to putting Saturday Night behind him. Musquin also had a bad start to begin his main event. He then compounded things by falling off the bike trying to make it up the wall jump next to the starting gate. This lost him a large amount of time and put him in second to last. However, Marvin was able to rally to a 12th. While Saturday left a lot to be desired for Musquin, it absolutely could have been worse.
The Houston rounds of Monster Energy Supercross are now over. Three excellent races are in the books, and riders will now get a well-deserved rest before getting back going next Saturday Night for the first of three races at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Top 10 450 Class Points Standings Post Round 3
94 Ken Roczen- Honda HRC (60 Points)
2 Cooper Webb- Red Bull KTM (59 Points)
51 Justin Barcia- Troy Lee Designs Red Bull Gas Gas Factory Racing (59 Points)
1 Eli Tomac- Monster Energy Kawasaki (54 Points)
9 Adam Cianciarulo- Monster Energy Kawasaki (51 Points)
10 Justin Brayton- Muc-Off Honda (51 Points)
27 Malcolm Stewart- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (51 Points)
14 Dylan Ferrandis- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (50 Points)
25 Marvin Musquin- Red Bull KTM (48 Points)
16 Zach Osborne- Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (40 Points)
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image Credit: