The 51st running of Daytona Supercross was completed on Saturday evening. The day began with fears of heavy rain that by some miracle never arrived. By the end, Kawasaki would reap their spoils and took the clean sweep of the hardware for the fourth time in the last five years. Here is the breakdown of the action from round nine of the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Season.
With Jeremy Martin on the mend from a shoulder injury from Orlando 2, opportunities would arise for those not at the very top of the championship picture to force their way in. and that would be taken by Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo who took home his first career win after taking the lead from Rockstar Husqvarna Rookie Stilez Robertson with about five minutes on the dot remaining in the main event.
McAdoo who began his pro career with the now-defunct Geico Honda, and later had a fill-in stint with TLD/Red Bull KTM, found his way onto Mitch Payton’s squad for Motocross last year and McAdoo has rewarded Payton’s faith in him with a huge win early in this championship and now holds the points lead. McAdoo barely had the sponsorship money to run Red Bull Straight Rhythm a few years ago. Now he is in the driver’s seat to win a Supercross Championship. It is a phenomenal story if I have ever seen one.
News and Notes:
Now former points leader Justin Cooper would pace the 250SX field in qualifying in the daytime, but a brutal start and a few mistakes later would ultimately do him in. The good news was that Cooper was able to rally late to finish fourth place and kept his points losses to a minimum. Robertson had a great rookie showing, leading a wide majority of Saturday’s 250SX Main Event, but could not hold off a hard-charging McAdoo. Pierce Brown of TLD/Red Bull GasGas made his season debut coming off a torn ACL from last year and was able to get himself his first career podium in only his seventh career Supercross start. And the Jack of All Trades Ryan Sipes made his one-off supercross appearance of the year, unfortunately, ended up finishing 21st. Always good to see Sipes though.
Huge shoutout to Coty Schock with the FXR/Chapparal Honda squad who is currently 8th in points after Saturday, one of the biggest surprises of the year. And finally, best of wishes to Joey Crown of Club MX Yamaha, who had a brutal crash while leading in the Last Chance Qualifier. He was able to get up with some help and got carted off, but it sounds like he is going to miss some time.
1 Eli Tomac– Monster Energy Kawasaki (1st Place)
I was fully prepared to write off Tomac’s points championship hopes if he did not win Daytona, a venue that he’s dominated at in his 450SX career. Not only did he win, but he was also able to outsmart the field on the start going low into the first corner, had the lead going into the second, and that was pretty much all she wrote.
Tomac would hold first place in The Camel Clutch (Shoutout Iron Sheik) for 20 minutes and would take home his second win of the year, his record-tying fifth win at Daytona, and 36th win total of his 450SX career. Now Eli cut a relatively good chunk into the points lead of Ken Roczen, going from 31 points to 24 points back. While that’s still a big hill to climb, there are still eight rounds left in the season, and three more rounds at a speedway are coming up soon at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
2 Cooper Webb– Red Bull KTM (2nd Place)
Webb on the start would make a bold move, forcing Roczen extremely high up in a move that I would say was far more aggressive than dirty. Webb would then hang around second and third for the entire evening until he made a pass on Aaron Plessinger to take second with about 100 feet to the checkered flag. That pass and that initial move Webb made on Roczen would both prove to be extremely beneficial, as Roczen struggled for a bulk of the evening, but managed to finish fourth, but far more importantly Webb is now only two points back of the points lead and has seemingly rattled Roczen.
On the podium, Roczen would proceed to claim that “Webb is scared of me” which if I’m going to be honest, is not the best of looks. Webb has seemingly been a master of the mind games since moving to Red Bull KTM. It feels that he has won a battle on the road of the war that is this Monster Energy Supercross Season.
7 Aaron Plessinger– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (3rd Place)
I have said it a few times before and I’ll say it again, how about Aaron Plessinger? Aaron had about a bad start to his 450SX career that he could have had. Then Star Yamaha takes over the 450SX program and he has been able to find the magic that he had in his final two years in the 250SX class. In his heat race he was almost run-down by Webb for the win, and for a majority looked like the fastest rider on the track. Aaron would then carry that same speed into the main event. Plessinger would never fall below third place and seemed to make some inroads on Tomac’s lead. Ultimately, he never got close. And despite losing second place in the final 100 feet, that did not ruin what was a phenomenal day for Aaron, who continues a career-best season.
23 Chase Sexton– Honda HRC (8th place)
After missing the last half dozen rounds due to his injury from the second round in Houston, Sexton finally made his return to the track, however, he didn’t seem to play it safe his first race day back. Chase in qualifying attempted to jump the step-up wall jump and try to land on the tabletop after it. This may have not been the smartest choice, as Chase ended up chipping two teeth, and required 10 stitches on his lower lip area. Despite this, Chase was good to go for the night show and had a more than fair eighth-place finish. With some race day reps again, Chase now looks to rebound on this as the series shifts to Dallas.
25 Marvin Musquin– Red Bull KTM (21st Place)
Musquin was on his way to what could have very well been a top-five result on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, a mechanical issue that he pulled into the pits for late would force him to finish second to last. A season of issues that have ultimately been out of his control unfortunately has shown no signs of stopping. Marvin has now finished outside the top 10 four times this season and Daytona was by far his worst result. Now 65 points out of the championship hunt heading to the end of his fantastic career, any championship hopes that he had are now all but officially done for 2021 in Supercross.
And that will do it for Daytona SX coverage. Next Saturday night begins a three-race stretch at AT&T in Arlington, Texas. While Tomac is coming off a gigantic win now, he has historically been boom or bust at Jerryworld, having three wins but two finishes outside of the top 10 in his last five races there. It will also be interesting to see how Roczen can take the continued pressure of Webb, as the latter has seemed to show cracks in the armor of the former.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
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