Monster Energy AMA Supercross Atlanta 2 Observationsby Jack Gaffney April 14, 2021 0 comments
Round two in Atlanta for Supercross would again provide some wild results and great racing. Now there have been four different winners in this stint with a round to go. With title races nearing their conclusions, things were most certainly heated up in Hotlanta.
Cameron McAdoo had a run for the ages. But as for the rest of the 250 class, it was a great night for Justin Cooper. He did exactly what he needed to do on Tuesday to extend his points lead with another win. Cooper put a vice grip on the lead about 20 seconds after the start and never let go. With his fourth win of 2021, Cooper has a nine-point lead over McAdoo and is 16 points ahead of Hunter Lawrence. Lawrence ended up getting by McAdoo late for second but has a decent hill to climb points-wise now with two races to go. Not to mention to fact that the later round will have east coast riders in as well to deal with.
Also, would be remised if The Nuclear Blast/Solitaire Yamaha squad did not get some recognition for something special. For some backstory, Nuclear Blast Records is a German-based metal label that sponsors the team. They have represented a small little group named Slayer for some time now. There might be a sliver of a chance you have heard of them. With that in mind, the team decided to run a special slayer bike livery and rider kit for Robbie Wageman. The finished product of both is nothing short of top-notch.
Muñoz is OUT! But his bike is here for photos…swing by and throw up the horns🤘🏻. pic.twitter.com/a7eXbIJJaS
— TEAM SOLITAIRE (@teamsolitaireSX) April 13, 2021
Today is the day…if you’re not gonna scream SLAYERRRRRRR when you walk by our pit, then maybe don’t come by today, cause today is our tribute to @Slayer and the stereo will be LOUD… pic.twitter.com/JMW4RtG96s
— TEAM SOLITAIRE (@teamsolitaireSX) April 13, 2021
Unfortunately, Wageman failed to make the 250 Main, and the team’s other rider Hardy Munoz was announced as done for Supercross with a knee injury earlier in the day. But it is always cool to see teams do some outside-the-box things.
No. 94 Ken Roczen– Honda HRC (First Place)
If Roczen ends up coming back in this championship, this result will more than likely be the catalyst for that. Putting himself second on the board in qualifying, Roczen then proceeded to have his best heat race performance in weeks. Roczen rode with purpose from the jump, that has not been the case over the last month and a half. But it is never too late to turn things around in Supercross as lots can happen in a short period. However, the bigger development for Roczen is that he finally showed some fight against Cooper Webb. On the opening lap, Roczen slammed the door on him on a couple of occasions trying to get by. Afterward, Webb faded back into the middle of the top ten and Roczen cruised to a major win.
If you are a Roczen fan, you must be thrilled after Tuesday Night. Without question, this was the best that the pride of Mattstedt, Germany has looked since he completed the three-round sweep in Indianapolis. With his off night, Roczen has gone from 22 points, to now just 13 points back of Webb. However, it would be unwise to bank on another bad night like Webb had on Tuesday. Roczen must keep up this pace with just three rounds remaining. On top of the shift to high altitude coming at Salt Lake City, this title fight will only get harder.
No. 23 Chase Sexton– Honda HRC (Second Place)
Sexton has now gotten back-to-back podiums in Atlanta after going his first six rounds in Supercross getting zero. The good news here was that Sexton did not lose in heart-wrenching fashion this time, however, he never really had a shot to win either. With Roczen in the process of checking out, Sexton ended up battling with Webb before getting by him and settling into second for the rest of the evening. An uneventful race sure but getting into a groove after the season Sexton has had is a great thing. The Honda HRC brass should be incredibly pleased with the progress of their future mainstay, especially after Sexton’s Houston injury.
No. 21 Jason Anderson– Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (Third Place)
Eventful would be a good way to describe Tuesday for El Hombre. Anderson would top the charts in qualifying, but in his heat race he ended up getting landed on by Alex Ray in midair. Luckily both riders ended up being ok from what could have been a downright horrible accident. But after visibly showing his displeasure at Ray, Anderson would end up having to run in the LCQ.
After a trivial win in the LCQ, Anderson would have a strong showing in the Main Event. Anderson would start picking riders off in front of him having started around ninth. He ended up making a couple of strong passes by a couple of tough customers in Webb and Justin Barcia. Afterward, Anderson would sail on and pick up his second podium of the season. While this has not been the season Anderson was hoping for, he has looked exceptionally good as of late.
No. 2 Cooper Webb– Red Bull KTM (Sixth Place)
Despite not looking good at all during qualifying, the expectation was that Webb would still be a contender for a win. And although a sixth is not a brutal result, Webb certainly could have been a lot better. A big problem for Webb in the early part of the Main Event was the whoops section. He noticeably struggled there and ended up making a mid-race adjustment to run on the inside part of the section. Webb however did not seem on top of things on Tuesday at any point. He took a good start and progressively slid down the running order as the night went on.
With little time remaining, Webb made a big mistake on a roller jump, falling off his bike on the downside. This untimely error allowed Eli Tomac to take fifth place from him and Webb never recovered. The good news for Webb is that he still has a 13-point lead over Roczen with just three rounds left. But giving Roczen the scent of blood in the water at this stage could come back to haunt him.
No. 27 Malcolm Stewart– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (21st Place)
Stewart, who has had a decent stretch of poor results, had his string of bad luck come to ahead. Just seconds into the Main Event, he would wreck over his handlebars on the very first jump on the track. Unfortunately, Stewart would have to ride the medical cart back to the back and his night would end right there. In his last five outings, Stewart has no top fives, and four finishes outside the top 10. But if there is one place Stewart has the 450-field covered, it’s in the kit game. Over the last two rounds in Atlanta, he has brought out a couple of Los Angeles Laker-inspired gear sets. Would be hard to argue that these kits are not some of the best we have seen all year. (Pictured bottom right, then left).
— Yamaha Racing (@yamaharacingcom) April 11, 2021
— Yamaha Racing (@yamaharacingcom) April 14, 2021
With just one round remaining in Atlanta and three rounds left on the year, business is about to pick up. Webb has seemingly shown a dent in the armor and Roczen has maybe one shot to take advantage. On the 250 side of things, could Cooper wrap up the 250 West Title early, or does McAdoo give himself a chance heading into Salt Lake City? With all that in mind, these last few rounds are absolutely must-watch television.