ANAHEIM, Calif. — When Ken Roczen made a mistake on the final lap of Saturday’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross event at Angel Stadium, Cooper Webb bolted past and earned his first series victory.
Round three of the series featured the first of three Triple Crown events, where instead of running qualifiers and then a single main event, each class runs three main events and the lowest overall score determines the winner.
Red Bull KTM’s Webb pressured Honda HRC’s Roczen throughout the race until Roczen messed up a rhythm section on the final lap, handing Webb the victory in front of 42,434 ecstatic fans. Roczen was second in front of Webb’s teammate Marvin Musquin, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, Roczen’s teammate Cole Seely, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s defending series champion Jason Anderson and round-one winner Justin Barcia (Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing).
In the second main event, Webb took the holeshot and led every lap to score his second win on the night, holding off teammate Musquin at the finish, with Barcia third, Tomac fourth and Roczen fifth.
Going into the final, Webb led his teammate Musquin by three points, which meant he only needed to finish fourth place or better to win the overall. Tomac ended up leading every lap of the final Main Event while Webb rode relatively conservatively to score third, just behind Musquin and in front of Roczen.
“Last weekend, I was 10th, and I was pissed off, man,” Webb said. “That wasn’t what I wanted. So, I had some redemption this week, but to win is insane. To win two races and be on the podium in that one. I was so nervous that last one, just trying to hold on. But it’s incredible.”
Webb’s teammate Musquin went 3-2-2 on the night to score second overall, giving the Red Bull KTM team a 1-2 sweep of the class, despite a knee injury Musquin’s been fighting since the off-season.
“I just go race by race,” Musquin said. “This week, I stayed in California. The weather was pretty bad, but I took the whole week off the bike and tried to not hurt the knee too much on the bike.”
Tomac ended up third on the night with a 4-4-1 score.
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia, who won Anaheim 1 two weeks ago, had a heavy crash in the final event of the night and had to be carted off to the Alpinestars Medical Center.
Roczen leads the standings by two points over Tomac as the series heads to Oakland.
In the 250SX class, Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s points leader Colt Nichols came out of the gate on fire in the first main event, chasing Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo for the first few laps before Cianciarulo went down, handing Nichols the lead. Nichols held on to win over his teammate Dylan Ferrandis, TLD/Red Bull KTM’s Shane McElrath, Cianciarulo, and GEICO Honda’s R.J. Hampshire.
In the second event, Nichols led early but fell over when his teammate Ferrandis pressured him for the lead. Nichols remounted behind Ferrandis and McElrath, who ended up going 1-2 in the main, while Nichols ended up third in front of Hampshire and Hampshire’s teammate Cameron McAdoo.
Then, in the final 250SX event of the night, Cianciarulo held the early lead before McElrath worked his way around him to take the lead, then sprinted off with the victory over Cianciarulo and Ferrandis. Nichols ran as high as second but ended up fourth in the third event just in front of Hampshire.
After two consecutive third-place finishes in the opening two rounds of the 2019 championship, McElrath’s 3-2-1 score landed him his first 250SX class victory of the season.
“It’s just learning throughout the season,” McElrath said regarding what changed for him from the first two rounds. “We had a really good off-season, but you can’t really do a bike setup without going to the races. So, that’s really what we’ve been struggling with, and just my comfort. That’s really what we’ve been searching for.”
A 2-1-3 score for Ferrandis tied him on points with McElrath, but the tiebreaker goes to the highest finisher in the final race of the night, so Ferrandis was forced to settle for second.
Nichols ended the night third overall with a 1-3-4 score, but he still holds the points lead as the series heads to round four at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this coming Saturday night.