HOUSTON — Round three of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, finished its tripleheader inside NRG Stadium Saturday and delivered the third winner in as many rounds.
Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb made a last lap pass to capture the 450SX class win in front of 9,115 limited-attendance, pod-style seated, enthusiastic fans.
Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen was on Webb’s rear tire at the end for second and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo brought home his first podium in 2021.
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class also delivered its third winner in three rounds when Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols fought past his teammate to grab his first win in two years.
Webb led at the 450SX class event holeshot line but Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen hung close then moved past him two minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race.
Adam Cianciarulo settled into third with season-opener winner Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia close behind. Defending champ Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac was off to a mid-pack start and moved up through the field steadily.
Barcia was the fastest rider on the track, but a crash in the sand section after the midpoint of the race ended his chances of a podium finish.
Roczen pulled, what appeared as, a comfortable lead of over three seconds late in the race, but Webb started his charge and moved his KTM up to the Honda rider’s rear wheel in the closing laps. Webb benefitted when a lapper flustered Roczen on the final lap; Webb took advantage and tucked inside a 180-degree corner, cut across the ruts, and sealed his spot in the lead.
The win was the 12th for Webb and the 50th Monster Energy Supercross victory for KTM; an impressive milestone with their first win coming in 2012.
The second-place finish pushed Ken Roczen into the points lead, only one point ahead of both Webb and Barcia.
The Eastern Regional 250SX class delivered its own excitement as Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig took the early lead and looked poised to repeat his round one win, but his teammate Colt Nichols kept close and made his first pass into the lead with just under three minutes left on the race clock.
Craig fought back, but within two laps Nichols charged past again and made it stick to put himself into a title points tie with Craig. Last weekend’s first-time winner, Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence, got a bad jump at the start and had to play catch up.
An aggressive pass on Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Michael Mosiman for third earned the Honda rider a podium on the night.
Title favorites Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s R.J. Hampshire both sat out with injuries incurred in qualifying and free practice.