LAS VEGAS — A dramatic and emotional night of racing capped off the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship with the crowning of three first-time champions in Las Vegas at the Monster Energy Supercross Finals.
The Sam Boyd Stadium sold-out crowd of 39,509 packed the seats to witness Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb bring home the title with a third-place finish, giving him the championship by 18 points over event winner Eli Tomac.
The Western Regional and Eastern Regional 250SX Classes faced off for the same set of championship points in the second 250SX East/West Showdown of the year. Going into the night’s event only eight points separated the top two Western Regional riders and just nine separated the Eastern Regional riders. Western Regional athlete Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis won the main event and also his first Monster Energy Supercross title. For the Eastern Region, a fourth-place finish was more than enough to give GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton his first Monster Energy Supercross title.
After winning his first 450SX class event during round three, then backing it up with six more victories, Cooper Webb needed only to qualify into the Main Event and finish 20th out of 22 riders to ensure his first ever Monster Energy Supercross Championship. Twenty-three points back, and the only rider still with a shot at the title, Eli Tomac, could only win and then hope for a disastrous finish for Webb.
Tomac did his part, holeshotting the race and steadily pulling out a lead that reached over eleven seconds by the end; he was untouchable and other than a few close calls on the hardpack track had no challenges to his lead. Cooper Webb was second off the start but was passed in the opening corners by his Red Bull KTM teammate Marvin Musquin.
Webb settled into third with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne on his rear fender for the first few laps. Webb pulled out some breathing room, but five minutes into the 20-minute plus one lap race, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen blitzed past Osborne and set his sights on Webb.
At the midpoint of the race Roczen was within a half second of Webb, but Webb kept his composure, as he has all season, and found a little additional speed, as he has also done all season, and within a few laps he put three seconds on Roczen. The riders closed up again at the checkers but Webb held his podium position and earned his first 450SX Monster Energy title, in his third season of racing in the premiere class.
“It’s been an incredible journey, I mean, just the changes here,” Webb said. “I was a washed up tenth place guy last year and this KTM team believed in me and this group of guys took me in and transformed me and got me back to what I knew I could always be. And I really just can’t believe it; this year was not expected at all but, man, I just can’t thank those guys enough for giving me this opportunity to get back to this level and to do it this way. It’s unreal. It’s a dream come true since I was a little kid. Never thought I’d be a 450 champion, that’s for sure, but you just gotta dream at something, and this is what we did, and now we did it… It’s an incredible feeling.”
Tomac won the night, but not the title; he earned second overall in points.
“That’s all I could do tonight was control my destiny, getting out there, out front early,” Tomac said. “Just got out front with that holeshot and really rode a clean race that time, better than that heat race, more mistake-free. Great way to cap it off. Congrats to Cooper on the championship. It’s just, gosh, I gave it my all today so it’s a good way to end it.”