MILLVILLE, Minn. – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb swept both motos en route to his first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship triumph Saturday during the Frescados Tortillas Spring Creek National at Spring Creek MX Park.
In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo prevailed to take his sixth victory of the season, extending his lead in the championship standings.
A series of thunderstorms, accompanied by nearby lightning, forced race officials to adjust the race day schedule, which ultimately delayed the start time of the opening moto one hour. The heavy rainfall provided riders with challenging track conditions throughout the afternoon.
As the gate dropped on the opening 450 Class moto, Isaac Teasdale emerged with the first holeshot of his career over Webb and local hero Henry Miller. As the 40-rider field charged out of the first turn, Webb blasted by Teasdale to take over the top spot and lead the opening lap. Miller was credited in second, while TPJ Racing rider John Short moved into third, just ahead of Teasdale.
Webb immediately took advantage of a clear track and quickly opened a gap over his competition, while Miller maintained his hold of second. Teasdale managed to get back around Short for third, however, it would be short lived as Eli Tomac was on the move and wasted no time overtaking both riders.
Tomac’s march to the front continued as he tracked down Miller and took over the second position with an aggressive move around the outside of the first turn. Shortly after, Miller had company from Marvin Musquin, who made the pass for third, shuffling Miller to fourth.
Over the ensuing laps Tomac used every inch of the racetrack to close in on Webb, and as the moto neared its completion Tomac found himself searching for a way past the race leader. However, Webb withstood the challenge and responded by picking up his pace, which kept Tomac at bay. When the checkered flag waved, it was Webb who held on to take the first 450 class moto victory of his career by 11.8 seconds over Tomac.
Musquin remained unchallenged en route to third. Zach Osborne was fourth, while Miller finished an impressive fifth in front of the home crowd.
Moto 2 saw Webb carry the momentum from his first moto win to take his class-leading sixth holeshot over Ken Roczen and Short. As Webb and Roczen set the pace out front, several riders found themselves collected in a first turn pileup, including championship contender Musquin. Tomac was mired deep in the field as well, and fought to put himself inside the top-10 at the end of the opening lap.
Behind the lead duo, the battle for third began to heat up as Osborne closed in on Short, and eventually made the pass stick for third. Despite Webb’s strong riding out front, Roczen started bridging the gap and was able to make a successful pass attempt for the lead. Just a few corners later, Webb aggressively dove to the inside of Roczen to retake the lead.
While pushing the pace up front, Webb came up short on the landing of one of the uphill jumps, which forced him to the ground and allowed Roczen to inherit the lead. Webb was able to remount in second with Osborne just behind. As the race entered its final stages, Webb was relentless and chipped away at Roczen’s advantage.
He soon found himself once again contending for the moto win and set his sights on the lead. With just two laps remaining, Webb made the pass stick on Roczen navigating the sand rollers. He quickly distanced himself, but Roczen laid it all on the line on the final lap to close to within less than a bike length as they navigated the final few corners.
Webb pushed all the way until the checkered flag, and was able to narrowly edge out Roczen by 0.3 of a second. Osborne finished in a distant third. Tomac, who endured through a tip over of his own, only managed to fight his way up to fifth in the conditions.
The 1-1 moto scores by Webb netted him both the first overall podium and overall victory of his career. He becomes the 69th different 450 class winner in Pro Motocross history, and just the second to do so at Spring Creek MX Park.
“I really wanted that second moto win,” explained Webb. “I definitely put on a hard charge in Moto 2, but it was really nice to get the job done with a 1-1 and take both motos. With the success I had earlier this year [in AMA Supercross], it definitely elevated my expectations. There was a lot of stuff to figure out at the beginning of the outdoor season with setup, but I feel like we’re in a good position with where we’re at now. The break allowed me to get the bike in a good spot and kind of get myself mentally recharged.”
Osborne (4-3) and Tomac (2-5) ended up in a tie for the runner-up spot. However, Osborne’s better second moto finish of third gave him the tiebreaker, dropping Tomac to third.
In the 250 class, Cianciarulo’s 3-1 scores gave him the seventh overall victory of his career, and his sixth in eight rounds this season. It’s the fifth time this summer that Cianciarulo has used a second-moto win to carry him to the overall victory.
“I’m not really an angry person, but after that first moto I was mad,” exclaimed Cianciarulo. “I just put my music on and focused on coming back for redemption in Moto 2. The second moto went much better and I just put my head down and kept focused the entire moto. It’s incredible to get a sixth overall win of the season, and I’m just looking forward to keeping the momentum rolling as we finish off the summer.”