Cooper Webb: En Route to AMA SX Title #2?
After Honda’s Ken Roczen nailed three Main event wins on the trot in Indianapolis, it was starting to look like the German might finally be on track to win his first AMA Supercross crown. And given Kenny’s rotten luck and string of gnarly injuries in recent years, there’s no doubt he’d be a popular winner.
But at last weekend’s Round 8 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross – the 17-round series’ second consecutive weekend in Orlando, Florida – KTM’s Cooper Webb sure put Roczen on notice that the title was far from a done deal. In a clinical performance, the 2019 450SX champ posted his second consecutive Main event win (just 2 seconds ahead of his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate, Marvin Musquin, who posted his third podium of the year), and that cut Webb’s deficit to Roczen from 16 to just 6 points. Interestingly, the last time Webb clocked two consecutive race wins – in 2019 – he went on to win the title.
But it’s not just Webb’s race wins that are reminiscent of 2019; it’s the guy’s confidence and aggression, plus the mind games and niggle he brings to the competitive table. Clearly, Webb is loving being the hunter – not the hunted – this time around, and was more than happy to remind Roczen that he’d levelled the scorecard with three wins apiece this season, and that carrying the red plate can be a heavy burden. Yep, you’ve got to love the psychological warfare at play at the elite level of the spot.
Roczen sure didn’t make things easy for himself at Orlanda #2 (Round 8). After getting pinched at the start, the points leader methodically worked his way up from 17th up to fourth in a very impressive ride on the slick, unforgiving hardpack track, with GASGAS’s Justin Barcia only just keeping Kenny off the podium.
“This one is huge. Back-to-back wins is amazing!,” said an excited Webb after the Main event. “It was a great race battling with AC [Adam Cianciarulo] and great points for tonight. Marvin was riding great. I knew he was coming there at the end and I know how strong he is because we ride and train together every day. I felt like, start to finish, I was in my comfort zone just clicking laps away and it felt really good. KTM going one and two is incredible; this is an awesome feeling.”
Aside from Webb’s back-to-back Orlando wins breaking the momentum of Roczen’s win streak, the KTM rider is also likely to benefit from the two-week break until the series resumes on a sandy Daytona track on March 6.