Hampton, Ga., (April 17, 2021) Round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship wrapped up three events at Atlanta Motor Speedway with Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb grabbing a thrilling 450SX Class win. Previous-round winner Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen led most of the race but settled for second and defending champion Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac fought forward and finally reached as high as third for a podium finish. The penultimate round of the Western Regional 250SX Class saw Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Nate Thrasher take his second career win in front of fans stretched across the grandstands in limited capacity, pod-style seating.
Heading into the third consecutive event on the high-speed track stretched out across the infield at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Cooper Webb enjoyed a 13-point lead in the series but hadn’t looked in his best form on the red Georgia soil. When the gate dropped Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger jumped into the early lead with Roczen and fastest-qualifier Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson right on his rear wheel.
On the opening lap Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis ran into the back of Anderson on a corner entry, sending both riders to the ground and ending their hopes of a win. Just over a minute and a half into the 20-minute plus one lap race, Ken Roczen passed for the lead and immediately started to distance himself from the pack. Six and a half minutes into the race Webb got around Plessinger but did not have the speed early in the race and Roczen continued to disappear on the track ahead. Webb was staying just out of reach of Plessinger, Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia and Tomac behind him.
Then with just under five minutes remaining on the race clock, Roczen got wild in the whoops and stepped off the bike. Roczen nearly stayed on his feet and remounted quickly, still with a comfortable lead. But all was not well. Roczen would tell later that his handlebar had gotten bent from the impact. Webb saw the opportunity and he broke away from Plessinger and Tomac and ate into Roczen’s five second lead. With 23 seconds on the clock, effectively two laps remaining, Webb charged through a sand section, dove under Roczen in a bowl turn, and cut down to close off any chance of a retaliation. One bobble late on the last lap added some drama, but Webb held on for the win that meant a six point swing in the points, had he not gotten around Roczen.
The Western Regional 250SX Class delivered unbelievable drama and action but the winner of the night was Rookie Nate Thrasher. It was his second-ever career win after his first victory one week prior at the same venue. Making the first place finish even more dramatic, for the second time Thrasher had to qualify for the Main Event through the Last Chance Qualifier. In both cases the Yamaha rider won the LCQ then went on to win the Main Event in convincing fashion.
Earning second and significantly stretching out his points lead, Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper grabbed the holeshot and looked on his way to the win but a crash and injured rider on the track brought out the red flags for a re-start. Cooper duplicated his incredible start and put his Yamaha up front again on the re-start but lost the lead to his teammate in the early laps. Cooper rode steady and unchallenged in second to stretch his lead in the championship chase to 20 with one round remaining in the division.
Heading into the race, much of the focus was around Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo, whose dramatic crash and courageous ride on Tuesday night had him in intense physical recovery for three days. His final race in Atlanta started out bad; he had a huge crash in qualifying after separating from his bike off the face of a triple jump. He was clearly affected with soreness and pain in his heat race, dropping outside of a transfer position before picking up his pace and reaching seventh place for a spot in the Main Event. When the gate dropped for the Main Event, Cameron came together with another rider in a low rhythm section and while recovering from that got hit in the back of the head by another rider’s rear wheel as he jumped nearly completely over McAdoo. McAdoo remounted but one rider was down on the track, necessitating a full restart for the second time in a 250SX Class Main Event in the past two rounds.
In the re-start, McAdoo jumped out with a sixth place start, but less than three minutes into the 15-minute plus one lap Main Event he ran into the back of teammate Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker when Hammaker made a mistake in the whoops. The crash also collected Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Pierce Brown. That set McAdoo back to eleventh, but his troubles weren’t over. Less than five minutes into the race ClubMX / IAMACOMBACK / Yamaha’s Garrett Marchbanks aggressively rode under McAdoo in a bermed corner and sent both riders down to the ground. Their bikes locked together and McAdoo finally remounted in 17th position. The Kawasaki rider was able to advance four positions to earn a very hard-fought 13th place finish, putting him 22 points down in the title hunt, and dropping him from second to third in the standings.
Another 2021 race winner, Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence, ran into some troubles of his own when he went off the track and over a Tuff Blox, throwing him to the ground on the opening lap. Lawrence got to work climbing back through the pack from 18th place; he salvaged an impressive fourth place finish on the night.
The thrilling event also marked the kick-off to the St. Jude We Won’t Stop campaign online auction which will be held from April 19 until May 3 with incredible items, both race-related and otherwise. For more information please go to SupercrossLIVE.com/stjude.
The series next heads to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City for the penultimate 450SX Class event and Round eight of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class on Saturday, April 24. Then one week later, at the same venue, the final round of the season to determine three championships with a 450SX race and the 250SX East/West Showdown. Tickets are on sale in a limited capacity, pod-seating format. Both rounds will be shown live on simultaneous broadcasts on Peacock and NBCSN. Please visit SupercrossLIVE.com for full results, season highlight videos and more racing information.
450SX Class Results
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
- Dean Wilson, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
- Chase Sexton, Clermont, Fla., Honda
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (339)
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (323)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (299)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (264)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (234)
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.Mex., Husqvarna (223)
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (209)
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (199)
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (182)
- Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM (177)
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha
- Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
- Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
- Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna
- Enzo Lopes, Huntersville, N.C., Honda
- Mitchell Harrison, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
- Dilan Schwartz, Alpine, Calif., Suzuki
- Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Justin Cooper, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (180)
- Hunter Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (160)
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki (158)
- Seth Hammaker, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki (142)
- Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (138)
- Nate Thrasher, Livingston, Tenn., Yamaha (127)
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha (125)
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda (111)
- Coty Schock, Dover, Del., Honda (99)
- Mitchell Harrison, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (90)