2019 Atlanta Supercross Results: Webb Wins; KTM Sweeps
Cooper Webb’s campaign toward the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship received a massive boost at the Atlanta Supercross with a flag-to-flag win that more than doubled his series lead over Ken Roczen. Webb held off persistent rides by Blake Baggett and teammate Marvin Musquin with consistent laps on the clay inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. KTM swept the podium as championship contenders Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac were never a threat to the three leaders.
Cooper Webb put in another championship-quality ride to take his fifth win in nine races. Although it wasn’t a spectacular victory, Webb (Red Bull KTM) withstood withering pressure from Musquin early and Baggett later on his way to the win. It wasn’t until the penultimate lap that Webb was able to build a two-second lead. For nine of the 26 laps, Webb’s lead was under one second. Much of Webb’s success came from his ability to navigate the 270-degree right-hand sand turn successfully and the following tunnel jump. While Webb had a tough time in the deteriorating whoops, he was always able to build up enough of a lead to stay in front. Grabbing the holeshot and never relinquishing the lead will undoubtedly give Webb yet another confidence boost, and further frustrate his competitors.
Marvin Musquin looked like a potential winner, but two critical mistakes left him two seconds short of a victory. Musquin (Red Bull KTM) was hounding Webb for the first half of the race, often putting in faster times than Webb. Musquin had four 47-second laps in the first eight laps, compared to just two for Webb. When Musquin, who was strong in the whoops, went for an inside pass on lap 10 in the 180-degree right-hander after the whoops, Webb cut down early. The resulting contact nearly put Musquin down and cost Musquin about one second. On lap 14, Musquin struggled in the sand, putting in his worst lap of the night and allowed Baggett by. Although Musquin dogged Baggett the rest of the way, Baggett held firm and Musquin finished in P3.
Blake Baggett returned to the podium for the first time since round 4 in Oakland with a strong ride from start to finish. Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM) had more lap times in the 47-second range than Webb, and only once poked into the 50s (lap 15). After taking over P2 from Musquin on lap 14, Baggett was able to cut the lead to under one second by lap 18. However, two laps later Webb boosted his lead to 1.6 seconds and Baggett never challenged for the win. Baggett had his hands full with Musquin, who finished less than one second behind Baggett, and that was part of the reason Webb went unchallenged to the checkers. Baggett’s podium finish moves him to the front of the battle for P5 in the standings, five points ahead of Dean Wilson, though still 25 points behind Tomac in P4.
Unless Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) wins, which he did last week, his rides are an accumulation of problems. Tomac was running a mediocre P5 for the first half of his Heat until Chad Reed passed him on lap 6 (of 9). A lap later, Reed made an error in the sand, causing him to collide with Tomac with Tomac going down. Tomac dropped to P8 and stayed there for the rest of the Heat, giving Tomac a poor gate pick for the Main. As a result, Tomac was in P13 after the opening lap, and was only able to slog his way up to P6—a half-lap behind the leaders. With Webb’s fifth win, Tomac is now P4 in the standings, a staggering 22 points behind Webb. Nine races into the season, Tomac has fewer podiums (four) than Webb has wins.
Although Ken Roczen put in a consistent ride, he was simply not fast enough to compete for the podium. For the second week in a row, Roczen (Team Honda HRC) finished off the podium, and Roczen is now 13 points behind Webb in the standings. While the leaders each had just one lap in the 50s, Roczen had seven of them, as well as no laps in the 47s. Put that all together and you have Roczen over 16 seconds out of a podium position. Further, Roczen finished just two seconds ahead of Aaron Plessinger, who went down in the sand on lap 17. Roczen may be P2 in the standings, but he has not been riding like a championship contender.
Aaron Plessinger rode to a P5 finish, the best result of his rookie year. It has been something of a tough start to the 450SX career of Plessinger (Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing) with three finishes outside the top 10 and his two P6 finishes in the mudfests being his best to date. It was different in Atlanta, as Plessinger got off to a P4 start and held the position for 16 laps. A mistake in the sand section put Plessinger down and cost him about six seconds or so. That only allowed Roczen by, so Plessinger was able to hold P5 to the end and still keep Roczen honest.
In his return from a one-race injury, Cole Seely won his Heat before fizzling in the Main. Seely (Team Honda HRC) was slow off the gate, and then got hung up in the first-corner tough blocks. That put him in P21 after the first lap. Although he was lapped, Seely did work his way up to P10. It has been a tough comeback year for Seely. His best finishes were P6s at A2 and Arlington, with him finishing outside the top 10 three times in 2019. Along with missing the previous round due to an injury in qualifying practice, Seely is P11 in the standings, 92 points behind Webb.
Next week is a highlight round—Daytona Beach. The riders will be taking to a track designed by Ricky Carmichael on the infield of Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying starts at 1 p.m ET and is only available on NBC Sports Gold. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold. Bookmark our 2019 Supercross Television Schedule so you don’t miss a race.
2019 Atlanta Supercross Results, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Cooper Webb (KTM)
Blake Baggett (KTM)
Marvin Musquin (KTM)
Ken Roczen (Honda)
Aaron Plessinger (Yamaha)
Eli Tomac (Kawasaki)
Justin Brayton (Honda)
Dean Wilson (Husqvarna)
Joey Savatgy (Kawasaki)
Cole Seely (Honda)
Justin Hill (Suzuki)
Tyler Bowers (Kawasaki)
Chad Reed (Suzuki)
Justin Bogle (KTM)
Cedric Soubeyras (Husqvarna)
Mike Alessi (Honda)
Kyle Chisholm (Suzuki)
Ben Lamay (Honda)
Alex Ray (Suzuki)
Cole Martinez (Suzuki)
Jared Lesher (Honda)
Zach Osborne (Husqvarna)
2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 9 of 17 rounds)