2019 Seattle Supercross Preview: Webb Still In CommandThe 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series moves back to the west coast on Saturday. It is getting to be crunch time for Marvin Musquin, Eli Tomac, and Ken Roczen as they try to hunt down Cooper Webb in the standings. It’s not even close to over yet, though Webb certainly is in an enviable position.
With six races remaining in the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season, only Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin control their own destinies. Every other rider—including Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen—can win out the rest of the season and still not necessarily take the championship from Webb.
The weather prediction for CenturyLink field is a good one for Cooper Webb. Webb (Red Bull KTM) has been off the podium three times in 2019—two of them were the mud races at A1 and San Diego. The chance of rain at race time in Seattle is in single digits and certainly nothing to worry about. It will be chilly though—about 50 degrees.
The track looks to be interesting, with some sand and a flat corner before the finish line jump. The start should be a fast one—after a 180-degree right hander, there are a couple of simple jumps and a nice little straight. That should get more riders through cleanly. If it’s close at the end, the 180-degree flat right-hander before the finish could provide an epic ending to the Main.
Marvin Musquin will be trying to build on his first 2019 Monster Energy Supercross win. It took 11 rounds, but Musquin (Red Bull KTM) finally took the win in Indianapolis. Musquin is still in the championship hunt because he has as many podiums as Webb, though the lack of wins has Musquin 14 points back. Still, with six rounds to go, 14 points are undoubtedly reclaimable. Musquin must build on this little bit of momentum. It was the first time Musquin had beaten Webb since the San Diego mudder.
Eli Tomac still has a chance, but there’s little that he has done to think we’ll see his motorcycle sporting a red plate again this year. It’s hard to imagine, but Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) has been off the podium more often than he has been on it in 2019. While three of those five podiums were wins, that’s not enough consistency when the series leader has five wins and eight podiums. Being back 21 points with six rounds to go is tough, especially with two riders to pass to take the lead.
Something physical is bothering Ken Roczen, and his title hopes are just about over. Two P8 finishes in a row have put Roczen 27 points behind Webb and in P4 in the overall standings. Roczen (Team Honda HRC) has a grand total of zero wins in over two years and, like Tomac, fewer podium appearances than misses. Here’s what Roczen had to say after Indianapolis: “I had some struggles during the week and over the past couple of weeks that have really held me back and have made it so I can’t ride and train to my full potential. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on and hopefully get some answers soon. I’ve just been getting tired and I’m not sure why.”
Keep an eye open for Blake Baggett up front. After an inconsistent start to the season, Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM) has settled in. Baggett and Webb are the only riders to finish in the top five in all of the last five races. Baggett was a serious threat to win in Indianapolis and certainly could be on top at Seattle. At this point, Baggett has a solid hold on P5 in the standings. Baggett trails Roczen by 32 points, so there’s not much chance of moving up, and he has a 21-point cushion over Dean Wilson, who hasn’t had a top-five finish since A2.
Barcia looked good returning from a concussion injury. Few would have thought that in Barcia’s first race after missing two rounds with a concussion that he would have his best finish since his opening round win in Anaheim. That’s just what Barcia did when he finished in P5, so things are looking up a bit for the injury-rocked Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team. Further, Josh Grant has been tapped to ride Aaron Plessinger’s bike for the rest of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series. Grant will be hungry, but don’t expect much.
Supercross racing will be live on NBCSN this week, and for the rest of the year. There won’t be the horrendous delay NBCSN had last week in Indianapolis, so you can tune in at 10 p.m. ET for the racing and see it as it happens. NBC Sports Gold subscribers can watch Qualifying at 4 p.m. ET—great for the hard-core fans and fantasy supercross players. As always, refer to our 2019 Supercross Cable and Streaming Television Schedule.
Photography by Rich Shephard
2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 11 of 17 rounds)