2019 Nashville Supercross Results: Tomac Wins; Webb Extends Lead to 21 Points
On a warm Nashville night on a treacherous track that started disastrously for Cooper Webb, he managed to extend his lead to 21 points in the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series. Eli Tomac marched to his fourth win of the year with Blake Baggett over 11 seconds behind, and Webb filling out the Nissan Stadium podium.
Cooper Webb’s run of good luck started in his Heat after he was P10 in Qualifying, over a second off-pace. In his Heat, Webb (Red Bull KTM) went down on the first lap when he cross-jumped on Mike Alessi going into a 180-degree righthander. Alessi struck Webb from behind, and Webb went down and to the back of the pack. Unfortunately, there was a bad crash involving Ronnie Stewart and Tyler Enticknap. The Heat was red-flagged; Stewart and Enticknap were sent to the hospital.
The restarted Heat 1 continued Webb’s fortunes. On the restart, Eli Tomac took the holeshot, but Tomac’s engine failed on lap 5, sending him to the LCQ and temporarily giving Webb the lead. Tomac’s Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy took up the gauntlet and quickly passed Webb for the lead and Heat win. Musquin crashed in the Heat while running in P3 and eventually worked his way back up to P8. Finishing in P2, Webb regrettably referred to the accident as a “blessing” on the podium, yet showed no concern for the downed riders.
The final strokes of good luck came Webb’s way in the Main Event. With the fourth gate pick, Webb was able to pull off a holeshot. Webb battled for the lead early with series protagonist Musquin. Musquin promptly crashed in the whoops, seemingly taking his Monster Energy Supercross Championship hopes with him. Webb had a bit of a lead, over now-second Savatgy, but it was clear Webb was not the fastest rider in the field. However, Savatgy went down and collected Roczen with him, putting Dean Wilson in P2. Webb led the first eight laps until the Tomac freight train passed him by on lap 9 (of 26). Blake Baggett moved up to P2 on the same lap, and dogged Webb for nine laps until cleanly passing him on lap 18. In the end, Webb protected his podium finish and extended his championship lead by four points—unbelievable.
Ken Roczen looked like a winner coming into the Main, and his history of bad luck repeated itself. Roczen (Team Honda HRC) was the fastest qualifier and dominated his Heat with an eight-second lead over Cole Seely. However, Roczen was not able to convert his first gate pick into a good start, crossing the holeshot line in P6. Roczen was up to P4 a lap later, and then passed Dean Wilson for P3, putting Roczen behind Savatgy—another rider with frequent visits from misfortune. On lap four, Savatgy lost the front end early in a 180-degree right hander, taking Roczen with him. Roczen tumbled over the berm and remounted in last place, while Savatgy was done for the night. Roczen, who had serious speed all night, was able to salvage a P8 finish. Roczen now trails Webb by a virtually insurmountable 42 points with three rounds remaining.
It was an “on” night for Tomac, so he won. Much to the consternation of Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) fans and fantasy Supercross players, Tomac’s Main Event performances seem determined by his mental state. Despite having to go through the LCQ to qualify after a motor malfunction, giving him a 19th gate pick and a resulting P11 start, he was still feeling confident. Tomac moved up to P7 by lap two and into a podium slot on lap 7. A lap later, Tomac passed Dean Wilson and was going after race-leader Webb. It didn’t take long for Tomac to pass the defensive series-leader Webb, who had no interest in engaging Tomac. Tomac took off and won by over 11 seconds. That puts Tomac in a tie for second place with Musquin for P2 in the standings, 21 points behind Webb with three rounds remaining.
Crashing ruined Marvin Musquin’s night. Running in P3, Musquin (Red Bull KTM) went down as the Heat clock was approaching zero, putting him outside of a qualifying position. However, Musquin was able to pass Austin Politelli and Mike Alessi to qualify for the Main with a lousy 16th gate pick. Musquin didn’t let that bother him, as he was in P2 at the holeshot line. Musquin briefly battled with holeshotter Webb until Musquin cross-rutted in the vicious whoops and went down on the second lap, remounting in P20.
Marvin Musquin did an admirable salvage job on a tough night on a difficult track. From P20 on lap 2, Musquin worked his way up to P15 two laps later, and then the top ten by lap 7 with less than a quarter of the race completed. Musquin was able to pick off Tyler Bowers (lap 8), Josh Hill (lap 9), Justin Barcia (lap 15) and finally Cole Seely (lap 21) before his progress stalled at P6 with five laps remaining. With Webb dropping back to P3, Musquin’s P6 lost him just four points. However, four races from the end of the year, Musquin needed to be winning, and he is now 21 points out of the lead and tied with Tomac. It was Musquin’s fourth time off the podium in the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series.
Blake Baggett continues to be as unpredictable as Eli Tomac. After finishing in P7 and P8 in the two previous rounds, Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV/WPS/KTM) came back to life with a strong P2 in Nashville. It wasn’t easy, as he had a 9th gate pick that he converted to a P5 start. Baggett was gifted P3 when Savatgy went down with Roczen. Baggett dropped off the podium when Tomac passed him on lap 7, only to take the spot back by passing Dean Wilson two laps later. Baggett dogged Webb for nine laps before taking over P2.
Dean Wilson didn’t return to the podium, but he was close. As a fill-in rider for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing for the second time in his career, Wilson has not made anyone at Husky regret giving him a ride. Following up the Houston Triple Crown podium, Wilson ran in P2 for laps 4 through 7 before surrendering it to Eli Tomac. Baggett ended Wilson’s podium run with a pass on lap 9. Wilson never challenged for the top 3, as he was five seconds behind Webb when the checkers waved. Wilson should finish the year in P6 in the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series. Wilson is 18 points behind Baggett, and 44 points ahead of Cole Seely. Again, an excellent fill-in performance.
It was another miserable night for Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing. You know it’s a lousy night for Yamaha when there were no YZ450Fs on-track at the finish. Privateer Ryan Breece’s P18 makes him the top Yamaha on the night, even though he completed only 21 of 26 laps. Barcia pulled off after 15 laps and rode to the pits with his mechanic. Barcia has gone 17-17-19 in the last three races. Fill-in factory rider Josh Grant only made it through five laps.
Five riders did not finish the Main Event on the challenging Nissan Stadium track. Vets Justin Barcia and Josh Grant, rookies Joey Savatgy and Justin Hill, and privateer Ryan Breece all failed to make the finish line.
Nine riders either bettered or tied their best finishes of the year. Eli Tomac (P1), Zach Osborne (P5), Tyler Bowers (P10), Chris Blose (P11), Ben Lamay (P12), Kyle Chisholm (P13), Justin Starling (P15), Austin Politelli (P16), and Ryan Breece (P18). This can happen late in the year when injuries thin the field, and other riders have problems with a challenging track. It pays to hang in there until the end.
Attending the Nashville Supercross were MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez and his Moto2 race-winning brother Alex. They’re in America for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas next week. Marc is a formidable motocrosser and flat tracker, in addition to being a five-time MotoGP World Champion. Alex has a Moto3 World Championship trophy at home. As Marc rides for the Repsol Honda Team, they were undoubtedly rooting for HRC teammates Ken Roczen and Cole Seely. Here, the Márquez brothers are examining the crumbly, rocky Tennessee soil.
Four-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey took to the track before the racing started to promote charitable contributions to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. To motivate fans to donate, St. Jude has a This Shirt Saves Lives t-shirt promotion. Some motorcycles were adorned with This Race Saves Lives graphics, as well as stickers of art created by St. Jude patients. The custom plastic will be sold to benefit St. Jude in an online auction beginning April 10.
It’s off to Tomac Country as the series heads to Denver next week. They’ll be racing at the open-air Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Tomac’s home state and altitude. The current weather predictions indicate only a slight chance of rain, along with a chilly 44 degrees when the Main Event gate drops. The racing will be televised live on NBCSN, starting at 8:30 p.m. ET (Eastern Time, not Eli Tomac). NBC Sports Gold subscribers can stream the Qualifying beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. As always, bookmark our 2019 Supercross Television Cable and Streaming Television Schedule.
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.