It’s time to get serious about the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series. Five races are remaining, spread across two venues—Atlanta Motor Speedway and Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. The three Atlanta rounds may be pivotal, and they play into the strength of two riders battling for the title. Let’s dig in and find out who you want to put on your RMFantasySX.com team for Atlanta 1.
- The track at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be more like the Daytona circuit than the stadium courses. In picking the Top 5 for Atlanta 1, the 2021 Daytona will be the best predictor of this version of A1 (not Arlington 1 or Anaheim 1) rather than previous Main Events this year. With three weeks between races, all momentum has dissipated. Atlanta 1 is more like an opening round.
- Eli Tomac is the King of Daytona, and you can expect him to excel at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Just as Tomac responded to weak performances with a win in Daytona, Tomac will likely be on top of the box at Atlanta 1. Tomac is 41 points behind Webb, with five rounds remaining. If Tomac wants to successfully defend his Supercross title, he will have to sweep Atlanta to have any chance going into the final round in Salt Lake City.
- Cooper Webb is the best rider in Supercross right now. Webb has won five of the last six Main Events, and now has a 15-point lead over Ken Roczen. Webb is also strong on the outdoor Supercross tracks, though his performances aren’t quite enough to pick him over Tomac. Webb also won’t be as motivated to win at any cost, as beating Tomac isn’t necessary to protect his lead.
- Ken Roczen needs to beat Cooper Webb to stay in the 2021 title chase. However, Roczen probably won’t have what it will take at A1 to best Tomac and Webb. Regardless, he should be a podium contender, and he’s my choice for P3.
- A strong performer at Daytona, Aaron Plessinger looks strong for P4. Plessinger took P3 at Daytona. However, Roczen is going to be highly motivated at Atlanta 1. While it is something of a tossup, I think Roczen’s motivation to keep the championship in reach will put him ahead of Plessinger.
- It is between Justin Barcia, Malcolm Stewart, and Jason Anderson for P5 at Atlanta 1. From a motivational standpoint, Stewart and Anderson have the edge. Barcia is a lonely P4 in the championship standings, 20 points behind Tomac and 31 points ahead of Plessinger. Barcia can cruise the rest of the way and take P4 for the year—not bad—so he has no need to hang it out. Stewart and Anderson are locked in a three-way battle for P5 in the standings with Plessinger. Stewart did better than Anderson at Daytona, so Stewart is my P5 pick. Of course, Barcia and Anderson are completely reasonable selections, too.
- If you’re looking for a dark horse for the Top 5, Chase Sexton is your best bet.
- The current weather forecast shows an 84 percent chance of rain when the Main Event is running. Past history shows that’s not likely to make a major difference.
- The Wild Card slot is P14 for Atlanta 1, so that’s going to be a tough one with lots of choices. Kyle Chisolm has three P15 Main Event finishes in a row. Vince Friese has been in P13, 14, or 15 in seven Main Events in 2021. Max Anstie is on a 14-16-16-13 run, so P14 is not out of the question. Broc Tickle has four finishes in the P13-15 range. Mártin Dávalos has finished in the P14-16 range on seven occasions. I’m going with Friese for the P14 Wild Card for Atlanta 1.
- For those who don’t have the patience to read my analysis—understandable—here are the Top 5 for the RMFantasySX leagues, plus the Wild Card pick.
1. Eli Tomac
2. Cooper Webb
3. Ken Roczen
4. Aaron Plessinger
5. Malcolm Stewart
Wild Card P14: Vince Friese
- We don’t want you to miss Atlanta 1, so we have our Ultimate Motorcycling 2021 Monster Energy Supercross TV Schedule to keep you informed. The racing starts at 3 p.m. EDT, so you won’t have to wait long on Saturday for the gate to drop. West Coast fans of Qualifying will have to get up early, as the coverage on subscription-only PeacockTV starts at 6 a.m. PDT! This is one of the rare rounds on over-the-air television, with NBC doing the honors.
Photography by Align Media, Feld Entertainment, Ryne Swanberg, et al
2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series Standings (after 12 of 17 rounds)
- Cooper Webb, 275 points (6 wins, 9 podiums, 11 Top 5s)
- Ken Roczen, 260 (3W, 8P, 11 T5)
- Eli Tomac, 234 (2W, 6P, 8 T5)
- Justin Barcia, 214 points (1W, 4P, 8 T5)
- Aaron Plessinger, 183 (1 P, 3 T5)
- Malcolm Stewart, 179 (3 T5)
- Jason Anderson, 171 (1 P, 3 T5)
- Dylan Ferrandis, 153 (1P, 1 T5)
- Joey Savatgy, 138
- Marvin Musquin, 136 (3P, 3 T5)
- Zach Osborne, 123 (1P, 2 T5)
- Adam Cianciarulo, 120 (1P, 4 T5)
- Dean Wilson, 110
- Justin Brayton, 96 (1P, 1 T5)
- Vince Friese, 92
- Martín Dávalos, 91
- Broc Tickle, 81
- Justin Bogle, 78
- Kyle Chisholm, 72
- Chase Sexton, 64 (2 T5)
- Benny Bloss, 48
- Max Anstie, 38
- Brandon Hartranft, 28
- Alex Ray, 19
- Mitchell Oldenburg, 17
- Cade Clason, 16
- Shane McElrath, 15
- Justin Starling, 12
- Carlen Gardner, 12
- Tyler Bowers, 8
- Kevin Moranz, 7
- Adam Enticknap, 7
- Austin Politelli, 3
- Fredrik Norén, 2
- Scott Champion, 2
- Joan Cros, 1