- Cooper Webb could clinch the title on Saturday, and that’s enough to pick him to win. If Webb wins in SLC1 and Roczen finishes in P7 or worse, it’s over—Webb is the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Champion. Webb has seven wins in 15 rounds this year, so he certainly can ascend to the top step of the SLC1 podium. Webb won three of the seven SLC rounds last year, so he’s definitely a favorite. However, Roczen has only finished outside of the Top 6 once in 2021. That was three races ago at ATL1, when Roczen rolled across the finish line in P9. Don’t expect Webb to leave SLC1 with the title, but he will want to have as big a cushion as possible going into the final round.
- Eli Tomac was on the gas at Salt Lake City last year when he took his first Supercross title. In the seven 2020 SLC Main Events, Tomac was on the podium in six of them. Without any doubt, Tomac and Webb were the masters of SLC last year. That’s likely to continue, but Webb has much more motivation to win this year. Put Tomac down for P2, and hope that he gets a good enough start to make it happen. The bad news for Tomac is that he is eliminated from the title chase if Webb finishes in P11 or better.
- You can never count Ken Roczen out, but it’s also hard to pick him to win. Roczen is unpredictable when it comes to wins. He has four victories in 2021, but three were early in the season when he swept the Indianapolis tripleheader. Roczen has just one win in the last nine Main Events, compared to six wins in that same stretch for Webb. Also, Webb had three SLC wins last year, and Roczen just one win and two podiums. However, Roczen will want to do what he can, so P3 is a good possibility. That keeps Roczen in the mix going into the final round.
- If you want to pick Chase Sexton to win, I wouldn’t argue against that vigorously, but I’m going with P4. Sexton had three 250SX East wins last year in SLC to close out his season. Clearly, Sexton is good at SLC. However, he is inconsistent in the 450SX in his rookie year. Sexton is on an 8-4-5-21-2-2-10 run, so which Sexton you get at SLC1 is anyone’s guess. I’m going with Sexton in P4, as I think the Webb/Tomac/Roczen grouping at the top will be tough to crack, as they’re all still in the championship hunt. With four Top 5s in the last six rounds and his previous 250 dominance at SLC, he has earned it. We’ll know more about Sexton on a 450 in SLC after Saturday night.
- Jason Anderson is a reliable Top 5 pick lately, and was at SLC last year. Anderson has been in the Top 5 in three of the last four rounds, and five of the last eight rounds—not bad. Anderson was also in the Top 5 in five of the seven SLC Main Events last year. That’s good enough for me to put him in P5 for SLC1.
- Justin Barcia is the King of P4 this year, but he struggled at SLC last year. Barcia has five P4 finishes in 2021, including taking P4 in three of the previous five Main Events. One thing to be worried about is Barcia’s terrible performance at SLC in 2020, where he had has two P8s, three P9s, a P20, and P21 in seven races. Putting him in the Top 7 at SLC is a risky proposition—he couldn’t do it in seven tries last year.
- Malcolm Stewart looked good in SLC last year, and had two P7 finishes—he’s my Wild Card for Saturday. This year, Stewart has been frustratingly inconsistent. He’s on a 6-11-22-6 run. He’s my pick for P7, but don’t be surprised if it is Barcia, Dylan Ferrandis, Marvin Musquin, or Aaron Plessinger. Both Ferrandis and Musquin have two P7 finishes in the last four rounds. Keep in mind that Ferrandis was strong in the 250SX West at SLC last year, while Musquin was out with injury. Plessinger struggled at SLC in 2020, and never finished better than P9. It’s definitely a toss-up with lots of solid choices.
- If you don’t wonder how I came to make my picks and you just want the choices, here you go:
1. Cooper Webb
2. Eli Tomac
3. Ken Roczen
4. Chase Sexton
5. Jason Anderson
P7 Wild Card: Malcolm Stewart9. The difference between hitting the Wild Card and missing it is enormous. Initially, it looked like Mártin Dávalos was going to be the P13 Wild Card. However, after the race, Dávalos was moved up. My pick, Broc Tickle, took P13—a nice 26-point bonus. I’ve been right around the top six-percent in the overall RMFantasySX.com standings, and I’m still there. I’m hoping to push forward at Salt Lake City.10. If you averaged 58 points per round, you’d be lead in the chase to win the 2021 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition first prize offered by RMFantasySX.com.11. SLC1 will be shown live on NBCSN and Peacock, so click on our Ultimate Motorcycling 2021 Monster Energy Supercross TV Schedule to know when to tune in. Heck, you can get a free seven-day trial for Peacock if you want to watch Qualifying. For $4.99 a month, we think it’s a deal, and that’s where the AMA National Motocross races will be.Photography by Align Media, Feld Entertainment, and Ryne Swanberg2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series Standings (after 15 of 17 rounds)
- Cooper Webb, 339 points (7 wins, 11 podiums, 13 Top 5s)
- Ken Roczen, 323 (4W, 10P, 13 T5)
- Eli Tomac, 299 (3W, 8P, 11 T5)
- Justin Barcia, 264 (1W, 4P, 10 T5)
- Aaron Plessinger, 234 (1 P, 4 T5)
- Jason Anderson, 220 (2 P, 5 T5)
- Malcolm Stewart, 209 (3 T5)
- Dylan Ferrandis, 199 (1P, 2 T5)
- Marvin Musquin, 182 (3P, 3 T5)
- Joey Savatgy, 178
- Dean Wilson, 139
- Martín Dávalos, 124
- Chase Sexton, 123 (2P, 4 T5)
- Zach Osborne, 123 (1P, 2 T5)
- Adam Cianciarulo, 120 (1P, 4 T5)
- Broc Tickle, 110
- Justin Brayton, 96 (1P, 1 T5)
- Vince Friese, 94
- Kyle Chisholm, 80
- Justin Bogle, 78
- Max Anstie, 55
- Benny Bloss, 49
- Brandon Hartranft, 32
- Tyler Bowers, 31
- Cade Clason, 31
- Mitchell Oldenburg, 29
- Alex Ray, 27
- Justin Starling, 17
- Shane McElrath, 15
- Josh Hill, 13
- Carlen Gardner, 12
- Kevin Moranz, 11
- Adam Enticknap, 9
- Fredrik Norén, 7
- Scott Champion, 5
- Henry Miller, 4
- Austin Politelli, 3
- Joan Cros, 1