Cycle News

Cycle News 2019 Issue 19 May 14

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 126 of 129

P126 CN III EMPIRE OF DIRT BY STEVE COX B ack in February, I wrote a column discussing the arrival of the "Cooper Webb Era." Three months later, he's the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion. This is an unusual occurrence in myriad ways, starting with the fact that before this year he had never won a single 450SX Supercross. I believe he might have only had one podium in his first two injury-riddled 450cc seasons. On top of that, it's his first year on a new team and a completely new motorcycle. Frequently, in the first year on a new bike, it can take a season to sort things out before a racer is really able to compete for a title. There wasn't a much "normal" about the 2019 Supercross season. Some stuff was downright bizarre. Webb got a little bit of a gift when both his teammate Marvin Musquin (knee) and title favorite Eli Tomac (back) were injured before the start of the season. This gave him a little more time than he might have usually had to build a head of steam as two of the top athletes in the sport came into the season at less than 100 percent. There's also Ken Roczen who came down with a mysterious illness just past the halfway point in the series and defending champ Jason Anderson getting hurt and exiting the championship after a mostly lackluster start to the series. But the truth is, that stuff may not have mattered at all. Webb may have done exactly what he did anyway. And what Webb did was put up 13 podium finishes (seven of them victories) in 17 rounds. On top of that, he had just two crashes in main events all season long, and both of them came in the first five races: He WHAT JUST HAPPENED Cooper Webb celebrates his first 450SX title. PHOTO: ROB KOY

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