News 16 Oct 2018

Monster Cup shakedown a mixed one for Webb in KTM debut

Sights already set on moving forward as 2019 season approaches.

Image: Supplied.

Highly-rated Red Bull KTM signing Cooper Webb experienced a low-key first official appearance with the factory team at the weekend’s Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas, settling for 12th overall following the three finals.

Webb posted a decent qualifying time to feature in sixth position, then replicated that result in the opening main event. An early crash dropped him to 19th in final two, before rebounding for ninth in the last outing to complete his night.

Despite what was a challenging debut at KTM, Webb was content with his outright speed displayed and will now look to maximise the opportunity of working closely with top-level trainer Aldon Baker in the lead-up to the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season.

“It was an up and down weekend with me,” Webb declared. “It was the first race with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team, so we were just getting used to everything and taking it more as a test. I hadn’t had a lot of time on the bike, so I wanted to do a race with the team and see how they work and operate in a race day scenario and it was good to do that.

“The first main event, I didn’t get the greatest start, made a few passes and came to sixth, which was okay. The second race, I got into a pretty big crash on the start, there was a rider that hit a hay bail right off the start in the sand rollers and a couple of us got into a pretty big pile up, so I was down for a while and had to get my bike off another rider’s bike, it was a little scary. I was pretty far back and still finished strong and passed a few guys.

“In the last race, a few of us got together in the first turn and we ran off the track so I came out last again. I put my head down and made some passes and I ended up coming back to ninth. Not the greatest results on paper, but I felt like my riding was good.

“Overall, just to go there without any expectations and to see how I operate and how the team operates was our main goal. I kept fighting and showed some good speed and I’m happy to get the off-season going and get the program going with Aldon so we can get better for Anaheim.”

Webb’s move comes as one of the most instrumental of the silly season, departing Yamaha following two underwhelming years in the premier class to join Marvin Musquin aboard the factory 450 SX-F. Last year’s Monster Cup winner Musquin also had a tough night in Vegas, claiming 11th overall with a best finish of P2 in the opening encounter.