The current week in dirt bikes, presented by Thor MX Australia.
Words: Alex Gobert/Jeremy Hammer
There’s just one round to go in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross and, right now, it’s near certain that Cooper Webb will lock down his first-career 450SX championship this weekend. Welcome to Motoview presented by Thor MX Australia on MotoOnline.com.au.
Webb holds a 23-point advantage in the series entering the Las Vegas finals on Saturday night (Sunday here in Australia), so barring any disaster, he should be able to bring home the crown for Red Bull KTM. It’s a remarkable feat, considering the rider and results that we saw just one year ago.
Following such a stellar 250 career in which he won two supercross titles, his rookie 450SX series in 2017 resulted in 13th and 2018 saw him take ninth. The 23-year-old had his share of ill fortune and injury along the way, but few could’ve predicted the turnaround that we’ve witnessed in 2019.
There were glimpses of form from Anaheim 1, but ever since breaking through at A2 for his first-ever premier class victory in the Triple Crown, Webb has been spectacular. The records show that he’s taken 12 podiums in 16 races so far, seven of those being in the middle step for the victory.
If Webb does go on to wrap it up, it’ll be the fifth straight year that either a KTM or Husqvarna has clinched the supercross championship in the US. From Ryan Dungey’s three-peat between 2015 and 2017 to Jason Anderson’s historic 2018 title with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna, the Austrian-based brands owned by KTM Group have set the absolute highest of benchmarks.
Is it the relentless development KTM has put into the current generation SX-F range? Has it been the input of Aldon Baker as the KTM Group trainer? Was Webb actually capable of this all along? It’s probably a combination of all of the above and it’s been superb to watch. As we’ve suggested before, this season will have to go down as one of the greatest ever.
Of course, the 250SX championships will go down to the wire and be decided at Sam Boyd Stadium as well, with Adam Cianciarulo holding an eight-point lead in 250SX West and Chase Sexton nine points up in 250SX East. We can’t wait! That’s it from me for this week, here’s Jeremy with more…
The MX Nationals is headed to Murray Bridge in South Australia this weekend for the first double-header of the year, and well, it’s set to be one of the most pivotal weekends of the season.
Murray Bridge has long been a favourite circuit amongst riders, largely due to its rich dirt that diversifies between soft and loamy in sections, and harder and ruttier in others. The talk amongst the pits at the moment is the venue has supposedly undergone an overhaul and will serve up a Murray Bridge like we’ve never seen before.
Good thing though, the dirt is of course the same, so fingers crossed the layout will offer up opportunities for passing and creative lines, which will make for some exceptional racing.
We broke the news a couple of weeks ago that three-time reigning champion Dean Ferris intends to race this weekend’s event as he continues the hunt of locking down a deal in Pro Motocross, receiving support from the Raceline KTM outfit while he remains down under.
Back then, he said he would evaluate his feeling on the SX-F 450 before committing to the double-header, although while we’re still to check-in with him, his name is on the entry list and social media comments indicate he’ll be on the start line donning the number one plate.
It could serve up a real curveball in the championship as he steals points from the lead group who need them most, but, Ferris has only raced once since Coolum’s finale last year, and he’s only spent two weeks on the KTM, so it’s hard to predict what to expect of him. Either way, he’s always going to be strong!
Majority of racers are pretty familiar with the back-to-back days of racing by now, but that doesn’t change the fact that there’s so much to gain and even more to lose this weekend. A poor Saturday can put in you in the wrong headspace for Sunday, or worse, injury could rule you out entirely, resulting in massive loss of points. Plus there’s always the opportunity to capitalise on others’ misfortune.
Murray Bridge is always one of my favourite rounds to attend, and with the double-header taking place Ferris’ return on the cards, I’m pretty damn excited to be there on the ground!
That’s it for this week, we’ll catch you next Wednesday with another Motoview presented by Thor MX Australia feature! In the meantime stay tuned to MotoOnline.com.au for the latest daily content and be sure to follow us on social media via @motoonline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.