Taking the time to recover from the effects of season-ending concussion.
Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb has revealed that his crash in Nashville will spell the end of his 2023 Monster Energy Supercross campaign, cutting short his bid for a third 450SX crown.
The 27-year-old two-time champion fell on the first lap of heat one while fighting for the lead, incidentally clipped by Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) on the way through.
Webb was concussed in the impact and, although since cleared of further serious injury, will take the time to recover in missing the final two rounds of the season. It leaves defending champion Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) in the box-seat to earn a third premier class crown, now 18 points ahead of round 15 winner Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC).
“As many of you saw, I suffered a concussion last night in Nashville,” 2019 and 2021 champion Webb explained. “I am thankful everything else has checked out okay. This will unfortunately put an end to my SX season. It hurts to have it end like this, but I can hold my head high knowing that I gave it my all.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team manager, Ian Harrison, echoed Webb’s sentiments, acknowledging that safety is paramount for the team’s riders, despite the disappointment of being ruled out of contention this late in the 17-round Supercross season.
“It’s definitely not the end to the 2023 Supercross championship season that the team had hoped for, but we are very relieved that Cooper is okay after what had the potential to be a very nasty accident, as he was really going for it when he went down in a racing incident,” commented Harrison.
“Our riders’ health and safety are very important to the team, so knowing he is going to be okay is a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders. Obviously, we were really looking forward to taking the championship hunt all the way down to the final Supercross race in Salt Lake City, but unfortunately, that won’t be the case this year.
“It’s disappointing, but we will turn our focus towards our 250 riders’ final Supercross races of the season, as well as supporting Aaron Plessinger as he heals from his crash at the previous round in New Jersey, and get a jump start on preparing for the upcoming Pro Motocross Championship season.”
This season has marked a spectacular return to form for Webb riding the 450 SX-F Factory Edition, securing nine podium finishes over the course of the opening 14 rounds, which included two 450SX main event victories in Tampa and Arlington, respectively. He entered Nashville ranked second in the standings, 11 points outside of the red plate prior to his fall.