It was a rock-solid day for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team as points leader Cooper Webb took one step closer toward becoming a first-time AMA 450SX Champion with a big victory at the penultimate round of the 2019 series in East Rutherford, New Jersey. His teammate, Marvin Musquin, had an impressive come-from-behind performance to secure a top-five finish after battling his way from almost last in the first turn.
Coming into the weekend, Webb had a mathematical chance at wrapping up the 450SX title and while the chase will head to the final round, Webb did everything right to come away with the victory and a 23-point margin over Eli Tomac. Webb kicked off the day with a top-five qualifying position, where he lined up in 450SX Heat 2. Off the start, Webb put himself into sixth before powering his way into third by lap five. He continued to push his way into second, finishing just behind his teammate Musquin in the heat. In the Main Event, Webb shot off the line aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION where he assumed the early lead in the race. He quickly engaged in a close battle with Eli Tomac for the first eight laps as the two riders diced back-and-forth. Knowing exactly what he needed to do, Webb patiently settled into the second-place position early on. Tomac eventually made a mistake and went down on lap nine, allowing Webb to make his way into the lead. From there, Webb put forth a poised performance to ultimately hold off the competition and earn his seventh victory of the season.
Webb: “Overall, I felt like it was a good race. I felt like I rode in a nice pace that was consistent and I’m not saying that the other guys weren’t, but the mistakes they made were definitely the difference. I’m happy, another win is incredible and we’re inching a little closer to the final goal.”
It was Musquin who got an incredible start to the day, claiming the top qualifying position before claiming a win in 450SX Heat 2. He powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into second on the opening lap and he battled for the lead through the first half of the race, making the pass on lap five. Musquin held on strong to carry the heat-race win and much momentum into the Main Event. As the gate dropped for the 450SX Main Event, Musquin got a great jump off the line as he came into the first turn in a good position. However, he lost balance and crashed into the rider ahead of him coming out of the first turn and the entire field trampled over him. Re-mounting in almost last, Musquin immediately began charging his way through the pack. By lap eight, Musquin had broken into the top-10 and he continued to pick off riders to bring himself inside the top-five with a last-minute pass just before the checkered flag.
Musquin: “It was a huge bummer to have that crash in the first turn, considering I was feeling great all day today. From dead last I came back to fifth-place, it’s a good race but it didn’t bring me what I wanted points-wise and I wanted to win tonight. But is what it is, it’s racing and things like that obviously happen.”