Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb carries the 450SX Championship points lead into the second half of the 2019 AMA Supercross Championship after a second-place finish at the brutally tough Daytona SX in Daytona Beach, Florida. His teammate, Marvin Musquin, put forth a solid ride for third, giving KTM a great podium presence at Round 10.
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC – WPS – FLY – KTM’s Blake Baggett fought hard inside the lead battles all evening to finish just outside the podium in fourth.
After qualifying third overall in the combined qualifying sessions, Webb lined up in 450SX Heat 2, where he got caught up in a multi-rider pileup in the sand, beginning back in seventh. He quickly powered his KMT 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into fourth by lap two and from there, he grabbed two more positions to secure a second-place transfer into the Main Event. As the gate dropped for the 450SX Main Event, Webb found himself around the top-five and he settled into fourth early on. Following a close battle for a podium position ahead, Webb sat back for the first five laps before capitalizing on other riders’ mistakes as he moved into second-place on lap seven. From there, Webb worked hard to chip away at the gap on the leader while also fending off a hard-charging pack of riders behind. Webb handled the pressure late in the race to ultimately best his teammate Musquin for second-place, where he now holds a 19-point lead in the championship standings.
Webb: “I got a really good start in the Main Event and just made a bunch of mistakes the first lap – I missed the rhythm and got passed by a few guys, went back to about sixth and had some work to do. I made some great passes and it was a great battle all night. It was cool to battle Blake and Marvin, we were all making mistakes but also kind of going for it. Once I got into second, I tried to make a run on Eli and I made some mistakes and also had some pressure from Marvin, so I was kind of in a weird spot. I struggled in a few places – the whoops being one of them – but overall, it was a good night.”
It was a consistently good day of racing for Musquin, who qualified on top of the stacked field of 450SX riders. In heat one, Musquin also got hung up in the sandy pileup after the start, where he sat back in tenth on the opening lap. The French rider reached a transfer position by lap two and he continued to climb his way up to finish fifth in the heat race. In the Main Event, Musquin powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into third off the start and quickly put himself into second by lap two. Musquin engaged in an intense three-way lead battle during the first half of the race but on lap six, he made a mistake that sent him off-track. Upon re-entering, Musquin stalled the bike briefly, which resulted in him losing three positions and dropping back to fifth. He then battled his way back up to third, finding himself directly behind his teammate Webb as the KTM duo diced back-and-forth for the second-place position. Despite a few solid attempts, Musquin wasn’t able to get around Webb before the checkers and he rounded out the podium in third.
Musquin: “Daytona was overall a great day. The riding was good but unfortunately, I started making a couple mistakes by stalling the bike and that cost me a lot of time. I’m a little bit bummed because the speed was better than the guys in front of me but I was in third place. It’s good to be on the podium obviously but I’ve got to minimize the mistakes and be a little more consistent to be ahead of those guys.”
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing’s Shane McElrath, who currently sits third in the 250SX West standings, lined up in the 450SX class aboard his KTM 250 SX-F on Saturday. McElrath powered his way to a direct transfer into the Main Event with an eighth-place finish in the 450SX heat race. In the Main, McElrath charged his way from outside the top-15 on the opening lap to ultimately finish 12th in the premier class.