A pattern emerges but the points remain close for Round 7


2/13/2019

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Round 6 of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season reminded the top racers in the world how the other half of the country lives. It was cold in Minneapolis last weekend. Very, very cold. Negative temps, strong winds and moments of snow outside were a harsh contrast to what the previous five rounds had enjoyed. Thankfully, the confines of a state of the art facility such as the U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis allowed them to forget about that and just go out and race with no threat of the weather interfering. More on the ramifications of 'life out east' later, but for now...

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...we'll talk about Cooper Webb being on a bit of a roll. It can safely be argued that Webb is the fastest and most consistent racer in the 450SX Class. With three wins thus far, he's the only repeat winner and, after his performance in Minnesota, he's showed he is cool under pressure and will push even the sport's most elite racers past their limits in the effort to win. 

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While rookie Joey Savatgy ran up front after a great start in the main event, Webb sat in second steadily applying pressure and sneaking a wheel in wherever he could until Savatgy folded. After that it was all over, leaving Roczen, Baggett and Musquin to fight for the scraps. Baggett eventually succumbed to the pace, wadding up in a tricky rhythm section. This resulted in Musquin and Roczen rounding out the podium, finishing very close to one another but a ways back of Webb.

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Further back still were other title favorites Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac. While Barcia is still recovering from a bruised tailbone that's a few weeks old, Tomac was running the points leader red plate and coming off a win in San Diego's mudfest. A terrible start left Tomac behind the eight ball on a track that was particularly tough to pass on, not to mention in a field of the sport's truly elite racers protecting their lines. Enter: Barcia. Capable of race winning speed at any point and also famous for riding a 'wide track', Barcia made life difficult for Tomac for several laps, but eventually made a small mistake which was all it took for Tomac to get by and move forward. He eventually made it to sixth place, but lost the red plate heading to Arlington this weekend. 

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Consistency has paid off for Ken Roczen this season. He's been the leader of several main events but has yet to put it all together for a win. What he has been able to do that nobody else has done, though, is hit the podium most of the time. In fact, he's only missed it once with a fourth in Oakland while nobody else has been even close to that level of consistency. Having said that, there are still only two points separating the top four racers in the class, and we're pushing into the halfway point of the season. That, folks, is evidence of a great season in the making.

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The 250 East Regional series began in Minneapolis, with a slew of top talent hitting the track for the first time this year. It's always exciting when the east region opens up after watching the west riders go at it for the previous five rounds, and this time was no exception. One rider did emerge from a long list of title favorites, though, and that was Austin Forkner. Fastest qualifier: check. Heat race win: check. Main event domination: check. Forkner has clearly put in the work and after a couple of seasons under his belt, it appears the time has come for this heir apparent to the title to spread his wings and fly away from the rest of the field as his 12+ second gap in the main made clear. 

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The remainder of the 250 East regional riders who really made a statement were Justin Cooper and Jordon Smith. Smith won his heat with relative ease, and both ended up on the podium after battles in the main. Otherwise, pre-race favorites Chase Sexton and Christian Craig had trouble each time they hit the track and had a night they'd rather forget. While the series promises to be a great one with plenty of battles, it appears after Round  that most of those battles will be happening behind Austin Forkner.

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Heading south to a much warmer Arlington Texas and AT&T Stadium for Round 7, we'll have the addition of a sure-fire top five rider in Zach Osborne. Injured twice in the process of preparing for this season, Osborne says he is ready to run up front and will have the benefit of no weather drama to show what he's made of. It's never easy to jump in at nearly mid-season when trying to run up front, but Osborne knows what it takes as he's been at this for nearly a decade - yet never in the top class. This will be his 450SX premier. Known for it's great dirt, the Arlington track looks interesting, particularly with the long start straight and huge sweeper on the top side. This will be another great night of racing as Webb tries to keep his momentum and the rest try to keep him in sight for the title chase. Keep up right here with live timing and scoring, and on our Instagram account @amasupercross and Facebook pages.


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