Cooper Webb wins Tampa Supercross: Eli Tomac retains championship lead by two points David Gravel swept first two World of Outlaws Sprint Car races in doubleheader
Cooper Webb had the perfect race takes his first Monster Energy Supercross victory in Tampa in the last 22 races.
“It’s a hell of a long time,” Webb told NBC Sports correspondent Will Christien immediately after the race.
Webb and Chase Sexton were in class Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium. After winning the race, Sexton took the lead, but a motivated Webb never let him out of his sight and waited. This strategy often works for Webb as he forces his competitors to make mistakes.
“I felt good running at that speed,” Webb continued. “I felt like I could catch him when I needed to. The lappers were tough.
“I had an important moment in whoops, and I held on to it. He had a big moment and I saw him fall. I was ready for it until the last laps. I saw that he was nervous.”
With a few laps remaining, Webb broke free, missing a section of whoops. He nearly crashed before catching his bike, but with no bystanders to tell him he had a slightly better lead over Webb than on the previous lap, Sexton kept riding the edge and when he hooked the edge he fell to the ground like clockwork. it was less than a minute.
“Overall my riding and racing is getting better,” Sexton said at a post-race press conference. “Tonight was one of the best Main Event performances I’ve had, with the exception of Anaheim 2.
“Cooper and I were arguing about who could go faster on each lap and the lappers were definitely catching up with both of us, especially on the sand section. In fact, it was just an opportunity to focus. I did not know that he had a sketchy moment on the previous lap, and this main line was getting worse and worse. I was trying to get it to work and obviously it bit me.”
Webb and Sexton ran all the way to Joey Savatgy in ninth place.
It wasn’t exactly Babe Ruth pointing at the fence to predict a home run, but before the race, Webb told NBC Sports that his “bottom line is it’s time to get that first of the year and try to maximize our points and come back a little tougher on the hunt” .
Webb’s last win came in 2021, which was a championship year. That season, once he won, he finished first or second eight times in the next 10 races.
.@CooperWebb_2 lights candles in Tampa 🔥
Monster Energy 450 Main Event Live @Kroger #SupercrossLIVE #SuperMotocross pic.twitter.com/YOSY4am1pJ
Supercross Live! (@supercrosslive) February 12, 2023
RESULTS: How they finished the 450 Main in Tampa
In 2019, he won in the third round and then won four of the next seven.
Aaron Plessinger almost made it to the podium last week. He ran well throughout the Houston race but lost speed towards the end and finished fourth. Like Webb, he was strongly motivated to improve his performance.
In Tampa, Plessinger claimed his first supermotocross podium since finishing third at the Ironman in the outdoor pro motocross season last year. I was his first Supercross podium after finishing second at Oakland in the second round of 2022.
“I just did my runs this week,” Plessinger said after the race. “I think if it wasn’t for that red flag last week, things might have been different. … If not for the red flag, I could have landed here (in Houston).
Ken Roczen recovered from eighth place last week and finished fourth in the top five in five races.
The Tampa Supercross race was uncharacteristically difficult for points leader Tomac, who lost ground to Sexton and Webb in fifth place. Webb is now just two points behind Sexton and four behind Webb in third place.
Like a rubber band, Hunter Lawrence and Nate Thrasher took part in two different races that literally converged on the last lap.
Lawrence had a poor start and got stuck in traffic during the first laps. Meanwhile, Thrasher scored a goal shot to take the lead.
But Lawrence is not the generally accepted favorite to win the 250 East division, giving up and having a patient race. Lawrence broke through the traffic and methodically cut the lead. The final laps were marked by heavy traffic and Lawrence’s more aggressive riding style brought victory.
Lawrence and Thrasher met twice on the last lap. Coming out of the sand section, Thrasher went wide and brushed Lawrence’s front wheel. The momentum lost was negligible, and on the last corner, Lawrence was able to reciprocate by pushing Thrasher offline.
“Wow, that was amazing,” Lawrence said from the top of the podium. “I’m still excited. What a trip. It was damn cool. I have some work to do at launch after this week. What a race at home here in Tampa.”
Click here to see the full 250 top results.
Thrasher recovered but failed to clear the last hurdle and finished 0.2 seconds behind Lawrence, the closest 250 since 2015.
“Hunter had a great race,” Thrasher said. “I got ahead early, just ran laps and felt like I had good pace, but at the end of the day, I was the first to run into laps, and they were never your friends. I just have to be better.”
Thrasher took his first race win of his career and almost turned this weekend into a fairy tale.
Max Anstie finished last on the podium after finishing second last week moving up from the 450 class to the 250 class.
Hayden Deegan placed third early in the race but bogged down at the end of a long stretch of sand on lap three. He lost two positions and then regained one and finished fourth in a row for the second time.
Jeremy Martin rounded out the top five for the second race in a row.
Both heats were won by riders who took their first heat wins. Thrasher’s heat 1 win was followed by Chance Hymas, who only started for the second time by 250 points. He fell to eighth in Maine and, like Deegan and Martin, repeated his finish in Houston, earning his second top 10 in two starts.
Hymas was amazed at his early success.
“This is just the beginning,” Hymas said with a hint of surprise in his voice. “And I have to keep learning, which is a crazy way to start. It’s surreal to lead the whole race and ride smoothly. Today there will be no goal on the Main. Just go there, have fun and keep learning – and see where we end up.”
Results of the race in 2023
Houston: Eli Tomac recovers from A2 crash to win third race of 2023
Anaheim 2: Triple Crown Produces New Winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Tomac and Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins first game for the first time
Tampa Supercross coverage
Tampa in numbers
Cooper Webb is a strange man in
Koti Shock is delighted with the “Tampa” after the accident in Houston
Dylan Ferrandis out of Tampa Bay with concussion
Supermotocross rankings after Houston
Eli Tomac recovers from A2 crash with Houston win
Results and points after Houston
David Gravel took the World of Outlaws Opening Day win with a pair of wins in the Friday afternoon and evening doubleheaders at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida, and came close to six wins from No. 10 on the all-time win list.
Originally scheduled one day early on Thursday, the Outlaws sprints took on the checkered flag only to see it rain as they go to stretch.
“I really wanted to race last night after how well our car did in the Dash, but now I obviously can’t complain.” This is stated in the Gravel post.. “You never know when you’re racing at the start of the day, so I was a little worried about how it would end up. It’s tough with the equipment so wide open, but Brian Morrison has built a great engine for us.”
Starting fourth in the first part of the day, Gravel advanced quickly to pass Anthony Macri on lap 11. The last 15 laps have been a breeze for Gravel – now he is good, not the one that was flooded with rain. He finished ahead of Michael “Buddy” Kofoyd and led in points in the 2023 Outlaws campaign.
Any concerns Gravel might have had about the two-race engine were quickly put aside. Seven hours later, after waiting out another long puff of rain, Gravel was back on Pobedy Lane.
Gravel beat Kofoid in both races, but in race 2 he had to take a new line to avoid bumps caused by excessive wear.
MORE: Brad Sweet thinks about legacy
“That was strange,” Gravel spoke about his pass for the lead. “I felt like something suddenly changed because the bottom was right for that long green flag run, but the top that used to feel like crap was amazing when relaunched. I don’t know if it was because of the temperature of the tires or maybe the moisture from the fog, but…