In an effort of turning around his season, Cooper Webb snagged a spot on the podium at the conclusion of the Monster Energy AMA 450SX Supercross class at Minneapolis.
“Big step in the right direction,” Webb shared after the race. “It was a great night, much better than the last few, no doubt. I liked the track, the ruts earlier in the day and then the main event was kind of a mix with the ruts, but it also hardened up a lot. I’ve got to give it up to the team, they came up with a package that helped me quite a bit.
“Nice to be back.”
To the surprise of many, it was only Webb’s second podium of the year with his runner-up result at Anaheim 1 and only his third top five finish with a fourth at San Diego. Despite holding the No. 1 plate, it was expected to see the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider compete for more wins and podiums. The failure to do so has left many scratching their heads, wondering if the new KTM 450 SX-F didn’t match his riding style or if Webb was off-pace overall. The eastbound trip in the schedule helped hit a reset button that Webb hopes to carry into the middle of the season.
“I wouldn’t say it’s that impactful but being from the East Coast, it just feels more homey,” said Webb. “Going back after crap results out west – clear head, new tracks, new people – at this level, it all makes a difference.”
We all know Webb is good. He has two Supercross championships and an ESPY nomination for a reason. But Saturday night was also a sprinkle of luck. After leading early, Chase Sexton crashed from the lead with two laps remaining, and Malcolm Stewart slid out after the big triple while in a podium position. Webb kept himself in prime position to pounce upon the misfortune of others to climb up to second when the checkered flag waved.
“I finally led some laps which felt really good,” Webb continued. “I could tell Chase was faster and probably getting impatient. Once he got around me, I put in a little fight, but I wanted to try to tuck in behind him, but then Jason was close, and he got me and I kind of got pounced on by all three guys. I just tried to stay cool, calm and collected and follow. I feel like I was riding good laps behind Jason and Mookie. I made a push behind Mookie, and he went down. Then Chase went down.
“I felt solid throughout the whole main event. I wish I could push a little harder at the five-to-12-minute mark, but overall, I can’t complain.”
The podium finish was a big help in the tight points battle. Still, Webb is down by 25 points behind Eli Tomac, almost a full race’s worth of points. With more than half of the season remaining, it’s a possibility but it would take “a lot for that to happen.”
“But with that being said, just being up here is a lot of confidence and I feel like I’m the kind of guy that once I get that confidence I go pretty quickly to the next step. It’s stacked this year and there are a lot of good guys. As we’ve seen, the races have been tight. I still need to get better, but it’s never over. Just fighting to the end. Just get that first win of the season is the next step.”
Webb will battle once again this Saturday at the next Triple Crown race at Arlington for Round 8 of the 2022 championship season.