Storylines Abound for Sunday’s Supercross Finale


6/19/2020

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The 17th and final round of the historic 2020 AMA Supercross Championship has gone down to the wire in all three classes. On Sunday, all of the champions will be crowned.


In the 450cc premier class, points leader and Monster Energy Kawasaki front man Eli Tomac had the opportunity this past Wednesday to wrap up the title one round early, but Cooper Webb, second overall, was having none of it.

 

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“He had a nice points lead [coming in to Round 16],” Webb said after his main event victory. “But I wanted to try and at least take this [title chase] to Sunday. That was my main motivation right there.”


Webb’s win earned 26 points compared with 23 for Tomac—just enough breathing room for Sunday’s final round to be the deciding race. Now, with a 22-point gap to cover, Webb has a glimmer of hope of defending his 2019 title.

 

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If Webb wins Sunday’s showdown, Tomac must finish 19th or better and score at least four points to clinch the title.


Of course, Ken Roczen, who is third overall in points, is also keen to finish no worse than second to Tomac.

 

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By putting Tomac between himself and Roczen, Webb overtook the factory Honda for second overall and put an additional six points on him. Roczen, fourth, missed the podium by one spot.


“There’s always motivation,” Webb said. “Kenny [and I] are really tight for second in the series, so I wanted to get as many points as possible on him, too.”


While Tomac was able to deftly maneuver his way from nearly last in the first turn to second at the checkers, he wasn’t able to catch Webb, whose celebrated race craft kept him just out of harm’s way for the win.

 

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“When [I caught] Zach, Cooper and Kenny, I’m like, ‘Man, I’m right in this,’” Tomac recalled of his thunderous charge to the front. “To be honest, I thought it was going to turn into last Sunday when the two broke away and I was kind of out of it, but I was able to get there.”


The Coloradan admitted he played the situation as a champion often does, noting that he “tried to push to the front, but at the same time, I was kind of in a conservative mode there. That was it: I was happy with second at that point.”

 

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Out front for 22 of 29 laps, Zach Osborne, a newcomer to the lead pack, sprinted away early from the field.


Prior to the seven-round coronavirus-induced mini-season in Salt Lake City, Osborne was 14th in points. Now, the 30-year-old Virginian has his sights set on sixth overall in the championship, a position presently occupied by Malcolm Stewart.


“It’s cool to be climbing in the points and to be up to seventh in the premier class in the world,” said Osborne, a 250cc National Motocross Champion. “But the main goal right now is results. After leading probably 45 laps since we’ve been here, I want to win one.”


Webb had other plans. With seven laps to go, he knew it was time to go.

 

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“I saw Eli made the pass on Ken, and now he was behind me,” Webb said. “I felt like Zach was riding well, but we needed to go a little faster. So I got to a point where I needed to get around him.”

 

That pass for the lead may have been the most important move thus far in Salt Lake City, as Webb’s aggressive move nearly caused Osborne to crash, which also allowed Tomac to get by the #16 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna.

 

“I knew that he wasn’t going to blast me or anything,” said Osborne. “But he’s really good at that—being not really close enough to make it happen, but running it in there and making it happen.”

 

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Sunday marks not only the finale of the 450cc Supercross Championship, but the finals for the East and West regions of the 250cc Supercross Championship in an event known as the East/West Showdown.

 

Both regions have tight points chases, which could be effected by all the top 250cc class riders on the track at once, competing head-to-head in the final main event of the year.

 

West contenders Austin Forkner and Dylan Ferrandis will take their season-long war and seven-point gap to the East’s Chase Sexton and

Shane McElrath with their six-point difference.

 

The gate for the first 250cc heat race drops at 3 p.m. ET.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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