Five-time supercross champion, Ricky Carmichael, initially described Cooper Webb’s win as a “statement” in the live broadcast of the event on NBCSN, so impressive was the Red Bull KTM man’s emphatic ride to the front at Arlington to win his fourth race of the year.
But speaking on his new podcast show with Jeff Emig, Real Talk 447, RC gave more insight on Cooper’s remarkable win, to explain why it meant so much from his perspective – and felt he had a similar experience racing Jeremy McGrath.
“If I’m Cooper Webb (prior to the race), I want to get a medorice start to come from behind. He wants to cross that off his check-list, come-from behind and win that way,” explained Carmichael.
“As you go through your check-list that builds mental confidence the only thing he hasn’t done is win in the mud, he won from the holeshot, he won the triple-crown, he’s won from starting seventh, if he wins in the mud there’s nothing else to do, he has won in every situation.”
“Honestly I though Ken had it on the last lap,” admitted Ricky, “then on the left hand corner, Cooper had a tremendous amount of entry speed. His braking distance was short and fast and he got right back up on him.
“I thought with three or four laps to go that if he catches Ken, win or lose, he knows that he’s better,” said RC, before relating to Webb’s perspective by explaining how he felt when he first started running with and beating McGrath in 2001.
“I’ve been there before, kind of had the same situation, at the second Anaheim when I was racing McGrath, I could catch up to him and pull back, he beat me, he was riding well that night, but I didn’t care if I got second because there was no way this guy was going to beat any more and it ended up working out for me. ( McGrath never won a main event again and RC won every race for the year of the year!) I just felt that was the moment Cooper Webb had this past weekend. From a mental stand point with Cooper Webb, you’ve got it at this point.”
It’s high praise indeed for Cooper Webb from the rider that is the greatest America has ever produced, and a great insight into how Cooper Webb is probably thinking, but also where Carmichael was mentally when he started beating McGrath all those years ago.