Webb on his struggles this season – it’s been a battle

Cooper Webb finally returned to the podium on Saturday night at Minneapolis for the first time since round one, with Marvin Musquin also on the box for KTM with Webb saying being back on the East Coast and a new setting for the bike thanks to Roger DeCoster, has helped.

Even then though, it wasn’t straight forward, with Webb benefitting from the Sexton crash and a spill by Malcolm Stewart after getting the holeshot but it was definitely a big improvement for the defending champ who is 25 points back of leader Tomac, after gaining a few points on Saturday – so is this the start of a comeback for the title?

We asked Webb about his early season struggles in the press conference and he said it hasn’t been easy: “It’s not great, definitely not great. There’s a lot of pressure to perform with a number 1 plate. When you are riding around in eighth place, it’s s definitely not good.

“It’s been a battle for sure. Mentally, emotionally, it’s been a rollercoaster. So just believing in myself, getting back to it and not quitting when things got hard is what I’m pumped on. We are still at round 7 and anything can happen, at least we are back at the front where I feel like I need to be.”

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On if the bigger whoops have been the biggest factor on a lack comfort, Webb said: “They have been tough, no doubt, especially the West coast swing they have built a little different this year. They have been getting tough and even tonight. I felt better in them throughout the day, I think the progress we made with the bike helped out a lot but we went to that survival line and getting through it the best we could. They’ve been really tough this year, lot of laps ridden on them with not a lot of maintenance. It’s definitely nice to get better with the bike but also myself and maybe the East Coast I gel with those whoops a little better.”

Webb was also asked later about if dealing with all the outside negativity of the new bike issues and no Aldon Baker can affect him, and Webb acknowledged it might have: “There’s a lot of noise and it can definitely affect you and maybe it has, maybe it hasn’t. I think the biggest thing is to never doubt yourself and I think I had started to go down that route – you second guess decisions. I finally put all the noise away and did it for myself I felt like.”

On the new bike itself Webb admitted: “The old bike, I gelled on it so well, just felt like it was built for me in supercross. This new bike you are learning non-stop. The conditions are forever changing. You think you get it right then you go somewhere that is different to your test track or where you’ve been practicing. It’s not for a lack of effort but it’s been a struggle for me anyways.”

Article: Jonathan McCready

Images: Align media