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Quick thoughts: Tampa Supercross

Quick thoughts: Tampa Supercross

Despite the rain and the prediction of Thunderstorms, the track held up well in Tampa and produced some very good racing, mostly thanks to a gnarly sand section and a tricky whoop section that had a couple of whoops removed as the day went on!

The sand isn’t liked by a lot of riders but, it provided great entertainment all day as the riders held on for fear life at time, and it adds an extra variety that is sometimes needed on a supercross layout – it was a great addition to this Tampa track.

The thing you notice at a supercross is how long the day is, there from around 10am and not leaving to 12 it’s a longer day than outdoors but a more comfortable viewing experience! Another thing that is evident when you are on the track is just how narrow the lanes are, and with the tuff blocks, it becomes even more narrow! It’s tight and it’s technical with no room for mistakes.

The 250 main event was the race of the day as Hunter Lawerence, who was a joy to watch in practice with his style and flow, had to come from the back of the pack to run down race-long leader Nate Thrasher in a blistering final lap that had pass attempts in the last three corners! Hunter was pumped and he deserved to be, it was one of the best rides of his career.

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Thrasher rode very well too, and limped his way to the press conference after the race due to injuries from Houston – making his performance at Tampa even more impressive. Max Anstie was third, on the podium again and admitted he couldn’t run with Lawrence because he was nursing his bike home, so Anstie should have more to give at round three, but again he looked great all day.

Haiden Deegan is super popular in the pits and in the stands, and he lived up to the hype by winning his heat race and finishing a strong fourth in the main as fellow rookie Tom Vialle impressed again as well. After a crash in the sand carange on lap one left him outside of the top ten leaving Tom a hard ride to sixth but he did it with calmness and precision. He’s learning quickly but again, it was the whoops that cost him most time each lap.

450 championship Eli Tomac wasn’t up to his usual level in the 450 main event, and that left Cooper Webb and Chase Sexton to fight for victory. On press day, Webb told me, “I know I can go the distance for 17 rounds, I feel I can go the distance if I can get that first win, I feel like the confidence comes and I feel like can really sink my teeth in like you said. It’s still early, gotta keep level-headed and keep working this weekend. The bottom line is the goal is the win this weekend and we are going to do everything in our power to do that.”

And he delivered. He kept the pressure on Sexton all race long and when Webb survived a bad run through the whoops and Sexton didn’t, that was all it took for Webb to deliver that long awaited win after a tough 2022. Now, he can sink his teeth into this championship.

Sexton is right there too, just two points behind Eli with Webb four behind, in fact, Sexton would have got the red plate if he had held on for the win! All year long it feels like it’s been a battle for the momentum in the series, Tomac trying to run away and Webb and Sexton straining every sinew to stop him. Now, with four points between the top three, it’s Webb who has the momentum, the one rider Eli Tomac probably didn’t want to get on a roll.

After the race, we managed to catch up with Roger DeCoster to get his view on Webb’s win and having two KTM’s on the podium:

Article: Jonathan McCready

Images: Feld Entertainment Inc.