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The fine margins of supercross

The fine margins of supercross
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You have to feel for Cooper Webb. Just seven days earlier it looked like Eli Tomac’s title hopes might be over after he had a heavy crash in qualifying, limping back to the truck, unsure what was going to happen.

In classic Tomac style he turned it around to take a second leaving both Webb and Sexton wondering what could have been. Sexton himself was close to being a bonefide title contender twice that night, first after the initial Tomac crash that threatened to derail his season and then again when he was up front in the mud until Barcia took him out leaving him behind Tomac in a race he should have finished ahead of the championship leader.

Maybe if it had stayed dry, maybe everything would be different. What if Barcia had took Tomac down instead of Sexton? One incident could have changed everything in the opposite direction. It’s such small margins. Would Cooper have made contact with Tomac in the heat to send a message if he wasn’t 11 points down after a bad few rounds?

The genesis of what happened Webb came from Webb having to do something to show Tomac that he was ready for battle because he was on the back foot in points and speed, he had to do whatever it takes and try to take Eli out of his rhythm. Unfortunately, one turn later, Webb’s season was over after going slightly wide when Tomac passed him back, fearing a revenge attack. It was enough to lose the front wheel and have that ugly collision with AC that took Cooper out of the title.

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A brutal way to end a dream in a brutal sport.

Fine margins are what supercross is about but credit must go to Eli, he’s mentally made of granite these days, and he delivers the right start, the right performance just when he needs it.

He admitted to us in the press conference that this is indeed the best mental state of his racing career: “I think so, for sure as you get into your late 20s, your mind changes a little bit, your patience changes a lot and you’ve been doing it a long time. I feel like my mind is absolutely the best it’s been for racing.”

And it shows.

Words: Jonathan McCready

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