Some say the Supercross Championship doesn’t really begin until Daytona… this weekend marks the 10th round of the series at the famed NASCAR track and we’re looking forward to seeing if that old saying is true. As it currently stands, Cooper Webb is leading the 450-class championship with 199 points, followed by Ken Roczen with 186 points, Marvin Musquin with 182 points, Eli Tomac with 177 points, and Blake Baggett with 142 points. Although anything can happen, it seems clear that it’s a four-horse race this season with those top four riders. I’m sure it’s been talked about enough for everyone to know now that both Roczen and Musquin are winless so far on the season. However, they both remain right in the thick of things in the championship and that is predominantly due to their consistency. Once they both found their groove, they’ve both been relatively consistent. We know both of these riders has what it takes to win because we’ve seen them battling up front time and time again. The thing that is separating Webb from Roczen and Musquin right now is confidence. Cooper Webb got a taste of what winning feels like, and he definitely enjoyed it. Webb is probably riding with more confidence right now than any other rider in the class. If Roczen and Musquin want to start winning, they need to find that confidence that Webb has and show it on the track.
Daytona is definitely the “odd man out” of all the tracks this season because it is built in the infield of a NASCAR track, meaning that the track is laid out in a much different way than a normal stadium-built track. Last season, we saw Justin Brayton take the win, beating a dominate Eli Tomac and a soon-to-be champion Jason Anderson. Anything can happen at Daytona. The question is, will one of the front runners take home the win? Or will we see another dark horse, like Brayton, sneak up and take it?
Something else we want to keep our eye on this weekend is how Shane McElrath will do, as he has decided to race his 250 machine in the 450 class. On a smaller bike, he almost certainly can’t beat the likes of Webb, Roczen, Musquin, and Tomac – but he could finish higher than we are anticipating and could throw a small wrench into the 450 results.
The 250 class is coming off its first East-West Shootout of the season where we saw that Austin Forkner can indeed be beaten. Forkner got a great start in the main event last weekend and was simply caught and passed by his teammate, Adam Cianciarulo, who is leading the standings in the West Region, and by Dylan Ferrandis. Is Forkner’s dominance starting to fade? Or did we simply see smart riding – did Forkner not battle as hard for the win because he knew he didn’t need to beat those two west region riders? He still has a sizeable 18-point lead in the East Region standings over Justin Cooper. However, we have seen in the past that Forkner can be mistake-prone at times. One bad race could put both Cooper and Chase Sexton right back in contention. We’ll just have to wait and see if Forkner will continue his East Region winning streak.
Bring on Daaayyytoonnaa!!!