Who can stop Roczen?? Supercross Digest – Orlando Preview
So guys, let’s talk Supercross! I don’t know what it is about 2021, but there is certainly a different feel to the racing this year across the pond. Perhaps it’s the condensed schedule, maybe it’s the fact that we haven’t seen the 450 Class so densely packed with guys that can fight for race wins in a long time (if ever!).
Words by Marc Carter – Images courtesy of Supercross Live
It could just be the fact that there is pretty much no other racing going on at the minute and SX is my only real moto-fix… Regardless, it has been awesome to watch! So, let’s digest a bit of what has happened in the opening six rounds of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross FIM World Championship (wow, that’s a mouthful).
Let’s start with the 250SX East Championship.
The ol’ lites class has had it’s fair share of drama over both Houston and Indy Trilogies, but you can’t help but feel there is a little less competition without Forkner and RJ Hampshire in the equation; following their crashes in Texas the head of the field definitely seems like it is not as diluted with potential race winners… of course Jett Lawrence took a couple of heavy hits at Indy 2 which (short of a miracle) has put him out of title contention for 2021… so if we’re being brutally honest, it’s a two-horse race for the 250 East Championship between the two Star Racing Yamaha lads. Colt Nichols has been impressive and seemed to be showing a pace that is relatively unmatched by Christian Craig over the last couple of rounds.
If I were a betting man, I’d definitely be leaning toward Colt Nichols at this stage… I mean, the guy’s charge from the back of the field to P.3 after hitting the deck at Indy 3 was commendable (even with Jett playing cat and mouse with him for a number of laps).
You know what else, I’m glad Jo Shimoda jumped on the box at the last round too. The kid was certainly modest after his podium at Round 4 (when Christian Craig decided to roll around on the floor two corners from the chequers, making sure Lawrence didn’t get round him after the young Australian’s hard charge to the front, allowing Michael Mosiman and Shimoda to take 2nd and 3rd). Hopefully we see him challenging for podiums once again this Saturday night in Orlando!
The 450SX Championship has been STACKED this year. On paper I doubt there has ever been a stronger Supercross line-up coming into a season opener… but, I think that there are of course a few guys that are starting to edge out the rest of the field and some form of natural hierarchy in Monster Energy Supercross is starting to form as we head into Round 7.
Roczen has just been unreal this far. After his last couple of years, many have questioned whether or not the HRC rider still had it in the tank to chase a Supercross title. Well, if the opening rounds have shown anything… it’s that Kenny is hungry for race wins and the Championship is definitely on the agenda!
Eli Tomac seems to be having quite a similar season to those of years past, he’s definitely got the speed to go out and win races. However, 2021 is not a year where you can have a mediocre start and just charge your way to the front of the pack like that Bullet thing in Mario Kart. It’s still early on in the season and the fat lady is far from singing… although I don’t count the 2020 Champion out yet, I definitely don’t think taking the title will be quite as simple as it was last year for the Kawasaki rider.
What about Webb? I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think the Redbull KTM Rider didn’t have a shot this year. The commentators have definitely hyped Cooper up to be some form of ‘Kenny Kryptonite’ and to a certain extent, I agree with them. Without getting into the whole thing with Dean Wilson at Houston 3, it is evident that Webb does get Roczen somewhat flustered. That being said, the #94 held his composure at Round 6 with Webb applying the pressure in the closing stages.
So what are our predictions going into Orlando?
Well, in the 250s I’d be an idiot not to have Nichols, Craig and Lawrence in my top three… that being said, we’ve seen plenty of upset this year in that class so far (nothing more upsetting than Dylan Woodcock busting himself up just as he was picking up momentum), so I don’t think anyone can say for definite what the outcome will be!
In the 450s, to be honest… I have not got a clue. As much as I’d love to see Roczen continue his winning streak, there are still plenty of guys that are capable and hungry for race wins. Personally, I’d love to see Malcolm Stewart put it on the top box (but it seems unlikely). I do think with a change in scenery, we could see a new race winner crowned in Orlando… but it would come in the form of someone like Zach Osborne, Musquin or even Dylan Ferrandis (who has shown some good speed on that 450 Yam, even if he is the second most loose guy on the track behind Vince Friese). Barcia could potentially be a threat as the Championship heads into his home state despite going down hard at Round 6.
Nonetheless, I do think Roczen, Webb and Tomac will be showing their faces near the front of the field Saturday evening at one point or another!
To watch all of the racing, head over to: https://www.supercrosslive.tv/