News 23 Jan 2021

Late move from Webb denies Roczen in Houston 3 thriller

Gritty performance from former champion to stand back atop podium.

Image: Octopi Media.

Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb has denied Ken Roczen of a first Monster Energy Supercross win this season with a gritty performance to steal victory at Houston 3.

In the final main event of the evening, it was Webb with his first holeshot of the season as Team Honda HRC’s Roczen also launched his Honda to a great start.

The pair were followed by Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki), Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) and his teammate Malcolm Stewart. Tuesday winner Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) got a miserable jump and found himself in 10th from first lap, with Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) even further back in 15th.

It wasn’t long until Roczen set up a pass on Webb, taking the lead with authority, jumping out to a 1.5s lead. Points-leader Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) found himself in sixth with pressure from Tomac after the first five minutes of the race, the two would move through on Plessinger and Stewart into the top five.

Barcia then put on a charge taking chunks of time out of the leaders through the next few laps and catching Cianciarulo at the 10-minute mark. Just in front of them, Webb kept Roczen honest, with around a one second gap between the two.

However, Barcia’s podium charge ended when he found himself on the ground in the sand section a few minutes later, letting Tomac by for fourth, but not for long as Barcia rebounded quickly to retake the position. Roczen had stretched out a 3.5s gap just past the midway point of the race.

Webb rebounded at about the five-minute remaining mark, charging his way to the back of Roczen with one lap left, setting up for a wild finish to the race. As a lapped rider took the preferred line in front of Roczen not once, but twice, Webb didn’t wait to pull the trigger and passed him up the inside.

Roczen stayed in it, but it was too little, too late as Webb took the checkers and his first win of the season. It was a lonely third place for Cianciarulo followed by Barcia, Tomac, Stewart, Plessinger, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna duo Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne, plus Justin Brayton (Muc-Off Honda) rounding out the top 10.

It is now Roczen on top of the point-standings with the red plate by a single point over Webb and Barcia, as Monster Energy Supercross now takes seven days off and will return in Indianapolis, Indiana, next Saturday, 30 January.