First round of season sees both Martin brothers go out on opening lap.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper has taken victory in a chaotic opening round of 250SX West at Orlando’s eighth stop of 2021 Monster Energy Supercross.
In a restarted main event, Cooper was the class of the field on a night where a number of top western region riders experienced difficulties.
A first start saw a solid holeshot from Robbie Wageman (Team Solitaire Nuclear Blast Yamaha), who was quickly overtaken by Cooper. Things took a quick turn when a pile-up in the first rhythm collected multiple riders, one of them being Jeremy Martin (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha), who walked off with an apparent shoulder injury.
The fate got worse for the Martin family as Alex Martin (Manluk Rock River Yamaha Merge Racing) hit the ground, bringing out a red flag just two turns later. He was assisted off the track by the Alpinestars medical team.
Next, the second start was all Cooper followed by Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), Jace Owen (ClubMX Yamaha) and Cameron Mcadoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki).
Smith hit the ground hard at the end of the whoops ending his night just three laps in, moving his teammate Mcadoo into second. Next, Garret Marchbanks (ClubMX Yamaha) made an aggressive move on rookie Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), sending the latter to the ground.
Team Honda HRC’s Hunter Lawrence cracked the top five at just past the halfway point as he recovered from a rather rough jump off the starting line. Meanwhile, Marchbanks picked his way into the top three, passing Swoll.
Out front it was all Cooper who maintained a gap over Mcadoo that was nearly seven seconds. He’d go on to take an uncontested win by 4.887s, with Mcadoo and Marchbanks rounding out the podium.
Fourth went to Swoll as Lawrence completed the top five ahead of Hammaker, who put on an impressive ride all things considered, the leading rookie finishing sixth.
Phoenix Racing Honda rider Kyle Peters took the seventh spot from Chris Blose (Motul AJE Motorsports GasGas), while Wageman backed up his impressive start on the first gate drop with a ninth-place finish, while Owen took the final position inside the top 10.
With a weekend off prior to Daytona on Saturday, 6 March, it is Cooper who holds the early 250SX West championship over Mcadoo and Marchbanks, the podium of tonight’s opening round.