News 24 Jan 2024

Webb calls for riders a lap down to 'respect the leaders'

Encounters issues with both Tomac and Sexton in San Diego main event.

Image: Octopi Media.

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing recruit Cooper Webb has called for all riders a lap down to ‘respect the leaders’ after encountering late troubles with fellow title challengers Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton in the tough conditions of San Diego.

Double 450SX champion Webb voiced his frustration after he had difficulty lapping teammate Tomac and defending 450SX champion Sexton – his effective replacement at Red Bull KTM – while giving chase to former teammate Aaron Plessinger.

Both Tomac and Sexton were fighting their way through the pack when Plessinger and Webb – in battle for the lead position – closed on them in the final laps, which Webb felt balked his progress in a bid to attack for the victory in the closing stages of the main event.

“It’s tough, like I knew the lappers were gonna play a big role and getting through them is half the battle in some of these mud races,” Webb recalled. “It was a little bit weird, you know, late in the race I was racing my teammate, who was a lap down, and that was a bit of a bummer and, yeah, I had to trade some paint with the number one there with two to go.

“The lappers are tough when we’re all dodging them, trying to race forward. And then it was a very weird thing with Eli, cos even at one point I was like, ‘oh wow, maybe he’s in second’ – I had to look at the board and see. So it was a bit strange and then that lap I kind of chipped away at AP, lappers held him up a little bit and then AP got around him.

“[Eli] was trying to get points, so that was tough, and then with two to go, from my perspective, I felt like the one [Sexton] got out of AP’s way and then charged forward to not be out of my way is my personal opinion. We hit and we both about went down, so I was a little bummed on that…

“I was getting lapped last weekend and felt like I was pretty respectful, so, you know, it will come around. It’s tough when you’re in that position – you don’t want to be getting lapped by any means – but you’ve gotta respect the leaders.”

Sexton took to social media afterward to apologise to Webb, eventually rebounding from the rear of the pack to finish eighth, and one position ahead of another two-time Monster Energy Supercross champion in Tomac.

“Not the night I wanted in San Diego, but I left it all on the track coming from the back,” Sexton said. “On a separate note, my apologies to Cooper on our collision. My intentions were to move out of the way the next corner and not to impede the race that was going on that I was clearly not in.”