“This race was all about lines; I knew that I would have to ride a bit defensive, in order to win.”
As any athlete knows, once you are considered a dominant force in a particular genre, there will always be naysayers voicing their opinion of what you can’t handle. Maybe it’s the idea of accumulating recurring wins, or competing for victory when overcoming adversity. Anyway you cut it; sometimes those from the outside will always put an asterisk next to your particular bouts of success. And Cooper Webb understands this, as he’s won in many different scenarios this year, but there were those who asked: Could he withstand a constant barrage of pressure, for the entirety of a main event? He wanted to answer that, and then some, as he lined up for the heat race to begin the evening here in Atlanta. Third on the opening lap of competition, he saw combatants armed on the same machinery, just within his foreground. With Blake Baggett out front, he had to contend with Marvin Musquin ahead, before he could even fathom grasping victory. The three would stay in this train for sometime, as Webb absolutely obliterated this three-pointed sand corner. Standing up for as long as possible, as the berm took its final bend, he would spring to the seat, scrubbing the over-under table top in a mesh of actions. His antics would be enough to make Marvin Musquin slip, just enough to let the number two of Webb around. Inheriting second, he would reside here with the checkered flag waving. It was then, that Cooper Webb decided to answer the question previously asked; he knew deep down, that he could withstand the bombardment of force any competitor could provide, across the twenty-two-man gate. Ascending into the lead on the first lap, Webb would never look back, despite multiple 450’s ringing throughout his eardrums. He would make a bit of a mistake every lap through the whoop section, yet seemingly cut to the inside in the following right-hander, pulling away from the likes of Baggett and Musquin. Musquin, however, would actually hit the swing-arm of Webb, in the aforementioned corner, early on in the race. Luckily, Webb would stay upright, hanging on to the lead with a fierce grip. Never faltering, he could feel the likes of the two getting close at times, but Webb wouldn’t be deterred. Running the entire race in the lead, he showed just how composed he could stay, with relentless pressure behind. Webb would take the victory, absolutely thrilled at what he had accomplished.
“The sand tonight was tough; you couldn’t get too close to anyone else, otherwise you’d have to use all of your tear-offs.”
t’s as though at every round, the number four of Blake Baggett seems to improve. Although not always finishing to the front side of the field, he’s shown speed at seemingly all events, at one point or another. Therefore, when seeing the track with his own two eyes, upon arrival to the event, he would marvel at thought of just how much this track was going to break down. Eyeing the portions of heavy red clay in particular, he couldn’t help but envision himself thriving in this environment; because there were parts of the course, that would mimic that of an outdoor national. His aura of utopian mindset would carry him through practice, and to the start of his heat race. Taking the green flag in stride, he was out front, with a start that he’s not accustom to having. It made things much easier, and you could see him enjoying the idea of not having to pass anyone. The only thing that seemed to deter him, was a bit of lap traffic; but luckily, he could make his way through unscathed, as the lappers began to accumulate by the handfuls. Leading all nine laps, he proved to both team and himself, that he could withstand the pressure of Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin; going on to take the moto win. The attitude would be carried into the main event, where his excellent jump off the gate would position him into third. Stalking the likes of Marvin Musquin for a series of laps, he knew he would have to keep the pressure placed on the Frenchman; otherwise he may never get around. Hitting his lines through the rhythm lanes nearly every lap, once an opportunity opened up; he would work his way through. It occurred in the sand section, where Musquin would miss the highly desired middle line, and shoot into the outside berm. Nearly washing out, it was a mere inch that Blake Baggett needed, in order to make the move stick. He would do so, going after Cooper Webb next. Staying only a second or so away from Webb for what seemed like an eternity, Baggett would gain substantially through the whoop section. However, Webb was stingy with the lead, and would go on to take the win. Stoked with his ride in second, Baggett couldn’t wait until the round of the Daytona Supercross, which would occur in the next few days.
“I had a great start, but a holeshot would have definitely been nice.”
With the rounds of the series beginning to amass and accumulate to serious proportions, Marvin Musquin understood that the time was now, in order to make a run for the title. As multiple riders were in true contention for solid final positioning, he hoped to be sitting in optimal standing, as the Las Vegas round approached. He understood, however, that the series would have to be taken race by race, and he couldn’t be overwhelmed through any circumstance. He would have to remain steadfast, unscathed, and confident in his approach, if he wanted to truly become champion. Therefore he would display the aforementioned notion throughout the confines of practice. Even on the laps he would have unfortunate hiccups or mistakes, you could see him press on; throwing the misfortune to the wayside, and focus on the foreground in the coming distance. Keeping his throttle hand perpendicular to the ground below him, he would twist the daylights out of the mechanism, all in hopes to ascend to the top of the leaderboard. Being placed in a well-off position; he followed the exiting tunnel outside the stadium, where he would patiently await the action of racing to come. The gate would then fall for the heat race, where the predators within the waters of the class, would smell blood. Snapping and gritting his teeth with a constant chomp, he bit through the majority of the field, residing in second place position early. Looking at his mechanic as he scorched down the main straightaway, it was pure one hundred percent effort being displayed, as he crouched behind the bar pad of his machine. All seemed to be well until a mistake on the final lap, would allow Cooper Webb to go around. Placing third, the trio of Baggett, Webb, and Musquin would be at it again very soon. The big show was then here, and with an assembly of standing, the crowd would be on their feet, eager to see what was in store. He would emerge from the rubble of the first lap, near second place position. Battling tooth and nail with riders like Cooper Webb, he hoped to accumulate laps in an ideal podium spot. He had second place nailed down, although Blake Baggett was hot on his tail. He would even lunge for Webb somewhat early, hitting the swingarm of Cooper in the turn after the whoop section! Making a mistake, he would somehow cling to the life of second place for a bit longer. Holding off the number four for quite some time, he would reside here, until a mistake in the sand section would occur. Ideally wanting the main, middle groove through the latter part of the turn, he would overcorrect himself, missing the line; and subsequently, Blake Baggett would move by. Hounding Blake Baggett for the rest of the race’s entirety, he couldn’t seem to make the move stick; yet he was extremely close to doing so. Third place for the night, he would walk away with a large sum of points.
Walking into the stadium, early Saturday morning, Ken Roczen sensed that this round would be one of solid performance. Things seemed to be falling into his way throughout the week prior, and nothing but positive aura would be displayed by both he and team, upon their arrival to the Atlanta metropolitan area. Talking with surrounding industry members and fans alike throughout the day, you could sense that he welcomed the idea of the race ahead; knowing that, despite anything that was thrown his way, he could handle the circumstance, and walk away with a positive result. He would scan the track for the opening laps of practice, taking in every possible combination and line choice possible. Looking to other series leaders, he tried to discreetly follow them; taking note of their highlights and downfalls. There were a few certain, key sections, that he could forecast a series of passes on; holding them in his back pocket so to speak; ready to display them if necessary. Cruising back through the tunnel, he would sit the back beneath the canopy, and await night fall for the main event. It was then a matter of putting his nose to the grindstone, as he pounced out of the starting gate, leaping into the pack of ferocious competitors with a body full of adrenaline. In an instantaneous act of rebel like warfare, he quickly went to work, contending for the ninth place position, after a horrendous first lap. Dodging pellets to the best of his ability, his swerving of the motorcycle would be of perfectly plotted arcs; never coming to a complete stop at any point on the track. Missing the majority of the jagged potholes that were beginning to form, he would continue to lunge toward the checkered flag, keeping Eli Tomac behind. Finishing seventh, he looked forward to the main event to come. The field would create a bottleneck effect as they ducked into the first corner, and his main goal was to stay upright. He would do so, jockeying the machine around the layout, while chasing the matador of a referee at the finish line. With flags waving all around, he was patient in his quest for the fourth place position, after stalking Plessinger for what seemed like an eternity. He would then be granted a gift of sorts, as Plessinger would wash out in the sand corner, pushing him to fourth overall. And with the clock striking zero, he would finish the race here; still chasing that illustrious victory.
The idea of a top five finish, is one that has been etched into the mind of Aaron Plessinger for years now. Whether it was as a beginner, in his earliest of years, or on the brightest of stages in the world, he feels as though no circumstance should cast him outside of the top-tier within this sport. And although accumulating a plethora of solid finishes throughout the year to this point, he wanted the round of Atlanta, to begin a streak of noteworthy performances. Therefore he would walk into stadium for practice, oozing with confidence; understanding that if he didn’t believe in himself, that no one else would either. Although many saw his immediate surge of speed as a bit erratic, he knew all too well what he was forecasting to his combatants around him. Anytime he would sprint past a rival, he understood they would make note of it; as every rider along the track, keeps tabs on riders they are both pulling from, and losing to, respectively. His efforts would be rewarded, with a bundle of solid lap times; and he would take aim toward racing matters, with his weaponry drawn. Launching off the start line, he immediately attempted to cut left, seizing the advancement of many of his foes on the line. He would hit every one of his marks accordingly, moving through the field, just ahead of Ken Roczen. The two seemed to mirror each other, as their lines were some of the fastest around this clay-ridden circuit. Jumping through the far rhythm lane, at the apex of his summiting, the rear brake would be tapped, vaulting him into a descending manner. The chassis, riding like a Cadillac, was helping him to conserve as much energy as possible; going on to finish fifth, after passing Chad Reed, he was ready for the main event. Starting off this race around the fourth place spot, he didn’t want even the slightest trick of contentment to overcome him. Never satisfied, he looked at every bit of competition in front of him, as another tier to reach for. Scrubbing the triple-single combination before the “SX” triple, you could see his hips forcing the machine to soak up every bit of airtime possible, in order to pull away from Ken Roczen in his rearview. He was rather fast on the second half of the track, pushing toward the top for respective sector times. And it was apparent, as each time he entered these confines, he would pull away. That fourth place was seemingly his, until an unfortunate mishap would leave him scooping up the 450 from the deep sands of the right-hander. Although a bit bummed, he would reach the goal he had prior set, his fifth place was an exceptional performance overall.
Tinkering all throughout the week, Eli Tomac and company longed for a set-up to attack this Atlanta track with fierce competitiveness. Racing here numerous times throughout the past, they knew just how bad this track would break down, as the night went on. So within their arsenal of tools, brought behind the barriers of the mechanic’s area, were bundles of tires, sprockets, and suspension adjusters; knowing that the desired setting, could change in an intra-qualification manner. He would begin to spin a few laps, purposefully over jumping a few things, just to feel if his suspension could contain his stature from rebounding off the bottom of the fork. It would work, but he would eventually duck into the paddock, looking to spike the rebound up a tad; as he needed every bit of height, to clear the monstrous tripling combination, in the furthest rhythm lane. Once the final lap of practice concluded, he felt assured that they’d done enough in preparation for the racing to come. Giving his mechanic a subtle fist bump, just before the gate-drop, let him know that he had his crew chief and team’s best wishes, right alongside; as he vaulted into the hectic waters of racing platform. Hovering around the fifth place spot to begin, he knew he couldn’t be complacent, in his act of racing the track. Never one to be flustered by the competition, he couldn’t help but notice the sound of a 450 revving within his immediate radius; it was that of Kyle Chisholm. He had made a big mistake in the mid portion of the race, falling back to a borderline transfer position. Knowing all too well of his opponent’s capabilities, he began to “ante up” the pace that he was currently displaying; believing that he had much more in the tank. Looking to get to the checkered flag as quickly as possible, he would hop through the whoop section on the last lap, with a white-knuckled grip, lunging to beat the aforementioned in a photo finish. He would escape the number eleven, finishing eighth. The main event was then upon him, and he looked to take on whatever was cast his way. Dealing with a heap of yellow flags to begin, he saw that this track was reaching up, and biting riders, leaving them scattered on the ground below. He would toy with a multitude of both inside and outside lines, switching gears when necessary. Scrubbing the over-under tabletop to the best of his ability, his speed would be shaved with a flicking of the chassis to the right; all in hopes to prance away from Justin Brayton behind. He would use Aaron Plessinger as a marker of fulfillment in front of him, trying his best to reach him, and make the heroic pass. But it was too little too late, and he would be forced to sit sixth, once all was said and done.
With numerous types of soil being presented throughout the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour, perhaps there are none more infamous, than that of the red, Georgia clay, found here in Atlanta. A spectacle at first sight, the smooth dozer tracks that have this place crafted together make the layout look like a work of art. And the riders would agree too, at first that is. Justin Brayton had the ability to pour the coals to the throttle as practice began, rallying around the track in a variety of ways. But both he and team knew, that as the night went on, the red hue would become extremely slick; forcing riders to adapt, otherwise they could be landing face first into the stadium floor below. He could be found rummaging through the transmission throughout the likes of qualification, hitting a vast array of gears as he summited into the top ten. Breaking the track into specific pieces, he knew that he had certain points that would stand out. His line through the sand section was exceptional, jockeying the steel-horse below him, all the way around the outside edge of the turn. Trying to stand up as much as possible, he was using his legs as shock absorbers, keeping the center of mass afloat through these deep trenches. Pushing forward until the clock struck zero, he knew he had plenty in the take, as the races would quickly approach. His holeshot device would disengage in an instant, as he barreled out of the launch pad to begin his heat race. Contesting the course with the likes of Joey Savatgy nipping at his heels, he knew he had to be persistent in his line of defense. Spraying every piece of soil within his foreground behind, you could tell the opponent was beginning to have periods of annoyance. And the longer he stayed in front, the further the crowd behind would become frustrated. He would hold this pace until the checkered, finishing third. The lights would then shine down for the main event, and he would storm out of the starting area with a heap of determination. Pegging the 450 before it ever hit the ground, he was flying through the air of every jump on the circuit, with the RPM’s redlining. He knew he would have to savor every inch of breathing room he could attain over Dean Wilson, and knowing how hard he’d worked in the off-season, felt compelled to do so. Reading the pit-board of his mechanic lap after lap, the repetitive assurance would boost his morale, visually keeping his style upright and in attack mode. Launching the finish line in the closing laps, he would keep whispering to himself, “just one more lap.” An idea of perseverance, that would prevail, going on to take seventh overall.
Coming into this round in Atlanta, Dean Wilson felt ready to go, after adequate training preparations throughout the week. Looking to pinpoint where he could improve, both he and team would watch bundles of film together, after the conclusion of last week’s. The Tuesday following the round, they immediately went to the test track, attempting to dial in his starting technique; hoping to locate the most imminent of details. Coupling that with high intensity training aboard his stationary cycling machine, he seemed confident in his ability to do well, upon arriving to the stadium early Saturday morning. With a light breeze flowing outside the stadium doors, he and machine would be escorted onto the track. Quickly leaving the calm and collected breeze of the outside, he would storm around this track carrying a momentous amount of tornadic wind. The fans who had already taken their seats, were simply dumbfounded as to just how fast he was moving around this layout. With a track as technical as they come, he seemed to be eerily comfortable, defying all laws of gravity. He would carry these antics into the heat race, where he would be situated around second to begin. Yearning to move forward, you could see he was becoming a tad bit frantic, looking to climb up the leaderboard. Toying with both jumping combinations, and the art of skipping across these hefty consecutive moguls, every lap, he would pull from Justin Brayton behind. The tearoff’s would be flying, casually swiping the blade of his windshield wipers, as he soared through the air of the “SX” triple. Landing with the throttle on, he would volley through the adjacent section, sling-shotting his way through the following right 180. Keeping the 450 pinned until the referee cued his shutoff, he would finish second. The main event was a cluster, as twenty-two of the top Supercross riders in the world attempted to wedge into the parameters of the first turn. Bar-banging would ensue, with a clashing of shrouds becoming all too familiar of a sight. Footpegs would shear, as the crowd within the first few rows could hear the shrieking of alloy colliding off opposing bikes. Luckily, he would weather the storm, persevering through the dust bowl of chaos. Hovering near ninth around the halfway point, the two seemed to mimic each other for a series of laps. He could feel the presence of someone behind him, but couldn’t look back; knowing that if he did, a slight swing of the pendulum, would favor the opposition. Rallying forward within the boundaries of the top ten, he would settle into eighth place in the final few laps. Residing here, another single digit finish would be accumulated.
With many Mercedes Benz employees and executives in attendance for this weekend’s bit of racing, there were those watching, who’d never seen the sport before. Putting all racing matters under one canopy of questioning, there were those quick to ask, “How fast do these machines go?” Well, although the numbers in pure miles an hour categorization may not be daunting, the fact that these athletes can handle such rugged beasts, on courses such as those designed, quickly had all newcomers in awe. One rider standing out in particular, was that of Joey Savatgy. He looked extremely poised from the moment his tire tread dug into this Atlanta soil, becoming a piece of pure synchronization with the course immediately. Although he was one of the fastest around many of these particular bowl turns, he was forcibly changing lanes to the inside, on multiple occasions. He hoped to have every piece of track covered throughout practice, just in case any unforeseen variables were to come about after the falling of the gate. He would then use the aforementioned lines to weave and finagle his way through the crowd, to begin his portion of heat racing. Registering near sixth, he looked to eye the leaders across the way, and hop onto their pace as quickly as possible. Both outside and inside lines were being used, and at times, a veering of both could be created throughout one particular corner. He would have to do everything in his power to keep the locomotive of Aaron Plessinger away, as the opponent behind was being rather pestering to his obtainment of bettering himself. Although never looking back, it was as though he had a sixth sense as to which places would be that of a battleground; and would safeguard them to the best of his ability. And by the conclusion of this sprint, he accomplished the task at hand, placing fourth. The main event would be underway shortly after the fact, and his bike would be initially be placed eleventh across timing and scoring. He was doing all in his power to keep the “bite” of the rear tread within the grounds of this Georgia clay. Feathering the clutch with the middle finger of his left hand, you could visually see the rear end of the 450 fishtailing as he came onto the start straight, lap after lap. Flicking the adjustment of play as he skied over the “SX” triple, it was truly amazing to see just how composed he was, twenty feet above the stadium floor. And although at one time, Savatgy had his sights set on passing him, he too was caught in a bit of a trance; baffled by just how smooth of an operation he was setting, yet still pulling away. His antics, although eerily tranquil, would propel him to a solid ninth place finish overall.
The Monster Energy Supercross series has finally made it’s way to the east coast, that in particular of Atlanta. Considered one of the main metropolis’ of the South, the city is absolutely booming with entertainment and star-studded attraction for all. With events seemingly going on all around, there was still a hefty amount of attendance inside the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Packed full of energy, Cole Seely felt inspired to put on a performance to the best of his abilities, for all to see. Letting the bike dash down the start straight as he hit the opening left-hander, he was one of the first to size up the initial rhythm lane. With a combination of triples over a multitude of tabletop’s he could be found descending into these respective transitions, with immaculate timing. It was as though the skid-plate underneath his chassis, had pinpointed the most optimal landing point, in which he would spot lap after lap. His efforts would be reflected with solid lap times, pushing him deep into qualifying territory. The loading of the gate for the heat race would be next, and before he knew it, the pack would be wedged into these opening sections of track. Navigating without the use of a GPS, he knew he exactly where he wanted to go, and the fastest route to get there. The “top nine” was the destination of choice, and he looked to cement that notion with an absolute notion of blitzkrieg through the whoops. Coming out of the left-hander before, his front wheel was hovering into the mogul’s way before the swing-arm would follow. Plowing into each respective bump, his throttle hand would remain glued to the waffle grip, as he steadily pulled from Dean Wilson behind. He would hold the mark of first for a good portion of the latter laps, taking home a spectacular heat race win, and ready for the main event. It was here, where the occupants of the field were truly out for blood. Being cut-off almost immediately after the start, he wanted to let others know, he couldn’t be bullied and pushed around. Therefore, all throughout the rest of the opening lap, you could see him revving the bike to make others aware of his presence. The extra effort would rattle riders like Justin Hill, showing in the constant repetition of gazing over their shoulders. He knew he was breaking the line of infiltration, knowing that once he obtained the position, it was an all out dash to the finish line. Waving the white and black flag on the top of the double, an act of surrender would put the field to rest; he would finish tenth.
“First and foremost, the guys on the other coast are riding so good. I can’t say enough about Chase, Austin, and the other guys involved.”
With one of the most historic amateur careers in modern-day history, there are few who have seen the top step of the podium, more than Adam Cianciarulo. Winning championship after championship while on the minicycle, his success has continued to develop throughout the midst of his professional career. Albeit a few hiccups in his earliest of days, in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, the team at Pro Circuit has held onto Cianciarulo; based on the notion of his true talent and abilities. After making his presence thoroughly known on the West Coast so far this year, he came into Atlanta, hoping to show that overall, he was the best 250 rider; regardless of which sector he’d previously been in. It would all start in the heat race, where he would round the first lap in seventh, racing specifically riders that had only been on the West Coast with him. Working his way through the field, he would make moves on riders like Chris Blose, and Jacob Hayes, before coming to the rear fender of R.J. Hampshire. Putting the heat toward the number thirty-one Honda, there was too much tension to be ignored; and Cianciarulo would make his way into third. This is where he would reside, eager for the main event to get started. The gate would then fall, and Cianciarulo would emerge third through the first turn. He would trail that of Chase Sexton for quite sometime, as Austin Forkner would attempt to stretch a lead from the rest of the field. It was as though Cianciarulo had the scope zoomed in on the back of Sexton, ready to take aim at wounded combatant who seemed to be stumbling. He saw the move that needed to be made, eyeing lap eight to make his mark. Setting him up on the inside, Cianciarulo would make a charge and push the Honda of Chase Sexton to the wayside, leaving the number twenty-three empty handed. Next up, was Austin Forkner. Although carrying a ton of momentum, Forkner was tending to sink a little bit, as they headed into the deep waters of this particular main event. It was on lap twelve, when Cianciarulo would make the move; pushing Forkner to the boundaries of the track, just before the finish line. It was all he needed, focusing on the track ahead. He would go onto lead every lap following, taking the win in astonishing fashion. Cementing his presence as one of the best in totality, Cianciarulo was soaring with confidence, as he walked away from the podium.
“This is redemption for me; as I got hurt very badly at this round last year.”
Although hailing from overseas, Dylan Ferrandis sure has become acclimated to this particular Supercross environment. Dabbling into a bit of this particular style of racing, his roots of Bercy Supercross and haggard, rural French SX tracks, have somehow seemed to do wonders. Steadily picking up steam on the western shore of the United States, he’s been readily creeping toward the front of the field; week after week in the series. Now, coming together for this round of Atlanta, Ferrandis wanted to do his best, in order to let everyone in the class know, just how capable he truly was. Encountering some trouble early in his heat, he would have to work his way into a transfer position, from outside of the top ten; fourteenth place. Pushing forward, he had reached the mark, around lap eight. Just behind contender, RJ Hampshire, he again would continue to reach, although just a hint of time was left on the clock. Making his move around the Honda rider, he would be just behind Chris Blose at the finish line, taking seventh. Hoping to improve on his heat race finish, Ferrandis would blast off the start, as the pack truly was tearing this track to shreds. He would sit fourth, behind familiar counterpart, Adam Cianciarulo. He would remain here for quite sometime, just chipping away at the pack ahead of him; never making a mistake. Nailing the far side, speedy triple-triple combination, he would land with his throttle on throughout the treacherous transitions. Running the brink of these bowl turns, his Yamaha 250f was dragging the chassis throughout the course of these tilted corners. He would come to the back of Sexton, eventually making the move as he eyed the Kawasaki tandem ahead. Next up, was a Kawasaki tandem, as Adam Cianciarulo would make his way around the ride of Austin Forkner. Taking aim, he would square up the number twenty-four of Forkner in the corner before the finish line, pushing the Kawasaki to the top of the berm. Now in second, Cianciarulo’s lead would be just a tad too far out of sight. He would continue to charge, nailing his marks, and showing his true act of sprint speed with an open track. He would take the white flag in the runner-up position, where he would reside once all was said and done. Taking second place, his team and surrounding family, would be absolutely stoked on his performance here in Atlanta.
“I definitely settled for this third place finish tonight.”
Undefeated thus far in 2019, Austin Forkner may just be the hottest commodity on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour, in its entirety. Winning every race he’s lined up for, and nearly leading every lap in the process, has had the Missouri native on cloud nine, when rolling into Atlanta, Georgia. Knowing that he would have to contend with the likes of both coasts, the young Forkner felt confident enough prior to the event’s commencement, that he would get the job done. Bringing his bike to the line for the heat race, you could sense that Forkner felt he too could win this event; reading just his facial expressions, as he sat in a solemn manner behind the bars of his Kawasaki. Taking off shortly thereafter, he would be in hot pursuit of his long time rival, Chase Sexton. He would go to work on the number twenty-three Honda, understanding that this would be a game of inches. Never becoming flustered, he waited until the absolute perfect moment to attempt the pass on the Geico pilot. On lap three, Forkner could stand second no more, and would make his move on the aforementioned. Smooth sailing from there on out, he would roll to the line of the main event, filled to the brim with confidence. The gate would then drop, and Forkner would blister down this exceptionally long start straight. Nailing line after line, it was as though he could take this one to house, after leading the first eleven laps. But unbeknownst to him a certain Kawasaki rider was steadily creeping into his proximity; and it was that of Adam Cianciarulo. Forkner, couldn’t shake the number ninety-two, and would subsequently lose the lead in the turn just before the inish line, on lap eleven. Although distraught, he knew he would have to regain composure in order to secure a podium finish. But Dylan Ferrandis, the other man on the move, wasn’t having any of it; and he too wanted a piece of second place, taking it away from Austin Forkner. Doing nearly the same move that Cianciarulo had demonstrated, Forkner lost second place, and was pushed back to third with only a few short laps to go, shaking his head in the process. Still retaining the points lead, and beating all riders on his coast, you could tell that the fire within him was lit; despite the third place overall finish.
Looking back at all of the antics that have occurred at this particular round over the years, Chase Sexton felt as though he would have a lot to live up to, in regards to pleasing the crowd. Where many of these riders were just excited to make the main, or garner a particular finish, he would have aspirations of being one of the greats. He aspired to live up to the names like Carmichael, McGrath, Stewart, and the list could go on. Those were the athletes he dreamt about being when he was a child, and now, numerous years later, the stage was his. It was his time to perform in front of hundreds of thousands around the stadium, and across national television. Living in the moment, he took a lap at the beginning of practice, to truly bask in the experience that was overtaking him. Admiring the thought of what all he had accomplished thus far in his career, he would quickly flip the switch to an all systems go mode, and set sail on the field around him. Tripling every combination possible, he was putting this 250f to its full exertion, never letting the motor breathe as he attacked this course like a true force to be reckon with. Getting the sign of reassurance from his mechanic, he would head into the heat race full of adrenaline. He would get out to an early lead, doing just what he had visualized after last weeks festivities. There wasn’t any need to look back; as he knew good and well who would be barking at the back door, that of Austin Forkner. Seemingly flawless, only the slightest of doors would be cracked, as they headed into lap three; and this is exactly where Forkner would move through. Taking back seat to the Pro Circuit native, he was locked into to trying to move back around. He would sit second as this particular portion of eight laps closed, hoping to redeem himself for the main event. The familiar tandem would be out front yet again, yet this time the Honda pilot was in second. Still attempting to blitz the whoops to the best of his ability, he would ride the brims of these corners, with furious intensity. Hitting the step-on, step-off before the finish line, he was scrubbing the daylights out of the chassis, in order to save just a nick of time. However, Adam Cianciarulo who was behind, would have other plans. He would push his way around, now placing Sexton third. Dylan Ferrandis meanwhile, would want to do the same; he too would make the pass on Sexton. Now fourth, Sexton would cross the line in style, being the bridesmaid yet again. Knowing the true potential that he possessed, it was only a matter of time before a highly touted win would become his.
Following his last round of racing, Justin Cooper made a pact to himself, vowing to put his entire effort forward, throughout each particular working week. After concluding his last race, he would immediately go home and get into the gym, trying to get his body as acclimated as possible to the intensity of this East/West Shoot-out. He knew the “heat” so to speak, would be ample and abundant by his competition, and if there was anything he could do to prepare himself within the down time of racing, he would. Watching countless hours of film, monitoring his carbohydrate levels for energy, and logging numerous miles aboard the road bike, had him feeling rather sound as he and crew made their way onto the property of Mercedes Benz Stadium. And it was almost immediately, that he could tell the difference it had made, the moment he got onto the track for practice. Throwing down lap after lap, there were periods in the past, where he would seem to get a tad out of breath. The pyruvate build up would deter the blood stream in a negative manner, and the forearms would begin to cease operation. But not this time, as everything was as flush and as clear as can be, as the session would conclude. Going back to the truck to rehydrate, he felt confident that his body could withstand the beating in which it was about to take. Immediately, dashing off the line for the heat race, he would set the tone; as he felt this was his race to lose. Pushing the brink of disaster on a few occasions, despite slight hiccups, his heart rate would never spike. It was his ability to remain calm, cool, and collected, that was so startling. Taking his hand off to adjust his helmet over the “SX” triple, you could simply tell he was as relaxed as ever, despite Jordon Smith being behind. Finishing up the moto in fifth, his confidence was soaring for the main event. The field would really go through a series of combative antics to begin, with many of the top riders in the field going for the jugular of their opponent. Being brake checked on occasion, he knew that precious time would be wasted, trying to fight the likes of Shane McElrath who was around. He had to persist forward, and be willing to go the extra mile if necessary. Absolutely ripping the right hander before running straight toward the starting gate, it was all he could do to keep the front end on the ground, as he sprinted toward the finish line. With Chase Sexton just ahead, he would go on to take fifth place overall.
Knowing the amount of points that were at stake for this particular round, Shane McElrath understood that despite the varied circumstances, the goal was still the same; to generate as many points as you could, and to walk out of the round injury free. However he had a few honest points, including the riding styles of others. There were certain competitors in this field, that he’d never raced before. And with every racer on this particular level, comes a certain riding style, that others must adapt too. There truly are instances where knowing a certain riders background, may tell you when to make the pass, or even when to avoid confrontation. So, after his particular practice round, he had to make sure that he watched the other coast rather closely, making mental notes of whom all did what. But, on the flip side, he was as focused as ever, looking down the starting line for his heat race with a stoic demeanor. Watching the card girl with a laser-like trance, the board would go sideways, and his head would immediately fall to the pin below. In an instant he was off, with twenty-two of the best from his particular coast, dive bombing into the opening bend. Doing his best to stay in a narrow lane through the opening section, he was careful not to uncork all of his ammunition on the first go-around. But once the field had dispersed, you could really watch him move his way across the track with immense ability. Keeping the rhythm flowing, his body was in constant motion from the gas tank to the back seat, never staying in one position for more than a mere second. And although those antics may zap the energy from an ordinary rider, but he was well equipped to display whatever technique was necessary. It would pay off, generating a spectacular first place finish, ahead of series rival Colt Nichols. The main event would then come into the present, and he was out of the gate with an excellent reaction. Trying to rummage his way through the field, he was doing all he could to fend off the likes of Colt Nichols behind him. The track was beginning to really break down, and despite the ruts beginning to grow deeper and deeper, his laptimes would stay right in line with his average circuit path. It would be the proving factor in pulling away from Nichols; because although the pressure was amounting, he was focused on the signal obtain from the pit board each lap. Taking sixth overall, he knew walking away from this event, that the finish was noteworthy.
With riders changing territories and coasts for this round, many variables would be set in place, that could deter a competitor from their normal standing. Different competitors, time zones, and even soil compositions, could throw wrenches in the mix, that could make rider falter from his normal positioning. However, that wouldn’t be the case for Colt Nichols, as his willpower had been tested many times throughout his career thus far, and the Atlanta Supercross round wouldn’t provide anything he hadn’t seen before. Feeling right home as practice would commence, you could see him really putting his full attention into the track at hand. Soaring over the finish line double, he immediately would pounce into the sand, as if it were all too familiar territory. Letting the chassis dance throughout the littering of braking bumps that ensued, he would keep the front end steady, despite the swing arm swapping from side to side. It would provide him with a positive outlook for the main event to come, knowing that he could hold onto the bike in matters such as these. The heat race would be shortly thereafter, where he would be nestled around the third place spot to begin. He would eye certain parts of the track where he could make up valuable time, especially charging into the aforementioned sand section. You could see him setting up and landing toward the left side of the double, even clicking up a gear as he absolutely buried the front end into the following berm. Looking to keep the bike up right, he would ever so faintly move to the rear end of the machine, digging the shock into as much compression as possible. Moves like this would have him hanging near Shane McElrath for the last few laps, and he would reside here until the race would conclude. The field would then be storming through this Georgia layout to begin the main event, with riders trying to assert themselves as overall kings in dyer fashion. Keeping his vision clean throughout the sand, he would duck his visor ever so slightly, while he was behind Shane once again. He hoped to latch onto him to the best of his ability, pulling from the riders behind him. Keeping the furious pack behind, the halfway point would be a marker of standing, where he sat seventh. Although just a few short laps would remain, he knew an all-out effort would have to be displayed, otherwise slipping may occur. He would hold on, claiming seventh, and earning a respectable bid in regards to series standing.
As the crew for Monster Energy Supercross rolled into town, nearly every respected member of the industry would be flocking toward this southeastern hub. Very rare, throughout the history of this sport, had both respective brackets of racing merged like this. In years past, it’s been one ball of anticipation, as everyone waited for a climax of racing to occur in Sam Boyd Stadium. However this year, Christmas came a little early for both fans and team owner’s alike; seeing the entirety of the sport come together under the lights of Atlanta. It was a place for true talent to be scouted, where managers could see just how well a prospect could do within their full class. And Martin Davalos knew what was at stake; he realized if he could excel in a format like this, that his leverage in the midst of contractual talks could pay him positive dividend. He looked at practice as a proving ground for the night to come; wanting to show just what he was truly made of, the moment his tires hit the track. Hitting the triple combination in the far rhythm lane, his mechanic would soon clap his hand against the pit-board, letting him know that he was carrying himself in a positive manner. The heat race would then occur shortly thereafter, and his tires would immediately dig into the pad prior to hitting the clay; with his front wheel hovering above the ground as he blitzed down the straightaway. Battling with the likes of Alex Martin, the two were lever to lever, as they plowed into a multitude of bowl turns that littered this track. Riding the fine line between crashing and staying upright, it was an all out battle to the finish, as he was truly giving it all he had. Solidifying his spot in the main event, he would take third. The main event was here, and it was time for him to truly show what he was capable of. Riding around near sixth place, it was an all out assault to see who could reach the top first. With riders interchanging and swapping positions in a rampant manner, the field seemed to be in one constant shuffle as the race went on. He was scraping for every point earned, knowing that despite confusion and mix-up of different competitors, there were still viable points to be earned. He would come across the final stripe in eighth, thankful for what he had garnered.
With this stadium playing home to some of the best games in the NFL in recent memory, many usual attendees of events at Mercedes Benz stadium, were used to crowd roaring and an abundance of excitement. However, many of the fans were unbeknownst to just how spectacular the racing of this weekend could be; especially that of the 250 class. With the best talent in the world merging together for this particular Saturday night, there was no shortage of adrenaline running through each and every body placed inside the arena. One of the favorites of the crowd, Michael Mosiman, looked to captivate the audience with the pure amount of aggression he displayed. Even in the episode of practice, he could be seen running it in on his fellow competitors, knowing that he had to establish his presence immediately. He took aim at the top-tier talent combined with both coasts, knowing that by the end of the night, he would meet up with the absolute cream of the crop. With the gate falling for his heat race in the early evening, he would storm around the layout with the throttle absolutely pinned. Shifting the machine to the best of his ability, he would go through absolutely every gear of the transmission, trying to capture as many RPM as possible. Pushing his heart rate to absolute max capacity, his ability to withstand lactate was rather exceptional; as he continued to put down solid laps. Finishing fourth, he eyed the main event with furious amounts of anticipation. Clicking third as soon as he crossed the gate, there was no question as to just how far he was willing to go to get the position he wanted. He focused forward, never once glancing over his shoulder to see his “6.” The echo of his 250f was ricocheting off the walls of the stadium, letting the rev limiter be the indicator of just how hard he was charging through the field. Trying his best to finagle his way through the whoop section that was beginning to deteriorate, he knew he would have to be creative to keep the pack behind him. He could see Cianciarulo pulling away out front, but promised himself to stay focused on the task at hand. Keeping Brandon Hartranft at bay, his pace was truly exceptional from start to finish. Taking ninth place overall, was something to be said among this stacked field.
With the series introducing a format that was exceptionally new, the East/West shootout brought new life to a break in both particular coasts. Both series would collide here in Atlanta, with the absolute best of the best facing off here in the heart of the South. Brandon Hartranft had this circled on his calendar for months, anxiously waiting to stake his claim as one of the best. You could see his positive morale and emotion throughout practice, whipping the chassis in style as he hurled through the air for the “SX” triple. Styling in charismatic fashion, he would blister every inch of this layout to the best of his ability. Going back to the pit area, he knew he would have to create and adapt to a setting, that could tolerate all portions of this track; as it went from clay to sand, with all sorts of other compositions in between. But after discussion with his mechanic and fellow team members, the crew picked the perfect ergonomic positioning of the chassis, and ran with it. And to their success, it would propel them to a solid start to begin the festivities. Pushing forward through the thick of it all, he was trying his best to avoid the abundance of pile-ups that were occurring. Never letting off the gas, there were times when he was simply throwing caution to the wind, in order to move forward. Launching everything in sight, he knew he had to keep the likes of Anthony Rodriguez behind him. He couldn’t let back, letting his opponent know that he had entered into specific lobes of his brain. Fearlessness, being shown in every facet of his riding style, would take him to the finish line; with an ample effort being awarded with an eighth place position. For the main event, all coasts would be brought together, concocting a potion of entanglement and testosterone. Situated near the tenth place position, he looked forward to the finish line double every lap; knowing that he could have a solid finish by the end, if he kept the pace up. Neck and neck with Jacob Hayes, he would on the throttle just a bit more, ducking into the sands full steam ahead; and spraying all behind with a sea of solid grains. He was on the cusp of a tenth place finish for much of the event, but would finally make it stick once the clock struck zero. Tenth place was his for the taking.