Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Cooper Webb has extended his advantage in the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship after claiming a convincing runner-up result at round 10 of the season, on a night in Detroit that will be remembered for teammate Aaron Plessinger crashing out of contention in the closing laps while leading the Main Event. The 250SX Eastern Region saw Tom Vialle earn an inspired sixth-place finish.
After qualifying sixth and finishing P4 in the opening Heat race, double 450SX champion Webb was in the thick of the action in a spectacular Main Event onboard the KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. His 23 points scored enabled him to increase his series lead to three points, maintaining the red plate for a second-consecutive week and continuing his podium consistency.
Cooper Webb: "It was disappointing for Aaron, he deserved to win tonight, and it was a crazy race. There was a lot of battling, I was just being smart, riding my race and I'm excited. It was a great race to maximize some points and I want to give it up for the Red Bull KTM team. There were fast laps at the beginning, I went down the middle of the whoops during the race and dialed that in, so that helped. I ended up in a good groove, so finishing on the podium was a strong result. I was just clicking my laps and, at the end of the day, it was a great race. We did what we needed to do, for sure, moving forward. Thank you to the fans tonight, too, they were awesome!"
As for Plessinger, he earned P2 in his Heat race and, after claiming the Main Event holeshot and taking control of the race on lap two, was on target for a first-career premier-class victory until disaster struck with two laps remaining. Despite crashing heavily, he was able to salvage a 13th-place result, but it was a case of what could have been for the ever-popular Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider on his 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. He is ranked seventh in the championship following 10 rounds.
Aaron Plessinger: "That one hurts, that one hurts a lot. I was riding so good and, man, I didn't stand up in that rut the whole moto – I sat down and put my foot out... The one time I think it's alright to stand up, it catches my foot and rips me right off the bike. I couldn't believe it, flying through the air like that and I just tried to tuck, because it was a hard hit. I tried to get back up – I probably could have finished – but man, that hurts. You know, get back up on the saddle and I'll get back up there in Seattle. I love it there, so don't count me out, I'm not done yet. I was riding so good, I'm so proud of my riding and I love these fans. I could hear them the whole way! You know, it happens, we'll be back with a vengeance. My starts are good, I'm good, my fitness is good... I've just gotta stay on the bike next time. Thank you to the fans, I wish I could have won it, but we'll get them next year!"
French rookie Vialle managed to overcome a crash in Timed Practice that saw him qualify down the order in 250SX East, rebounding for third position in his Heat race and then charging to sixth in the Main Event riding the KTM 250 SX-F. The two-time and current MX2 World Champion was within half a second of a top-five result, keeping him positioned eighth in the championship standings entering a four-week break for the region.
Tom Vialle: "Unfortunately I had a crash in practice and that was disappointing, but I actually had a good heat race in P3. I felt better in the night and had an okay start in the Main, around fifth or sixth, then finished really close to fifth in the end of the race. We were consistent, a little bit off in speed, but we will work hard over the next four weeks until the next round and try to improve my speed. The goal is to get closer to the top guys in front, so we will look forward to Atlanta."
Next Race: March 25 – Seattle, Washington
Results 450SX Class – Detroit
1. Chase Sexton (USA), Honda, 23 laps
2. Cooper Webb (USA), KTM, +6.335
3. Eli Tomac (USA), Yamaha, +15.405
7. Justin Hill (USA), KTM
10. Josh Hill (USA), KTM
13. Aaron Plessinger (USA), KTM
16. Kevin Moranz (USA), KTM
Standings 450SX Class 2023 after 10 of 17 rounds
1. Cooper Webb, 225 points
2. Eli Tomac, 222
3. Chase Sexton, 208
7. Aaron Plessinger, 164
10. Justin Hill, 103
16. Josh Hill, 67
19. Kevin Moranz, 40
29. Marvin Musquin, 11
Results 250SX East Class – Detroit
1. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Honda, 17 laps
2. Nate Thrasher (USA), Yamaha, +7.685
3. Haiden Deegan (USA), Yamaha, +11.215
6. Tom Vialle (FRA), KTM
17. Jack Chambers (USA), KTM
Standings 250SX East Class 2023 after 6 of 10 rounds
1. Hunter Lawrence, 151 points
2. Nate Thrasher, 116
3. Haiden Deegan, 111
8. Tom Vialle, 85
25. Jack Chambers, 12