The skies opened and mother nature emerged at round 14 of the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship, making for challenging conditions for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team in East Rutherford, where 450SX title challenger Cooper Webb finished in fifth position, while Maximus Vohland claimed fourth and Tom Vialle 14th in the 250SX East/West Showdown.
After qualifying sixth, two-time champion Webb launched out of the gates in the opening 450SX Heat of the night, maintaining a strong pace to secure second position. In the time between the dry Heat race and the Main Event, heavy storms in the region made for a rain-soaked racetrack ahead of the delayed Main Events.
Posting a calculated ride for a strong haul of points, Webb methodically picked his way through the ruts throughout the technical 18-lap affair on his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, landing a fifth-place finish by race's end, and remaining right in the 450SX championship hunt. He's still second overall, 11 points outside of the lead with three races to run.
Cooper Webb: "What a crazy turn of events with the insane weather tonight, making racing conditions extremely tough. Not the way I’d hoped tonight would go as my goal was to close in on the championship and not lose points. We at least made it out in one piece and given the horrible racing conditions, I guess fifth overall wasn’t too bad. I need to rebound and throw everything at this championship next week in Nashville."
In the first 250SX East/West Showdown of the season, both Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team contenders were on hand, including Vohland and dual MX2 World Champion, Vialle. Posting strong lap times and Heat race results throughout the day’s proceedings, Vohland and Vialle took their KTM 250 SX-F machines to P5 and P14 respectively in the rain-delayed Main Event.
Maximus Vohland: "It was a good day overall for me, third in qualifying and third in my heat race – being the Showdown, the Heat is like a mini Main Event, so to get third there was great. I was thinking we’d get a dry Main Event, and then we had a weather delay where we were waiting for an hour to go out – the track was just getting worse and worse – but yeah, in the position I’m in I had nothing to lose, so I went out there and had fun. I knew I needed a good start, which I got, then was flirting around that podium spot, although the way it turned out I finished in fourth. So I’ll take it, made some good points, feel confident in my riding, and am excited for Colorado."
Tom Vialle: "We had to wait quite a while tonight before the start of the Main Event, and then off the start, I spun really bad, which meant I started last. From there it was tough with lots of water on the track making it hard to pass, which put me in 14th place overall. I didn’t do much after the start – it was about survival after that – so I’m looking forward to Nashville now."
The other KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION of Aaron Plessinger experienced a difficult day in New Jersey, with the #7 sitting out the night program following a crash earlier in the day. Plessinger underwent preliminary medical evaluation at the track and will now return home for further analysis.
Next Race: April 29 – Nashville, Tenessee
Results 450SX Class – East Rutherford
1. Justin Barcia (USA), GASGAS, 18 laps
2. Eli Tomac (USA), Yamaha, + 14.742
3. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki, +25.396
5. Cooper Webb (USA), KTM
7. Kevin Moranz (USA), KTM
9. Justin Hill (USA), KTM
18. Josh Hill (USA), KTM
Standings 450SX Class 2023 after 14 of 17 rounds
1. Eli Tomac, 315 points
2. Cooper Webb, 304
3. Chase Sexton, 294
7. Aaron Plessinger, 213
9. Justin Hill, 154
14. Josh Hill, 103
19. Kevin Moranz, 70
29. Marvin Musquin, 11
Results 250SX East/West Showdown – East Rutherford
1. Max Anstie (GBR), Honda, 14 laps
2. Jett Lawrence (AUS), Honda, +10.091
3. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Honda, +10.824
4. Maximus Vohland (USA), KTM, +11.324
14. Tom Vialle, KTM
Standings 250SX East Class 2023 after 8 of 10 rounds
1. Hunter Lawrence, 198
2. Haiden Deegan, 149
3. Max Anstie, 148
9. Tom Vialle, 95
Standings 250SX West Class 2023 after 7 of 10 rounds
1. Jett Lawrence, 176
2. RJ Hampshire, 137
3. Enzo Lopes, 118
5. Maximus Vohland, 104