2020 Atlanta Supercross Recap
Welcome to Atlanta.
The city that doesn't work.
That should be their slogan anyway. For all that is good and holy, who in their right mind scheduled Round 9 of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season on the same day as the Olympic marathon trials thereby closing all the major streets into downtown Atlanta that also for some reason brought hordes of people to watch others run? Run!?
Well, bless their heart.
Plus you had the auto show and the Blazer game, I mean Hawks game. They were playing Portland. What else, what else? Oh, and some dance thing where 5 year old girls looked 30.
Note to Feld - Nashville rules. Go there from now on. (Then I can convince my boss to let me go next year and spend a week in Nashville instead of Hotlanta.)
At any rate, this clusterbraap of epic proportions that featured the gnarliest FMF-ed traffic jam had little effect on Ken Roczen who turned in a stunning performance (probably just wanted to get the heck out of Atlanta and beat traffic) leading from the get-go and winning by 13 seconds. He was so far in front he disappeared in the pack.
Roczen's third win of the year ties him with Eli Tomac in the 450 class Championship standings and sets the stage for a wild second half of the season. Tomac, who won three of the last four rounds and looked ready to run away with the 2020 title, got an OK start but crashed while taking out Blake Baggett for a pass early in the race. He dropped to 15th place then a short while later stalled in the sand. But then he was lights out thereafter which nearly caused him to crash again after a wheelie through the whoops. He regained his composure and settled in a bit finishing fourth, less than a second from a podium spot. Some people say you win championships on your worst day, and if so, Tomac's run from 15th to fourth-place salvaged points and will highlight the season if he finishes on top.
Justin Barcia who hasn't finished on the podium since Round 2 had his best race since that evening in St. Louis and finished second. However, next to Roczen all eyes were on Cooper Webb who returned from a somersault crash that looked season-ending last week. Webb, the defending Champion, managed through a hematoma and deep bone bruising to his sacrum and pelvis, stayed on two wheels, and saved his season with a third-place finish. He did lose ground in the standings, now in fourth behind Barcia, but did not lose any further points to the leaders.
In the 250 class, defending 250 East Champion Chase Sexton made it look pretty easy with a pass on RJ Hampshire nearly midway through the race and he never looked back. Sexton looks to be the sports next biggest star as he'll transition to the 450 class next year and now carries a five point lead in the standings. Sexton won two of the three East rounds. Hampshire held on for second and remains ni third-place in the standings. Shane McElrath, who won the opening East round rather handedly, finished second in Round 2 and third in Atlanta. He only sits five points out of first place but needs to end finishing races based on the round number or he'll quickly lose pace with Sexton.
Supercross heads to Daytona (assuming riders and semi trucks can get out of Atlanta) for Round 10 on Saturday so until then check out all the action from the Peach State. Photos by Ryne Swanberg.