2021 Atlanta 1 Supercross Recap
Somebody forgot to put out the "Slippery When Wet" signs but Eli Tomac managed to stay on two-wheels and thanks to some aggressive riding including an arching leap through the air just prior to the finish line with a lap to go, the defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion took his third win of the year on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, GA.
Round 13, the first of three rounds, in Atlanta wasn’t a mudder as initially expected but rain did leave conditions pretty wet and the track surface slick. This was also the first time at the Speedway, a far better offering than the claustrophobic and traffic congested stadium in downtown Atlanta, which produced a much longer than normal Supercross track with lap times more than double those held inside arenas or stadiums and about 30 seconds longer than Daytona.
Tomac, who started ninth, quietly worked his way to the front passing Cooper Webb for second-place with about six minutes remaining and methodically caught up to Chase Sexton for the lead after time expired with one lap left. Tomac has a way to go in defending his 450 class title but pulled to within 14 points of second-place Ken Roczen who finished ninth. Webb, the series points leader, finished third extending his lead over Roczen to 22 points and maintains a 36-point edge over Tomac with four rounds remaining.
Despite losing the lead on the last lap, Sexton got his first career podium in the premier class. The 2020 250SX East Champion has battled injuries in his rookie 450 season but has three Top 5s in the last four rounds.
The 250SX West class was riddled with riders hitting the dirt. Series points leader Justin Cooper went over the handlebars in his Heat race but escaped injury, finished and qualified, Seth Hammaker went down while leading and Cameron McAdoo, while battling with Hunter Lawrence in their Heat race, did an accidental whip of sorts heading up the over under bridge, landing awkwardly which tossed him off the side in a pretty spectacular crash. He still qualified.
But the big story came from rookie Nate Thrasher who led every lap for his first career win and became the fifth different winner in the six rounds raced. Cooper finished second and McAdoo took third, both first and second in the standings, respectively. Lawrence, who was just six points from the lead heading into the round, fell in a first turn crash and got back up in last, but worked his way to seventh. Cooper leads McAdoo by four points and Lawrence by 13.
Midweek racing continues as Round 14 gets underway at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday for the second of three rounds at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Until then, live Round 13 all again.