5 Things We Learned, Daytona: Championship Rivalry Heating Up and More

After a week off, Monster Energy Supercross was back for Round 9 at the famous Daytona International Speedway. The rain held off, the track was pretty dope, and there was good racing all night. Let’s get into it. 

Ken vs Coop

One thing about Cooper Webb, the dude ain’t afraid to try and rattle his opponents. It’s never anything crazy, but little things like putting his pit board with “red plate” on it while lined up next to Ken Roczen in Houston. You know, those type of things. 

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Coop has been known for this his entire career, and honestly, Slaw is fine with it. 

Back to Daytona. Roczen caught Webb a few times and it looked like the points leader was going to make a pass, but Webb did what Webb does late in the race. Not only did he hold off Ken, but he passed Aaron Plessinger for second on the final lap to pick up more points. Roczen’s lead is now down to just two. 

After the race, Roczen gave a fiery interview in which he said Webb pushed him wide off the start.

“You know, obviously I got a really good start and Webb just pushed me really wide into the tuff blocks, which caused me to lose a bunch of spots,” he said. “I think he’s scared of me, you know, that’s why he plays these kind of games, but little does he know, I like to play as well.

“From here on out I’m just going to put in that little bit of extra focus, even at home, to be that much better on the weekend – he’s just fueling the fire and I’m ready for it. I mean, he got this one round and the points have closed up a little bit, but we’ve got plenty of racing to go. I like to play, so let’s go.”

Well, Webb fired back in the post-race press conference, and oh boy doggies, we got some heat going on between the title contenders and I’m here for it. 

“When we got back he was running his mouth, but I didn’t really hear what he said from the podium or anything. He wasn’t too pumped, but I mean, I’m not too sure why – I saw an opening and went for it. You know, he’s really focusing on himself this year and, clearly, he showed how much he’s focusing on himself…”

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AP is Back!

Look, it’s been a rough transition to the 450 Class for Aaron Plessinger. He’s been hurt, and honestly, hasn’t really lived up to expectations. That’s slowly starting to change though, as AP has started to piece things together now that his old team, Star Racing, is running the 450 program. 

AP has been pretty solid this year, but at Daytona he was on fire. He had a great heat, challenging Webb the entire time. In the main, he passed Webb early and was even making a run at Tomac. He lost second to Webb on the final lap but was still able to score his first career 450 podium. That’s great and all, but what Slaw is here for is his post-race podium speech. 

It’s just good for the sport to have AP doing well. It just is. 

Tomac Still In It?

If you read Slawdictions, which everyone should, you know Slaw called Eli for the win at Daytona. Look, it’s been a weird year for Eli, but if there was anyway he was going to get back in this title chase, he had to win Daytona. He knew that. His team knew that. Hell, the whole dame sport knew that. 

Well, he did and in pretty convincing fashion. It’s his fifth win at Daytona, tying him with Ricky Carmichael for most all-time. He’s now just 24 back of Roczen in the title chase. 

“I needed this,” he said. “I’ve struggled the past three or four rounds just not being me. I’ve been looking forward to this race the way the last few have gone… It makes me feel like I’m still somewhat in the game whereas if I got beat by Ken [Roczen] and Cooper [Webb] again, I’d really be out of it.”

If Tomac can grab another win at the first Arlington, then I think he’s right back in this and we’ll have a three horse race down the stretch!

McAdoo McAdid it: Cameron wins ‘tona

What a difference a couple weeks make. Cameron McAdoo went from public enemy No 1 for accidentally hitting a medic and Alex Martin at Orlando 2, to winning his first career main event at Daytona. Never give up, kids!

McAdoo has an incredible journey to here. He’s been a fill-in, a privateer, out of rides, to now riding for Mitch Payton and winning main events. Oh, and with Justin Cooper finishing fourth, he’s now the points leader too!

“Honestly going over the finish line and getting to ride up to the wall and doing that burnout. That’s something that I’ll never forget,” McAdoo said. “They always say your first one feels good, and it really does.”

Stilez and Pierce 

When Slaw was filling out his famous Slawdictions, never did I in a million years have Stilez Robertson and Pierce Brown on the podium at Daytona. 

I ain’t talking smack on these dudes. Far from it. But, Robertson was entering just his second career supercross while Pierce was back from an off-season knee injury and probably wasn’t 100 percent. 

Well, Robertson went and lead the damn thing until being passed by eventual winner Cameron McAdoo. He held on for second to snatch his first career podium. 

“When I got out front, I didn’t know better, so I just started putting in my laps and then around halfway it set in,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow, I’m leading Daytona right now.’”

Hell of a ride for the rookie!

Meanwhile, Brown looked okay all day, but nothing spectacular. Again, that’s to be expected. In the main, Brown rode fantastic to grab third. 

“I was off the bike for four and a half months and it’s been about eight or nine months since I lined up,” Brown said. “The nerves felt like it was my first race ever. I did not expect to be on the podium… I couldn’t be happier.”

“It’s definitely been a building process,” he said of the long recovery period. “I got six weeks of an offseason and I came in super unprepared and I just kind of rode out there… But I trusted my ability and next thing I know I was in third place. Justin Cooper was right there on me at the end and I just had to put my head down and dig deal… A lot of lows and a lot of highs, but this is definitely a high.”

Slaw Dog

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