Orlando II - Rider Comments
Posted on February 22, 2021
Another big night for former AMA supercross champion Cooper Webb and the signs are starting to show that as fast as Ken Roczen is, he might start to struggle with the pressures of the red plate. Below are a bunch of rider comments from Orlando II.
Cooper Webb: “This one is huge, back-to-back wins is amazing! It was a great race battling with AC [Cianciarulo] and great points for tonight. Marvin was riding great. I knew he was coming there at the end and I know how strong he is because we ride and train together every day. I felt like start to finish I was in my comfort zone just clicking laps away and it felt really good. KTM going one and two is incredible, this is an awesome feeling.”
Marvin Musquin: “It feels really good to be running up front. The whoops started to be very tough so I was trying to be careful but at the same time I wanted to gain time on Cooper. I felt like I was a little bit quicker at one point but I didn’t want the track to bite me and go down. At least I had a great feeling out there. I want to thank the team for their hard work, I felt better today.”
Justin Barcia: “It was a tough day for sure, I had a crash in practice and kind of destroyed myself. I had to regroup and I felt like I got a little bit better. We made a lot of changes on the bike for the Main Event and I got off to a great start. I picked my speed up at the end of the race and I got into a flow, which was cool. For how the morning went, to be up on the podium was a solid race. Obviously, I want a lot more out of myself but it will be nice to have a week off, regroup and get the body right before heading to Daytona, which I’m excited for.”
Justin Cooper: “It feels awesome to get the win. That’s definitely the way you want to start the series. I had a foot injury coming in, so I was a little bit nervous about that, not having enough time on the bike, but it all started out well. I was fastest in all of the practice sessions. I just didn’t have my starts down. We didn’t really practice too many of those at home, so that was a struggle until the Main Event. Luckily, we pulled it off twice, so I’d say they came around at the right time. It was good to get out of this place safe. There’s always a lot of hype around the season opener. You don’t really want to throw away the championship at the first round. I got myself in a good position where I could ride my own race and was able to take it easy to the finish line. It was a pretty perfect night for me. I’m excited to keep building on tonight and getting stronger since I didn’t have much time to prep for this round. I want to be on the podium every weekend and do the best I can. I’m glad to have a weekend off before Daytona. We can definitely work on some things to be a little bit stronger heading into the second round.”
Cameron McAdoo: "It feels really good to start off the season on the podium and shows that all the hard work we have been putting in this off-season has paid off. It was a bit of a hectic day out there with all the carnage going on around us and having that restart in the main event. I am happy with this second place, but I also feel like I could have been on that top step tonight. I know where I can improve and will spend the next two weeks doing that before we head to Daytona.”
Ken Roczen: That was some fun racing last night. Yeah, I lost some points but I’m not the one being in the points deficit. Have some room to play with! Unfortunately I picked the wrong gate last night, explained Roczen on social media. “Once the 250’s were done they moves the tuffblocks and then I noticed that my rut was messed up and had a big kicker in it. Gate dropped and I fed my clutch and my front wheel hit it dead on causing me to really lift up and kind of deflected my handlebars. 22nd around the first turn and 17th around the second turn made for a intense main event. I m leaving in a high note as I feel like I was riding well and I had a lot of fun. Ultimately I wish I could have eliminated a couple of mistakes and made the pass on Eli stick on the first try as I feel like I could have gotten to the podium. Good battles through out the night though.”
Eli Tomac: "Today was just not my day. The track conditions were rough at the start, but I had no issues finding traction and qualified in fifth aboard my KX450. In my heat race, I got a terrible jump out of the gate and this track was extremely difficult to pass on, I had to settle for seventh going into the main event. In the main event, I had a decent start and was able to get into a good position inside the top-5 where I had a solid three-way battle going with (Justin) Barcia and Ken (Roczen). I fought as hard as I could tonight, but it was only good enough for sixth place. We have the next weekend off from racing, so we will regroup and come out swinging at my favorite place to race, Daytona.”
Adam Cianciarulo: “Well, today certainly didn’t go the way we would have liked it too. We had some great momentum all day long. I qualified in sixth, finished second in the heat, and in the main event, I got such a great jump out the gate on my KX450 and was able to just lead some solid laps. Once Cooper (Webb) got by me, I was able to see some lines where he was a touch quicker than me and felt like he wasn’t getting away from me, but as I began to look for lines to try and make a pass back, a lapper threw off my whoop section and I miscalculated my jump into the whoops that resulted in me going down. It was not the way I wanted to end the night, but I can’t thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team enough for their support on the good days and the bad days.”
Malcolm Stewart: “We struggled in practice and made a few changes and got the bike really good for the heat race. The heat race was great, but I didn’t get the best start. My starts have been struggling a little bit all year long. Even in the Main Event, I didn’t get the best of starts, but I still made some passes on the first lap and put myself in a great position. Then I had a couple of sketchy moments on the track. I landed on a hay bale. I tried to do a quad and landed on a hay bale again. You know how people say cats got nine lives? I think I used every bit of those nine lives out there. It’s just one of those deals when the track goes away, and there are potholes, and the whoops are kind of sketchy. It turns into more about survival mode out there. We ended Orlando 2 in seventh. The way practice went, we turned this whole day all the way around. Hats off to my guys. They have been busting their tails all year long, the whole team. I’m looking forward to the week off. We’re going to do some more testing and start swinging for Daytona. That’s another hometown race for me, so I’m excited for that – three hometown races. Let’s just keep the ball rolling.”
Jason Anderson: My night was a lot better. I had a good practice and ended up P1, had a good battle in the heat race and got first in that. In the Main Event, I kind of had a bad start and worked my way up to fifth. I’m getting better and feeling better, so hopefully we’ll have an even better weekend in Daytona.
Zach Osborne: It was a little bit of a tough night for me. I kind of tweaked my back in the last practice and I really struggled with it tonight. I had a mediocre start and an eighth-place finish, which is not really anything to write home about but I’ll get it sorted and be ready for Daytona.
Dean Wilson: “In the Main Event, I was all over 10th and I got a little bit traumatized from the blue flags and I thought the guy behind me was the leader so I let him by, which put me back to 12th. It’s disappointing but I’m looking forward to these next couple weeks to really heal up and get my body healthy. It’s tough to try and race injured but we’ll be back at Daytona.”
Aaron Plessinger: IIt was a so-so day. I started out not feeling comfortable in qualifying. We made some changes, and then we decided to go back to what I ran here last weekend. That was better in the heat race. I got a really good start and was up there in fourth and then passed (Broc) Tickle for third. I think I messed up on my gate selection and didn’t pick the right one, and did not get a great start in the main. I put my head down and tried to do what I did last weekend but only came back to ninth. The track was like glass out there, like wet glass. I went around one corner, and I barely even leaned over, and my back end almost spun around all the way on me. It was so hard-packed and so rough. The whoops were so edgy and slick and blue grooved. It was crazy. It was worse than the test tracks. So ninth on the night, I can’t be too mad, being that this class is as stacked as it is. It’s not where I want to be, though. I want to be up front and battling for that top spot, the top three spots at least. I know we can get there. Last year we had a pretty good race in Daytona, so I’m going to get back on my horse and ride on.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “It was a tough two races in Orlando. I am not happy, but I gave everything I had to come back after hitting the tough block and losing a lot of time in the race. I’m happy to have the weekend off to do more work and get ready for Daytona.”
Nate Thrasher: “It was good first supercross. We had some good qualifying times and came out swinging with a good start in the heat race. I almost had the holeshot but got tangled up and went down there in the first turn. So I had to go through the LCQ and just rode smart to put it in the main. Then we just clicked away laps. I had really good endurance and got better every lap. That’s the goal. We ended up 11th, so that’s not bad for a rough night. We’ll just keep getting better every weekend.”
Jarrett Frye: “My first supercross race didn’t really go to plan. I made it in the main but kind of struggled all day to find a flow with the track being so hard-packed. Then in the main, somewhere a little over halfway, I made a mistake in the whoops, went down, and got some stuff tangled in my wheel that cost me the race. It was a tough day, but we’re going to go back to work and come back at Daytona.”
Seth Hammaker: “My day started out well as I qualified second. I would be lying to you if I told you that I wasn’t nervous lining up for my first pro race tonight. It was awesome when I got the holeshot in the heat race and was able to lead some laps. Once Cameron (McAdoo) got by me, I just wanted to learn from him and see where I could be faster on the track. The main event was pretty wild, and I had a good spot on the restart, but I got some help from another rider who took me out before the finish line jump, so I had my work cut out for me and was able to get back up to sixth. All in all, it was a great first day of getting my feet wet in the class and now have a point where we can build off of. I can’t thank the entire Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team enough for believing in me and giving me this incredible opportunity to chase my dreams.”
Jordon Smith: “Not exactly the result I was hoping for today. Coming into the season, I had been dealing with a thumb injury that has affected my ability to grip the handlebars at times and unfortunately, I paid the price for that tonight. Overall, I was really happy with my riding. I qualified fourth, got fifth in the heat race and was in a great position at the front of the pack in the main event after the restart, but the whoops tonight were eating up a ton of riders and my hand slipped off the bars when I was skimming through them and it just slammed me to the ground. I am just bruised and battered, but I will take the next two weeks to let my body rest so I can come swinging in Daytona.”
Jalek Swoll: “It was a pretty decent night. The heat race was a little hectic and I got shuffled back a bit and finished sixth. That didn’t set me up for a very good gate pick in the Main Event but I made the best of it. I felt like toward the end of the moto I started coming around but by that point it was kind of too late. I’m a little disappointed but we’ll be back next weekend.”
Stilez Robertson: We had a smooth start to the day with seventh in qualifying and fourth in the heat race. In the main, I got a decent start about 10th through the first jump but Jeremy Martin rolled and I thought he was going to jump and I ended up landing on him. I crashed and bent my bike up but I still gave it a go in the main and just tried to salvage what we could, so not too bad thanks to the team.”