Triumphs and tragedies for Kawasaki men at Nashville SX

2019 AMA Supercross
Round 14 Nashville

By Darren Smart – Images by Hoppenworld

Nashville hosted the 14th round of the AMA Supercross Championships last weekend and it was a night that saw a series of ups and downs for Team Green.

AMA Supercross Rnd Nissan Stadium Pits JK SX Nashville
Nissan Stadium – Nashville

The first blow for Kawasaki came when 250 East Coast Championship leader Austin Forkner had his traditional practice crash, but this time the Pro-Circuit Kawasaki pilot was forced to sit out the night with a knee injury.

AMA Supercross Rnd Forkner JK SX Nashville
Austin Forkner fell heavily early in the night

It was also not looking great for Kawasaki in the 450 category after Eli Tomac was forced to the LCQ, his KX450F ground to a halt while the 26-year-old was leading his heat race. 

AMA Supercross Rnd Kawasaki Pits JK SX Nashville
Tomac’s machine let him down while he was leading his heat race

450SX Report

Heat race winner Ken Roczen was in a class of his own leading into the main event. Championship leader Cooper Webb had looked far from convincing, both during qualifying and his heat, but the plucky KTM rider shook those shackles off come the main and pulled the holeshot ahead of Blake Baggett, Marvin Musquin, Joy Savatgy, Roczen, Dean Wilson and Tomac when the main got underway.

AMA Supercross Rnd Webb Bogle Tomac Multiple JK SX Nashville
Cooper Webb took the holeshot

There was a palpable tension in the stadium when Musquin move to second and immediately started putting pressure on his team-mate, followed by an audible gasp from the crowd when Marvin crashed out of the whoops section on lap three.

AMA Supercross Rnd Webb JK SX Nashville
Musquin chasing Webb

Savatgy inherited second but the big mover was Roczen, the German soon all over the Kawasaki rider. Then Savatgy lost the front of his Kawasaki going into a bowl right hander, forcing Roczen to crash into the downed KX, before then falling over the back of the berm and tumbling down into another part of the track. 

AMA Supercross Rnd Roczen JK SX Nashville
Ken Roczen tumbled off the circiuit and down a bank without his machine

Savatgy had been carted off the track with what looked like a broken collarbone.

“Nights like tonight are a tough pill to swallow. We were running great all day. I felt strong and fast in the heat race, and felt like I was in position to do the same in the main event. I just landed off that triple and hit some slick spot and washed the front end. I dinged myself up pretty good and will go get everything checked out on Monday to make sure I am ready to go in Denver.”

AMA Supercross Rnd Savatgy Webb Multiple JK SX Nashville
Savatgy and Webb

Webb was gifted a handy lead but he was still clearly struggling through the two whoop sections. It wasn’t long before Eli Tomac was finding his mojo and raced by Wilson, Baggett and Webb to take the lead.

AMA Supercross Rnd Tomac JK SX Nashville
Eli Tomac

A few laps later Baggett move to second ahead of Webb.

AMA Supercross Rnd Baggett JK SX Nashville
Blake Baggett

Musquin worked his way up through the field in a desperate attempt to salvage points and Roczen was on a similar come from behind mission.

AMA Supercross Rnd Roczen JK SX Nashville
Ken Roczen

Tomac took the chequered flag well ahead of Baggett, who had Webb right on his back wheel all of the way to the line.

AMA Supercross Rnd Tomac JK SX Nashville
Eli Tomac takes the win

Wilson, Osborne, Musquin, Seely, Roczen, Bogle and Bowers rounded out the top ten. Not what they had wished for but still a far better outcome than non-finishers Justin Barcia, Justin Hill, Joshua Grant and Savatgy.

AMA Supercross Rnd Tomac Baggett Webb Podium JK SX Nashville
450SX Main Event Results
Eli Tomac – Kawasaki
Blake Baggett – KTM +11.644
Cooper Webb – KTM +13.808

Webb now has a 21-point lead over Tomac and Musquin with three rounds remaining. Three more top four finishes would be enough for Webb to win the crown, no matter where other riders finish. But there is still plenty of mouth-watering racing to come.

Eli Tomac – P1

“It was tough, you can use it (going to the LCQ) to your advantage or not, I actually felt that I kept warm and found some rhythm but it was pretty wild, the truck was a mile away so when we had the mechanical I had to push it all the way back which made it a time crunch (to get back in time for the LCQ) so I just poured it on in the main, got back to our old self and it felt good to do that.”

AMA Supercross Rnd Tomac Starts JK SX Nashville
Eli Tomac

Blake Baggett – P2

“The track was super slippery and the whoops were cupped out so it felt like you were fighting the bike a lot and using a lot of energy, I had a few good spots but the best man won tonight, Eli took advantage of a few spots where I was slower, got to give it up to the team, we thought we may have a win but not tonight.”

AMA Supercross Rnd Bagget Starts JK SX Nashville
Blake Baggett #4

Cooper Webb – P3

“When I was out front it was good but I could tell they were catching me but I was struggling with lines and whoops so it was like, I will learn and see what these guys are doing then see if I can’t keep on their wheel, maybe mount an attack later, but obviously it didn’t work out like that with the track being so slippery and not being able to attack.”

AMA Supercross Rnd Webb Tomac Multiple JK SX Nashville
Cooper Webb leads Eli Tomac early on

450 SX Highlights Video

450SX Main Event Results

  1. Eli Tomac – Kawasaki
  2. Blake Baggett – KTM +11.644
  3. Cooper Webb – KTM +13.808
  4. Dean Wilson – Husqvarna +18.940
  5. Zach Osborne – Husqvarna +23.804
  6. Marvin Musquin – KTM +49.921
  7. Cole Seely – Honda +41.979
  8. Ken Roczen – Honda +50.242
  9. Justin Bogle – KTM +1 lap
  10. Tyler Bowers – Kawasaki +1 lap
  11. Chris Blose – Husqvarna +1 lap
  12. Ben Lamay – Honda +1 lap
  13. Kyle Chisholm – Suzuki +1 lap
  14. Mike Alessi – Honda +1 lap
  15. Justing Starling – Husqvarna +2 laps

Post Race Press Conference

450SX Points after 14 of 17 Rounds

  1. Cooper Webb – 309
  2. Eli Tomac – 288
  3. Marvin Musquin – 288
  4. Ken Roczen – 267
  5. Blake Baggett – 238
  6. Dean Wilson – 220
  7. Cole Seely – 176
  8. Joey Savatgy – 174
  9. Justin Barcia – 154
  10. Chad Reed – 151
  11. Justin Brayton – 141
  12. Justin Bogle 138
  13. Aaron Plessinger – 123
  14. Justin Hill – 122
  15. Tyler Bowers – 116

250 East Coast Report

Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper came into Nashville 26 and 28-points behind Forkner respectively so this was as good a chance for them to make up serious ground on the championship leader who had to sit out the main with a knee injury. The pair looked on track to perhaps make that happen when they came through turn one together, Sexton leading Cooper.

AMA Supercross Rnd Justin Cooper Starts JK SX Nashville
250 SX Nashville

Unfortunately for both riders Cooper then had a complete brain fade in the second corner, not only dive-bombing Sexton but then also running into the Honda rider so high that  they locked bikes and fell into each other.

AMA Supercross Rnd Justin Cooper Sexton Multiple JK SX Nashville
Justin Cooper leads Chase Sexton

While Cooper and Sexton went through the traditional frantic bike pick up scenario, Davalos inherited the lead and romped away to the win, doing his team-mate in Austin Forkner a massive favour in the process.

AMA Supercross Rnd Davalos JK SX Nashville
Martin Davalos

Well behind Davalos the action was aplenty as Sexton and Cooper sliced there way back through the field and by race end had promoted themselves back onto the podium. Sexton will head to the next round only three-points adrift of Forkner. 

AMA Supercross Rnd Podium Davalos Sexton Cooper JK SX Nashville
250 East Coat Main Event Results
Martin Davalos – Kawasaki
Chase Sexton – Honda +3.508
Justin Cooper – Yamaha +8.575

Kyle Peters, Brandon Hartranft, Mitchell Oldenburg, Kyle Cunningham, Ryan Sipes, Mitchell Falk and Alex Martin rounded out the top ten

Martin Davalos – P1

“I was forced to recover from a myriad of injuries during the off-season and my neck was one of them that I didn’t think would be an issue but I had problems with my arms and hands locking up so I spoke to Mitch and we got a heap of doctors in California to check me out and find solutions, as far as tonight goes the guys made a mistake and I took advantage of it, put myself in the right position and what we did with my neck a week ago definitely calmed my neck a little bit but all up, I am pumped to be here and this is awesome. I am looking for a 450 ride next year, I feel that would suit me better.”

AMA Supercross Rnd Martin Davalos Podium JK SX Nashville
Martin Davalos

Chase Sexton – P2

“I got a pretty good start and I really felt that tonight was my night so I made a quick pass on Justin and I was honestly just trying to sprint away but I clipped some of the rhythm which allowed him (Cooper) to get alongside me, I don’t have much to say about it except it is a bummer and it put us along way back but I was able to put my head down and get back to second.”

AMA Supercross Rnd Sexton JK SX Nashville
Chase Sexton

Justin Cooper – P3

“We (Sexton and I) were one and two after the start, battling hard with everything on the line with Austin out so I went to block pass him in that flat berm but as I went to pull away I felt that our bikes were connected at that point which took us both down which is kind of a bummer.”

AMA Supercross Rnd Cooper JK SX Nashville
Justin Cooper

250 SX Highlights Video

250 East Coat Main Event Results

  1. Martin Davalos – Kawasaki
  2. Chase Sexton – Honda +3.508
  3. Justin Cooper – Yamaha +8.575
  4. Kyle Peters – Suzuki +13.091
  5. Brandon Hartranft – Yamaha +18.721
  6. Mitchell Oldenburg – Yamaha +25.305
  7. Kyle Cunningham – Honda +27.728
  8. Ryan Sipes – KTM +29.284
  9. Mitchell Falk – KTM +34.231
  10. Alex Martin – Suzuki +34.504

250 East Coast Points after 7 of 9 Rounds

  1. Austin Forkner – 151
  2. Chase Sexton – 148
  3. Justin Cooper – 144
  4. Martin Davalos – 115
  5. Mitchell Oldenburg – 105
  6. Alex Martin – 105
  7. Brandon Hartranft – 100
  8. Kyle Peters – 98
  9. Kyle Cunningham – 97
  10. Jordon Bailey – 76

250 West Coast Points after 8 of 10 Rounds

  1. Adam Cianciarulo – 182
  2. Dylan Ferrandis – 177
  3. Colt Nichols – 142
  4. RJ Hampshire – 126
  5. Shane Mcelrath – 123
  6. James Decotis – 112
  7. Chris Blose – 111
  8. Cameron Mcadoo – 111
  9. Michael Mosiman – 110
  10. Garrett Marchbanks – 99


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