Story by Pete Peterson

AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas delivered a thrilling Round 7 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence grabbed the Holeshot and Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Cooper Webb took over second place, and pursuit of Jett, immediately. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Eli Tomac crashed on the second lap and fell back to 16th, where he started his impressive charge through the pack. Shortly after, Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki’s Ken Roczen and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Malcolm Stewart went down and fell back from the lead group. Tomac reached third place on lap 23 of 27 with a pass on Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger, just before Jett Lawrence got off-line on a jump, landed on a Tuff Blox, and crashed. Webb took over the lead, but Lawrence quickly caught back up to Webb’s rear tire. On the final lap Lawrence ran into a lapped rider and went down again, handing the lead to Webb. Tomac captured second place, and Plessinger took third. Lawrence recovered quickly and grabbed fourth place at the checkers.

Cooper Webb

Cooper Webb – First Place – 450SX Class. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “Cooper Webb, he never rides over his limit. He’s always been able to just – you don’t even realize he’s there, and he’s there. He doesn’t just take off like some of the guys and pull a big lead, or come from 16th place to the front like Tomac did, but he’s always right there – he just hangs on, you know, and he never lets go. He gets himself in great positions all the time. Something happens, a guy falls, and boom, he takes a win. So that’s one of his great assets is that he never gives up, he’s right there, and he never gives up an inch. He may not be the fastest guy each week, obviously he’s fast, he’s very fast, but he’s smart. He just does enough to win.”  

Eli Tomac

Eli Tomac – Second Place – 450SX Class. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “Tomac, obviously he’s getting older, and he hates hearing that I’m sure, but he’s one of the older guys in the class and I think a lot of people are always looking at it like, ‘Well, the young guys are coming up and he’s over the hill, he’s past it.’ But it’s not easy to get up every day after 14-15 years and try to remain at that level. He’s got the speed, he’s got the talent… you can tell that he’s so smart when he rides. He can drive out of a turn like nobody when he really wants to do it, he’s riding at another level, he’s jumping way into the whoops without feeling afraid of what he’s going to land into. He can go out a little bit wider and drop under guys when everyone else is kind of following the same line; he can go anywhere on the track. He just went through from 16th to second. That was absolutely amazing, especially right now; it’s very, very close, the top seven or eight guys, so it shows you he’s capable of still winning the championship, and already he’s dropped four more points [off his points deficit]. He’s only 13 points out of the lead… He’s got that little extra, you know? His bike, I think, works really well and he knows that, and he knows how to use it. He’s just got the experience, so I wouldn’t’ count him out.” 

Aaron Plessinger

Aaron Plessinger – Third Place – 450SX Class. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “Plessinger’s just got such a great personality and he’s such a good guy, and now he’s starting to get confidence after his first win. He’s gotten close a few times – now he’s finally pulled off his first win this year and you can see it. His level’s gone up. And Plessinger now, he’s a contender. He’s absolutely a contender. You know, you never can tell what’s going to happen every week now because the racing’s so tight. There are so many good guys. It really depends on your start – a little luck in the start, and in the first few laps, it gets pretty gnarly. I like his riding style, too. He can ride really well. In the different conditions he seems to have – maybe because his dad was a top off-road rider – he’s got a little of that, you know, extra talent I think there from riding all conditions.”

Jett Lawrence

Jett Lawrence – Fourth Place – 450SX Class. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “Jett gets good starts, he’s got great talent, and he does things that nobody else is doing out on the track. Whether it be natural ability, or he’s just worked on the trade so much, he’s really lifted the level, in some respects and in some areas, and so he’ll be right in there [for the title]. He’s going to get starts and he can pass, too. If he’s back in fourth or fifth he can work his way up; he’s a guy that can come from behind. There are not a lot of guys that can start in tenth place and move up to third or fourth, but I think he’s able to do that. The guy’s super talented, he’s 20 years old right now and he’s got a lot of maturity for his age out there. He’s just made a couple little mistakes [in Arlington]. He had a little bad luck there trying to get by a lapped rider on the last lap, otherwise he could’ve won that thing.”   

Chase Sexton

Chase Sexton – Sixth Place – 450SX Class. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “He’s got problem with his hand or wrist, and that’s really tough, but every week he’s going to get better. He can still win. Any of these guys in the top seven can still pull it off. You’d be a fool to predict because there’s so many good guys right now, so that’s why I think we’re going to keep having so many different winners. Already we’ve had five guys win, so it’s still an open season for all of them. I mean, any one of them could still pull it off. But Sexton, wrist injuries are tough… I dislocated my wrist right when I did my deal with Honda. I was at Saddleback and I dislocated my wrist so I had to ride with a bum wrist. I missed the first three of four supercross races, and then I jumped in and it took me six months to where I could kind of get used to riding with a crummy wrist. It’s not so much going straight, when you’re going straight your wrist is ergonomically right. When you turn you’ve got to work the angle, and that’s what gets really sensitive…. I kind of wiped out my whole year except the last couple nationals in ’81; I started to get it together towards the end of the year… Sexton is such a clean, precise rider. When I first watched him ride, I thought, ‘Man, he just rides so perfect.’ He just rides so clean. So a lot of times you think that he needs to get a little more flexible. I think he would be right there in the top two right now if he didn’t injure himself. But he’s still not out of the points, he’s still so close.” 

Ken Roczen

Ken Roczen – Eighth Place – 450SX Class. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “I admire Ken so much because of what he’s gone though in the last years with his injuries and everything, and coming back like he is. That’s such an amazing thing to do. As far as his riding ability, he’s amazing. He’s got super speed. He can take off, and he’s so technical and rides all the different conditions. He’s just had a little bad luck, like all of them. All of ‘em had some bad luck – it’s just so hard to predict because they’re all so good, and you really have to have luck out there. So many things can happen. Different eras of racing have had periods where guys dominate, literally dominate for years – they’re winning, winning, winning. Right now, it’s not possible. I mean the depth of field is so good that it is tough.” 

Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson – Tenth Place – 450SX Class. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “I really like Jason Anderson, he’s really interesting. I don’t know him personally, but just listening to him, I really like his insights and everything. And he’s super fast, has a great talent, he just needs to be able to get out of the gate, get starts, and be able to kinda settle down a little bit. He’s always kind of like in a rush and coming from behind, which makes it even harder. So if he can get more consistency on his starts, be right there, just be a little more consistent, I think he can win again. He’s won championships, so he’s another contender. Isn’t it amazing? There are seven guys that are pretty darn equal.”

450 race start

The 450SX Class in incredibly competitive this year. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

Danny LaPorte’s insights: “It’s getting harder because guys are all riding more like machines, they’re all finding this technique, so everything’s kind of narrowing in. So, there’s not a really big difference between the riding styles. They’re becoming closer and closer together. Because they’re all watching each other, they’re watching videos, coaches go from one team to the other, mechanic’s go from one to the other, a lot of ex-riders have become coaches – so the riders are all leaning about the bikes, about the techniques, about the riding styles and they’re all kind of getting a little bit more similar, and that’s what makes it more competitive.”

Daytona International Speedway plays host to Round 8 this Saturday. Tickets are available now at to catch the action in person. Live coverage is available, like every round of the SuperMotocross World Championship, on Peacock TV, with select rounds broadcast or streamed on NBC, USA Network, CNBC,, and the NBC Sports app. Fans outside of the US can watch every round live on the SuperMotocross Video Pass, available at