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Cooper Webb wins the close ones

Cooper Webb tenaciously held the inside line on Lap 24 in Round 11 of the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross season and gripped his handlebars with enough grim determination to cause arm pump on his way to the sixth-closest margin of victory in the 450 era.

He’s now stranger to winning the close ones. This was the fifth time he’s won one of the 10 closest races in the division.

Follow along for live coverage on Round 11 of the Supercross season from Lumen Field in Seattle, Washington

As Chase Sexton earned the holeshot, Webb went into the first turn well outside the front half of the pack in 15th but kept his composure and came out of the corner in sixth. It was the first show of determination in what would eventually end with his third victory of 2024.

“I don’t know if I was necessarily the best tonight but I put myself in a great position,” Webb said after the race. “You just can’t give up. That’s always been my approach: to never give up.”

Webb is one of, if not the toughest rider to pass in any given Supercross round, a fact learned by Jett Lawrence midway through the Main event in Seattle.

Like Webb, Lawrence also had a poor start. Briefly ahead of the eventual winner in that first turn, Lawrence ended Lap 1 two positions further back in the pack, but the championship leader does hasn’t earned the heaped-up accolades by giving up. It took Lawrence five laps to clear traffic and mount a charge on Webb.

By Lap 6 Webb and Lawrence were locked together. After passing at least one rider in each of the previous four laps, Lawrence sought to make short work of Webb.

Webb had other ideas.

“I’m aware of my surroundings,” Webb said. “I knew Jett was coming; I could hear him, and I was trying to lock in. He tried the inside; I was going to the outside in the sand and I felt him. The crowd went crazy and I thought, ‘oh man he fell’, and that’s when I knew he was either going to get up and come after us or this is my chance to catch Chase.”

It was a little of both.

Lawrence fell behind Ken Roczen for a lap and then redirected his charge. Slowly catching back up to Webb, he was ultimately caught behind a lapped rider and lost significant ground.

The focus shifted to the front of the pack and Webb was flying.

“It was tough because you could go out there and do a great lap and maybe catch your competitor a second and then lose a second the next lap by missing a rhythm,” Webb said. “You had to be smart. I felt I was doing my laps consistently and not making any mistakes. At a certain level, you have to go fast too and that is where it’s tough because you want to go fast but you can’t push it and make mistakes.”

Webb caught Sexton around Lap 14, pressured him for a couple of trips around the course and surged past when Sexton’s bike stalled on Lap 17.

Sexton refused to concede.

Webb refused to lose.

“I knew, like Chase said, he found a really good flow at the end ... and he sucked it right up,” Webb said. “I knew I had to hit my marks and I definitely tightened up. I lost some of my flow and lost some of my lines that were working early and didn’t adapt to some of the ones I should of, but I just knew, in my mind, there were two places he could get me, and I made sure to make those difficult to pass. We got real close there are the end and I just made sure I was on the inside.”

At the checkers, Webb edged Sexton by .592 seconds — the sixth closest margin of victory in a traditional Main in the 450 era.

Webb is familiar with what it takes to win the close ones.

The closest margin of .028 seconds came in 2019 in Arlington with Webb victorious over Ken Roczen. That same year, Webb beat Blake Baggett by .351 seconds in one of Detroit’s Triple Crown Mains. In fact, Webb has edged his opponents in half of the 10 closest features and he’s come in second on two other occasions.

“I never give up and you never know what could happen,” Webb said.

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