Archives: Supercross 2019 By The Numbers
Pre-season predictions on the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series centered mostly on defending champ Jason Anderson, the comeback story of Ken Roczen and the high expectations placed on Eli Tomac and perhaps to a lesser extent Marvin Musquin. No doubt some pundits were also talking about Cooper Webb, but after finishing ninth in the standings in 2018, his second season of 450 class Supercross, many felt the two-time 250 Supercross West Champ might need maybe another year of seasoning. But now the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season is in the books and Webb emerged triumphant aboard his Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition.
Archives: Supercross 2019 By The Numbers
At this moment the Webb championship doesn’t seem all that surprising, he did after all win a series leading seven rounds, but going into the season in January, most experts and fans viewed Webb as a longshot. Think about it – Webb hadn’t even won a premier Supercross main event coming into the 2019 season.
This marks KTM’s fourth AMA Supercross title, following on the three straight Ryan Dungey won for the Austrian maker from 2015 to 2017. That’s as many championships now as Suzuki has won in the series.
Webb becomes the 22nd rider to win the AMA Supercross. We think of Supercross as a young championship, but 2019 was the 46th season of the series.
With Jason Anderson and Cooper Webb, this is the first time Supercross has seen two back-to-back first-time champions since 2011 when Ryan Villopoto won his first Supercross crown the year after Ryan Dungey did the same.
There were five race winners this season – Webb, Tomac, Musquin, Blake Baggett and Justin Barcia. We talk about an era of tremendous parity in Supercross, but five winners in a season is about average.
A total of 48 riders made a Supercross main this season. That’s the second highest number of riders to make a premier class SX main in a single season in the last ten years. As a comparison, the lowest number of riders to make a main during a season in the last 10 years was only 38 riders during the 2013 season.
There were just two first-time winners in 2019, Webb and Baggett.
As far as all-time wins, there was not much movement this year. Even though Tomac scored six wins this year, he only moved up one position on the all-time Supercross wins list. He moved up from ninth to a tie with Bob Hannah for eighth, each with 27-career wins. Another good season in 2020, could see Tomac move past Hannah and Rick Johnson, who is seventh with 28 wins. Tomac even has a shot to catch Ryan Dungey, who is sixth on the all-time list with 34 wins. Tomac would need a seven-win season to match Dungey’s record.
The all-time top five in Supercross wins Jeremy McGrath (72 wins), James Stewart (50), Ricky Carmichael (48), Chad Reed (44) and Ryan Villopoto (41) are safe at least for the next few seasons.
Incidentally, Tomac is the only rider inside the top-10 AMA Supercross wins list to not have scored a championship.
The seven wins by Webb moves him into a five-way tie for 25th on the all-time Supercross wins list, alongside other seven-time winners Johnny O’Mara, David Vuillemin, Jason Anderson and Jeff Emig.
Interestingly, Webb’s seven victories was the most for a first-year Supercross champion since James Stewart won a whopping 13 races en route to his first title in 2007. By comparison, Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey both earned five wins when they won their first Supercross championships. Jason Anderson earned four wins on his way to the No. 1 plate last year.
Musquin, with two wins this season, moved up into a tie for 22nd on the all-time wins list with Jimmy Ellis and Ron Lechien – all with eight-career wins.
After a so-so opening two rounds, Webb took victory at Anaheim II and from that time on he was clearly the most consistent rider, winning six additional rounds and finishing off the podium just twice in that 15-race stretch. Perhaps the only time Webb might have sweated a little, was at round 12 in Seattle when he finished off the podium (in fourth) and rival and teammate Musquin had just scored his second consecutive victory. Musquin could have been just seven points behind Webb at that point, but the Frenchman was assessed a seven-point penalty for jumping on a red cross flag. That meant the gap was 14 points after Seattle. And then Webb responded big time with Houston win (one of the three-race format races where Webb went 2-1-3 to sore the overall win).
Then it was Tomac making a surge and moving up to challenge Webb by winning Nashville and Denver to get within 18 points, but again Webb showed toughness in New Jersey, overcoming a flu bug, and surviving challenges from Tomac and Zach Osborne to win his seventh race of the season. The win in East Rutherford pretty much sealed the deal for Webb. He needed only to finish 20th or better at the season finale in Las Vegas to wrap up the championship. He avoided trouble and mistakes and finished a solid third to clinch the crown.
Not surprisingly, Webb led the most laps this year with 135 laps lead to Tomac’s 121. Musquin was third with 74 laps led. A total of 11 riders led a Supercross main even at some point during 2019. Webb also scored the most podium finishes with 13 to Musquin’s 12 and Tomac’s 10. A total of ten riders scored rostrum results this season.
So many things can happen between now and next January, but at this point the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series sets up to be an interesting one. Can Jason Anderson come back and find the speed he had in 2018? Will Ken Roczen complete his miracle comeback and finally win his first Supercross title. Can Marvin Musquin breakthrough? And then of course can Webb repeat or will Tomac finally hold up the No. 1 trophy after coming so close so many times? Perhaps like Webb did this year, a new rider will come in to challenge the established stars.
One thing is for certain, Supercross fans will have a lot to talk about for eight months before the whole stadium cycle starts again.