Cooper Webb discusses the momentum gained in Minneapolis, looks forward.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb has had a turbulent time of it in 2022 Monster Energy Supercross. Webb was adamant that he was ready to go, following such a productive off-season aboard the all-new KTM 450 SX-F. There were more teething issues than anyone would have imagined, however, and he has been attempting to make small gains each week. The most progress was made in the days prior to Minneapolis, as he stated that he felt much stronger and that was evident in his eventual finish.
Interview: Press Conference | Lead Image: Align Media
Taking second was quite the statement. The way that he did it was just as poignant though, as he clinched the holeshot and led laps for the first time this season. Webb thrives off of momentum and this is the first time that he has had that this season. Perhaps this is the start of something? That was discussed with the media in the post-race press conference. Webb’s comments on Minneapolis, the bike, returning to Florida and more can be found in full below.
MX Vice: A big night for you. How much more comfortable did you feel on the east coast dirt here in Minneapolis?
Cooper Webb: Yeah, it was a great night. Definitely much better than the last few and a big step in the right direction. I liked the track! It was kind of a mix in that main event with ruts – it definitely hardened up a lot. I definitely seem to gel with the east coast. Being back in Florida this week felt a lot homier. It just cleared my head a bit! I have got to give it up to the team. They came up with a package this week that seemed to help me quite a bit. It is nice to be back. There were a few crashes, but we were in the fight and went all of the way.
Is racing on your home coast really that impactful for your programme?
I mean, I would not say that impactful. Being from the east coast, it feels more like home. Going back home after crap results out west to clear my head and ride new tracks with new people around… It all makes a difference at this level.
You mentioned that some things changed this week, which obviously worked out for you. Can you allude to that at all? How much harder has it been to get a handle on this new bike than you guys thought going into Anaheim 1?
It was Roger DeCoster who actually came up with it. Rog went to work. I did not get to try it all week, so I just showed up here and rode it. It worked out a little better for me, for sure. It seemed to get better throughout the day. I gelled on our old bike so well. I just felt like that was built for me in supercross, so I think that we are learning non-stop with this one. The conditions are ever-changing – we race on so many different tracks and soils. You think you get it right and then you go somewhere where it is totally different than your test track or where you have been practicing. It is not for a lack of effort! It has definitely been a struggle for me anyway.
You kind of went through it all through the 20 minutes. You were up at the front, got shuffled back a bit and then worked your way back forward. How do you take that on through the 20 minutes and stay aware of everything that is happening?
Yeah, it was a lot! I finally led some laps and that felt really good. I could feel Chase [Sexton] catching me a little bit. I knew he was faster and probably getting a little impatient – it was one of those things where I put up a little fight once he got around me but just wanted to tuck in behind him. Jason [Anderson] was there and going well too, so I almost got pounced on a little bit. All three of those guys got me. I just tried to stay calm, collected and follow in. I feel like I did that.
I thought I was riding really solid laps behind Jason and Mookie. I kind of got closer to Mookie and made a push on him, but then he ended up tucking the front and going down. Chase went down and it was one of those things where I felt super solid throughout the whole main. Maybe I could have pushed a little harder there at the five to twelve lap mark? Overall, I cannot complain. I know what it is like to go the distance now. We will see where that leads us.
The whoops have been a lot bigger this year, so do you think that has been a factor in your comfort? Is this just all the new bike and searching for settings with that?
They have been tough, no doubt. Especially in the west-coast swing! They have been built a little different this year and tough. I felt better in them throughout the day today. I think that the progress that we made with the bike helped that a lot. We kind of went to that survival line, if you will, and just got through it the best that we could. They have been tough this year. There have been a lot of laps ridden on them with not a lot of maintenance. It is definitely nice to get better with the bike but also myself. Maybe I gel with the east coast whoops a little better?
How has it been between you and team when trying to analyse these results? Do you look at yourself or is it just all about this new bike? There must have been some fairly intense weeks for you and the team.
It is definitely not great. There is a lot of pressure to perform and especially with the number-one plate. When you are riding around in eighth place, it is not good. It has been a battle mentally and emotionally it has been a rollercoaster. It is just about believing in myself and getting back to it. Not quitting when things got hard is what I am pumped on. It is round seven and anything can happen. At least I am back at the front and where I feel like I need to be.
How do you deal with the negativity? There are always going to be some people asking questions about you leaving Aldon Baker and the new motorcycle. Does that effect you at all or do you just try to shrug it off and make this bike better than it is?
There is a lot, man. It is a lot of noise. It can definitely effect you and maybe it has a little. Maybe it has not? I think that the biggest thing is just never doubting yourself. I think I started to go down that road and second-guess decisions. I think, like I said, I finally put all of the noise away and went out to do it for myself this week. It is tough, man. This sport can be up and down. It can throw a lot at you! I think that staying positive and working through those problems with a good group is important. Never give up and keep fighting the whole way.
You have mentioned not giving up multiple times now. We know just how hard you push when your back is against the wall. Tell us your take on being 25 points down. Is the championship still a possibility?
It would take a lot for that to happen. With that being said, being back up here brings a lot of confidence. I feel like once I get that confidence then I go to the next step pretty quickly. It is just nice. I believe again. I feel like we made progress with the bike tonight, riding progress and my starts were good. It is all there. We will see what happens, but it is stacked this year. There are a lot of great guys out there and, as we have seen, the racing has been tight. I still need to get better, but it is never over. I will fight until the end. Getting back up here and getting the first one of the season will be the next step.