Comparability: Webb joins Roczen & Ward on 20 Wins

While Eli Tomac has been heading in the direction of the intense massive leagues when it comes to all-time Supercross wins, Cooper Webb has himself hit a little bit of a milestone with win #20 at spherical 5 in Tampa.  Right here we examine the three riders who’re on that all-time benchmark of 20 Supercross wins.

Phrases: Ben Rumbold | Function Picture: Align Media

Webb has turn into the 12th racer to hit the 20 mark, and strikes forward of Damon Bradshaw within the all-time checklist.  There are two riders at that precise mark, one who hit it over 30 years in the past – fellow two-time Champ Jeff Ward – and one who Webb himself may be very conversant in, double out of doors Champ however the one non-Supercross Champ to get this excessive, Mr Ken Roczen.

The Path to the High

Now again in Wardy’s time, there fairly merely was no small-bike class in Supercross, so even in case you raced a 125 outside, because the short-but-strong Jeff did, you went straight in with the large photographs of the 250 and 500 courses in case you wished to race within the stadia.  And with the prize cash on supply, they most definitely did! So Jeff had his studying years in amongst the likes of Bob Hannah, Kent Howerton, and Mark Barnett reasonably than having a couple of years on a smaller bike to acclimatize. And you may see from his first three years that he had a tricky time, lacking many races by way of damage or certainly issues in qualifying.

Ken Roczen gained the 2013 250cc West Championship for Pink Bull KTM (Picture: KTM)

As for Roczen and Webb, their careers on 250 four-strokes have been fairly completely different. Roczen went West Coast on his KTM in 2011 in order that he may get again to Europe as contracted and win himself a world title – by the way he was the primary German to take action in 43 years! Kenny was an prompt hit with a single race win on his option to 6th within the collection. He then went East Coast in 2012 because the later schedule gave him extra time for testing. He completed 2nd there, with one win, to defending Champ Justin Barcia, earlier than switching to the West for 2013 and stopping Eli Tomac from taking his second straight title for Geico Honda.  He took three wins to Eli’s 5 and with consistency gained the title by two factors. He additionally added the then non-Championship East/West Las Vegas showdown win to his tally.

Webb took two East Area titles for Star Racing Yamaha. (Picture: Align Media)

Webb, though like Bradshaw hailing from the East Coast state of North Carolina, rode West all the way in which as a part of the Star Racing Yamaha workforce, and had a stable however winless rookie 12 months for fiveth within the factors chase in 2014.  He took two 2nd-place finishes however completed behind Champ Jason Anderson, Cole Seely, Dean Wilson, and Justin Hill.  Cooper then gained his first Nationwide that summer time and completely caught fireplace because the dominant rider within the West for 2015, profitable 6 out of the 9 races to a 50-point ultimate margin over Shane McElrath.

His subsequent out of doors marketing campaign was interrupted by damage, however then in 2016 Webb got here out firing with the primary three wins in a row, earlier than a mechanical failure stopped his run.  He had a transparent factors lead with 5 wins however reduce it high-quality within the Vegas shootout, simply hanging onto the title by a single level over Joey Savatgy!

Rider KR CW
Ages 16-19 18-20
Years 2011-13 2014-16
Seasons 3 3
Coasts West-East-West West
Titles 1 2
Races 29 28
Wins 6 11
Win %age 21% 39%
Yr 1 9 Races, 1 Win, sixth 10 Races, 0 Wins, fifth
Yr 2 10 Races, 1 Win, 2nd 9 Races, 6 Wins, 1st
Yr 3 10 Races, 4 Wins, 1st 9 Races, 5 Wins, 1st

Uneasy Beginnings

If you happen to low cost the primary three years of Ward’s Supercross profession as these for studying, then his subsequent couple of seasons see a gradual development.  On a Kawasaki that wasn’t fairly on a par with the wonderful manufacturing facility Honda machines of the time, he labored his method into turning into a contender, and by 1984 he was up there, on the age of 23 taking over eventual Champ Johnny O’Mara and reigning #1 David Bailey.  Rick Johnson was there on the Yamaha as nicely, and Wardy put the inexperienced bike on the map as he did for many of his profession.  Even with 4 wins within the 17-round collection he was nonetheless 4th within the title chase, let down by 4 poor races in complete.

Webb took two podium finishes in as many seasons on the manufacturing facility 450 Yamaha (Picture: Align Media)

Webb’s first 450 years in 2017 & ’18 have been notably torrid, lacking 5 rounds in the midst of his first season regardless of claiming his first podium in Oakland’s fifth spherical. The second 12 months was extra constant, with only one podium at Daytona till he broke his fibia at spherical 14 in Minneapolis.

Roczen dipped his toes into the 450 class with 4 races on a KTM 350F throughout his three 250 seasons, peaking with an incredible 2nd at Seattle 2012. That was an odd distinctive podium with Andrew Brief taking his solely Supercross win and Jake Weimer in 3rd, on an evening when that 12 months’s Champion Ryan Villopoto put himself out for the 12 months with a severe knee damage from an innocuous little crash.

Within the following season, Kenny hit the bottom working with two wins in his first full 12 months, grabbing 3rd within the collection behind the 2 Ryans in his ultimate 12 months for KTM, earlier than taking the out of doors title for the Austrian concern in 2014.

Championship Challenges

Wardy’s profession got here to its apex with titles in 1985 & ’87 – he gained his first crown with sheer consistency, only a single win in 1985 from an 11-round collection with 8 completely different winners! The ultimate spherical, held then in August proper in the midst of the out of doors eason, noticed a surprising battle for the locations between Ward, Yamaha’s Broc Glover, and Ron Lechien in his final Supercross for Honda. The Kawasaki man beat Glover for 4th place within the Foremost Occasion, these two factors the distinction between the pair within the ultimate reckoning!

Jeff Ward was the one rider to interrupt the Honda stranglehold on AMA Supercross within the mid-to-late ’80s (Picture: Screenshot from YouTube)

1986 was a tough one regardless of two wins, as RJ shifting to HRC had created a close to invincible foe.  Wardy received the higher of Johnson in 1987 because the Honda man received damage mid-way by way of the season. Between 1982 and 1995, Ward was the one rider to win a Supercross title on a motorbike apart from a Honda! He gained at the least a single race every season for 8 straight years from ’84 to ’91, however accidents largely value him his title probabilities in each ’88 and ’89.  Like an American Eric Geboers, the shorter-than-average rider grew to become the primary to win out of doors titles in all three capability courses, and continues to be the one one so as to add Supercross Championships as nicely. Ward was rightly inducted into the AMA Corridor of Fame in 1999.

Roczen gained 7 races in two years for Suzuki, and his most up-to-date Championship within the out of doors Nationals in 2016.

Roczen had a profitable couple of years on the RCH Suzuki, along with his greatest 12 months being 2016 with 5 wins indoors and a pair ofnd solely to a dominant Dungey earlier than taking his second out of doors crown. Sadly for Roczen, his fairytale transfer to the manufacturing facility Honda workforce was ruined by two horrendous arm accidents proper when he was within the prime of his profession. He lastly hit high type once more in 2020, however got here throughout his lifelong foe Tomac at his very strongest, mixed with the emergence of our different topic right here, Cooper Webb.

Webb’s transfer to KTM in 2019 took everybody unexpectedly.  That previous angle from his 250 days got here again, with 7 beautiful wins to turn into the runaway Champion. He narrowly misplaced out to Eli in 2020, and the conflict between Webb & Roczen made compelling viewing in 2021.  Time and time once more Webb would put severe psychological blows on his rival, with final lap passes, first nook nudges, and principally guaranteeing that the proficient German at all times knew he was there.

Webb discovered a brand new lease of life on the Pink Bull KTM workforce, turning into Champion in his first 12 months there. (Picture: Align Media)

Webb’s 8 wins to Roczen’s 4 put them tied on 19 on the finish of 2021, and Ken hit the 20 mark with the win at A1 in 2022. Webb was 2nd in that race and the earlier 12 months’s rivalry appeared on once more, however it was a false daybreak as Kenny developed well being points which noticed him withdraw midway by way of the season, and Cooper struggled with the brand new KTM to complete the 12 months 7th within the factors.

Kickstart Kenny’s extremely publicised change to Suzuki hasn’t seen him on the rostrum but in 2023, however Webb appears to be like rejuvenated after returning to the Aldon Baker coaching programme and turning into his previous imposing self to stress HRC’s new hotshot Chase Sexton right into a mistake at Tampa, bringing Cooper his long-awaited (28 races, nearly so long as the 34-race wait to take his first win) 20th profession Supercross victory.

Roczen spent a lot of 2021 with the pink plate however Webb would finally hunt him down. (Picture: Align Media)

So each males are tied for 10th greatest all-time, with Bob Hannah subsequent up the checklist on 27. It’s gotta be stated that the 27-year-old Webb appears to be like the most probably so as to add to his tally, however whether or not or not he can get to the Hurricane is one other matter.  Both method, to rank within the high ten of all-time wins is a severe achievement and any who suppose he doesn’t should be in these conversations must look once more.

The Numbers

Rider JW KR CW
Ages 17-31 19-28 21-27
Years 1979-92 2014-Current 2017-Current
Seasons 13 (4×450 Visitor Races) 10 7
Titles 2 (1985 & 1987) 0 (2nd in 2016 & 2021) 2 (2019 & 2021)
Races to twenty 145 108 97
Wins 20 20 20
Win %age 14% 19% 21%
Yr 1 3 Races, Better of fifth, twenty fourth in Pts 17 Races, 2 Wins, third in Pts 12 Races, Better of third, thirteenth in Pts
Yr 2 10 Races, Better of third, 14th in Pts 9 Races, 2 Wins, twelfth in Pts 13 Races, Better of third, ninth in Pts
Yr 3 4 Races, Better of seventh, twentieth in Pts 17 Races, 5 Wins, 2nd in Pts 17 Races, 7 Wins, Champ
Yr 4 11 Races, Better of 2nd, eighth in Pts 3 Races, 2 Wins, twentieth in Pts 17 Races, 4 Wins, 2nd in Pts
Yr 5 16 Races, Better of 2nd, fifth in Pts 6 Races, Better of 2nd, 18th in Pts 17 Races, 8 Wins, Champ
Yr 6 17 Races, 4 Wins, 4th in Pts 17 Races, Better of 2nd, 4th in Pts 16 Races, Better of 2nd, seventh in Pts
Yr 7 11 Races, 1 Win, Champ 17 Races, 4 Wins, third in Pts Wins twentieth in fifth Race, 2nd in Pts
Yr 8 10 Races, 2 Wins, 4th in Pts 17 Races, 4 Wins, 2nd in Pts
Yr 9 14 Races, 5 Wins, Champ 9 Races, 1 Win, twelfth in Pts
Yr 10 8 Races, 1 Win, third in Pts 6 Races up to now, Better of 4th, fifth in Pts
Yr 11 8 Races, 4 Wins, fifth in Pts
Yr 12 18 Races, 2 Wins, fifth in Pts
Yr 13 17 Races, 1 Win, fifth in Pts
Yr 14 12 Races, Better of 2nd, twelfth in Pts
Begins to five 68 (seventh Season) 35 (third Season) 34 (third Season)
Begins to 10 91 (One other 23 Races) 48 (One other 13 Races) 56 (One other 22 Races)
Begins to fifteen 108 (One other 17 Races) 88 (One other 40 Races) 69 (One other 13 Races)
Begins to twenty 145 (One other 37 Races) 108 (One other 20 Races) 97 (One other 28 Races)



This one is pretty simple for Webb & Ward – all of their wins within the premier class have been on simply the one producer, KTM for Webb and Kawasaki for Ward.

Kenny is among the many few who’ve gained on three completely different producers (solely Chad Reed has gained on 4), with 2 for KTM, 7 for Suzuki (up to now), and 11 for Honda.