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Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Cooper Webb returned to the podium with a solid second-place finish at Birmingham in the AMA Supercross.

Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Cooper Webb returned to the podium with a runner-up finish last night as Monster Energy AMA Supercross made its debut in Birmingham, Alabama. The North Carolina rider heads into the second half of the season in the runner-up spot in the 450SX Championship and trailing the leader by 13 points. Rookie Justin Cooper earned a career-best result in the premier class with a top-five finish at Protective Stadium. Their teammate Eli Tomac took the heat race win but didn’t get off the gate as he had hoped in the main event and fought his way back to seventh.

Once again, Mother Nature made for challenging conditions, drenching the track at Protective Stadium the day before the inaugural event. The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 450 team got the day off to a great start, with all three riders qualifying in the top five. Qualifying fifth, Webb quickly made his way to second in his heat race and ran there for most of the race. Unfortunately, in the final laps, he crashed after trying to reclaim the position from the points leader and finished fourth. In the main event, he got another great start in the runner-up spot, where he would finish to maintain a strong second place in the hotly contested title chase.

Cooper also got a great start to the day, qualifying fourth. He didn’t get the start he was hoping for in the heat race and made his way back from ninth to sixth. Despite a less-than-ideal gate pick for the main event, Cooper got a great start in third and held the position for over half the race. The rookie battled for position with title contenders in the latter half of the race, ultimately crossing the line fifth and earning a career-best result. The New Yorker also advanced another position in the championship standings to eighth.

Tomac led the team in qualifying in third and, from there, got the holeshot to lead from start to finish in his heat race. Unfortunately, the Colorado rider didn’t get off the gate as he had hoped and found himself 14th after the start of the main event. Undeterred, Tomac put his head down and made his way up to seventh on the deeply rutted track, maintaining fourth in the points standings.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team heads to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 16 for the second Triple Crown of the season and Round 10 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and the SuperMotocross World Series.

Jeremy Coker – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 450 Team Manager
“It was a great race. We kept Jett (Lawrence) right there in our sights the whole time. It was a tough track to be faster on than somebody else. You had to really hit all the rhythm lanes, and if you made one mistake, it would cost you. Coop (Webb) rode well. Justin Cooper had an incredible ride. He could’ve had a podium, but still had his career-best finish. Eli was fast all day. He won the heat race, but unfortunately, his start hurt him in the main event. We’ll keep working and come back at Indy.”

Cooper Webb – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #2
“Birmingham Supercross was a good day overall. I qualified fifth, which was great, and had a good heat race going. Then, I made that mistake – ran into Jett (Lawrence) and went down – but overall, it was good. Then we got a great start and just rode a solid night for second, which was good. Obviously we want to win, but I feel today was a step in the right direction. I gave everything I had and was right there with Jett. We’ll learn from it, take the positives, and try to get better for the Triple Crown next weekend in Indy.”

Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #32
“It was a good day. My speed was good, the bike was good and I felt comfortable again all day. I finally got a good start in the main, and I was able to run that third-place spot for a while, over half the race. Kenny (Roczen) and Chase (Sexton) were riding really well. They were pushing me the whole time.  Kenny got by me, then Chase got by me, and I got back around Chase; it was a good battle. It was fun to battle those guys and learn a bit. I’m used to battling a little farther back, so it was nice to get a good start and battle with those guys for sure.”

Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #3
“I had a bad start in the main event and made some passes early in the race, but could only make it up to seventh place. We’ll keep fighting and will come back stronger next weekend at the Triple Crown in Indy.”