ST. LOUIS — Cooper Webb was able to overcome the flu to earn a podium finish in the first race of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series.
Sickness got the better of him in the second race.
The Morehead City native fought through a chest infection Saturday at St. Louis to take 12th in the main event. The defending 450 class champion dropped from third in the season standings to seventh.
He struggled in qualifying for the second race in a row.
Last week, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider was the 15th fastest at Anaheim 1, but then when the gate dropped for the 450SX main event, Webb put his head down and finished on the podium in third, even while dealing with sickness.
He qualified 14th at St. Louis but was 12th at the midpoint of the race and couldn’t work his way through the pack.
Ken Roczen was the leader of that pack.
After three years of hardship, Roczen finally stood on the top of the podium in a Monster Energy Supercross race.
Roczen last won a race on January 14, 2017 when he paced the field at San Diego to win his second race of the season in as many weeks. In the next round, things went disastrously wrong at Anaheim 2 and Roczen embarked on a long road back to the top.
With an almost five-second margin over Justin Barcia, Roczen’s win shouldn’t have been in question. But it was.
Since early in 2017, Roczen has finished second in the Supercross series on six occasions, including the 2019 season opener at Anaheim and in a photo finish at Arlington last year. At St. Louis, Roczen finally scored his 12th career Supercross win.
Justin Barcia followed up a victory at Anaheim 1 with a runner-up finish at St. Louis and leads the season standings with 49 points. Roczen is second with 43.
Adam Cianciarulo, who took the runner-up spot last week in his 450SX rookie debut, took seventh and is third in the season standings with 39 points. Jason Anderson also has 39 points in the season standings. He was third at St. Louis. Eli Tomac has 35 points, followed by Blake Baggett with 33 and Webb with 32.
The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series will return to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for round three of the season this Saturday. The race will air at 10 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network.