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One of the most interesting storylines as the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season approaches revolves around Cooper Webb. During the 2015 and 2016 season, the North Carolina native was practically untouchable in the 250cc ranks. The Yamaha rider won the 250SX West Championship two seasons in a row with eleven race wins to his name, and he also added
a 250 Pro Motocross Championship to his resume in 2016. His full- time 450 debut was one of the most anticipated in recent memory, but a season that was riddled with injury problems and struggles with the bike turned out relatively mediocre considering the expectations. It wasn’t out of the question that Webb was going to move up onto the bigger bike and immediately contend for the championship, win races, and brush plastics with the sport’s biggest stars -- but none of that happened. In fact, he only scored one podium throughout the entirety of the season. The twenty-two year old battled closely with
Eli Tomac on one of the gnarliest tracks of the entire year in Oakland, and he was one of the only riders to consistently pull the pin on a huge quad throughout the night of racing. Shortly thereafter, Webb suffered an injury to his left shoulder during a heat race in Minneapolis that would virtually end his 2017 SX campaign, although he came back at the end of the season. As impressive as Webb was in Oakland, there were plenty of other rounds where he just made up the numbers. He didn’t appear to be comfortable on the bike and he didn’t show the same aggression and conviction that he did on the 250, not to mention he still wasn’t one hundred percent healthy. Supposedly, Yamaha has made loads of improvements to the 2018 YZF450 and Webb was given his first opportunity to prove what the new machine can do at the MXGP of the USA. Unfortunately, his first race on the new bike was cut short as he only made it a couple minutes into the opening practice session before breaking his wrist. There’s no question that Webb has the determination and heart of a champion which he has proven on multiple occasions throughout his time spent in the 250 class, but he’ll have to find a way to put 2017 behind him and focus on what’s ahead if he’s going to find the success that is expected of him in 2018.

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