Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: High Point

250 Class
The Good: Chase Sexton | 3rd Place Overall

Landing on the podium with a 4-2 is ultimately not what Chase Sexton is striving for. Like I've mentioned before, winning a Supercross championship has completely changed the expectations he has for himself. He expected to be a title contender outdoors this year, but through the first three rounds he just didn't have the race pace. That all changed at High Point, as he was not only the fastest qualifier but he had the speed to challenge for the win in both motos. His start in the first moto held him back from being able to run with the lead group, but he did slice through the pack better than he has so far this season. He got a much better start in the second moto and for a while it looked like he was going to pass Adam Cianciarulo for the lead and take his first moto win of the season, but Adam managed the race very well and there was never really an opening for Chase to make it happen. It was still a very solid second place finish for him, though. And while Chase probably isn't satisfied with just a podium, this was a huge step in the right direction and I do think he'll grab his first overall win soon. 

Chase Sexton.

The Good Bonus: Cameron McAdoo | 7th Place Overall

In his first race with Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM, Cameron McAdoo gave the team their best moto finish of the year with a seventh in moto two. That's pretty crazy to think about, right? The factory KTM team's best finish in the outdoor season so far is a seventh, and it's by a fill-in rider! That really goes to show how rough this year has been for the team. Even when their riders have been healthy the results have been disappointing, but just on the topic of injuries...I honestly don't know if there has been a time this year when the whole team has been healthy. It has truly been a revolving door of bad news for the team, and I think that's why we're ultimately gonna see some roster changes for them next year. One of the guys that could land on the team full-time? Cameron McAdoo, so really this is like a tryout for him. But anyway, it was a great first race for Cameron considering he hasn't had a ton of time on the bike and he's jumping in a fourth of the way through the series. I think he'll hang around the fifth-to-eighth place range most of the season, but the biggest thing for him is to stay healthy and provide the team with results. 

Cameron McAdoo.

The Bad: Garrett Marchbanks | 41st Place Overall

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Garrett is probably not a huge fan of High Point at this point in his career. He crashed hard at High Point last year and ended up with an injury, and then the same thing happened this year. It looked like he slammed his head pretty hard when he went down, but there have been guys who have hit harder and have walked away without a concussion so it could go either way. I haven't seen any updates on how he's doing, but I'm hoping it was minor and that he'll be ready to race in Florida. It hasn't been a great season for him so far, and he needs all of the opportunities he can get to turn things around. 

Garrett Marchbanks.

The Ugly: Justin Cooper | 9th Place Overall

The biggest surprise of the weekend? I'd have to give that award to Justin Cooper, who was surprisingly bad all day long. He qualified in ninth place, got the holeshot in the first moto and proceeded to fade back to sixth place, and then got a bad start in the second moto and could only work his way up to ninth place. That's a rough day right there, and I'm going to assume a lot of his struggles were due to his bike setup. He got third overall here last year so it's not like he's just terrible at this track, and he's also not known to be the best test rider, so whenever he can't find a good setting at a race it tends to show (this seemed to be the case at some of the Supercross rounds later in the season). Most riders are going to have at least one rough race during the season, but this was the only one he can afford. Just one off weekend costed him a ton of points in the championship, and he's now 26 points behind Adam Cianciarulo. One more weekend like this and he could almost be ruled out of championship contention. He needs to bounce back in a big way when the series heads to Florida in a few days. 

Justin Cooper.

450 Class
The Good: Championship Battle

"It's going to be a barnburner." That's what Eli Tomac told GuyB during his post-race interview this week and, boy, it really is looking like it's going to be a barnburner of a championship! With how Ken Roczen was performing towards the end of the Supercross season, I never would have expected for him to be challenging for the outdoor title, but here we are. Not only is Ken tied for the points lead four rounds in, he is looking pretty close to his 2016 form. Eli is looking about on par with his 2018 form, but he does seem to be struggling a bit in the first moto of each round. They really do seem to be about even in speed right now, though, and if things continue the way they have this could be a close title chase all the way down to Ironman. And, I mean, that's what we all want. It has been a while since there has been a true outdoor title fight. Marvin Musquin has kept Eli honest the past two seasons, but Eli was pretty clearly "the guy". So, here's hoping both of these guys stay healthy and avoid any mechanical issues.

Eli Tomac.

Ken Roczen.

The Good Bonus: Cooper Webb | 4th Place Overall

Cooper's outdoor results this year haven't been bad...but they haven't been great, either. We have yet to see him challenge for a win, and it seems like his outdoor fitness isn't quite where he expected it to be. But the biggest factor that has been holding him back is bike setup, as this is his first outdoor season with the KTM and it's going to take some time to get it set up properly. Even coming into High Point he had said that they hadn't been able to find a good setup yet, and that they went back to a base setting just to reset things. It seems like that was the right choice, too, since he was much more racy on Saturday and looked more like the Cooper Webb we've come to expect. I bet he'll still be working out the kinks over the next few rounds, but the hope is that by the end of the season he is in a pretty good spot with the bike and can challenge for wins. 

Cooper Webb.

The Bad: Justin Barcia | 10th Place Overall

After a couple of seasons of re-building himself in the 450 class, 2019 has been a bit of a train wreck for Justin Barcia. It started out great with his win at Anaheim 1, but it started to go downhill quick after that. He has dealt with several injuries in a relatively short amount of time and I think he's still playing catch up in some ways. With that being said, though, I really expected him to be in a better spot by this point in the championship. And I don't mean that I necessarily expected race wins, but I am surprised that he hasn't finished in the top five in a moto yet. Maybe his fitness isn't quite there yet, or maybe he's struggling with the bike. Your guess is as good as mine, but if he doesn't start to garner some better results over the next few rounds I'm gonna start to worry a little bit.

Justin Barcia.

The Ugly: Justin Hill

This season just went from bad to ugly for Justin Hill, as he crashed while practicing and injured his shoulder. And if he ends up having to sit out for the rest of the season while he recovers, I think this year is going to go down as a huge disappointment for him and the team. I genuinely believe the team thought he'd contend for podiums and eventually race wins in the 450 class, at least in Supercross. Many of us did, too. If you had asked me before 2019 started, I probably would've predicted at least three or four podiums for him by the end of Supercross. However, he never finished inside the top five, and he wasn't even able to finish inside the top 10 for the majority of the season. There has been a lot of talk as to what led to his performance this year, but in the end all that matters is that he hasn't lived up to his potential. I don't know what JGR has planned as far as their roster goes for next year, but I honestly don't think Justin should be re-signed. The team needs someone who is going to provide them with solid results every week, and at this time that's not Justin. We'll see what happens, though. 

Justin Hill.

Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson

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