2023 Supercross | Late Season Injury Updates & Championship Changes
The final stretch in one of the most exciting years of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship is playing out much differently than we had expected, but after fourteen rounds of relatively healthy competition, several contenders in the 450 Class are now sidelined with injuries. Here’s a quick rundown of the damage done to each rider, their expected timelines for recovery, and how the championship standings could develop with their absences.
CURRENTLY RANKED 3RD
A minor tip over followed by major contact with Adam Cianciarulo’s front wheel ended the Red Bull KTM rider’s Supercross season. The championship contender was taken by ambulance to a Nashville hospital, where he underwent CT scans and MRIs and stayed overnight as a precautionary measure for what doctors diagnosed as a “moderate concussion.”
Webb explained that he had a follow-up visit with a neurologist in Florida on Wednesday, and a six to eight-week break from the motorcycle was recommended. “They really want to let my head rest and not have any scary things happen later in life or anything like that,” he explained. “I’ll be on the mend for the next six to eight weeks, full dad life enjoying time with my wife and daughter, and will get to be a normal dude for a little bit. We’ll start the MX preparation, and I want to try to race some of the last Nationals, if not the last half, and then the SMX playoffs.”
The commitment to racing part of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and the all-new SuperMotocross Championship events with Red Bull KTM also silences recent buzz about the rider’s interest in the FIM World Supercross Championship. The international series starts on July 1, a tight timeline considering the prescribed two-month break and subsequent boot camp Webb would need to get ready.
Webb is currently ranked third overall with 304 points, but Ken Roczen will get to chip away at the twenty-four-point advantage in the next two rounds and should be able to pass CW in the final standings.
CURRENTLY RANKED 5TH
The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing rider was one of the many maimed by the dragon’s back on the Nashville track, a Main Event wreck that resulted in a fractured collarbone, broken shoulder, and two busted ribs. Barcia underwent surgery on Monday to repair the clavicle and was told that the other injuries would heal best on their own, with no need for further procedures. “I’m feeling better today, and the next few days will get better and better. Hopefully, I will be able to start training soon, obviously not on the dirt bike,” he stated.
“It was definitely for me my best, mentally and physically, Supercross season, and I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun,” he continued. “Definitely a bummer to go out this way, but things happen, though; it’s racing motorcycles. I can’t wait to be racing strong and harder than ever.”
Barcia recently signed a two-year extension with the team and, high on his run of finishes like the Main Event win in New Jersey, showed interest in another re-up to continue racing after that (the new deal runs through 2025).
Although Barcia will not score any more points this SX season, a fifth-place rank in the final standings is cemented.
CURRENTLY RANKED 6TH
The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider went through plenty of highs (Heat Race/Triple Crown wins with fast practice laps) and lows (costly crashes at multiple rounds) through the season, but the last few weeks were especially rough. Over four weeks, Anderson suffered one hit to the head (Glendale), became a father and lined up for a race with little sleep (Atlanta), was caught up with others and struggled in the mud (New Jersey), and had two body-jarring slams a few hours apart (Nashville).
Anderson shook off the practice crash in Nashville to earn a sixth-place finish in the Main Event and put in a Pro Motocross practice session during the week, but was still feeling some discomfort and went in for CT scans, which revealed a non-displaced fracture to the C5/C6 vertebra (cervical spine).
“Obviously, that’s one of the things we fear the most as racers is an injury in that area, but luckily where the fracture is, my season is not over and I can come back to the races relatively soon,” said Anderson. A return in time for the opening run of Nationals seems unlikely, as spinal fractures typically have a minimum six-week recovery, and the rider will need additional time to get into race shape.
Anderson’s odds of ending the SX championship with sixth overall looks likely, but aren’t a sure bet; Aaron Plessinger would need to score thirty total points in the next two races to take it from him.
CURRENTLY RANKED 7TH
The Red Bull KTM rider’s season-changing setback happened during the first laps of practice in New Jersey, as a minor miscue launching into a rhythm section spat him over the bars and into the face of another jump. Plessinger sat out the rest of the race due to all-over soreness and took a week off to let the bruising heal, but was still too beat up to line up in Nashville.
“The Alpinestars Medical crew did a great job of getting me off the track and into the Mobile Unit, where they did some x-rays and tests. Everything checked out alright, and I was able to get out of there and on my way back to Florida, where I got an MRI on my hips,” said Plessinger shortly after the NJ crash. “Everything checked out alright with that; just have a bunch of bruising and swelling in there, but overall I’m good.” A return to action at Denver seems likely, a decision the rider and team will make late in the week.
Plessinger could hop Anderson by lining up for the last two Main Events and finishing at least eighth place. Although Plessinger’s status is questionable, it’s unlikely that he will end the year worse than seventh; Justin Hill would have to finish second in both features to close the forty-one-point difference.
CURRENTLY RANKED 15TH
The Truck Centers LLC/Rock River Yamaha rider ran into an unexpected bunch-up on the opening lap of the Heat Race in Nashville, an incident that left him with a broken collarbone. Bloss traveled to California immediately after to have the injury surgically repaired by Dr. Greenbaum but has stated that proper recovery (three-four weeks off the bike) is a bigger priority than racing the first round of the Nationals. “The plan right now is to rest up the next three-four weeks and then get back on the bike,” he shared. “The plan was to race the full outdoor season but now it looks like I might miss the first few.”
Bloss is currently ranked fifteenth, and though he’s likely to concede spots to Kyle Chisholm and Kevin Moranz, and maybe even Justin Starling, a top-twenty overall finish is certain.
CURRENTLY RANKED 20TH
The Rock River Yamaha rider was taken down by the Nashville dragon’s back early in the Main Event, an over-the-bars incident that resulted in a dislocated shoulder. Harlan was able to reset the joint quickly with help from the on-site medics and is hopeful that the short time out of place will lessen the overall damage but will still miss the last two rounds so that the injury can be properly evaluated and begin to heal.
Harlan seems to be the rider with the most to lose, as Justin Starling, Fredrik Noren, and Josh Cartwright are all poised to score points and knock him out of the top twenty, meaning he’ll get no cut of the points fund purse and a face slightly tougher path toward the SMX playoffs.
CURRENTLY RANKED 30TH
The MADD Parts/Big Buildings Direct/Kawasaki rider crashed in the Heat Race, another victim to the treacherous inclined whoops. Short didn’t think much of the incident initially and had already begun eyeing up another chance in Denver, but lingering pain in one wrist has prompted him to sit out the penultimate round and the PulpMX LCQ Challenge.
CURRENTLY RANKED 8TH IN 250 WEST REGION
Although Pierce Brown is not part of the 450 Class, a recent crash while practicing for Pro Motocross means the entire Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing team is out for the rest of Supercross. Brown went down late last week and broke his hand to the point that surgery and a time-consuming recovery were necessary; the rider decided to make the most of the break and repair a torn meniscus that had bothered him through the last rounds of the 250 West Coast Region.
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