Cypress, CA, April 9, 2014 — After a 2 month hiatus while the 250SX Class was on the East, Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb finally got another chance to race under the lights again this past weekend in Houston, at the NRG Stadium. Webb’s night got off to an impressive start with a heat race win, but a mid pack start in the main event meant Cooper spent the majority of his night working his way through traffic, finishing with a hard fought sixth place. We caught up with Cooper today between test sessions on his 2014 Yamaha YZ250F to see how he spent his 2 month break and how things are progressing before the outdoors starts.
You had about two months off from racing, so what were you doing?
Cooper Webb: The time off was good for me. Mainly, we got a lot of outdoor testing with the new Yamaha. The new bike is really good outdoors. It was cool to kind of switch it up, going from Supercross back to outdoors, where you can kind of get into fourth and fifth [gears] a lot more and don’t have to be so perfect. That was really cool. Obviously, we didn’t stop training or anything like that. I’ve stayed out here in California, and like I said, just did a lot of outdoor stuff and then got back to the Supercross stuff before last weekend. It was a long break for sure.
What’s that like as a racer, to be in the middle of a series and then sit out for a couple of months before it resumes?
Cooper Webb: Yeah, that’s a little different than I’m used to, for sure. I think it was cool at first, when I had that break, to kind of heal up. I actually kind of got banged up at San Diego [just before the break], so it was nice to kind of have time off to heal up. But yeah, that long of a break was kind of weird. I would have liked to be racing. You see everybody else racing and you just want to go back at it, for sure; especially seeing some of the east coast tracks, because they look pretty cool, and obviously the dirt was good, so you want to be out there. But, I think it was cool to get some outdoor stuff done and I felt like that kind of helped me with my Supercross speed, even though I couldn’t really show it too much in the main this weekend. I felt like I’ve gotten better, so hopefully we’ll bounce back at Seattle.
What was it about riding outdoors that you think helped you so much when you got back on the supercross track?
Cooper Webb: Yeah, obviously, when you’re at a Supercross, you’re trying to be so technical and so perfect and time everything perfect, but when you ride outdoors, it’s all about the momentum. You can make mistakes and it doesn’t cost you as much. And I think it almost brings a different mindset when you get back to Supercross, you almost start riding it like an outdoor track and really kind of open it up. You’re scrubbing stuff that you never really would scrub before and stuff like that because you’re just carrying more speed. I mainly feel like it helped my corner speed. That’s where I noticed a lot of improvement, for sure. You just carry a lot more speed outdoors, and that’s good to do indoors, too.
So, in the future, do you plan on riding outdoors during the supercross season?
Cooper Webb: Yeah, for sure. I think that’s definitely a good idea.
You’ve got two more supercross races, and then you’ll be sweating it out at the Nationals from there on out. Are you looking forward to that?
Cooper Webb: Yeah, it’s my second year doing outdoors, so I kind of know what to expect and what to think coming in, and the areas I need to work on. I’m excited. Obviously the competition is going to be high, but I think with some experience, it should, hopefully, be better than last year.