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Lawrence vs. Webb; five key moments that has defined this year's title fight

One round remains, with only 20 points separating the two riders from being named the Monster Energy Supercross Champion.

(Sam Donsig/INTERMISSION SPORTS)


BY: SAM DONSIG


Championships are earned not given, and not easily. It takes determination and focus and you have to want it more than the guy beside you on the gate for 17 rounds. Riders battle like warriors in an arena full of spectators, the spectators watching for the goal to be entertained.


This year's Monster Energy Supercross 450 Championship has been no different. The rookie, Jett Lawrence currently leads the championship by only 12 points over Cooper Webb. Lawrence and Webb share a combined 11 wins and 17 total podiums this season together.


As we head into the final two races, it's important to look back at five key moments that have defined this year's Monster Energy Supercross Championship battle.


1. Lawrence dominates season opener

It's easy to forget what has gone on over these past five months. We've seen a lot of close battles but the season opener was far from it.


Despite Webb beating Lawrence in the heat race and winning it by a decent margin, the Australian got the better of the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider in the main event thanks to a great jump off the start and geting the hole shot. He led for all 20 laps and went on to become the first rookie to win in his debut for the 450SX class.


It was the first race of the season, but it turned out to be a precursor for the intense battle that would follow over the next 14 rounds. Lawrence drew first blood against Webb.


Points after Rd. 1:

Lawrence - 25

Webb - 16


2. Webb fights back with Triple Crown win

After two straight rounds of pure wetness and mud in San Diego and San Francisco, Supercross returned to Angel Stadium for Rd. 4 and it's first Triple Crown event of the season. It turned out to be a telling race.


Despite not winning any of the three races, Webb was able to be the more consistent rider over Lawrence, finishing second twice and fifth in the third race to give him the overall win and be crowned the Triple Crown Champion for the night. Webb was able to manage his energy levels well throughout the night, which helped him earn points back against Lawrence, propelling him above Lawrence into third in the standings by just two points.


Points after Rd. 4:

Webb - 74 (3rd in standings)

Lawrence - 72 (4th in standings)


3. Lawrence wins three straight to extend lead to 21 points

After losing out to Webb at Rd. 7 in Arlington, Lawrence made it his mission to not lose again.


He went on to win three straight main events and extended his lead to 21 points over Webb, getting into a comfortable spot on the track at both Daytona and Birmingham, where he led for 10+ laps in both main events. Webb wasn't far off Lawrence in either race, as he finished fourth in Daytona and second in Birmingham.


At that point halfway through the season, we all thought that Lawrence had this in the bag. However, Webb was not done yet.


Points after Rd. 10:

Lawrence - 210 (1st in Standings)

Webb - 189 (2nd in Standings)


4. Webb levels the playing field against Lawrence

Webb might have been down 21 points after Rd. 10, but he didn't show any signs of that meaning much to him. He knew he could keep pace and did.


The Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha rider would go on to win the next two out of three main events and become tied with Lawrence on points heading into the final four races.


It was a bit surprising to see Lawrence make the mistakes he was making, but at the end of the day, he is still a rookie. Nonetheless, Webb capitalized on those mistakes and took advantage of the opportunity to help propel himself back into the championship fight heading into Nashville.


Points after Rd. 13:

Lawrence - 261 (tied for 1st)

Webb - 261 (tied for 1st)


5. Lawrence reboots and wins three-in-a-row again

One of the most impressive things to have seen this season is how Jett Lawrence can pick himself back up and reboot to return to winning.


After Rd. 7, he destroyed the competition the next three rounds and looked like he was from another planet. The same thing happened after Rd. 13, with Webb having caught him on points after a strong stretch of riding. Lawrence made sure to not make another mistake, going on to win the next three straight races and reestablish a 20-point lead.


The Australian was able to find that rhythm again and looked super comfortable on the bike, made no mistakes and kept out of trouble, and was able to get really good starts. As a result, he sits comfortably ahead of the final weekend, though he can't sit back completely.


Points after Rd. 16:

Lawrence - 336 (1st in Standings)

Webb - 316 (2nd in Standings)


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Heading into the final race with a comfortable cushion, Lawrence needs to just finish the race and not be outscored by Webb by 20 or more points. That is only possible if Webb were to win the main event and Lawrence finishes 18th or lower.


Anything is possible and who knows what might happen Saturday. This year's title fight has been a pleasure to watch and has kept the drama flowing even when the result looked certain on multiple occasions.


Better yet, it will be interesting to see if this battle continues into the outdoor season.


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