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Cooper Webb and Red Bull KTM Part Ways Prior to Southwick

Red Bull KTM decided to drop quite the news dump on Thursday afternoon. Cooper Webb, who since joining the team in 2019 has delivered the orange brand 21 Supercross Main Event wins, 52 Main Event Podiums, and two 450 Class Championships, is done with the team effective immediately. In the bombshell press release, we only heard from Red Bull KTM team manager Ian Harrison, but he had a lot of good things to say about his outgoing rider.

“On behalf of [Red Bull KTM], I would like to thank Cooper for the years of successes we have had together. Over the past five years, we have been on the 450SX podium 52 times and of those, 21 were victories. We won the 450SX titles in 2019 and 2021, had a strong runner-up season in 2020 and finished third this year despite an unfortunate season-ending crash in Nashville.
Cooper had the option in his contract as to whether he wanted to race outdoors and he decided at Daytona that he would not compete in AMA Pro Motocross in 2023. However, following his SX season-ending crash in Nashville, Cooper reached out about racing MX and KTM agreed to support him for the summer. Both sides came into the series somewhat underprepared and a practice crash before RedBud sidelined Cooper once again.
Both Cooper and the team have decided to part ways, this will give him time to recover and then move on to the next chapter of his racing career. The team and myself wish him all the best. I will always be reminded of the success we have had together because Cooper’s championship bikes and trophies stand proudly in the KTM race shop lobby.”

Interesting that Roger De Coster wasn't available for comment here. Don't want to speculate into anything deeper here, but given his relationship with the team, it feels odd that he wasn't included here.

What's Next for Cooper Webb?

Although it had been a widespread rumor for some time now, it feels like Webb going back to Star Yamaha is all but inevitable. They didn't run the 450 outfit for Yamaha when he jumped up, but his 250-class stint with Bobby Regan's squad was the reason he was so highly touted when he jumped up to the big bike. Given that, on top of the uncertainty around both he and Dylan Ferrandis beyond this year, this makes all the sense in the world.

Steve Matthes floated this out there shortly after the news of Webb and KTM splitting dropped, and I'm on the same page. Would Star pick him up early to run the SMX playoffs rounds in September? It's not like Tomac will be on a bike at any point soon, so they have an available 450 to get him on. Assuming he gets in some seat time beforehand, I wouldn't rule out him having a real shot of taking home a cool million bucks at LA Coliseum either. Wouldnt take him over Chase Sexton or Jett Lawrence, but with how the points system is set up, anything can happen. Either way, this is an abrupt end to one of the better free-agent moves in the last two decades in Supercross/Motocross. Now you're potentially looking at a Star Yamaha 450 lineup of Cooper Webb, Justin Cooper, and Tomac in 2024.

Main Image via KTM

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