Photography: Brent Stallo/John Parkinson
It’s time to get real. Below you will find two categories, Studs and Duds. The title alone is pretty self explanatory. If you made the Stud list, keep on doin what cha’ doin. If you made the Dud list, don’t hate us for it. Chances are you made the list because you have the potential to do great things in this sport, but are in need of a good old fashion kick in the rear. Don’t worry little dudes; we’re keeping your names out of this one. But if you are on your way to the next level (Pro/B Class) then its open season. You’re going to have to deal with the pressure of the media once you hit the next level, so why not start here. Let the games begin!
North Carolina’s Taylor Futrell may have caught some flack for not bumping up to the big leagues with the rest of his amateur class last year, but it’s paying off now. While he’s not the fastest rider on the track he has proven to put himself in solid contention for the number two guy, which ain’t such a bad place to be with a pro class this stacked.
Tevin Tapia, like Barcia, is another amateur that will be making his professional debut at Glen Helen this summer. He plans on running the MX class, but if the right deal comes along he’s not opposed to putting a fast 250F on the line in the Lites class. While Tapia doesn’t look to have the speed for a title, he’s put himself in the top five in every moto this week…sounds pretty studdley to us.
Bryce Vallee caught some Vurb love last week, but not nearly as much as he’s going to catch this week if he keeps putting in solid rides the B class. With a Chevy S-10 full of crapped out bikes, Vallee has shown what he’s made of this week. This kid is doing it old school. No giant rig, no factory motors, just hard work and a twisted throttle. Watch out for this kid once he gets some love from the factories, he can rip.
Where the heck did Aaron Siminoe come from? A title at Lake Whitney and a handful of solid early week moto finishes at Oak Hill have placed Siminoe on a list that he might not be familiar with. Let’s face it, while Aaron has had some good rides in the past, his success has been spotty at best. But that looks to be the case no longer. This dude is on the pipe.
Seeing as he’s been one of the most highlighted riders of the last two weeks we almost didn’t include Dean Wilson on our list of studs. But then we woke up. He’s set the fastest lap times at both nationals and is cleaning up on everyone. Man, we wish Justin Barcia was here. How great would those battles have been?
Max Anstie definitely deserves to be on the stud list, but we’d be lying if we said there wasn’t some drama surrounding the Euro import. The KTM Jr. Team seems divided. Most everything has been rumor up to this point, but the rumors are getting thicker every day. While we won’t say his motors are faster than the rest we can say that they are fast. The kid has pulled on everyone all week and has ripped nearly every holeshot he’s lined the gate for. Drama or not, Max is ripping. If he keeps it up he’ll have to make a lot more room in the KTM rig for all his titles.
Nope that’s not Ryan Dungey sporting the #10 out there; it’s his dad Troy Dungey. To be honest he’s not really all that studdley on a bike, but since he hasn’t ridden in probably 20 years we thought it was cool that he had the cohune’s to get out on one of the toughest amateur national tracks in the country. Keep on keepin on, Troy.
Oak Hill may be in Mitchell Oldenburg’s back yard (literally) but that only means so much on a line with the best 85cc riders in the world. For example, if our film guy Wes Williams were to have the same opportunity he’d still get waxed by everyone in the pits (and probably half the county for that matter). What we’re getting at is that despite this being his stomping ground he’s still riding extremely well. Could this week produce Oldenburg’s first title? Only time will tell.
Brad Allison has been one of the biggest novice studs we’ve seen over the last two weeks. If he’s not out front he’s in the top five. Transitioning into the intermediate class is no easy feat, but this kid might just have a chance. Remember Jimmy Albertson?
Here’s the deal on Ian Trettel. We were on the fence with him up until the very last second. He’s either winning motos or he’s off the pace in fifth or sixth. The problem is, Trettel is still in the B class, so he should be cleaning up. But then again the top intermediate riders are running the similar lap times to the big boys. No matter how you spin it, Trettel needs to have a big day on Sunday.
Believe it or not but a host of champions have already been crowned here at Oak Hill, Kade Walker being one of them. Walker took it to the 65 (10-11) Stk class on Thursday. The young Honda rider is one of the newest additions to the amateur motocross world and thus far he’s setting it on fire. The Canadian import has relocated to Florida and will be racing the amateur motocross circuit full time from here on out. Get ready world, here comes Kade Walker. Props to podium finishers Austin Forkner and Jake Pinhancos for solid rides in this one as well.
Sean Cantrell had one of the most heartbreaking weeks of anyone in the 65 (7-9) class last week. His speed was there, but his luck wasn’t. Multiple wins were followed up by bad luck and poor moto finishes, but that all changed on Thursday. Cantrell found the missing piece to the puzzle and put together two brilliant motos to take home the7-9 Mod championship.
Cole Thompson makes made the stud list after staking claim to the 85 (14-16) gold medal on Thursday, but we're going to add in runner up Zach Bell as well. This turned out to be one of the most insane championship battles of the last two weeks and both riders deserve a pat on the back. We have a feeling this won't be the last time these two throw down on their way to a title.
Cody Robbins gets some slack on this one, but not much. While this is his first season in the pro class we expected him to be higher on the results list than he has been the past two weeks. And we have a feeling Cody feels the same. He left the intermediate class as one of the guys to beat, but has yet to find his groove in the pro class.
Where has Terren Odell been the past two weeks? Word is things definitely aren’t all hunky dory in the Odell pits. Touted as one of the top three guys coming into this years Spring Nationals, Odell has yet to live up to the hype. His results at Whitney were respectable, with a handful of third and fourth overalls, but he has yet to mix it up for the lead. Oak Hill hasn’t gone any better for the Arkansas native. He needs to show up big for his mains on Sunday, but with so many riders doing well, it’s going to be a lot easier said than done.
It’s no secret that Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett has been battling his own demons since the Mini Os. Heck, he even said himself that while he’s got the lap times to run inside the top three he has yet to show himself as a front runner. Blake’s got the talent, but if he doesn’t hurry up and do something with it he’s going to have one heck of a time finding a ride in an already over crowded pro rig next year.
What happened to Sean Lipanovich. The likeable MTF rider originally from Hawaii has, in a very short time, gone from a title threat in the intermediate class to a back of the pack rider in the pro class. We understand that the pro class is stacked, but based on his results from years past, he should be much farther up in the pack than he has been.
James Justice spent the majority of last year on the injury list, but he’s been back long enough to warrant better results than he’s put in the last two weeks. He’s a Team Green kid that should be running the pace of guys like Eli Tomac and Jason Anderson, but he’s fallen off his horse this week. We’ll let you know if and when he decides to pick himself up and dust off.
The man they call Country is in need of a break out ride. He’s scheduled to make his pro debut at Glen Helen in a few months and, to be honest, he’s off the pace. Derek Rogers was a B class hero two years back, but has since had trouble finding his groove.
AJ Catanzaro blasted onto the scene like a rocket ship a few months ago, but he’s seemed to have fizzled out over the last two weeks. He’s on his own program, so it’s going to be tough to beat the factory boys. Nonetheless, despite winning a title last week at Lake Whitney AJ has been less than impressive. He hasn’t mixed it up with the big boys on many occasions, which is something he’ll have to do if he wants to make the stud list next time around.