Vurbmoto.com's senior analysts dissect the hardest hitting questions in the industry.
Who has been the most underrated rider this season?
Brent Stallo (Wedding Shower) - His season may not have started out swimmingly, but Matt Moss put in some rides before the break of the West Coast Lites series that seriously got me thinking that he may actually be worthy of a ride here in the states. He’s been stateside numerous times in the past with the hype of being the next big thing out of Oz, but until now I never saw it in him. Of the last four west rounds he’s failed to finish outside the top 10, and has a top five and a podium to boot. He sits sixth in points, which isn’t overly impressive, but I guarantee not many were calling Moss to land on the podium before the start of the season.
Troy Bendgen (Echeconnee) - That one guy who rides out of the same truck as the champ, yeah him. Jake Weimer doesn’t get enough credit for what he has done this season. I think it’s partially due to the fact that his teammate is getting all the glory. Technically this is Jake’s rookie 450 Supercross season because he was injured the majority of last year. He has been on the podium three times, the most impressive being at Phoenix when everyone was still healthy. He now sits sixth in points where he has hovered around all year. He is down eight points to JS7 and eleven down on Justin Brayton for fourth. I look for him to finish the year strong.
David Bulmer (Back from Valkenswaard) - I'm gonna go for Blake Wharton as the most underrated rider so far this year purely because all the East coast Lites class has been about Barcia, Barcia, Barcia... and a little about Roczen. In fact because there has been so much drama going on in that division with all the roosting, the crying, the helmet slapping, the crashing, the single-file restart, Wharton's sole victory has been severely overlooked. He also sits second in points and has been extremely consistent all year long, having never finished outside the top 5.
Who has been the most overrated?
Brent Stallo (Wedding Party) - I don’t think it’s any huge surprise to say that Blake Baggett has been the most overrated rider of the season. Do I think he will bounce back and do great things in this sport? I honestly think he could win an outdoor title this summer. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that he was a huge dud indoors. He had a lot of hype as the one who could potentially take down Barcia this season. Not only didn’t that happen, but he’s had a difficult time finishing inside the top 10 with any sort of consistency. This season can’t end soon enough for Baggett.
Troy Bendgen (here I) - I get the fact that he is one of the greatest riders to ever swing a leg over a dirt bike, but James Stewart gets my vote. Why, you ask? Sure, he won two main events this year but that is nothing to James. He is the “Fastest man on the planet,” shouldn’t he be winning them all? Unfortunately when you are a dominant rider your whole career and you have a couple of unsuccessful years you are going to get criticized for it. Sometimes we don’t even know if he is going to show up to the race. I guarantee the things that Stewart is saying to himself are harsher than what anyone else can say about him. I really hope James figures everything out. Do the sprinkler again Bubba!
David Bulmer (SX is still going on?) - Can I name a whole class? Cause if I can, then the 450 class easily takes this prize. Coming into this year we had five legitimate threats for the title, before they've slowly all dropped off the track, allowing Ryan Villopoto to wrap up the title earlier than anyone in history (maybe). It's been a massive letdown for everyone interested in supercross and really put a downer on the upcoming motocross season as well. If I've forced to pick an actual rider, I will continue to break the rules and pick the Stewart brothers as two of the fastest riders on the track who have continually not produced the goods come main event time.
Will Cairoli and Herlings make the Worlds Championship’s a yawner?
Brent Stallo (Bachelor Party!) - I honestly want to write that I don’t think these two will make it a boring GP season. From the bottom of my heart I do. But logic just won’t let me. Honestly, when the MX2 class lost Musquin and then Roczen, it lost a lot of star power. And I’ll be very surprised if Herlings doesn’t move stateside in the very near future. The World Championships have moved mountains to be the best outdoor series in the world, but as long as their riders keep coming to America to race, that won’t ever happen. As for Cairoli, I think he’ll drop a few motos and maybe a few overalls here and there, but barring any sort of crazy mishap, he’ll be untouchable. The dude knows how to win titles and I’m not sure anyone can match him for an entire season.
Troy Bendgen (come September 7-9) - Did anyone else pick different racers to win the title? If so I would love to hear whom they chose in the comments below. Maybe it won’t be so bad in the MX1 class, but in MX2 it’s finally time for the eighty-four to be number one. In MX1 I would love to see Pourcel show his true speed. I didn't get a chance to actually watch the race so it’s hard to sit here and judge. To answer the question, yes it should be a pretty big snooze festival.
David Bulmer (Off to Bulgaria) - I've continually said coming into this year that Valkenswaard isn't the key race in the 250 class, Sevlievo is. Tommy Searle was always going to be coming into this second round a few points down on Herlings, but if he can beat the Dutchman twice on this hilly hardpack of Bulgaria, then it's game on. If he can't, then I think this MX2 class will almost be as boring as the 450 SX class is right about now. As for the MX1 class, if you look at the history books and educate yourself *cough* Troy *cough*, you'll see that Cairoli has won Valkenswaard on numerous occasions - he loves this track. Once again, his tests will lie elsewhere and I really hope Desalle, Frossard and the rest of the field can step it up.