After a week hiatus top-10 returns this week bigger and better than ever. We have all the fixings from Budds Creek as well as an early look at Thunder Valley. This week instead of concentrating on just the Pro Motocross Championship we are going all Napoleon, ice cream that is, on you. With the WMA returning this week we have dedicated a little love to the fastest women in the world and have taken a look overseas to see what is going on with the boys across the pond. Enjoy and check back next week for Thunder Valley review and foresight.
American motocross has always had its fair share of International superstars. From JMB to Chad Reed riders from all over the world have flocked to the US to compete with some of the best talent in the world. But this year the 250cc class has been bombarded with International stars dominating the forefront of the class. When Dean Wilson crossed the checkered flag last weekend for his first overall it marked the third consecutive week that an International rider has stood atop the podium. Americans have only won 2 of the 8 contested moto’s so far this season with the International Pro Circuit trio of Pourcel, Rattray and Wilson taking the others. If not for Eli Tomac taking a surprising win over Pourcel in moto 2 at Hangtown, Justin Barcia would have been the lone American standing atop the podium this year. With Canard, Barcia and Weimer off to sluggish starts this season, the onslaught of International victories may continue deep into the season.
A year ago Tommy Searle was being proclaimed as the greatest thing from Britain since fish and chips. But after a subpar rookie campaign outdoors and an injury filled supercross season, Searle still looking to find his place in American Motocross lore. Round 1 at Hangtown looked to be Searle’s breakout party as he finished a close second to Christophe Pourcel. But a crash in the second moto would aggravate a shoulder injury that cost Searle his entire supercross season. Ever since that crash Searle has struggled to get consistent results, aside from a 6th in moto 1 at High Point. Searle has shown he has the speed to contend with the top riders in the world, but has yet to show he can stay healthy for the long haul.
It was not that long ago that Kyle Chisholm was known more for his attempted take out of Chad Reed at the Salt Lake City Supercross, than for anything he had done on the track. But since that incident Chisholm has turned around a once dire looking career. After proving to be a consistent top-10 threat in supercross, finishing 10th overall at season’s end, Chisholm has carried his success to the outdoors. After a rough start at Hangtown Chisholm has become a top-10 fixture ever since, capping off a remarkable run at Budds Creek with a 10th overall. If Chisholm can continue this torrid start to the season don’t be surprised to see him inside the top-10 at season’s end.
Sipes Getting Comfortable
Motoconcepts Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes seems to be fitting in just nicely in the 450cc class. After a superb East Coast Lites series, the small town Kentucky native decided to make the move to the big bikes for the outdoor season. After a surprising 7th overall in his first 450cc race at Hangtown Sipes has proven he is going to be in it for the long haul. Sipes scored yet another top-10 this past weekend at Budds Creek, with a 7th overall and currently sits 9th in points. As the weeks continue along don’t be surprised to see Sipes inside the top-5 at one point or another.
Osborne Continues Hot Start Overseas
Former can’t miss prospect Zach Osborne has been on an absolute tear in the FIM Motocross Championship (GP’s). Osborne reeled off his third consecutive podium this past weekend at the GP of Germany. Osborne now sits 5th in the MX 2 class (our 250cc class) a mere eight points behind teen phenom Jeffery Herlings. After returning to home soil at the GP at Glen Helen, Osborne took home a third overall in France and finished off his podium streak this past weekend. No word on if Osborne has any plans on racing in the states anytime soon, but it seems as if he has finally found a home on the other side of the pond.
Can Fiolek Stop Patterson?
Before Ashley Fiolek burst onto the WMA scene Jessica Patterson aka JP$ was the dominant force on the WMA circuit. Often referred to as the “GOAT” of women’s motocross Patterson was the 5-time defending champion in the women’s class before Fiolek halted her streak in 08’. After another battle between the two last year ended with Fiolek sitting atop the throne of the WMA Patterson reportedly contemplated retirement if she did not get support from a factory or satellite team. Patterson eventually signed on with the DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing/Yamaha Team leaving her with factory support for the first time in her career. And Patterson has not disappointed sweeping all four moto’s in the opening two rounds at Hangtown and Freestone. After a two week hiatus the WMA returns this weekend at Thunder Valley and the question now remains is will Fiolek be able to stop the bleeding and take home the number one spot or will Patterson continue her early season dominance and take home a third consecutive victory?
Will Weimer Rebound?
Coming off his first career supercross title Jake Weimer seemed destined to contend for a title outdoors. But Weimer has gotten off to a dreadfully slow start to the season. Mistakes and bad starts have plagued the Idaho native, as he has yet to really contend all season. Weimer currently sits 9th in points and is in desperate need of a spark to his season. With such a deep field will Weimer be able to turn his season around or has he already dug a hole to deep to get out of?
Is Reardon Back on Track?
After a horrifying crash in the first heat race of the supercross season, that all but ended his season due to a multitude of injuries, Vali Motorsports Dan Reardon seems to be on his way back. After struggling early in the season Reardon put in his best moto of the year at Budds Creek, charging to a 9th in the second moto. Reardon would finish the day 14th overall, even with a 37th in moto 1, and seems to have finally gotten his legs under him after an injury filled supercross season. Will Reardon be able to sling shot into a top-10 contender or is the 450cc class just too deep?
Can Wharton Shake off Early Season Struggles?
Blake Wharton has shown the speed to be a consistent threat week in and week out. But bad starts and untimely crashes has left the sophomore GEICO Powersports Honda rider looking for a much needed spark to light his season up. Wharton currently sits a disappointing 11th in the point’s standings and needs to get results in a hurry if he plans on breaking the top-8 before the season is over. Will Wharton be able to crack the top-8 before season’s end or will his early season struggles continue?
Musquin, Musquin, Musquin
Marvin Musquin has been on a streak that rival names like Carmichael, Stewart and McGrath. Since taking over as the number one KTM rider in the MX 2 class Musquin has been all but unstoppable. After capturing a title in dominating fashion last year, Musquin returned this year better than ever. Through eight rounds Musquin already holds a 77 point lead over rookie phenom Ken Roczen. Unless Musquin suffers a serious injury or decides to quit racing he has all but locked up the MX 2 title. With Musquin already stating he will be competing in the states next year the question now remains is will Musquin be able to live up to the standards set before him by fellow countrymen JMB and Pourcel or will he be just another overhyped media darling?