T-Dog’s Takes: 5 Privateers Who Have Surprised Me This Summer

Notice that this column now has a sponsor? That’s right! Troy Dog joined the Blu Cru and you should too! I have one in my garage right now and I can’t wait to go shred it this summer! Thank you to Yamaha for believing in my ELITE columns on this dirtbike website enough to sponsor me. What a dream come true! 

I’m a privateer guy. I have been pushing their stories for almost ten years now, so it’s very important that I follow all of them and give them props when they have some great races. In this column I will be discussing five privateers who have come from DEEP in the pits to running up front with the factory riders. I’m going for the riders who really have come out of nowhere lately. For example, Benny Bloss is currently the top 450 privateer out of the remnants of the BBMX team. However, he does not make the cut in this column because we’ve seen what he is capable of, nevertheless he deserves his own column. Here are five “out of nowhere” guys who have surprised me. 

Chris Canning

Chris Can-ning and he’s doing it! That was easily the worst attempt at a pun that I’ve ever had. Canning has only done three of the seven rounds this summer, but he’s made a splash at every round. At High Point he went 20-17 for 18th overall. At RedBud he went 12-DNF after a bad crash with Grant Harlan on LaRocco’s Leap. At his home race at Southwick he went 12-12 for 11th overall, which is a career best overall for him. Canning is a veteran now after turning pro in 2011, so it’s cool to see him having some great success this summer. We knew Southwick would be a banger, but RedBud was solid too. Here’s hoping he shows up to Ironman!

Josiah Natzke

So, this guy comes out of New Zealand, races the first four rounds and goes 19-15-17-17-17-11-11-16 in a factory bike loaded 250 class? That’s rad. Then he goes to Canada on a PRMX ride and wins two rounds. The best part about Josiah is that I know nothing else about him and his social media isn’t very telling. He’s just a very fast dude, who is out there chasing his dreams one lap at a time. Respect.

Derek Kelley

I did a column on Derek Kelley recently where we talked about his season and how he’s been a different rider this year. He gave me a ton of insight into the importance of his mental coach and riding coach and told me how much he believes in himself. His practice lap speed has been exceptional this year. At Millville he went 14-12 for 11th overall and now he’s sitting 14th in 250 points. If I’m a factory team like Rockstar Husqvarna or Star Yamaha I would be looking to see what I could do to get him on our team. This kid is just getting started and he told me he’s not yet satisfied with his results. He also earned the FMF Privateer Power Award at Spring Creek! 

Ty Masterpool

It’s no secret that Ty likes RedBud. I mean he has to, right? He showed up on a pre-owned bike and no decal kit and went 8-8 for 6th overall in the 250 class. If that isn’t impressive to you then I have nothing else to give you. Masterpool backed those results up with 14-11-11-DNF at Southwick and Spring Creek too. Masterpool is that rare talent that can run with the factory bikes on his own deal. To get into the top ten like that never happens against them. Well done Ty!

Christopher Prebula

I don’t know anything about Christopher Prebula except that he is listed out of Michigan and he turned pro in 2020. The past two years he’s grinded away at the MX schedule and has eight top 20 moto finishes and six overall top 20 results. In the second moto at Spring Creek he finished a career high 14th. I think it’s time we get to know Prebula because no one else is talking about him.

If you want to talk about anything feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or DM me on Twitter/Instagram @troydogvurb.

Main image: Jessica Reed

Written by Troy Dog

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