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We used to run a feature called Vurb Roundtable, where the Vurb staff would weigh in on hot topics from around the sport. We’ll we are bringing it back! Let’s dig in….
With two rounds down and ten more to go, who are your title picks for each class?
Slaw Dog: Can Roczen hold up over the course of the next 10 rounds? That will be the biggest question. If he can, he’s my title pick. If not, ummm, maybe Ferrandis? I really don’t know. Hot takes, I know.
In the 250 Class this is down to Justin Cooper vs The Jett, ISHO. Cooper has the experience on Jett, so I’ll go with him for now. But, again, just throwing Slaw to the wind.
Troy Dog: I’ll start in the 250 class, which if you still call it the “Lites” class you NEED TO SEE YOURSELF OUT BECAUSE IT HASN’T BEEN CALLED THAT IN MORE THAN A DECADE. Jeremy Martin was my pick, like I’m sure everyone else’s, but Thunder Valley pooped on that idea. Jett is young, but the force is strong with that one. He’s my pick for the title at this point and if I’m wrong, so what, I’m the CEO around here and can say whatever I want.
The 450 class is tough to predict, but like I told Darkside the other night on the MotoXpod show (grab the archive now), I think Roczen continues his strong rides. Thunder Valley was hot and at elevation and Kenny looked amazing, which I thought he wouldn’t because of some physical ailment or something. He’s also brought home two 450 titles before. I like his odds.
Bird Dog: We should be calling this our “way too early title predictions” because it’s, well, way too early. Kenny and Ferrandis seem to be the obvious choices here, but I’m going to go out on a limb and be different, because being different is cool. I think Adam Cianciarulo figures out how to put it all together, gets rid of his late moto arm pump, stops washing out the front wheel like a newbie and makes a run. He’ll linger for the next two rounds then go on a tear, decimating the field on his way to his first 450 Pro Motocross title.
What privateer are you keeping an eye on as the series heads East?
Summer of Shock
Shock and Awe
Schock Electrifies at Thunder Valley
SchockING Results from Coty
Okay, okay, I’ll stop. In case you didn’t notice, my privateer (I guess he is? I mean, he’s on a team, but still. Slaw’s rules, so whatever, he’s my guy) is Coty Schock. This dude has basically come out of nowhere the last few years and is killing it. He finished ninth overall in the 250SX West Region and jumped up to the 450 Class in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, where he’s gone 15-18 at the opening two rounds. While those results don’t jump out at you, LOOK at who is ahead of him in points: Race winners and past champions Dean Wilson, Joey Savatgy, Max Anstie (in MXGP) and so on. Only the Swedish bad ass Fredrick Noren is ahead of him in terms of privateers. So, I’m all in on Shock Town this summer. I’ll see myself out.
Troy Dog: Uhhh, this isn’t even a question (that I created), right? Grant “Har Dog” Harlan is in for High Point, RedBud, Spring Creek, Unadilla, Budd’s Creek, and Ironman! He’s going to be rocking my sticker on his helmet all summer and if you’re lucky you might leave the track with some limited edition pineapple shirt dog merch. Commence the shred and keep your eyes on the #76 Ti Lube Honda/Troy Dog supported athlete. Blow your air horn at him…dammit!
Bird Dog: Yes, Dilan Schwartz may not be considered a true privateer by definition. He rides for Bar X/Chaparral/Ecstar Suzuki. But guess who he’s not riding for? Star Racing, PC, GasGas, Husqvarna, or any of the other quote, unquote, big players. But guess what, kids? He put it to those boys at Thunder Valley. After an eighth in the first moto my ears perked up a little. He wasn’t overly impressive at the opener at Fox Raceway (22nd OA), so I tempered my expectations going into the second moto. But low and behold, Schwartzneger (I’m really hoping that name sticks) put in a solid 12th to finish ninth overall.
Who did he beat in the process? Oh, nobody you’ve probably ever heard of. Just dudes like RJ Hampshire, Austin Forkner, Nate Thrasher, Carson Mumford, Pierce Brown, Michael Mosiman and Max Vohland. No biggie. It’ll be interesting to see if Schwartzneger can keep things rolling as the series heads east. I’ll be watching for sure.
Who is more likely to get a podium first…Tomac or Webb?
Slaw Dog: I DON’T KNOW. Neither has looked great through two rounds, and I really thought Tomac would podium at his “home” track last weekend. Nope. Not even close. Since Tomac is a three-time champ in this class, I guess I’ll go with him, but I’m just throwing Slaw to the wind on this.
Trog Dog: Put these two dudes in a bag, shake them up, and grab one out for the answer. I’ll go with Webb because he’s got something to prove within the 450 outdoor series. Coop has been getting the starts in some of these races and with the two week break I think you’ll start to see him come around and podium at High Point. We still have a lot of points up for grabs and Webb still can make a title run… as could Tomac. It’s been four motos. We’ll get there, we’ll race em’ when it’s time.
Bird Dog: This is easy. It’s 100% Eli Tomac. Sure, everyone can say what they want about him being “on his way out” or “over his Kawasaki deal and already thinking Blu,” but the reality is he’s a multi-time champion and one of the fastest outdoor riders of his generation. Coop has always been more dangerous under the lights and, to be honest, I don’t think Coop will be on the podium once this year. On the flip side of that coin, I think Tomac wins two overalls. There, I said it.
Main image: Octopi Media