As the final page turns on the latest Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and Monster Energy Supercross season, there are few questions to ask: Who is the guy now? What racer has the best shot at the 450 titles in 2021 and why?
Here are my thoughts on what I’ll call “The Big Four” for now.
4. Cooper Webb
When Cooper started winning 450SX main events in 2019 I thought it was over for these guys. He was coming through the pack, making last lap passes on Ken Roczen and seemed to have full control of the division. An off-season illness/injury saw a slow start and then a surge until he stacked it up at Arlington. After the COVID break he was super strong in Utah as well. As far as supercross goes, I think he is a strong title favorite in 2021. Not sure if he is going to ever get the 450 Pro Motocross championship, though.
3. Eli Tomac
Woe, why is he in the three spot? Thirty-four 450SX wins, three 450 Pro Motocross titles and can win on any given weekend. He finally figured out the glitch in The Matrix with his SX program and was hands down the best man indoors this year. However, the wolves are coming. Not because of age, but because of his competition’s determination and will to have what he does. Eli will be 28 in 2021, while his teammate, Adam Cianciarulo just turned 24. Also, there are two roosters in the Team Green henhouse. Sometimes, that hasn’t gone well. (Think: Bayle/Stanton)
2. Adam Cianciarulo
When he stormed to the lead at A1 last January I could tell he was going to be just fine in the 450SX class. More than fine, an immediate title threat. There were a few things typical of his pedigree that kept him out of the points fight, but you can’t hide talent and pure speed. If he cleans up the crashes and mistakes, he’ll be there next season indoors and out. Again, I am weary of him and ET3 being under the same awning again next season.
1. Zach Osborne
I think Zach is the guy in 2021. More than that, I think he has been the guy since June. He was figuring out the 450SX class rapidly in 2020 and won the last main event of the championship. Yes, he finished sixth in the points, but had an injury. Here is the thing with Zacho: he is 31 years old. If he wins the 2021 450Sx title it would make him the oldest champion in history. That said, I think he is the strongest and most fit rider on the track. He was stronger than AC a few weeks ago in the Florida heat, and Aldon Baker has him at peak form. And another thing, he is HUNGRY. He wants it bad. There is something in that guy and barring injury, I think he takes both 450 titles in 2021.
He’s won everything there is to win. Came back from the impossible. Only trophy missing on his mantle is the coveted Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. He’ll come swinging in 2021. Love to see it, but sadly I doubt it.
He isn’t done. He’ll be 31 when the first gate drops in the 2021 season, but, like Osborne I don’t think his age is a deterrent.
This dude has had some bad luck. He can still get it done. Now two seasons removed from his 2018 450SX title, there were flashes of what makes him lethal. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him much more consistent and produce more wins in 2021.
Watch this kid. He’s coming.
Scary. He is as real as it gets. He is gnarly.
Now, is it too early for 2021 predictions? Of course, it isn’t even Halloween yet. The off-season grinder changes a lot of things. And with the uncertainty of the world at this time, who knows? This is what I think. Zach Attack 2021.
Main image: Octopi Media