McThoughts | 2018 Supercross Predictions
By Jeff McConkey
#1E Zach Osborne: Zach should be able to defend, but he can’t have any hiccups. It looks like both coasts are strong and there won’t be any easy wins.
#1W Justin Hill: Justin will be very good and confident, but I just don’t know if he has the bike to win the title on.
#6 Jeremy Martin: Jeremy is going to do 3 rounds in the 450 class before dropping down to contest the 250 East. I think he has a 250 win in him, and he will have many bad starts and silly crashes.
#11 Kyle Chisholm: I’d rather see Kyle in the 450 class.
#17 Joey Savatgy: This is Joey’s shot to win the title. It won’t be easy, but he has all of the tools. Brain farts have cost him in the past, and I’m sure he’s done everything to make sure it’s out of his system. I think he will win a coast, but it will go down to the wire.
#23 Aaron Plessinger: I’d like to see Aaron win the title, I just think he’s a little too big and his starts will hurt him. He should battle right until the end for the championship on either coast.
#24 Dylan Ferrandis: Dylan was good last year, but his fitness wasn’t where it should have been. With a season of SX under his belt, he should be a threat every weekend. He will win a race or two.
#26 Alex Martin: Just like my buddy Martin Davalos, Alex is a 250 lifer. He will fight for podiums.
#28 Shane McElrath: Shane will be in the hunt for the title. With some luck, he could steal it from one of the favourites.
#29 Martin Davalos: The lifer is back. I understand why Martin keeps getting re-signed in the 250 class, but I’m not a fan of it.
#30 Mitchell Harrison: Mitchell really turned it around last season after a very scary rookie season. I could see him in the top 5 on the regular and even fighting for the odd podium.
#31 Colt Nichols: I feel Colt is very underrated. This guy will win one and finish in the top 3 for the season. He just had his arm fixed but should be flying by the time the East starts up.
#32 Christian Craig: I love Craig’s effortless style, I don’t love all of the retirement talk. He stepped away briefly, and was riding the entire time. Let’s hope he can put it together and we don’t have another 250 SX lifer.
#35 Austin Forkner: Austin had a nasty concussion that kept him off the bike for a long time. It looked like he was back up to speed until an arm injury sidelined him. Let’s hope he isn’t gun shy when he comes back. He needs to start winning races.
#36 R.J. Hampshire: It’s time for Hampshire to light it up a bit. His nasty head injury is behind him and he has a few seasons under his belt. If he wants to stay on a top team, he needs to produce and get some podiums.
#37 Fredrik Noren: Expect Fredrik to hover around the top 10, or just inside with a good start.
#38 Luke Renzland: Luke will be consistent, but, to be honest, he’s kind of boring out there and I forget about him.
#40 Chase Sexton: Chase will be fun to watch, and you can bet he will be fast. He should land himself on the podium, and be fighting for top 5s.
#42 Dakota Alix: I’m very excited for Dakota. We can expect great starts and a few top 10’s.
#43 Sean Cantrell: I think Sean will have us on the edge of our seats at times. His scrub at Red Bull Straight Rhythm was nasty. But I’m sure he will have some big rookie mistakes as well.
#44 Lorenzo Locurcio: I haven’t watch Lorenzo at all, but we should see him in most mains.
#45 Jordon Smith: Who called Jordon’s first win last season? This guy did! He will get some wins and be in the hunt. He needs to limit his mistakes if he wants this championship.
#47 Jimmy Decotis: Who isn’t happy for Jimmy D and his new ride? Jimmy looked good early on last season then threw anchors. Well, Jimmy was sick and now he’s got it under control. Jimmy led laps last year and was oh so close to his first podium. I’d be shocked if he didn’t get 2 or 3 top 3’s.
#52 Mitchell Oldenburg: I wouldn’t be surprised if Freckle leads some laps and battles for a win. He will be very aggressive early on, and I hope it doesn’t bite him again this season.
#53 Bradley Taft: I don’t know enough about Taft. I expect him to be a solid main event guy every week.
#54 Phil Nicoletti: Phil has a ton of skill and been around forever. On a good night, I see a top 5, but when it rains, it pours for poor Phil. I just hope he gets through healthy.
#56 Anthony Rodriguez: Rocky Mountain took a big chance signing A-Rod. He has very good speed, but has had problems staying on 2 wheels. Anthony should be more mature now and I expect him 6th-10th on most nights.
#62 Justin Cooper: I expect big things from this rookie. First of all, you can bet that our good buddy, Seth Rarick, will make sure this rookie has a very fresh haircut and tight lines every Saturday. I wouldn’t be surprised if he leads some laps and gets 2-3 podiums.
#66 Cameron McAdoo: Cameron will be much better in season 2. He will still have some growing pains, but I’m expecting some serious flashes of speed at times.
#76 Kyle Peters: Kyle was a pleasant surprise last season until leaving for Australia. I think with a full off-season he should be finishing anywhere from 5th to 9th on any weekend. Good pick up for the JGR guys.
#85 Josh Cartwright: There is no reason why Josh won’t be making every main. He will be fit and fitted with a “fresh Cartwright” every weekend.
#92 Adam Cianciarulo: It’s AC time! Adam is in good place going into 2018. I think the wins will be there and he will capture his first professional title after many many injury-riddled seasons.
#95 Joey Crown: We’ve been waiting to see Joey ride SX for a while now. Even better, it’s for a Canadian team. He will have ups and downs, but he should be a main event guy on most nights.
#787 Josh Osby: I think a healthy Josh will surprise people. He should make the mains easily and should be inside the top 15 and maybe fighting near the top 10.
#2 Cooper Webb: Cooper is a big question mark for me. A few years ago in 250 SX, he looked like he was on his way to becoming a winning machine in either class. I know the new Yamaha is a way better bike, so that will help Webb a lot. I feel he will fight for some podiums and should 5th-8th on most nights.
#3 Eli Tomac: Eli will be hot and cold like always. Some nights he will look like he can never ever be beaten again and other nights you will have to search for him. When he’s hot, he will stay hot for a pretty solid streak, but it will be his cold streak that once again keeps this championship out of his hands. He will win races, but he will finish 3rd for the championship.
#4 Blake Baggett: Blake will be the surprise of the class. I see him winning a main event, getting a few podiums and running 4th to 6th on most Saturday nights. I’m hearing his whoop speed is insane, which is not normal for guys so short.
#5 Ryan Dungey: Our defending champion announced his retirement.
#6 Jeremy Martin: Jeremy will line up in the 450 class for the first 3 rounds before stepping down to race the 250 East class. I feel like J-Mart will be very fast in practice, but he will have some kind of spectacular get off that will cut his 450 experiment short.
#7 James Stewart: I am afraid we may have seen the last of James.
#10 Justin Brayton: Brayton will be solid all season long. I see him anywhere from 7th to 12th. I just don’t think he has the speed anymore to run in the top 5.
#12 Jake Weimer: Jake is coming off of injury, so he will be behind the 8 ball a bit. He might have one or two top 10’s in him, but for the most part be around 15th or 16th place guy.
#14 Cole Seely: Cole has been working hard to improve indoors and out. He will be hovering around the podium, and be a top 5 guy every week.
#15 Dean Wilson: What a rags-to-riches story for Deano. This guy goes from a full privateer effort with his dad, Andy, to a full factory racer reeling off podiums in the off season races. He is working hard and I see Deano just on the verge of a podium on his great nights, and a 4th-7th place guy most nights.
#18 Davi Millsaps: Davi was hurt early in the off season. He will miss the first few rounds. I expect to see Davi as a 5th-8th place guy when healthy.
#19 Justin Bogle: Justin is another question mark. He is sneaky fast and sneaky good. On the perfect night, I see him sneaking in a 3rd, but for the most part I see him 5th-12th.
#20 Broc Tickle: Broc is always a question mark to me. He works hard, but has a boring look or style that always has me forgetting how good he actually is. He will be a top 10 guy every week, with a few top 5 rides.
#21 Jason Anderson: Jason will win one or two races and get a bunch of podiums. I think not staying in Florida all off season will hurt him a little bit, but I think it will help as he won’t burn out as quickly.
#22 Chad Reed: I am a Chad Reed fan, but I feel he will struggle this season. He’s coming off of an injury that has kept him off the bike since Red Bull Straight Rhythm, and he really wasn’t even on the bike before that event. When you are the oldest racer in the class (and you sit out the outdoor season), you have got to be putting in the work to outclass the younger, hungrier racers. Chad will always have the skill, but the fitness will be a huge question mark. I see him finishing anywhere between 7th-12th on most nights.
#25 Marvin Musquin: Marvin has been unstoppable this off season and is ready to be the sole leader of the dominant Red Bull KTM team. The only weakness for Marvin is really big whoops. While the majority of the pack will continue to skim and stack, Marvin is just a little too calculated and he takes the safe route and jumps through. Yes, it is the wise thing to do, but this will cost him the title when other top contenders are willing to hang it out. He will look perfect some nights and I believe he will finish a solid second in the championship.
#27 Malcolm Stewart: I hate seeing former champions without rides, but I also hate seeing young racers sitting out the motocross seasons too. Malcolm is too young to be an SX only guy. His fitness was weak last season, but his whoop skills were stronger than ever. Unfortunately, I don’t see Malcolm in the top 10 on a regular basis.
#33 Josh Grant: Josh has been a huge surprise the last few seasons. From a guy showing up at Daytona fresh off of the couch, to getting a factory ride, he has been consistently good. I see JG33 anywhere from 7th- 14th on any given night.
#34 Weston Peick: Weston has a style where he plows through stuff. I just feel like that style won’t hold up for 17 rounds. He needs to have a little more finesse to save his body. He could run as high as 6th or 7th on a good night but I see him more around the 7th-11th spots most nights.
#41 Trey Canard: Trey announced his retirement.
#51 Justin Barcia: Justin will be good, but I don’t think he has podium speed anymore. He should be a top 10 guy every week, but he needs to stay healthy.
#55 Vince Friese: Like always, Vince will get good starts and be very hard to pass. Back in the day he would get the start, then ride like a meathead to hold position. Nowadays, Vince has improved a lot, and he now has the skill to run with most outside of the top 10. I feel like Vince could be anywhere from 12th-16th in the mains, depending on his starts.
#60 Benny Bloss: I really don’t know where to put Bloss yet. I’m thinking he should be a top 15 guy and will maybe get close to maybe a 11th or 12th with a great ride.
#91 Alex Ray: Alex has busted his ass to get in shape and get better at SX. I see him bumping Nick Schmidt as that guy making almost every main event.
#94 Ken Roczen: After A2 last season, I was afraid that we had seen the last of Ken. His injury was one of the worst that I had ever seen. Fast forward 11 surgeries later, and Ken is chomping at the bit to get back racing. And when I say racing, I mean winning races and championships. Kenny is killing it at the test track and looks like an even better version of his early 2017 self. The only question mark I have is how will his repaired arm handle a big get off? Well, I like to throw out crazy predictions, and I say Roczen wins the title and does it with the most wins. I’m usually wrong, but with this one, I’m all in.
#97 Cade Clason: Cade pissed hot and is currently serving a ridiculous suspension. He is now working for FXR as a gear guy, and should be the fastest gear guy in the game.