McThoughts | 450 SX Report Card
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Bigwave
Due to Saturday night being a complete mess, I’m going to give a report card-style ‘McTHOUGHTS’ instead of my regular race recap.
So far, the 450 class has been super-exciting and unpredictable. One week a guy is up front and the next week he’s struggling to run in the top 5. We have so many guys that could be fighting for podiums, it really is an exciting time to be a fan.
Sure, it’s early in the season, but there is no reason why this can’t continue all season long.
Let’s have a look at my thoughts after 5 rounds.
1st Eli Tomac 106 points: Well, it finally got out that Eli was hurt coming into the season. I, personally, think the slower start helped Eli, by showing him how well he can do by finishing consistently good. It showed him that he doesn’t have to win every round, and if he does win, he doesn’t have to try and destroy the field. By pushing every lap as hard as he can, I think it left Eli vulnerable for big mistakes. Eli gets an A.
2nd Marvin Musquin 102 points: Marvin was invisible at round 1, but has gotten better as the season goes on. Just like Eli, Marv was injured in the off season, and I really think it will help him peak after Daytona when it counts the most. Marv just needs to limit the mistakes earlier on. Marvin gets a B+.
3rd Ken Rozcen 102 points: Ken still hasn’t won a main, but he’s been very good and very consistent. He even held the points lead for 2 rounds. I feel the win is coming and that he is still getting better each round. Just to see Ken performing this well after severely injuring both arms in back to back seasons gets him an A+.
4th Cooper Webb 98 points: Cooper started the season with a gutsy ride from the back of the pack up to a 5th. Then throw in back to back wins, and you could say the real Cooper is back. I don’t think he’s championship ready this year, but he should be a strong favourite in 2020. I give Cooper an A for his great turn around from the last 2 seasons.
5th Blake Baggett 80 points: Blake needs to be there every weekend. His bad rides need to be somewhat decent. He has the speed and fitness, but he needs to be consistent. Blake gets a B+.
6th Dean Wilson 80 points: Deano is doing a great job trying to earn himself a factory ride once again. He doesn’t look ready to podium, but he should be consistently fighting for top 5’s. He’s got a ton of great supporters, so I’m sure it will have to make sense for him to fill in. Deano gets an A.
7th Justin Barcia 74 points: It looked great for Barcia after round 1, but things haven’t been too hot as of late. He’s out of title contention already, but I think he can still grab a few podiums and even fight for another win on the right night. Justin gets a B-.
8th Aaron Plessinger 66 points: Aaron is our highest rookie, but I really expected more, considering our 2 muddy races. I haven’t even seen any flashes from him yet, which isn’t alarming, but you want to see something. Plessinger gets a C+.
9th Chad Reed 65 points: I know Reed wants to be doing better, but I really think he’s doing well. He’s much better than the last few years, and it looks like he’s having a ton of fun. Reedy gets an A for effort.
10th Cole Seely 65 points: Cole is coming off of a huge injury and he just doesn’t seem to be himself. I don’t know if he is scared or just not 100% yet. Cole gets a C+.
Biggest Stud: No individual stud for me. I think the best part of the 450 class is how deep the top 10 is. There are so many potential winners and I feel we will see many different faces on the podium.
Biggest Dud: Injuries! We lost rookie Zach Osborne, Benny Bloss and Weston Peick before the season even started, and then Mookie (Malcolm) Stewart and defending champion Jason Anderson. Let’s hope we are done.
Biggest Surprise: Where is Justin Hill? I expected him to be doing what Webb has done.
Thanks for reading.