McThoughts | A2 | 250 Class | Presented by Leatt and MX101
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Bigwave
After winning the first two rounds, #38 Shane McElrath has stated that he is for real and that he a serious title contender. He hasn’t been super-dominant, but he has been very good and has put himself in good positions for this West championship. In the past, injuries have stopped Shane from throwing his name in the championship hat, but for 2017 he has come in healthy and caught most off guard.
I’ve already said it a few times that I feel the west is weaker than normal. This doesn’t mean that the top guys aren’t fast. I’m just simply stating that I feel the class isn’t as deep say 10th through 20th positions like in past seasons.
We can’t forget that we have former race winners Jeremy Martin, Aaron Plessinger, Martin Davalos, Justin Hill and Josh Hansen, not to mention super rookie Austin Forkner. So even though I feel that the depth might not be there from top to bottom, the depth at the top is definitely impressive.
Last week in San Diego, Justin Hill looked to have found his groove. Well, he remembered to pack it for A2 and he looked pretty flawless all day. After a near perfect ride, he let everyone know that his Round 2 performance was no fluke. Let’s take a look at the top 10 and see my thoughts.
1st Justin Hill: Justin kept the ball rolling from last week and honestly looked great all day. He was making up a ton of time on a triple-triple section that no other 250 was making half as clean. His corners were sharp and his great start meant it was night over for the rest. Hill looks to be only getting better as he came into the season a little behind, and I think he keeps picking up steam from here on out.
2nd Aaron Plessinger: Aaron couldn’t buy a start at the first 2 rounds, but his speed was there. Coming into A2, he knew the starts needed to be there, so he made it happen. The only problem was that he couldn’t match Justin Hill’s sprints. And unfortunately, that cost him a chance to battle for the win. He now knows what to work on, and will definitely work on it. He rode a great race, but just can’t let Hill get away early like that. Billy and I joked with him during track walk that maybe his haircut game compared to Seth Rarick and Cooper Webb might be holding him back. I bet we see Plessinger rocking a fresh haircut in Phoenix.
3rd Shane McElrath: Shane, once again, rode very well and kept his championship drive alive. He had to work a little harder this week, but he showed he can still land on the podium without starting in the top 3. I don’t see him not landing on the box straight up, I think it would have to be a DNF to hold him off of it.
4th Austin Forkner: Some have young Austin pegged as the next star of the sport. Don’t worry, it’s going to happen, he just needs a little more time in SX. His start was great, but he had a bad first lap. He rode much better this week and is steadily improving.
5th Martin Davalos: Martin was a little off the pace. He didn’t look great but he didn’t look bad. There’s always next year. Oh wait…
6th Jimmy Decotis: This is a good ride for Jimmy. He bounced back well after the heartbreak last week. I’d personally love to see him land on the box, but I maybe see a 5th as his best finish. I love to cheer for Jimmy and see him do well, I just don’t think he’s straight up better than anyone in front of him.
7th Dan Reardon: Not a bad ride for Dan. To be honest, his speed has surprised me this year. I think he’s riding great and was a solid replacement.
8th Tyler Bowers: Tyler is a big dude. He has won on a 250 before, but it was a PC 250. He had a solid main, but I’d honestly like to see him on a 450.
9th Josh Hansen: Good ride for Hanny. His starts were much better this week…much better. He still has that amazing talent, but I’d love to see him on a 450. I was speaking with his mechanic, Robbie Feder, and Toronto SX popped up with the idea of Josh showing up with some suspension and a few parts and borrowing a 450 Husky. Hey, Victoria Hett, any demos kicking around?
10th Jeremy Martin: Jeremy is having a SX season to forget. Twice now he has qualified fastest, but just can’t seem to make it happen. He came from the very back to 10th which was a nice ride, but he should be fighting for wins.
Thanks for reading. See you next week.