McThoughts: New Jersey SX|250 East
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Bigwave
The crazy 250 East went off once again on Saturday night. The track looked fairly technical and the true front runners all ended up in the front where they belong. Going in, the points were very close between leader Malcolm Stewart and Aaron Plessinger. Unfortunately, Aaron had a brutal start which has now dropped him to 14 points behind the leader. If Stewart wins this title, I would like to think that his insane ride in Toronto, when his body/jersey were all torn up and his bike was cutting out, was the ride that saved his title hopes. He has been very fast all season long, and I don’t think anyone in either class could touch him through the whoops. We now head to Las Vegas for the EAST/WEST Shootout, where anything can happen. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Malcolm Stewart: This race probably won Malcolm the 2016 East title, as long as things don’t go crazy in Vegas. He was a beast through the whoops and his intensity was unreal. He deserves this title, but with the new EAST/WEST format (which I m not a fan of), disaster could strike in Sin City.
2nd Martin Davalos: This guy has talent and genuinely seems like one of the nicest guys ever, but 250 Regional SX is a feeder class for the premiere 450 class; some years there are riders as young as 16 racing it. The AMA really needs an age rule. I think 26 and out is a good rule?! Anyway, Martin rode a great race and looked good out there. He didn’t have the speed of Stewart, but he had everyone else covered.
3rd Jeremy Martin: Jeremy looked so intense all day long. I really thought he had a win in him. He rode really well and still has an outside shot at this championship due to the new EAST/WEST format (which I am not a fan of at all).
4th Shane McElrath: It’s too bad that Shane came into the season hurt and behind the eight ball. I don’t think he would have won the championship, but he had a win in him and may podiums.
5th Aaron Plessinger: Aaron rode a great race – he looked very good and was flowing well. Unfortunately, his start may have cost him the title. He now goes into Vegas down 14 points. But on the good side for Aaron…it is Vegas and anything can happen due to the new EAST/WEST format (which I am not a fan of at all).
6th Tyler Bowers: Tyler looked really stiff to me. I’m not sure if he’s riding through an injury, but he doesn’t seem himself. Either way, a 6th is a good ride in my books.
7th Gannon Audette: Gannon had a quiet but very good ride. He started around 13th and made a bunch of passes to get a respectable 7th. I really hope Mitch gives this guy a ride for outdoors. He’s not flashy, but he gets it done. As long as he can stay healthy, I really think he could snag a podium or two next season on a PC bike.
8th Dakota Alix: I don’t want to be the dick to say it, but it’s kind of weird to see a pure privateer like Dakota pulling all of these great starts. Yes, he has some serious skill and probably deserves more support, but is he running a big bore? Horsepower is everything in the 250 class, and privateers don’t usually have it.
9th Luke Renzland: Another solid ride for Luke. I’d like to see him a little closer to the top 5, but he is relatively fresh off of an injury so I will let it slide for now.
10th Cedric Soubeyras: Nice ride for Soubeyras. He has some serious indoor skills. Let’s hope he comes back for 2017.
Biggest Stud: Malcolm Stewart gets ‘stud status.’ His whoop speed and intensity is at an all-time high right now, and his dance moves aren’t too shabby either.
Biggest Dud: Not the guy himself, but Aaron Plessinger’s start was brutal and may have cost him the title. But, he did ride amazing coming through the pack.
Biggest Surprise: The starts that Dakota Alix is getting on a privateer 250f!
Thanks for reading. See you next week.