McThoughts|Red Bud National|250 Class
By Jeff McConkey
The 250 class this season is very exciting. There are at least 10 or more guys that can put in a podium ride at any time. The intensity is so high, but unfortunately that means some racers in this class can’t put in 2 solid back to back motos without mistakes or mechanicals. The racing this past weekend was great to watch and will, no doubt, stay exciting right up until the end of the season. Here are my thoughts from Red Bud.
1st Cooper Webb (1-1): Cooper is very confident right now and will be hard to beat. He’s getting good starts and making it happen. It looks like the wrist is feeling good, and he’s now our points leader.
2nd Alex Martin (3-3): I’m very happy and impressed with how Alex rode. Take away the bad luck earlier this season and he’s still our points leader.
3rd Zach Osbourne (5-2): If Zach could get better starts, he would definitely win more motos. His speed and fitness are there, he just can’t spot the others such a big head start.
4th Jeremy Martin (4-4): Jeremy has all of the tools and he’s a 2-time champion, but something seems to be off this season. He’s making rookie mistakes and letting podiums and wins slip away.
5th Shane McElrath (9-5): Shane finally looks to be putting that wrist injury behind him. He looked good both motos, but like his teammate, he needs to limit the mistakes.
6th Adam Cianciarulo (7-8): AC qualified 1st and he looked really good in qualifying. His problem is his starts. When he’s starting 9th or 10th, he’s giving up way too much to the top guys. His fitness is getting better, but he really needs better starts. But let’s be honest, I’m just happy to see him out there and healthy. He is getting better each week which is a good sign. A podium will come soon.
7th Joey Savatgy (2-16): Poor Joey. Savatgy had a great first moto, and his fitness really showed late. In the 2nd moto, he made a mistake and lost the lead, then he OJ’d the ski jump and went down hard. He showed heart by getting up and getting some points.
8th Austin Forkner (6-10): This kid really impressed me. He had a very long battle with 2-time champ Jeremy Martin, and held him off for a very long time. This kid is all smiles in the pits, and has a bright future in front of him.
9th Arnaud Tonus (11-6): Strong 2nd moto for Tonus, he’s a bigger guy so those starts are much more important. Glad to see him with 2 solid back to back finishes after the long string of injuries.
10th Mitchell Oldenburg (8-9): Mitchell has the speed, he just needs to smooth it out. He ran up front in both motos and impressed me. He just needs to limit the mistakes.
Biggest Stud: The Star Racing Yamaha team is my stud. At one point in the moto, they had 4 riders in the top 10. Gone are the days of the prehistoric carbureted Yamaha, now the Star boys are armed with a bad ass bike and they are fighting for wins and podiums every weekend. Very impressed with the entire team!
Biggest Dud: My dud would have to be how the class is so up and down and a lot of guys struggle with putting 2 motos together.
Biggest Surprise: I’m still surprised with how much Alex Martin stepped up his game.