McThoughts – 450 SX Round 5|Phoenix
By Jeff McConkey
Round 5 of the premier class went off on Saturday night. Ken Roczen, who has been getting better and better each week, put an end to the Ryan Dungey winning streak. Like I always say, confidence in motocross is a very important part of the puzzle. Ken got a solid 2nd last week and a great start was all he needed this week. I still don’t think Dungey’s chances of repeating as champion are in any danger. Eli Tomac is still 2-3 races away from possibly competing for wins, and Roczen is still down 21 points to Dungey.
Now, one thing that has been bothering me a little bit is the lack of respect for James Stewart and the seriousness of his concussion are getting from a few internet heroes. James is no chump or drama queen, and head injuries are a very serious thing to deal with. James has nothing to prove and I hope he takes all of the time needed to heal 100%, as it would be a shame not to see him out there again. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts:
1st Ken Roczen: Ken got his start and rode 20 laps out front. Does he have Dungey’s number? No, but he will win at least 3 more main events, if he can keep on getting starts like that.
2nd Ryan Dungey: No need to sound the alarm. Ryan is still clearly in the drivers seat and that’s not going to change. I don’t think we will see Dungey finish off the podium, unless he suffers a mechanical. He is just too damn good everywhere. He may not get every win, but he won’t be far off. This is a guy to model yourself after.
3rd Eli Tomac: Eli is riding very well, but he is still a tad off the pace. With a good start like he had on Saturday night, he can maintain, but I still don’t think he is ready or willing to try and hang it out with the top guys right yet.
4th Jason Anderson: Jason needs to get his starts back. He is riding very well, but can’t spot the leaders such a head start. He will win one or more races before season’s end. 93 points after 5 rounds is a very solid start to a sophomore season in the 450 class. ‘La Flama Blanca’ is a definite star of the sport right now.
5th Davi Millsaps: Davi has been riding very well early on this season and captured his season’s best 5th place finish. I think he has surpassed the expectations of most, and might even be able to pull off a podium soon.
6th Chad Reed: Not the best of night for Chad, but it still wasn’t that bad. He qualified 6th, started 6th and finished 6th. He’s only 8 points out of 2nd place in the championship and having a great season.
7th Justin Brayton: Solid ride for Brayton. I don’t see him as a top 5 guy in this stacked field, so a 7th is a very good finish for Brayton, in my opinion.
8th Cole Seely: Cole had a good ride going until he stalled. I think for him to get really good finishes, he needs to start at the front. I don’t think he’s aggressive enough to pass through the field like an Anderson or Dungey.
9th Marvin Musquin: Marvin was unable to match his magic of last week. 9th is a solid finish, but for a guy who dominated the 250 East so easily last year, you have got to think that his off-season wrist surgery is still bothering him.
10th Will Hahn: This is where will needs to be consistently. He has had quite a few injuries that would have retired most riders. He’s got heart and spunk and hopefully some good luck on his side, finally.
Biggest Stud: Ken Roczen is my stud. He temporarily stopped the winning machine, Dungey, and that gets him the nod.
Biggest Dud: Again, no dud for me. I’m just happy to see great racing after a week away.
Biggest Surprise: I don’t know if it’s a surprise as much as a congratulations to half-Canadian Cade Clason on making his 2nd consecutive main event, and Andy White and FXR’s Alex Ray on making his first main of the season.
Thanks for reading, and see you next Saturday.