What a great race we had at High Point last weekend between Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac and Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin. Musquin rode a superb first moto to catch and pass Tomac to break ET's moto win streak to start the year at six. Second moto was playing out like a carbon copy of the first with Tomac leading and then Musquin reeling him in. This time though Tomac rode great to hold off Marvin and take the overall with his 2-1 scores.
The two riders were pushing it hard the last three or four laps and it was really cool to see. Elite world class racers leaving it all out there. We had Tomac on the Pulpmx Show this past Monday night and he said that he was pushing pretty hard to hold Musquin back. There wasn't much left in the tank when he was done and no doubt Musquin was doing the same. Great racing!
With round five of the series heading to Tennessee, I thought I would take a look at a few different things that are going on.
Muddy Creek is another good track for Musquin, he has had some success there over the years. It's got some off-cambers (but not nearly as much as High Point), good dirt and a few hills. When you have all of the above then riding technique is important and that's what Marv's got. Musquin needs to get some points on Tomac this weekend because the next two tracks, Southwick and RedBud, favour the defending champion.
In the 250 class it is Aaron Plessinger with a twenty-point lead on GEICO Honda's Jeremy Martin and those two are shaping up to do battle all summer long methinks. Sure Alex Martin, Dylan Ferrandis and Austin Forkner will get in there here and there but doesn't it seem like J-Mart and Plessinger will fight this thing out? Martin's bike broke while he was on his way to the overall and that's a tough thing to take. This track I would imagine would see a good result from Plessinger, but the next two probably favour the two-time national champion.
Ex-factory rider Ryan Sipes has retired from full time SX/MX races and does mostly off-road racing of all types, including some flat track. He is racing Muddy Creek this weekend but with a twist. He's doing it on a 125! Yeah, that is right. Sipes is bringing a knife to a gun fight and it's probably not going to be much fun for him. But, at this point, Sipes probably does not care that much and just going to go have fun. To that I say, I still do not think it's going to be fun!
Jacob Hayes has long eschewed the traditional SX/MX circuit for the Amsoil Arenacross series and, this past year, got his first title. That's the good part. The bad part was the series was folded up by the promoter and he needs a ride. Hayes wants to join the big circuit badly and will make his first national appearance in a long time this weekend in the 450MX class. I am interested in seeing how he can do because I know he's sniffing around for rides and has to be motivated to show some team managers that, yes, he can ride the big bike and motocross as well.
Well, it has been a nice run for Monster Energy Yamaha's Alex Ray. The privateer hero got a chance on the factory Yamaha team for three rounds filling in for Cooper Webb and this weekend will be his last with the team as Webb is expected back next race. Ray's original deal was for three races and the team was cool enough to let Ray go one more race. You see this national is in Alex's home state and, in front of family and friends, it is going to be way cool for them to see Alex Ray, the factory rider. A most unlikely fill-in factory rider, Ray has done well and represented himself as the everyman out there. But the clock has struck midnight on this Cinderella story. Good job Alex and Yamaha!
Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media/Octopi