There are just two rounds left in the FIM Motocross World Championship at this point and the pressure is well and truly on. Will Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado clinch their respective world titles? Who is going to claim the massive overall prize on Fantasy MX Manager? There are so many questions that will be answered in the next two weeks.
The latter will be focussed on in this column, as this will be a massive round for users across the world. The previous Grand Prix in Turkey really turned things upside down for a lot of players, as established riders did not make the trip and therefore drastic transfers had to be made. Those moves would not necessarily work for the power-sapping sand of Assen though and that has left most up in arms. Add in the fact that a lot of riders are returning and, well, a recipe for a chaotic weekend has been generated. There will be some huge swings in the points on the game this weekend. It is wide open at this point in the season!
Marshal Weltin, who is incredibly cheap on Fantasy MX Manager and must be considered with that in mind, will return to the racetrack. Weltin is not known as a sand rider though and has limited experience in those conditions in comparison to his rivals, so should he be put on squads? It would have been ludicrous to think about that a couple of months ago, but his performance at the Grand Prix of Belgium was very encouraging. Eleventh overall, following a fourteenth and a tenth, was better than what most would have predicted. It is worth considering that he has spent another month with Marc de Reuver now too, so should be stronger when the gates drop this weekend.
Taking Marshal Weltin on for Assen is a risk, it really is, but there is no doubt that he will be a good pick for the final round in Italy. Why not plan ahead? Weltin is still better than guys in a similar price range, such as Gustavo Pessoa, and probably safer than Micha-Boy De Waal. De Waal has started to garner attention from some players, as he has finished between tenth and fifteenth a lot in recent weeks, but Vamo Honda have had so many bike problems this season. De Waal has scored points in eight of the last ten motos, which is a pretty good streak, but it is just so difficult to forget about those issues. Selecting him would certainly be a nerve-wracking experience.
It must be said, however, that there is not going to be a better time to select Micha-Boy De Waal than now. De Waal will be eager to impress in front of his home crowd and was fourteenth overall at the recent Grand Prix of Belgium. This looks like one of his greatest opportunities to shine. A popular Fantasy MX Manager pick like Anthony Rodriguez may not hit the same heights that he has in recent weeks, on the other hand, so perhaps it would be best to steer clear of the fill-in rider over at Kemea Yamaha? Four points were taken by him at Lommel last month and there are better options available at two hundred thousand euros.
Jago Geerts will definitely return to action at the Grand Prix of The Netherlands and costs that much. Geerts started riding again last weekend and did not have to hold back at all, as there was no pain or anything like that. It is obviously positive that he felt that way. It was mentioned that he was a bit sore the next day, but that is to be expected after not riding for three weeks. Will he challenge for a position on the podium, much like has at other sand races this season? It is unlikely, considering all of that information, but finishing inside the top ten should be possible. It is always a risk taking a rider on in their return from injury though.
Conrad Mewse costs two hundred thousand euros and will also race again at the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, after missing out on four weeks of action. That was the plan, anyway, but he was not available for comment at the time of writing. Mewse has been quiet since his injury, so who really knows what he will bring to the table? There is no doubt that he could be good or at least match what Jago Geerts manages to do, but then it could also be a struggle. It is likely that most players will steer clear of him, with that in mind, so choosing him could be a great way to gain some points on the competition. It is all to play for.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Honda Racing Corporation