Matthes Report: Minneapolis

Steve Matthes brings the heat!

Steve Matthes brings the heat!

The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series is getting a bit interesting right now, yeah? I was one of those guys that, after Ken Roczen crashed out and Eli Tomac was struggling, thought that Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey would run away with this thing. It just seemed that no one could top Dungey’s speed, endurance and experience. Well, four races after that injury, I’m not exactly as sold as I once was.

You’ve seen the races; Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac has been on fire the last four races (yeah in Dallas he had a front brake issue that caused him to pull into the mechanic’s area, but he was going to get second or first at that race also had it not been for the malfunction) and closed up into third in the series points, twenty-four back of Dungey. Dungey’s buddy, Marvin Musquin, has won his first ever 450SX race, collected podiums regularly and, for perhaps the first time in his career, he caught Dungey from behind and passed him last week.

It’s a closer race than most of us thought it would be for this title, with Atlanta coming up this weekend. After Atlanta the series is halfway over and settling in for the stretch run. Here’s how I see the next few races playing out and please don’t hold me to these predictions. In fact, smash your computer right after reading these so I can’t be proven to be wrong.

Cooper Webb, another potential winner, is currently sidelined (Monster Energy)

– I really think Ryan Dungey regroups and holds on to win this title. Last weekend, in a return to his hometown, I thought he’d rise to the occasion and stop this Eli Tomac train, but not only did he not do that but he let Musquin get the best of him also. I think that when you look at his lead right now, as well as the number of races that are left and his overall excellence, Dungey can step up and fend off these challenges from the #25 and #3.

You have to think that the margin of error for Tomac and Musquin isn’t much, then Dungey’s just so good that he can keep collecting podiums and the others might have some bad races. One more bad race for Tomac and he’ll be over a race behind which is too much, in my opinion, to come back from.

– No doubt that Musquin, Tomac and Dungey all win races from here on out. I think Jason Anderson gets one before it’s all said and done though. Perhaps Cole Seely, but I wouldn’t bet on my pre-season pick of him to winning multiple races. Maybe Cooper Webb, but most likely the three I mentioned are collecting all the wins from here on out and give one to Anderson.

– I think Zach Osborne wins this 250SX East title. Wacko Zacho looks amazing; he’s as fit as ever under the Aldon Baker programme and, although he’s never won a 250SX race, I think he gets this thing done. Joey Savatgy is going to be tough to beat, because he’s the total package of speed and consistency, but Osborne’s will put it together and take this title.

– I think Eli Tomac wins Daytona in three weeks and wins easily at that.

– I think James Stewart comes back… at some point. Maybe Daytona, maybe somewhere else, but he’s collecting Honda parts and I imagine he’s riding (or at least I hope so). He’ll show up on a Honda with his brother, Malcolm, and hopefully he’ll be ready.

– Chad Reed, as bad as he’s riding recently, will get another podium before the year is out. Maybe two! I think Blake Baggett does the same also before the year is out.

Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media

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