No matter what transpired at the Grand Prix of Qatar, each team will be mulling over what went on in the desert and desperately trying to figure out how to better themselves. Even Antonio Cairoli was naming areas that he could improve right after the race! I am sure that you are doing the same with your Fox MX Manager team, right?
It seems that no one is happy with their team, although those in the top three must be content, so we are here to offer some advice on what you should do next. Just as we mentioned last week, you can only make one change ahead of the Grand Prix of Indonesia and, at this point, it is not possible to strategically leave an empty spot on your squad to save money for your next transfer. That may be coming in the future, but for now just trading a guy in for the cheapest rider should suffice.
Before we get into the race that is coming up, it may interest you to know which riders were selected the most for round one of nineteen. Three hundred and thirteen users picked Max Anstie, which made him the most popular 450F rider, and Jeffrey Herlings was second on that list. The fact that Herlings was chosen so much baffles me. We all knew he was not going to be at his best! So, before we go any further, make a change if you have all that money invested in the Dutchman, who has already stated that he’ll be pleased with around twenty points this weekend. That obviously is not going to help you win.
With the amount of money that you spent on Jeffrey Herlings, you could make a straight switch for either Antonio Cairoli or Tim Gajser. You could also get Romain Febvre for the same amount, but he just is not quite on that level yet. It is almost impossible to say who you should choose, but you probably have more chance of success in the motos with Cairoli. The guy is solid! It is worth considering that Gajser excels in the qualifying heats, however, and that could win you some extra points on Saturday. Remember, points are awarded to the top ten in qualifying and the rider with the fastest lap.
Opting for a cheaper rider may be a path that a lot of you travel down, as we mentioned above, seeing as it would allow you to free up some budget for the following round in Argentina. Who would be a good option for that? Jose Butron. Butron was picked by one hundred and forty-five users prior to Qatar and all of those players benefitted massively, as he picked up twenty-five points for making the most passes in the premier division. The chances of that happening again this weekend are slim, of course, but he could still get you some solid points (around fifteen) and save you a considerable amount of cash. If that is the strategy you are going to adopt, I think that you have to look towards the Spaniard.
I am sure that a lot of you, like myself, are stuck with some mid-pack riders and are shopping around in that price range. Arnaud Tonus, Max Anstie and Jordi Tixier are just some of the guys in that group and all three of those have the potential to improve. Tixier and Anstie were really impressive in practice, so clearly have raw bursts of speed on their side, but failed to translate that to the races. Then again, the track meant that each guy was restricted by their starting position. The mind boggles!
If you are looking at those three, I would recommend picking Arnaud Tonus. The Wilvo Yamaha MXGP rider was in the mix in the first moto, despite a mediocre start, and should finish in a similar spot this weekend. An important point to consider is that he should also be pretty good if it turns out to be a mudder. Just look at how much he improved at Washougal during his first year in the USA! There is no telling what the weather will do this weekend, as the climate is so unpredictable, so just prepare for every possible scenario.
Rather than run through the 250F class in the same fashion as above, here is a rapid fire look at who is a good pick (and who you should stay away from) heading into the second round.
Pauls Jonass: Shocking, right? Pauls Jonass was only on eighty teams in Qatar, but I would bet that number will climb significantly this week. It is the fact that he made no mistakes whilst under immense pressure that impressed me the most on Saturday night; he really was faultless. Now, admittedly, Benoit Paturel may have been faster, but Jonass is the one with the red plate firmly in his grasp. I would bet that the Latvian makes another trip to the podium this week, if not the top step.
Benoit Paturel: If you thought that Pauls Jonass statistic was surprising, how about the fact that just twenty-two users selected Benoit Paturel! The Frenchman could become a Grand Prix winner on Sunday; it seems that it’ll happen sooner rather than later! Paturel has such a quiet demeanour that I would bet most players overlook him again this week, so you could make up some a significant amount of ground if you opt for him.
Vsevolod Brylyakov: This one is a massive risk, but Vsevolod Brylyakov will land on the podium (and maybe win) sooner rather than later. He was just so good in Qatar! Crashes cost him dearly, hence why he finished in the lower half of the top ten, so could reduce the reward that you get from signing him up. However, it is worth noting that he is one of the cheaper riders in the class and undoubtedly has the most potential.
Conrad Mewse: Conrad Mewse was the fantasy killer at round one, as the only person who was picked more than him in the 250F division was Jorge Prado. One hundred and sixty-three teams suffered from the fact that he scored no points, but are you willing to stick by him? Obviously it is a risk, but he’ll score points sooner rather than later. Perhaps the motivation that he picked up in the Qatari desert will spur him on and see him take some incredible results this weekend? Then again, maybe he’ll flounder and cost you dearly.
Absent Riders: Brian Hsu, Christopher Valente, David Herbreteau, Davide Bonini, Freek van der Vlist, Giuseppe Tropepe, Hardi Roosiorg, Henry Jacobi, Jens Getteman, Jorge Zaragoza, Josiah Natzke, Lars Van Berkel, Nicholas Lapucci, Nicola Recchia, Nicolas Dercourt, Simone Furlotti and Simone Zecchina will join the 250F series when it returns to Europe in April.
Petar Petrov: If you are one of the thirteen people with Petar Petrov on your team, remove him! Petrov is sidelined for the foreseeable with injury, so will be no good to you in the coming weeks. Caleb Ward (who was picked fifty-eight times) is questionable for round two also and would be a good rider to swerve.
It is also worth noting that Ander Valentin, Angus Heidecke, Damon Graulus, Dennis Ullrich, Elliott Banks-Browne, Filip Bengtsson, Jernej Irt, Jonathan Bengtsson, Ken De Dycker, Klemen Gercar, Matevz Irt, Maxime Desprey, Milko Potisek and Ryan Houghton will not be present in Indonesia. Tommy Searle is still out with injury also.
There you have it, a little look at what you should do with your Fox MX Manager team this week. You are now able to make a change to your team, if you wish, so choose wisely! Remember, you could always wait until practice has concluded on Saturday. If you have anymore questions, just tweet @motocrossvice and we'll get back to you.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX