Whilst the various bikes were travelling straight to the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, teams and riders have been working on their weaknesses in Europe. You should put a little more thought into your Fox MX Manager picks for round three of nineteen, with that in mind, as a lot could change.
We can guarantee that, in fact, as there is now a new option. If you have been begging for an opportunity to reset your team, then you can! We are not going to hold you back. There is, however, a bit of a handicap, as you have to work towards that across a couple of rounds. The rule of one transfer each week still stands, but you can now use that to swap one of your riders for a free spot.
That is all you can do this week and, yeah, you may suffer a bit of a hit in the points, but then you could do the same to another one of your riders at the next round. Once you are happy with the budget that you are free to spend, you can start charging towards the front with a team that you are confident about. There is a lot of racing to go! Why not get ahead of the competition and start doing this immediately, rather than sitting on the decision for a week or two?
You are probably thinking that this is a long-winded way to reach the front, but it all depends on just how disappointed you are with your current strategy. Here is an anecdote, however, which may help you decide how to play the game. I selected Jake Nicholls and Ben Watson for the Maxxis British Championship version of Fox MX Manager, as I was convinced that having both winners on my team would give me an unbeatable score. I used a completely different strategy in MXGP, you see, which was not working out too well.
Well, Nicholls and Watson swept their respective classes and I still ended up outside of the top two hundred. This confirms that you have to find a good balance between contenders and the mid-pack guys. It is also worth noting that, if you had more MXGP riders than MX2 in Indonesia, the cancellation screwed you! Do not make any hasty decisions off of your points from round two.
With all of this in mind, I have opted to avoid dropping riders at this point. My team is limping along, despite the fact that I had high hopes originally, but I have managed to make a change that I believe will help in a big way moving forward. I thought that Thomas Covington would excel through these flyaway events, but mechanical issues have cost him dearly and left me outside of the top one thousand.
I dropped Covington this week, after being burnt twice, and swapped him for Julien Lieber. The best part about this is I now have €100,000 to use for my transfer next week! I advised users to stay away from Lieber, because of his inconsistent past, but I am so far down the order that it was worth a stab. LRT KTM is the team that I selected before the Qatari fixture too, so I am fully invested in the series leader.
Anyway, onto the biggest talking point. How is Jeffrey Herlings going to fare? The Dutchman has always said that he expects to battle for a spot on the box at round three and, honestly, I think that he’ll be close. From what I know he has been able to ride a lot more recently, so he should at least be inside of the top ten quite comfortably. He is still just too much of a risk for the amount of money you would have to invest though, especially when you could pick up Antonio Cairoli or Tim Gajser for the same price.
Whilst we are on that topic, here are a handful of riders who are hot picks for round three and a couple who would be worth avoiding.
Antonio Cairoli: Shocker, right? Not only could Antonio Cairoli take you to the top of the MXGP podium each week, the chances of him blowing it completely are extremely slim. I feel confident that, even if it is a difficult weekend for him, he’ll be able to salvage a top-five finish and some good points for your team. Tim Gajser or Romain Febvre are the same price as the current series leader and could win, but they could also crash out and fail to finish a moto. Cairoli is a safe bet!
Clement Desalle: I am still a little hesitant when deciding whether to pick Clement Desalle or not, but he has now shown that he is a consistent contender for a spot on the box. Desalle is considerably cheaper than riders like Cairoli and Herlings too, as he costs just €400,000, so could end up being great value for money! If you were looking to save some money for future transfers, dropping from one of those elite riders for Desalle would allow you to do that.
Hunter Lawrence: Speaking of those who are good value for money, Hunter Lawrence is a brilliant pick. There is no doubt in my mind that he will pay off in the long run and I would bet he is cheaper than half of the riders on your team currently. Lawrence is only going to improve from this point on too, so why not pick him up now? Everyone will be doing it in a couple of weeks.
Romain Febvre: Romain Febvre is on a downward spiral at the moment, it seems, and I would not recommend investing a large amount of virtual cash in his corner. Not only has Febvre had his worst start to a season since 2012, he also fell in Indonesia and injured his shoulder. That is nothing major nor will it hinder him this weekend. It just does not look good though, you know? I would recommend staying away from the former champion until he wins a Grand Prix again.
Max Nagl: Much like Romain Febvre, Max Nagl needs to show me something before I state that he is a worthy pick. Nagl was picked ninety-six times at the previous round, which is not a lot, but those users ended up in a hole. Nagl has won at Neuquen before, admittedly, so maybe that will do something for him? Then again, he was dominant in Qatar that year and has struggled at the Local International Circuit ever since.
Ken De Dycker: Ken De Dycker is not even racing! I have only included him in this column, because seventy-eight users selected him for the Grand Prix of Indonesia. If you are one of those players, you have wasted some money and simply have no choice but to remove him. You can expect the Belgian to be back on track at the Grand Prix of Trentino in April.
There you have it, some thoughts on Fox MX Manager ahead of the third FIM Motocross World Championship round. If you have not been playing thus far then don't worry, it is not too late! I would even say that you stand a better chance of winning then some of the current players, as you'll be able to start with a clean slate and some knowledge to fall back on.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Honda Racing Corporation