Matthes Report: Unadilla

Matthes on a handful of topics.

Matthes on a handful of topics.

With just two rounds left, the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships are all over but the crying. RCH Suzuki’s Ken Roczen is going to win his second 450MX title and Star Yamaha’s Cooper Webb is going to take home his first 250MX title before he jumps up to take on Roczen on a 450F next year.

But, wait, there are some battles, some small victories if you will, to be had out there in the remaining four motos. They’re not all important but, hey, they’re something right! Let’s take a look at some of the “prestigious" titles still left to be decided here in the USA.

Second Place in 250MX Points

Yeah, this is a thing people. Monster Pro Circuit’s Joey Savatgy and Star Yamaha’s Alex Martin are currently tied in points. There’s probably not any bonus money at stake for either rider besides the right to call themselves “the 2016 250MX champion if Cooper Webb wasn’t there" and maybe down the road Webb tests positive for a ton of PED’s and you get the crown. Hey, a man has to believe right?

With Savatgy pulling off in Unadilla in the second moto, it’s obvious he’s got something going on health-wise and I think that second would mean something to Martin. If you had told Alex five years ago that he would win overalls and get second in the points he would’ve called the cops on you. So AMart’s got the motivation to get this thing done in my opinion.

Third Place in 450MX Points

This isn’t really a “thing" because Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin is forty-nine points ahead of JGR Yamaha’s Justin Barcia, but you never… ah screw it. Never mind, Musquin will get third without a doubt.

Fifth would be a massive achievement for Benny Bloss (KTM/Simon Cudby)

Can Benny Bloss Finish Fifth in the 450MX Points?

Plenty of times in history you’ll see the top five in points written down somewhere when recapping a season and it’s with this knowledge that I think rookie Benny Bloss would be extremely stoked with getting fifth in the points. He’s thirty-four points behind Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel, who’s out for the season with an injury like approximately forty-two other riders. So, does Benny get it? Yeah bro, because with four motos left an average finish of twelfth gets it done and have you seen this kid lately? He’s on fire and pissing off the veterans every single moto, because they just can’t believe this guy that looks like a big orange oak tree motors by them.

Four-Way Battle Royale for Eighth!

Look, you always want to finish as high up as you can in the points and if you can be the top placing rider on your team then at least you can point the finger at everyone else and say “See!". Oh and you never want to be the last place guy in the points on your team – that sucks. So, with this knowledge, this big battle for eighth in 250MX points is huge!

Adam Cianciarulo currently has it, but he’s only two points ahead of his teammate Arnaud Tonus and with Savatgy and Austin Forkner way ahead they are battling to not be the last place Pro Circuit guy and get their ass chewed by Mitch Payton. That’s huge! TLD KTM’s Mitchell Oldenburg is three back of AC, and he’s just happy to be here, and Geico Honda’s RJ Hampshire is eleventh in the points and seven back of Cianciarulo. Hampshire is “fighting" to be the top Geico Honda rider and, in case you don’t know, being the top Geico Honda rider is a good thing. Being the top Geico Honda rider in eleventh in the points is not good. AC, Tonus and RJ all better be riding their balls off these last four motos.

Have we seen the last of James Stewart (Suzuki Racing)

Is This It for Stewart? 

Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart didn’t show at Unadilla after hurting his shoulder in a practice crash and we’re not sure if we’ll see him at the last two races. Literally as I finished typing that sentence the PR dropped that he’s out for the year with injury. So, changing things up on the fly, have we seen the last of James Stewart? Were those fans at Washougal who saw the number seven the last ones to ever see Stewart on the track? I mean, he’ll do Red Bull Straight Rhythm in October but I’d hardly call that a race. What does Stew do next year and, more importantly, who would hire Stew for any amount of money to make it worth his while to come back and race in 2017? The fall of Stew has been something else, never mind the gradual drop – this is like being chucked off Mt. Everest.

Words: Steve Matthes | Image: KTM/Simon Cudby

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