A Matthes Report: The Preview

Steve Matthes presents some burning questions

· 4 minutes read

The deal of the day on 24MX.

Lots to unpack here with Anaheim 1 just a couple of days away. Wow, it’s here. The 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series is kicking off in Anaheim and all these questions we had about all these riders and teams will begin to be answered. Here are some questions I have got that I'm looking forward to seeing what some of the answers are. Again, we’re not going to get all the answers after one round but, hey, things should be a bit clearer.

How is Marv?

We KNOW that Eli Tomac, Jason Anderson and Ken Roczen will be very fast and ready to go. They’re all primed to become 450SX champions and will be great. Although the usual rumors are out there about injuries, I’ve been assured that Tomac is fine. The real question is Marvin Musquin, who has been off the bike for a while with a knee injury and hasn’t been nowhere near his usual off-season workload. He’s back on the bike now, but he’ll be playing catch-up for a few weeks… Or will he? We’ll find out soon enough if he can repeat his Anaheim 1 win from last year.

Marvin Musquin faces a race against time to prepare for Anaheim 1
Marvin Musquin faces a race against time to prepare for Anaheim 1 (KTM Images/Ray Archer)
Fill-In Riders?

We got the PR about Zach Osborne missing some time with a collarbone injury and that’s certainly a blow to the rookie kid. It’s also a blow to my “YOU GOTTA WATCH ZACH OSBORNE THIS YEAR" campaign that I’ve been driving hard this off-season. We know that Dean Wilson will not be going back to his old team to fill in and I wonder if Dean, who’s got a bike that’s close to last year’s machine and some great support from Rockstar Energy, is available to fill in anywhere. How far down the road is he with his own team that’s out of a van? Could he abandon his guys helping him now to go to a Monster team? I thought that was the loose plan, but now I’m thinking maybe it’s privateer or fill-in with his old team or nothing?

Speaking of fill-in riders, we know Justin Bogle got one with Benny Bloss’ injury but Tyler Bowers is there also hunting around for an open spot as is Josh Grant who’s not even going to be racing. Man, it’s a risky deal going racing and hoping for injury but it happens every year. Who’s the first guy called up to fill in on a factory level?

Cooper Webb and Mookie

Malcolm Stewart and Cooper Webb are both very interesting riders to me. Webb’s looking to break into that upper echelon of riders with the new Red Bull KTM ride and move to Aldon Baker’s. Stewart’s just happy to have a full-time ride with a bike he has been on all off-season! Malcolm is fitter than he’s ever been as well. We’ve seen the Stewart speed out of him plenty of times, but his programme and fitness has never been settled. Now it is. Can he battle for top fives?

As far as Webb goes, he’s just looking to see if the Baker Factory magic can rub off him and the switch to a bike that suits him a little better. Webb’s got some incredible stats on the 250 but that was two years ago now, which in this sport can be an eternity. These two guys are the most interesting riders right now. I need some answers!

Cooper Webb is one of the greatest question marks in the 450SX class
Cooper Webb is one of the greatest question marks in the 450SX class (KTM Images/Ray Archer)
Broc Tickle?

I would like to know when Broc Tickle is going to be able to race again. In fact, I’m sure he would also! The factory KTM rider was busted for a small PED early in SX and has been left hanging ever since. He can’t even find out WHEN he can come back racing and it’s been ten months. Imagine getting arrested for a crime and just be held in jail for ten months without ever knowing what your punishment is? The sport needs drug testing for sure but these penalty procedures (no matter whether it’s Cade Clason, James Stewart or Broc Tickle) are a complete joke and make our sport look bush league. Come on FIM, figure this out and let Broc get on with being able to make a living.

Adam's Time?

I firmly believe that if the 250SX West series were just a series of two-lap one-on-one races, then Adam Cianciarulo would walk to his first pro title. Unfortunately for AC, they’re not. The Kawasaki speedster has been very fast the last few years but injury and crashes have hurt him from winning more races. The test track reports have him “figuring" it all out this year and let’s hope so for him. He can’t grow anymore and still fit well on a 250F! He’s just got to figure out how to minimize the mistakes. Is this the year? We’ll know soon enough.

Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Kawasaki Racing 

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