Scott Elderfield is back! One of most interesting storyline this season could be the return of this former youth prodigy.
Possibly the most talented British rider since Tommy Searle, Elderfield will compete in the MX1 division but after his hiatus and aborted comebacks of the past, can Elderfield still do it?
On talent alone the answer is yes. In 2009 Scott battle Mickael Pichon and Evgeny Bobreyshev at Mallory Park at the first round of the British Championship. He would have been around 17 years old then and his talent was hard to ignore. At that time you felt sure he was going to be the next British GP star.
The problem with motocross is that it takes more than talent- you need total dedication and desire to make it to the top, as well as a lack of injuries. Take a look at the best in the USA like Ryan Villopoto, Justin Barcia or Ryan Dungey. Those guys devote everything to their sport because nothing else matters to them except winning, they are motocross robots.
Of course Scott has been riding since he was on 60s including coming through a life threatening crash, yet he still came back to the sport winning at youth level and making it look easy.
But it’s not easy to be all motocross from a young age. Some people will eventually look for a release and it usually comes at a time when you really have to work hard in the adults if you want to make it as a pro.
It is easy to look at someone with that amount of talent and say he is wasting it, but maybe we should all remember that when your life has been motocross from you were seven years old it just isn’t easy to keep that focus when you hit 16 or 17, maybe you just need a break.
Not everyone can be a motocross robot like Ryan Dungey. The problem is, to be a champion these days, you have to dedicate your life to it, and that is why there are only a few that will do it. It has to come from deep inside and no amount of yelling by parents or team managers will change it.
Maybe Scott is now prepared to do that, he is still very young and becoming a Grand Prix rider is not an impossible dream due to his huge talent.
However, he will need to convince the team managers that he is prepared to dedicate his life to the sport once again if he wants to get to the level he is talent deserves. He also needs to show he can mentally take the pressure of being a professional rider.
Scott can do some damage in the MX1 class this season if his head is back in the game, look out for him and give him your support because a rider of that talent should be given another chance. He may just surprise some people this season.
Davi Millsaps is a prime example at showing that when the rest of the puzzle comes together a rider with race winning talent can eventually ride consistently at his potential, hopefully Scott can do the same.
Motocross isn’t easy, even if you have the talent you need all the other ingredients to make you career a success at British Championship level never mind the World Championship.
If you are at Fatcat this weekend remember that the front runners didn’t just get their due to their talent, they did it with hard work and dedication too.
Article by Jonathan McCready
Picture by Elliot Spencer