Fortunately, the 2014 season is in full swing! Currently there is racing going on all over the world, which means that the news has been coming in thick and fast. Without further ado, lets jump in, and take a look at everything that has gone on in the world of motocross over the last week:
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries:
Prior to the start of the FIM Motocross World Championship, a lot of people focused their attention on the Ice One Racing Husqvarna team and Tyla Rattray, as both were unknown quantities to begin with. Unfortunately, we are going to have to wait a few more weeks to find out what the South African has to offer – he has been forced onto the sidelines with a broken finger. We all knew that Rattray was dealing with the injury, as he sustained it at a round of the Italian Championship two weeks before the season opener. However no one knew that it was this serious.
Tyla had this to say on the situation: “This is seriously disappointing for everyone, but now I have to focus on getting my finger ready to return to racing. We knew my finger was broken after the race in Montevarchi when a rock hit my hand, but my doctor told me that I would be ok to race in Qatar. I guess that just was not the case. Now I have two pins in the break, so it’s just a matter of time now before I can return to racing. When I’m ready I’ll then return to racing, hopefully for the first European GP at Arco di Trento.”
Obviously, with their star rider out of action, the Ice One Racing Husqvarna team needed a replacement rider for the next two rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship. So, they have called in Pascal Rauchenecker to fill in for Rattray. Pascal rode for the Standing Construct KTM team last year; I expect the transition to the premier MXGP division is going to be difficult for him. If he can score some points, I am sure that the team would be pleased.
The GP of Thailand is quite unique, as the MXGP riders aren’t used to tackling the hot and humid temperatures that are present at this event. Evgeny Bobryshev is one of the riders that struggles the most with these conditions, so he is doing some extra training in Thailand this week, in an attempt to get acclimatized. In comparison, Max Nagl has flown back to his Belgian base in between the Qatari and Thai rounds, so that his diet is not affected. But, it is obviously quite tough on his body making that trip in a couple of days.
Interestingly, yet another 250SX West rider will step up to the premier 450SX class this weekend in Daytona, as Malcolm Stewart will be making his supercross debut on the big bike. Stewart is a very capable 450f rider; he has proven that in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series. Of course Daytona will be a rough introduction to the class, as it is a race like no other, but after training and riding with his big brother, I am certain that he will be ready for the challenge. Honestly, I would not be surprised at all to see him crack the top ten!
FIM Motocross World Championship, Round Two – Si Racha, Thailand:
The 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship is finally in full swing, as the opening round of the series was held at Losail in Qatar on Saturday night. Immediately after the season opener, most riders travelled straight to Thailand, in an attempt to get acclimatized for the second round this weekend. The inaugural Thai GP was quite successful this year, and the 2014 edition of the event should be even stronger.
It will be most interesting to see if Max Anstie can replicate his form from the GP of Qatar this weekend, as he seems to be the greatest threat to Jeffrey Herlings, along with Arnaud Tonus. Most eyes will be on the premier MXGP division, as that class appears to be wide open. But, if Antonio Cairoli gets a good start it will be extremely difficult to stop him. Max Nagl, Gautier Paulin and Steven Frossard should be his greatest threats, I believe.
Monster Energy Supercross, Round Ten – Daytona:
Daytona is certainly the most unique Monster Energy Supercross round, as it strays from the conventional track that is used at every other round of the series. The circuit will get very rough, which will make some jumps more difficult to do, and the lap times will be longer than usual, which will test a riders’ fitness. With this in mind, you have to presume that Ryan Villopoto is going to be the favourite for the 450SX victory. But, Ken Roczen, James Stewart and Ryan Dungey will all be strong, also, as the track plays to their strengths.
Adam Cianciarulo will be the favourite for the 250SX win, like he has been at each round so far. The fact that his fitness is the best out there will be a huge help to him; you cannot fault that part of his program. I think that Martin Davalos may struggle at this round, which could give AC an advantage in the standings. Blake Baggett will be a threat too, he always excels at Daytona, so don’t be surprised to see him get his title fight back on-track.
Amsoil Arenacross, Round Ten – Albuquerque:
If you are not already, you really should pay attention to the Amsoil Arenacross series; it is starting to heat up! The ‘race for the championship’ started last weekend in Tulsa, so the standings have been reset. It looks like it is going to be tough for Tyler Bowers to retain his crown, interestingly – he is currently twelve points down on the current series leader, Zach Ames. However, the positions could flip this weekend in Albuquerque; anything can happen in arenacross!
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: Juan Pablo Acevedo