It is all about the wildcards this week! This Fantasy MX Manager column is straight to the point, just as it needs to be, as there is no point beating around the bush. One must look at the locals in order to obtain a prize from 24MX at round eleven of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship. The usual protagonists are still going to be important, but there is more progress to be made with the wildcards.
All of the wildcards who have entered the Grand Prix of Indonesia are pegged at €50,000. There is just no way to determine who is the strongest before practice times are logged and the pricing reflects that. How can a player make confident picks for Palembang, bearing that in mind? Look at the practice times. That drum has been beaten countless times over the last four months, but it really is the only way. It is likely that one wildcard will immediately prove their worth and post lap times considerably better than his counterparts, as that is typically the case, so then jump on that bandwagon.
There are many factors that are important to take into account though, like who has done the most laps in each session and who has hit the Indonesian stops of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship before. The former indicates who can actually maintain a high pace for a prolonged period, as that is obviously the greatest challenge for those Indonesian riders. Doing a thirty-minute moto is so foreign to those who have not raced at this level before and therefore it can be difficult for them to go for the duration. The tortoise and the hare springs to mind. It is going to be a gamble, but the reward far outweighs the risk this time.
What about the Grand Prix regulars? There are a lot of guys to choose from, but one jumps off of the page as being unbelievable value. Tanel Leok has made the trip across to Indonesia and costs €100,000. Why is he a must-pick? Leok is essentially guaranteed to finish thirteenth or better in the two points-paying motos, which is incredible at that price. Finishing up in the top ten is not exactly out of the question either. There is no risk at all, as he is a fighter and will grind through the thirty-minute motos no matter how gnarly the conditions are.
Grab Tanel Leok in MXGP and a capable wildcard in MX2, then pair them with riders like Arnaud Tonus and Jago Geerts in the premier division. If everything works out just as expected, which it should do considering the lack of entries, then a lot of points should be pulled in at the end of the weekend. One would still have to rely on the two heavyweights keeping it together though, which is not guaranteed at all. Geerts is coming off of a very rough time at the Grand Prix of Germany and Tonus has been hindered by inconsistency during his career. There is always going to be some uncertainty though.
Instead of opting for Arnaud Tonus, who is the man on form at the moment, selecting Romain Febvre could be the best option. Febvre has been on the rise lately and shown impressive speed in the practice sessions. The level that he has hit has been so impressive that one could certainly argue that he is the favourite to steal a win from Tim Gajser. The track here at Palembang, which resembles Semarang in many ways, will play to his strengths too, but the same could be said about Arnaud Tonus or Gautier Paulin. Even Jeremy Seewer is well-suited to the jump-laden layout that sits alongside the Wyndham hotel.
Although one may be fooled into thinking that it will be easy to select a team for the Grand Prix of Indonesia, that is a false sense of security. The differences between each guy are going to be so minor that it is almost impossible to select a team and feel confident about it. The good news is that no decisions have to be made at this point, as there is a day of racing that will unfold before the deadline strikes. Stay tuned to MX Vice for the latest on that.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Ray Archer