The last couple of weeks have seen a few riders lift themselves out of a poor run of results and re-establish themselves to levels that had been expected.
The first rider we will look at is Eli Tomac. The young Honda rider narrowly lost the supercross title to Ken Roczen then had an inconsistent start to the outdoor nationals. His nemesis Roczen was leading the series and it looked like Ken would be able to manage the outdoor championship all the way until the end like he did with supercross. But then Tomac caught fire.
The Geico Honda rider finally found a way to release his astounding speed on a regular basis and, once Roczen crashed out at Millville, Tomac took over the points lead and never looked back. Tomac has become the Herlings of the 250 class in the USA and it is a shame they both won’t get to race each other at the Nations.
It is testament to the mental strength and work ethic of Tomac that after losing his supercross title to Roczen and in his fourth and final year in the motocross series, he regrouped and gave it one last extra effort in order to win the title he wanted so badly. Tomac learnt from his mistakes and made himself better. He rode faster than he ever has and fully deserved the title.
Sticking with the USA and Adam Cianciarulo is another rider that has been able to rebound from a difficult time. The much hyped 16 year old came into Hangtown with the weight of world on his shoulders and expectations at an all time high, but he never even got to race!
Salmonella poising meant Cianciarulo could not attempt to race the first round and when he did make his comeback the results were pretty disappointing. He never really showed the speed that everyone had been talking about and while he was still a top ten guy it felt like the performances didn’t match the hype.
But at Utah we finally saw what everyone had been expecting. A good start saw Adam at the front and this time he stayed there until the end only losing to the unbeatable Eli Tomac and Blake Baggett. It showed just what talent the kid has. He went down in race two but came from last to ninth to put to rest his fitness issue and show he can come through the pack as well.
Adam of course wasn’t happy at not being on the podium, he is used to winning and will only be happy again win he wins as a pro. But he has shown the speed and once he figures the rest of the puzzle out he should be a race winning and title threat in 2014.
In the GPs we have to look at Dean Ferris. The young Australian came off a below par performance in the Czech Republic and seemed pretty down after the event admitting he just never gelled with the track. Fast forward just one week and Ferris had the best weekend of his career!
Ferris won his qualifier as Herlings injured his shoulder trying to get by. This left Ferris literally in pole position on Sunday and with no Herlings to line up against. Ferris still had to perform in a field hungry to win and invigorated with a renewed sense of self-belief due to Herlings’ absence.
And perform he did. Two good starts meant Ferris only had to pass one rider both times out and once in the lead he expertly controlled both races. The emotion of the win was clear for all to see as Ferris reflected on all the sacrifices and work he put in to come all the way from Australia to accomplish his dream of winning a GP. Ferris proved that no matter how many knock backs, injuries or disappointing performances you have, if you continue to believe in yourself you can accomplish your goals.
Ferris has joined an exclusive list of Aussie’s to win a motocross GP. Only three men had accomplished the feat before; Jeff Leisk, Chad Reed and Andrew McFarlane. That is quite some company to keep and just shows the magnitude of what Ferris achieved in Belgium last weekend.
Closer to home and it has been a pretty good last couple of weeks in a difficult season for Shaun Simpson. The Scot had a factory TM ride at the beginning of the year but the lost the ride at the end of June and was fortunate to find a spot on the privateer Yamaha team.
After a couple of rounds to adjust back to the Yamaha Shaun has really started to show his potential again and has had two excellent GP performances in the last two weeks. The Scot has been back in the mix of the top ten and has been battling hard with the factory boys just where he expected to be all year. Simpson is now up to eleventh in the points and still has an outside shot and getting a coveted top ten in the series.
You have to admire the former GP moto winnner’s determination to keep plugging away and improve despite the unforeseen circumstances. Happily, Simpson is hitting top form now and with the British GP only days away and the MXDN just round the corner, his season has the potential to get even better!
Article by Jonathan McCready