Interestingly, the 450SX field in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series is filled with top-tier riders. Although we have seen injuries play havoc with the results in years past, we have been fortunate enough to have most of the top riders on the starting line each week thus far this year. So, with the talent level so high you would think that it would be hard for a rider to breakthrough and grab some headlines. But, that is exactly what Matt Goerke has done.
Although Matt has had a couple of flashes of brilliance in the past (including an overall win in the 2009 450 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross series) he has never really been considered a top ten rider each week. Despite having some good showings in the past, his career really turned a corner last year. Goerke landed on the BTO Sports Suzuki team as a fill-in rider for the AMA Supercross series in 2012. At that time he began to open the eyes of most, his best finish last year was a ninth. It was this performance, which earnt him a full-time ride with the squad for the 2013 season.
Despite his strong performances last year, Matt Georke was not really on the radar going into the season this year. You see, Matt travelled up to the Canadian series during the summer last year. Although he dominated on his way to the title, he was out of sight and out of mind. It was quite surprising to see him come out and post a twelfth at Anaheim 1, because of this. Although the result was similar to what he had achieved in the previous season, the fact that he garnered a twelfth with a stacked field was quite impressive.
Since then Matt Goerke has finished inside of the top ten five times, whereas he finished up there once last year in the depleted field. This statistic alone proves just how much Matt has improved the various aspects of his program thus far this year. What has been his best finish so far? Matt garnered a seventh at the Oakland round of the series, he has also had a pair of eighths; the top ten is where he belongs clearly. If Goerke is not inside the top ten, he will often be in eleventh or twelfth. If you take a look at his results from the thirteen rounds that have been run this year, he has also been quite consistent. I am quite impressed with this as it is the first time that he has completed the full series, so I did expect to see some inconsistency in his results.
The way that Matt Goerke has performed has been great for the BTO Sports KTM team, also. Undoubtedly, this has been one of the best years for the team. Potentially they could end up with two of their riders inside of the top ten in the final series standings; if this works out for them, it would be a great feat. Obviously they made the switch from Suzuki to KTM for this year; in fact the KTM factory supports them. Perhaps this is why the squad seem to have jumped into the upper-echelon of teams.
Currently Matt Goerke is sitting in eleventh in the series standings after an eleventh this past weekend in Houston. Matt is just four points behind Tickle, and eight points behind Brayton. I would not be surprised to see him jump in front of Broc, as they have been swapping spots for much of the year. In fact, they seem to have been locked in a battle at most rounds.
With the series slowly winding down, there are a number of battles to keep an eye on in the series standings, that one for ninth is specifically one to take notice of. You can be sure that all of these riders want to stay inside of the top-ten, as that is quite a big deal for those teams like BTO Sports KTM that are looking for exposure.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of KTM Images/Simon Cudby