With John Dowd now retired, Mike Brown has taken over as the oldest guy that is competing in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series. However, Mike is turning up to the races on his limited schedule with a goal in mind; he is hoping to secure twenty-five points, in order to retain the number three that he has had for so long. In my opinion it seems very unlikely that Mike will garner enough points to keep this number, unfortunately, as the 450MX field is so stacked.
Mike Brown is not just completing his limited Lucas Oil Pro Motocross schedule though – the American actually has a long list of commitments, including Endurocross and Baja, to name a few. In fact, he will only turn up to a motocross event when his schedule allows, as it really is not his priority nowadays. Despite this, he still has a reasonably good level of speed, clearly. I am a bit surprised that he is still out there honestly; it must be difficult mixing disciplines like he has been doing. However, he has done it with success, as he won the opening two rounds of the Endurocross series earlier this year, as well as finishing on the podium at the Baja 500.
But Mike Brown still makes time for AMA Motocross, despite the fact that he is getting older whilst his competition seem to be getting younger. Although the primary goal is to retain the number three, I do not think that this is the sole reason for his appearances. Brown wants to show his son that he too, was once a professional motocross rider like a Ryan Dungey. When his son was born, he was too young to take note of this. So, Mike is out there to give him the chance to experience watching his dad race Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. In my opinion, that is a cool story.
However, the goal of retaining number three will always be in the back of his mind, as Mike Brown has already made a few, extra, unplanned appearances this year so that he has a good shot at keeping that digit. Still, with four rounds remaining it seems unlikely, as Mike won’t be at all of them. Perhaps it is time for him to let go of the number three? After all there is a long list of potential first-time champs that will have the option to pick a single-digit, why not let them have a shot at running the prestigious figure? But that is just my opinion, I completely understand why he would want to retain it, and I get why some fans enjoy seeing him keep the number that has become associated with him.
At Washougal, Mike Brown had his second best moto finish of the year, as he captured three points in race two with an eighteenth place. Brown has completed three rounds so far, as he competed in the 450MX class at both Budds Creek and Red Bud. At Budds Creek, he scored a single point, which made round five the worst one for him. Red Bud was much better; Brown scored a fifteenth in one race, which meant that he grabbed six points. But Mike didn’t score any points in the second moto there; so he missed an opportunity to garner a healthy points total.
Currently Mike Brown has ten points to his name in the series standings, after finishing moto two at Washougal in eighteenth. Is it a coincidence that he scored points in the second moto when the track had deteriorated? Perhaps that was proof of his experience shining through? When the second motos rolled around, the track was quite dry, and the shadows were more of a factor. In moto one Mike finished in twenty-fifth, so he was quite far from the points. In my opinion, this indicates that he is not about to breakthrough and capture a load of points. So, this makes me doubt the fact that he will have twenty-five points to his name by the end of the year, unfortunately.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Simon Cudby/KTM Images