We’re only two races into a series that runs from January through May, so it’s way early to start making sweeping judgments. But Villopoto and Stewart are the ones who grabbed the race wins so far, and they’ve generally been the two fastest riders. And Canard is just scratching the surface of his potential, and isn’t going to hand over podium spots soon.
The year started with talk of the Big Four of Dungey, Stewart, Villopoto and Reed, but now Canard is moving in. Brayton has the potential to mix it up, as he did after a good start in Phoenix, and Kevin Windham usually builds steam as the year goes on.
So where do Reed and Dungey stand? The Phoenix track was dry and slippery, and both riders are not known to take excess risks. They survived and stayed up and healthy with plenty of other races left. Remember, Reed and Stewart were basically out of the series by Phoenix last year, so just surviving this one is an accomplishment.
But right now, Stewart and Villopoto are feeling fast, and a few others are feeling like they can get right into the mix. Dungey and Reed will need to up the pace soon to show they’re still on par with those front two. Otherwise we could be looking at a big two—with another big four or five behind them.