250 Words: Old is New

250 Words Old is New

September 20, 2013 9:20am
Next weekend’s Motocross of Nations marks the final one for Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac on 250s, which leaves a gaping hole in the 250 classes of both Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross in 2014. Add in Wil Hahn’s departure to the 450 class next year, and no 250 rider will return to defend a number-one plate.

Roczen and Tomac were incredibly dominant last year, taking all but one win in the 250SX West Region, and all but two motos out of 24 outdoors. So who will be the favorites on the small bikes next year?

It appears that a collision course is underway between a small handful of class veterans who already have title credentials, and that big crop of young talent that busted into the pro ranks within the last year. With Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki returning both Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett—collectively the 2011 and 2012 250 National Motocross Champions—to the class indoors and out, and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin netting one more year in the small bores before he points out, the class is still filled with riders with plenty of experience winning races and titles.

Marvin Musquin is still looking for his first title in the U.S.
Simon Cudby photo

Those are the known commodities. But that rapidly rising kid crop is sure to be on a steep learning curve. How quickly can they advance? MyPlash/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb look to have the goods, and there will be plenty of attention on Adam Cianciarulo’s SX debut.

Those young riders can go two ways, a fact that can be attested to by a few other 250 riders who had washout rookie seasons, but have only now figured things out and positioned themselves as title contenders. Zach Osborne, Justin Bogle and Jason Anderson all know the first foray into the pros can be tough, but all have rebuilt themselves to make another run at it.

Will Jeremy Martin make the leap to title contender next season?
Simon Cudby photo

It might all come down to how quickly the riders in this class can learn. Judging by previous stats, alone, Musquin, Baggett and Wilson should be the favorites—remember as much promise as the rookies showed outdoors, Musquin and Baggett handily outpointed them in the series. But that was then. The kids are going to get faster quite quickly, and it’s not out of the question that one or all of them will show up at a whole different level in 2014.

As it always is, the 450 Class is chock full of known commodities. It’s the 250s that will start the year wide open, with veterans, kids and talent in between. It should be one heck of a season.