10 Things to Watch: Dallas

10 Things To Watch: Dallas

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By Aaron Hansel and Chase Stallo

The Refusal

Chad Reed is tough, stubborn and tenacious. This is nothing new and we shouldn’t be surprised by it, but it’s still incredible to hear that Reed, who suffered three broken bones when he crashed while going for a podium spot on the final lap in San Diego, will be trying to race this weekend. Last Sunday, Reed Tweeted: So not the news I wanted 3 broken bones 1) scapula 2) collarbone 3) T1 Explains the pain I guess.. Sometimes things don't make sense it's that love hate relationship you have with racing but every Saturday night they drop the gate. In 6 days I plan to be there! Thanks for all the prayers hope to make y'all proud 22 supporters.”Obviously, the battered Reed is refusing to throw in the towel on his season. What can he pull this weekend? – Aaron Hansel

(Leading) Role Reversal

If we told you before the season that after six rounds a Red Bull KTM rider would be in second place with one win and three additional podiums, you wouldn’t be shocked. After all, Ryan Dungey is a talented rider who is known for his consistency, right? But had we told you it was Ken Roczen we were talking about, you probably would have raised your eyebrows at us. C’mon, he’s fast, but a rookie doing that well in a stacked field? Well, believe it. Expect him to be battling for yet another podium, and perhaps even his second win, in Dallas. - Hansel

All indications point to Reed giving it a go this weekend. Photo: Simon Cudby
All indications point to Reed giving it a go this weekend. Photo: Simon Cudby

Yellow Fever

James Stewart was on point in San Diego. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider was the fastest in qualifying and held strong under heavy pressure from one of the most relentless riders on Earth, Ryan Villopoto, to notch his first win of the season. But he’s still twenty-one points out of first place and needs more wins to reassert himself in the championship hunt. Will he become the first 450SX racer of 2014 to get back-to-back wins? - Hansel

 Rookie Debuts

The Eastern Regional 250SX Championship gets under way this weekend, which means we’ll finally get to see the SX debuts of factory draftees Adam Cianciarulo, Matt Bisceglia and Anthony Rodriquez. Rodriquez is fresh off an injury and hasn’t had as much prep time as his fellow rookies, so expect the first several races to be learning rounds for him. Cianciarulo and Bisceglia are coming in healthy and have some experience from Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship last summer. It’s going to be fun to see how they stack up against the more experienced riders in the 250 East field. - Hansel

Back in Action

Heavy hitters Justin Bogle and Blake Baggett will both be making their return to racing on Saturday night after suffering significant injuries that took them out of action for considerable amounts of time. Baggett had a broken foot and Bogle is coming back from five broken vertebrae and a broken shoulder blade. Will they be in the mix for the win this weekend, or will it take them a few rounds to get back into the competitive groove? – Hansel

A-Rod will make his pro debut this weekend.  Photo: Simon Cudby
A-Rod will make his pro debut this weekend.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Restart

Justin Barcia and Ryan Dungey have had inauspicious starts to the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross season. The two former champions have combined for two podiums through six rounds. Two! Both belong to Dungey, but neither have hit the box in the last four races. Through six rounds last year, the two combined for seven podiums and two wins. Eventually this talented pair will right the ship, right? Will it begin this weekend in Dallas? – Chase Stallo

Going Home

Blake Wharton returns to GEICO Honda following two seasons with Rockstar Energy Racing. GEICO signed Wharton as insurance (no pun intended) following Justin Bogle’s injury (although Bogle healed up in time to make it to Dallas, anyway). The team hopes the veteran can finally deliver the title that has eluded him for some many years. Wharton is considered one of the favorites on paper, and in what could be his final season in the class, this may be his last chance. Can the Texan start 2014 with a win in his backyard? – Stallo

Sophomore Sensation

Yamaha hasn’t enjoyed much success in 250SX over the years. The brand’s last win came in 2012 (Ryan Sipes, Seattle). The last time blue has claimed a 250/125 championship? Jason Lawrence in 2008—six years ago. With the release of the 2014 YZ250F and a talented young squad, Yamaha has turned the corner. With Cooper Webb shining in the West Region and a championship capable Jeremy Martin in the East Region, blue may see gold at year’s end. Can Martin bring Yamaha one-step closer to a title in Dallas? – Stallo

Barcia (51) and Dungey look to return to podium form in Dallas.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Barcia (51) and Dungey look to return to podium form in Dallas.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Short Strides

BTOSports.com KTM’s Andrew Short has railed off six straight top tens to begin 2014. While you may huff at the stat and consider that to be just an average season for Short, ponder this: James Stewart, Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey Justin Barcia, Wil Hahn, Jake Weimer and Broc Tickle all have finishes outside the top ten. Sure, crashes have played a part—but not crashing is a key part of success in racing! Short’s consistency has been remarkable thus far; will it continue in Dallas? – Stallo

New Winner …

While we seem to touch on this every week—it’s hard to ignore with four different winners in six rounds—the 450SX Class could easily see a fifth different winner in Dallas. With the aforementioned Dungey and Barcia yet to strike, and the quickly improving Justin Brayton still searching for his first career win, it’s not improbable that will witness a new face popping champagne this weekend. - Stallo

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