10 Things to Watch: St. Louis

10 Things To Watch: St. Louis

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The Captain

What was beginning to look like an Adam Cianciarulo runaway out East tightened up big time in Toronto when Justin Bogle took advantage of AC’s DNF and took the first win of his career. Now, with three races remaining and Cianciarulo out for the season with an injured shoulder, the GEICO Honda rider sits just five points out of the lead, and you know he’s coming into St. Louis with title hopes on the brain. – Aaron Hansel

Canard’s Back

After breaking his arm before the start of the season Trey Canard will be back in action this weekend in St Louis. It won’t be easy though—trying to beat guys that have been at race pace since Anaheim is a tall order. Expect Canard to use St. Louis as an opportunity to ease back into competition, not as chance to go for the win. - Hansel

Justin Brayton

After a strong start to the season Justin Brayton’s results took a bit of a midseason dip, partly due to being sick. But in Toronto the JGR  Toyota Yamaha rider was back in form and, and breaking out his, “racing against the guys I’m supposed to be racing against” slogan again. Brayton scored fourth in Toronto, but if he rides like that again we just might see him on the podium in St. Louis. - Hansel

The Magic’s Back

Last weekend James Stewart looked much more like the James Stewart that we were used to seeing a few years ago. His magic ride has been talked about all week, so we won’t get into that here, but after watching it, you’ve got to wonder where that guy’s been the last several seasons. We can’t answer that, but what we do know is that if he shows up again in St. Louis it’s bad news for the 450SX field. - Hansel

Alex Martin

Cycle Trader.com Rock River Yamaha rider Alex Martin is having a great year after sitting on the sidelines in 2013. He’s been in the mains like clockwork and has been a regular in the top ten, with his best result of the year, a seventh, coming in Toronto. Afterward he told Racer X’s Chase Stallo that he feels that he’s starting to come around, and that the stability of his new team has helped him build every week. Can he put it in the top five in St. Louis? - Hansel

Will Matt Lemoine be looking over his shoulder or pushing forward?Photo: Cudby
Will Matt Lemoine be looking over his shoulder or pushing forward?Photo: Cudby

Repeat Success

With 32 career top tens, and eight career top fives to his credit, Matt Lemoine was near the top of the “Best riders without a podium” list. Lemoine finally put the label to rest in Toronto: “I know I belong up front with those guys, so it’s awesome to finally put it all together,” he told me earlier this week. Greater success brings greater demands and Lemoine is no longer flying under the radar. How will he handle the newfound success in St. Louis? – Chase Stallo

Where’s the Beef?

In his first full season with BTOSports.com KTM a season ago, Matt “Beef” Goerke took five top tens in fourteen races. At first glance, Goerke looks to have taken a step back in 2014—just two top tens through twelve rounds. In reality, that’s due to a broken finger suffered at A1. Now that Goerke is healed up, he has two top tens in three rounds. Can Goerke keep it going? - Stallo   

Baggett Tries to Rebound

Minutes after points leader Adam Cianciarulo had to throw in the towel in Toronto, Blake Baggett crashed and threw away a chance to make up huge points. “This one is tough to swallow for sure,” said Baggett in a team statement. Facing a 24-point deficit with just three rounds remaining, Baggett finds himself in a major hole. Can he begin to crawl out this weekend? – Stallo

Bagget had the opportunity he needed last weekend, but couldn't take advantagePhoto: Cudby
Bagget had the opportunity he needed last weekend, but couldn't take advantagePhoto: Cudby

Tomac Returns

Eli Tomac’s first full 450SX season has been stained by injury. A shoulder injury has limited the GEICO Honda star to just five races in 2014. He was on a roll before the latest injury, suffered at Daytona, though, and said "I really do expect to be at the same level where I was before," in a team statement this week. How will Tomac fare in his return? – Stallo

RV’s Health

Earlier this week Ryan Villopoto released the following on RV2.com: Just wanted to send out a little message to let everyone know I am all good now and back on track after a crazy weekend.” In the same statement, Villopoto stated that although he was suffering from severe abdominal pain last weekend, the doctors were unable to find anything wrong (find more info here). RV soldiered to a sixth in Toronto while sick. How will he do if he’s 100 percent in St. Louis? - Stallo

 

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