Here at Racer X Online, as soon as we sense weakness, we pounce! Mafia Moto’s Nick Wey is not racing this summer’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, so we instantly hit him up and put him to work. GEICO Honda’s Wil Hahn is out with injury, and we’ve already been using him for help on the site, too. We fired off a few questions to each to get some pro perspective on the Nationals.
1. Who is your favorite for the 450MX title?
Nick Wey: Ryan Dungey.
Wil Hahn: I believe James Stewart is going to be VERY strong. But I have to look at previous years and consistency and say Dungey.
2. And who in the 250s?
Wey: Dean Wilson.
Hahn: Blake Baggett, your 2012 250MX Champion, will be very strong. Throw the 2011 MX champ (Wilson) in there as well, toss in a world champion like Marvin Musquin, and to that a returning multiple moto winner and two-time SX champ in Christophe Pourcel… and how about those two recently-crowned SX champs? Can you tell I'm excited to see this plays out?! Fast young guns and striving rookies—I don’t even know if I can pick one!
3. Who do you think will be a surprise in each class?
Wey: I think the 250 and 450 classes will have quite a few race winners. We have an exciting series shaping up.
In my opinion the guys with the most championship experience are the favorites in the 250 class. Dean Wilson, Blake Baggett, and Marvin Musquin are on that list. Jason Anderson, Adam Cianciarulo, Christophe Pourcel, Justin Hill, Justin Bogle and Zach Osborne have everything it takes to get race wins as well, but I think one of the past champions in this division will hold up the #1 plate in Utah.
The 450 class is stacked with talent for 2014. The list of guys that will be battling for race wins is a long one. I’m talking James Stewart, Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Chad Reed, Trey Canard and possibly Justin Barcia as the legitimate title contenders. I think in the end there will be a lot of other names added to that list, too. There are other riders that can be front-runners from time to time. But in the end Dungey will be consistently fast and strong. He will wear these other guys down and push them into big mistakes in July.
Hahn: I think the 450 surprise will be Weston Peick. Being on full support now, he's going to be strong. In the 250s my vote will be: the entire class! It's going to be action packed!
Bonus! Wey added his own question and answer to round out this week—the man likes doing work.
What do you think of the new series schedule?
Wey: I think it's great to return to Glen Helen. That place always gets transformed into one of the best tracks in the world for the Nationals. The track in Indiana will not disappoint, either. This event will have a very unique natural track layout and the enthusiasm of the local fans is going to be next level. The addition of these two new events and last year’s addition of the Utah National adds to the already exciting traditional summer racing schedule. Lets get this party started!!