10 Things to Watch: Muddy Creek

10 Things To Watch: Muddy Creek

Advertisement | Advertise with Us

By Aaron Hansel, Chase Stallo and Jason Weigandt

Back to Business

Several names have been sitting on the bench with injury through the first four rounds of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, but a couple big ones, Dean Wilson, Eli Tomac and Justin Brayton will get back to business in Tennessee. All will probably be racing their way back into shape to some degree, but don’t forget that Tomac is last year’s 250 National Champion, and he went through current 450MX points leader Ken Roczen to get that crown. This will also be his first-ever 450 race outdoors. That’s a pretty good can ‘o gasoline to throw on the fire. – Aaron Hansel

Power Struggle

The story in the 250 Class so far has been one of dominance, but not from one rider. After laying waste to the field in the season’s first five motos, it seems as though Jeremy Martin has passed the reigns over to Blake Baggett, who has won the last three. If you’re Martin you need to put an end to Baggett’s momentum. If you’re Baggett, you need keep riding the wave and take chunks out of Martin’s 36-point lead (he made up 23 in the last three motos alone). Which one of these contenders will dish out the most damage on Saturday? -Hansel

Cooper’s Turn

If we’re going to talk about Martin and Baggett, we’ve got to mention Cooper Webb, who, although still winless, has been very strong so far and sits second in points—29 back of Martin and seven up on Baggett. His starts haven’t been outstanding, but if he can dial in a couple holeshots in Tennessee he could be in the mix to win his first National. By the way, the North Carolina rider considers this his home track. –Hansel

Can Webb capture his first win of his career this weekend? Photo: Simon Cudby
Can Webb capture his first win of his career this weekend? Photo: Simon Cudby

Trey Canard

Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard has been just a tick off the leaders’ pace so far, but he’s also been extremely solid and has shown steady improvement. And at High Point he even beat Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen in the second moto, which is proving to be no small feat this year. Canard has yet to win a 450MX National, but if he maintains his current trajectory he could get the job done this weekend. -- Hansel

Handling the Heat

The Red Bull Tennessee National from Muddy Creek will provide the first weather test for riders. With temperatures approaching the lower 90s (according to weather.com), and humidity playing a factor, the sweltering southern heat will be in play this weekend. Last year, Blake Baggett credited some of his win at Budds Creek (his only overall all season) to the heat and humidity (he said it was the only race that was hot). Who will heat up in the heat this weekend? – Chase Stallo

Damage Control

Before the break, we witnessed three very uncharacteristic mistakes from Ryan Dungey, one in each High Point moto and one in Thunder Valley’s first moto. The cost? Somewhere around six points. It may sound insignificant, but in a tightly contested championship race, every point matters. Now trailing Roczen by sixteen points, Dungey can’t afford to contemplate past mistakes. With only one moto win on the season (moto two at Glen Helen) Dungey needs to regroup and get back to the top step. – Stallo

James Stewart will be a storyline to watch this weekend.  Photo: Simon Cudby
James Stewart will be a storyline to watch this weekend.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Stew’s Story

Perhaps you’ve heard about some drama regarding James Stewart? Maybe all of that might have an impact on the rider who went 1-1 in the motos at the previous 450MX race? Maybe it won’t? Do you really need us to tell you this is something to watch this weekend? – Jason Weigandt

Surprise, Surprise

In a fill-in roll with Monster Energy Kawasaki, Brett Metcalfe is quietly having one of the better seasons in 450MX. Currently fifth in points—with three top fives to his credit—Metcalfe has fit in nicely in place of Ryan Villopoto. As always, you can count on Metty to log solid rides and be in the top five. While he’s yet to contend for a podium thus far, it’s not out of the question. Can he slide into top three talks this weekend? – Stallo

Musquin is feeling better following the off weekend. Will it translate to a win? Photo: Simon Cudby
Musquin is feeling better following the off weekend. Will it translate to a win? Photo: Simon Cudby

Breakers

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross just enjoyed its first weekend off, and no doubt some riders who came into the season at less than 100 percent were glad to have the extra time to train without worrying about being worn out on race day. We’d put veterans Chad Reed (450) and Marvin Musquin (250) at the top of that list. Will they be closer to their old race-winning form starting this weekend? – Weigandt

The Others

We mentioned above that Martin and Baggett have won all the motos so far. We know Wilson is back, Musquin is getting better, Pourcel is in the mix, but there are other riders looking for a breakthrough first-ever moto win. We’re talking Cooper Webb, Justin Bogle, Jason Anderson, Justin Hill … it’s still early and these kids aren’t handing anything over to the veterans yet. -- Weigandt

122 Vista Del Rio Drive, Morgantown, WV 26508 | 304-284-0084 | Contact Us
©1999 - 2014 Filter Publications LLC. All Rights Reserved.
designed at: Website DesignImpulse Studios