10 Things to Watch: Washougal

10 Things To Watch: Washougal

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By Aaron Hansel, Chase Stallo, and Jason Weigandt

Serial Killer

What just happened here? That’s a question that more than a few people must have been asking themselves after Eli Tomac murdered the field at Spring Creek. Granted, it’s not surprising to see him win, but c’mon, who had him trouncing Ken Roczen by over fifteen seconds in the first moto and beating Ryan Dungey by over eighteen seconds in moto two? With dominance like that, it’s hard to think he’s not about to go on a serial rampage at the remaining rounds, starting at Washougal. –Aaron Hansel

Muzzling the Media

Seeing as how he’s had overall podiums and has only given up 2 points to Ryan Dungey in the last two rounds, we can’t exactly say that Ken Roczen is slumping, although it’s clear that his results have dropped slightly in the second half. Unfortunately, he’s got a history of this (check out the chart near the top of this Racerhead), which makes it tough to simply label the last two races as “off” races. If he wants to squelch this kind of talk, it’s imperative that he gets back to his winning ways at Washougal. -Hansel

Marvin Musquin looks to build on his podium at Spring Creek.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Marvin Musquin looks to build on his podium at Spring Creek.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Weather or Not

Washougal’s awesome dirt looks great but riders often struggle with traction here—hey, motocross isn’t supposed to be easy. The bigger factor could be weather, and it rained a ton on Thursday, enough to push the regular amateur racing during the week into Sunday. Saturday’s forecast looks good, but how will the track shape up after the Thursday deluge? And, what if we did (finally) have a mudder? -Jason Weigandt 

Coming in Hot

Marvin Musquin has really bounced back from the injuries (knee and shoulder) that were holding him back at the beginning of the year, and after Spring Creek he even said that the first moto was his best race of the year. With a runner-up finish last Saturday he can’t be too far from taking the next step forward by nailing down his first win of the season. Will it happen at Washougal? -Hansel

New Rubber

In a move that will allow him to expand his relationship with current title sponsor Discount Tire, Chad Reed has left Dunlop and is now sporting Pirelli tires. He and his new sponsor have a big test ahead of them this weekend in Washougal, a track that looks like it has tons of traction, but is actually greasier than a skillet in a Southern diner. Will his new rubber offer him protection from sliding out and be the Trojan horse he needs to reinsert himself inside the top five? -Hansel

Dean Wilson is coming off a season high at Spring Creek. Photo: Simon Cudby
Dean Wilson is coming off a season high at Spring Creek. Photo: Simon Cudby

Long Wait

“It’s taking longer than I had hoped to get back up front,” explained Dean Wilson, following a season-high fifth overall at Millville. Wilson’s progressed since his return at Muddy Creek, but admittedly isn’t where he expects to be. “My fitness and endurance are starting to come together, and I think that will be important in battling with those guys up front,” he said in a team release. Will it all come together for Wilson this weekend? – Chase Stallo

Homecoming

Justin Hill is out with an injury, but young stalwart Matt Bisceglia (GEICO Honda) makes his return to the Pacific Northwest this weekend. Growing up in a nearby Portland suburb, Bisceglia rode Washougal often. “I know every inch of that track, and hopefully I can turn that local knowledge into a podium finish this weekend,” he said in a team release. Last year, Hill, who lives and trains with Bisceglia, used Washougal knowledge to produce his best race of the summer. Can Matty B do that this year? – Stallo

Less than a Moto

With 2 points gained a week ago, Ryan Dungey now trails Ken Roczen by less than a moto. Dungey still faces a big points deficit—24 entering Washougal—and with just four rounds remaining.  Since 2004, only twice (2007 and 2011) has the 450 points leader after seven rounds not gone on to win the championship. History is against Dungey, but expect this championship battle to come down to the wire. – Stallo

Can Ryan Dungey (left) pull closer to Ken Roczen this weekend? Photo: Simon Cudby
Can Ryan Dungey (left) pull closer to Ken Roczen this weekend? Photo: Simon Cudby

Welcome Back

Washougal will see the return of top 450 privateer Tommy Weeck. Weeck, who grew up in nearby Carnation and is the brother-in-law of Ryan Huffman (one of the track owners), has enjoyed great success at his home track in years past. Weeck hasn’t raced since Thunder Valley, but told us this week he will debut a new race bike this weekend—he was racing his practice bike at first three rounds. Will the privateer shine at home? - Stallo

Last Gasp

You never want to say never, especially in this sport, but Jeremy Martin has all but locked up his first career 250 MX title. The champagne is on ice, folks. Forty-seven and 56 points separate Martin from Cooper Webb and Blake Baggett entering the weekend. With 200 points still up for grabs, Webb and Baggett have a lifeline, but the pulse is getting weaker and weaker. Both need to make headway in the points battle Saturday. The question is: can they rattle Martin? - Stallo

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