Since the 2020 (virtual) NFL draft kicked off last weekend, to massive ratings because the world is starved for sports, we here at Racer X thought it would be a fun exercise to put on our team manager hats and have a draft for the best possible team for success in the sport. The goal is to pick a team of riders that will find success over the next five years in both the 250 and 450 classes of supercross and motocross in the U.S. Those are the rules and every rider in the world is eligible. It’s that simple.
This task isn’t easy. You want to grab some riders that are young because you’re thinking five years out, but you also want guys that can win right now, and you want riders to have success in both classes.
I declared myself commissioner of the league and literally set draft order at random. We’re ready to go! We will run five rounds of this draft and we’ll post each one separately, and then of course wrap up the whole thing with the complete teams at the end. Let us know in the comments below who’s got the best team!
[P.S. THIS IS HYPOTHETICAL AND MEANT TO BE FUN. So just chill out everyone, okay?]
13th Overall Pick: Jason Weigandt
Snake Draft! I’m back up with a sizzling pick to kick off round three.
I’ve got AC and Zach Osborne already. You bastards wanna take all the future 250 stars off the table? That’s fine. Send your kids on up to race the big class soon, and they’ll learn all about man strength versus boy strength.
With the 13th Overall Pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Jason Weigandt selects…Justin Brayton, Honda, North Carolina!
Yeah you guys think you’re all slick using charts and analysis with your scouting. Well, I’ve scored a perfect 10 by ignoring every piece of the standard career blueprint. “We” are just hitting our prime. By the time five years is up, “we” will be even faster and winning races at the highest level while also being eligible for the 40-plus class. Seems unlikely I know, but it’s also unlikely to come from not even winning races locally to factory rides, podiums and a legendary race win at Daytona, as well as complete domination in international events and the respect and admiration of every rider on the circuit. Ask them in secret and every rider will tell you they would love to follow JB’s career wind down plan. Well, he’s gonna ride it out on my team. I expect several more supercross wins. Plus with JB and Zach we’ll have every old guy (the customers who have the money) cruising through our pits to show respect for the blue collar worth ethic. And if it doesn’t work out, I at least have two all-time bench racers to hang out with. Steve, can I borrow your SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts hot tub?
14th Overall Pick: Mitch Kendra
With the 14th overall pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Mitch Kendra selects…Jeffrey Herlings, Red Bull KTM, The Netherlands!
Comment: He’s been giving the nicknames: “The Bullet” and “The Fastest Man on the Planet.” He's a champion in both MXGP classes and he's a Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations Champion. If the sand shark keeps this bad-boy on two wheels and we’ll cruise to more championships on Team Kendra, THE FASTEST TEAM ON THE PLANET.
I know this draft is for U.S. supercross and motocross. Don’t worry. We can work with speed.
15th Overall Pick: Kellen Brauer
I'm glad Mitch picked Jeffrey because if I was the only guy that picked someone from GP's, I think my head would have exploded.
That being said, I'm going back to a win-now pick...
With the 15th overall pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Kellen Brauer selects…Marvin Musquin!
Comment: The only thing that would worry me about Marvin in a five year plan is the possibility of retirement. However, Marvin is one of the top guys in our sport currently that doesn't appear to be worn down with the pressures of winning. I could be wrong and he could be done sooner than we think, but Marvin strikes me as a guy that would happily go well into his 30s racing at a high level. Now that he's finally got his knee fixed up and taken some much needed time off from the grind, we could see a rebirth of his career moving forward. Regardless of the future, Marvin is a high-caliber rider right now. Since his 450 debut in 2016, he's finished third or better in points both in supercross and motocross in seven of the eight completed series. but I'll take a top-three rider for both supercross and motocross every day of the week. He's also won 17 races since his debut on a 450 so it's not even out of the question that he could sneak a championship or two in when he returns. We welcome Marvin to Team Kellen.
15th Overall Pick: Jason Thomas
Marvin? I don't believe Marvin will be racing in five years but hey, you do you!
With my third pick, I will go with the defending MXGP world champion, Tim Gajser!
TG243 is the most successful Slovenian racer of all time. I mean, that’s something, right? As if I needed more, he is also a three-time world champ. Further, he threw in a top five at the Monster Energy Cup just for good measure! Gajser has really found his groove in the last 18 months, running away with the 2019 MXGP title. His biggest tests might still be in front of him with the return of Jeffrey Herlings and the rise of Jorge Prado but he is only 23 years old, too. His accomplishments to date, his current race winning level, and his bright future makes him THE STEAL OF THE DRAFT thus far.
16th Overall Pick: Steve Matthes
Marvin’s going to be retiring after next year or at most the year after so, yeah, nice pick Kellen. And JT must’ve not read the part where his team has to have success in MX AND SX. He picks a guy that seems to like to cartwheel a lot and has done decent at one watered down/half the field there SX race this past October. Mitch picked Herlings, who hasn’t even tried supercross? Weege picks Brayton (of course)?
Yeah fine, this is no problem—makes it easier for me to crush these guys. I’ve got a great team with Tomac and Plessinger right now and for my next pick I’ll reach back into the amateur class, a scene that I know VERY well (“Many people say I’m brilliant about the amateur scene”) and pick…Jett Reynolds. The Team Green kid has (checks Racer X’s Loretta Lynn Vault), NINE Loretta’s titles but none since 2017 so I guess he’s been hurt. But that’s okay, people tell me he’s gonna be great and right away at that. He’s amongst a bunch of kids out of Bakersfield that are hella-fast so there is also a chance that I picked the wrong kid but I don’t think so. Expected to turn pro with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki in, like, a year, Reynolds is going to a winner right away and he’ll be my guy in 250s and beyond while Eli wins these next few years and AP gets better. MY TEAM IS STACKED BRO.
17th Overall Pick: Chase Stallo
With the 17th overall pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft Chase Stallo selects... Jason Anderson!
Justification: HOW IS HE STILL ON THE BOARD! Yeah, he parted ways with Aldon Baker, but he WON THE 2018 SUPERCROS TITLE. He’s a podium guy in the main class every weekend. Did everyone forget that? Team Fried all day, bro!
We’ll be back with round four soon!
18th Overall Pick: Chase Stallo
With the 18th overall pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft Chase Stallo selects...Justin Barcia!
Justification: Barcia, like Anderson, is a steal in this draft. Proven race winner, and I feel he is in a great place mentally. How are you guys dumb enough to have left dudes like Roczen, Anderson and Barcia on the table? I’m pretty sure I’ve won this draft and we still have a round to go. #TeamStallo
19th Overall Pick: Steve Matthes
Chase’s team is going to be all retired in three years but yeah, sure I guess. Before my next pick I’d like to provide everyone a little history lesson. Years ago there was a rider named Zach Osborne that washed out here in the USA as a highly touted amateur and was forced to go to the GPs to rebuild himself. Wacko did just that, showed up with his English team at some West Coast supercrosses and somehow was a better SX rider after sloshing around in the sand and mud over in Europe than he ever was before that. This got him a ride back on the factory gravy train with GEICO Honda and we all know what he’s become now. Besides a guy that’s too cheap to buy a driving SIM that is.
So with my next pick, I’m going to follow the Wacko playbook and take…“Filthy” Phil Nicoletti!
Hear me out here, Phil’s MX prowess is not to be denied, top five in the 450 class one year, numerous top ten finishes, yada, yada. He’s just a dozer out there in motocross and a real warrior. But years ago, I wouldn’t have picked Phil for my team because he wasn’t that good at SX…or “death cross” as he liked to call it. What Phil’s done though is follow Wacko and headed overseas to Canada to work on his indoor skills. He improved so much that he, in fact, won the Canadian 450SX championship! He probably should’ve won the 450 motocross title also but he lost his mind on Mike Alessi at one round, hey it happens. Trust me I’ve been there. Phil’s my guy, he’s now got the indoor stuff dialed down and yeah he’s getting up there in years but I like him as a glue guy on my team and someone that will lift everyone’s spirits around the team as well.
20th Overall Pick: Jason Thomas
Well, my next pick should put this league to bed. HOW IN THE WORLD COULD YOU LEAVE Dean Wilson ON THE BOARD? My guy has it all: Social media genius, 250 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Champ, and hails from multiple countries ranging from Scotland to Canada to the USA. We are a chameleon of speed. At 28 years old, our best years are right in front of us. My team is a powerhouse, might as well hand me the trophy now.
21st Overall Pick: Kellen Brauer
Well I thought you guys were just blatantly ignoring the fact that Weege picked someone five years older than Marv for his team but then I saw Steve's next picks and realized that he's just flat out of his mind!
Anyway, when all these 250 guys we've already picked hop on a 450 in about a minute (except Mitch's second rounder), my next pick will be there to clean up the pieces for the next few years, so I'll be quite satisfied with my 250 program moving forward.
With the 22nd pick of the 2020 Racer X Draft, Kellen Brauer selects...Garrett Marchbanks!
Comment: Already a winner in supercross, a steady guy outdoors (except for High Point, but we'll get past that). With Forkner spending a year more, *maybe* two in the 250s, Marchbanks is in a good spot to take the next step to championship contender in the next couple years. With that in mind, Team Kellen will have a sure fire 250 contender for the next three to five years locked down. With that, I'll be adding the third rider to my team who can't legally enjoy an adult beverage in the USA, so the future is looking very bright.
23rd overall pick: Mitch Kendra
With the 23rd overall pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Mitch Kendra selects…RJ Hampshire, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna, Florida!
Comment: Although he had a hiccup with his knee injury (which he recently decided to get fixed), he’s going to be in a good position afterwards. At 24 years old, Hampshire is still young and has only exceeded the 250SX championship points mark once in his career (in 2019). His results the last two years have been trending upwards, as has his speed, and entering 2020 he earned a new career number. It suits him well. After the 2019 racing season concluded, he made the switch to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team looking to rebuild his career ala Zach Osborne—which includes being thrown into the Aldon Baker program. And, like Steve mentioned, we all saw how that turned out for Zacho. Next year, Dylan Ferrandis (his Team Kendra teammate) and Chase Sexton will both be gone from the 250 Class which leaves him as one of the title favorites in the 250 Class coming into 2021. Oh, but he might have to cut his helmet sponsorship deal with Mattes since he’s Team Kendra now. Sorry to terminate your partnership, Steve, it was a good run while it lasted!
Weege is back on the clock.
24th overall pick: Jason Weigandt
I think it’s pretty clear my team is getting up there in years. I’ve got Zach Osborne and Justin Brayton (combined age 74) so now it’s time to look into the 250 class to find a young, up-and-coming talent I can mold and groom into championship form in the future. So:
With the 24th overall pick in the 2020 Racer X Draft, Jason Weigandt selects…Jeremy Martin, GEICO Honda, Minnesota!
Hey, Jeremy is still in his twenties! Hmm, says here he’s turning 27 in a few weeks. My how the time flies! He’s also more than three years older than my first round pick, Adam Cianciarulo. Hey, whatever. We’re going with veteran talent. Jeremy at least seems way young when I compare him to Brayton and Zacho. Plus, during his year off to heal from a back injury, Jeremy even tried working a normal job. You know who else did that once? Mike Brown! He soon realized that real life sucks, so he came back to racing, became a training ANIMAL and even past the age of 50 STILL HAS NOT RETIRED. Heck, today Mike is apparently working as both a trainer and racer. You guys know how I like to save money. Trainer and racer together, what a bargain for a team! Age is just a number, and speaking of that, the only number we even care about is being number one. That’s Jeremy Martin’s mind set and that’s mine. Hey Jeremy, let’s go dominate the 250 class, and then let’s go pound some beers to celebrate. The rest of these punks aren’t even 21!
That’s the end of this round! One more round to go.