Written by Nick Thiel
I can’t say that I was at all shocked after last week's race at Southwick. I mean, it always brings the drama, whether it be a hurricane or several riders hitting the same tree like they were racing a GNCC. What about that crazy pit stop that Dungey had and still finished second? Once again Southwick didn’t disappoint, and heading to one of the most iconic tracks on the circuit, I suspect this weekend at Unadilla will be no different.
The GP-style circuit brings high speeds, brutal roost and its fare share of drama. Will Dungey clinch the title or will he have to wait another round? Will the time that James Stewart took off help him or hinder him in his pursuit of race wins. Will the Unadilla circuit be just what Ken Roczen or even Marvin Musquin need to get that elusive race win? Let’s go into this and more in this week's Friday Night Preview.
The umpteenth return of James Stewart is taking place this weekend at Unadilla. He says his wrist is back close to 100%, and he’s ready to race for wins again. I think it was a smart decision to sit out the Southwick National. It being one of, if not the most, brutal track on the circuit. it was a recipe for disaster. James isn’t in the championship, so for him to come back strong for the last three is the right call. I will say though, that Dungey has stepped his game up since Stewart’s departure, so he will definitely have his work cut out for him when the gate drops on Saturday.
Stewart will have the Suzuki banner flying solely on his back with Brett Metcalfe out. Not that he will care about that; he is out there for his 1,000,000+ facebook fans and sponsors alike! Welcome back James. You were missed.
Kenny Roczen has led the second-most amount of laps of anyone in the series, but the race win tally still sits at zero for the young German prodigy. He said that the pace in America is just a lot different than the GP’s, but he’s learning every weekend. Last week at Southwick, he fought till the very end and only came up a lap short. I will say though, he raced his heart out cause the likes of Blake Baggett actually looked exhausted after the moto, something we haven’t seen all year long.
I’ve got a good feeling that the track conditions at the Unadilla circuit are going to play into the hands of the German boy, and he may finally get the monkey off his back. Or will the Frenchman Marvin Musquin finally get his first win? I wouldn’t be shocked if either were standing atop the podium come Saturday evening.
I haven’t seen a bike yet that doesn’t have some type of hand guard set up for this week’s race. With fast tracks come even faster flying roost that, along with the soil and rocks that comprise the Unadilla circuit, is brutal. This is the race where a holeshot isn’t just a key to the race. It is a prayer answered.
Don’t be shocked to see the majority of the field running chest protectors, as well as hand guards when the gate drops on Saturday. Even those not running a traditional over-the-top protector will most likely running a base protector under their jersey of some type. All I know is a holeshot would be all I was thinking about heading to the line on Saturday.
The track will have quite a bit of moisture going into the day tomorrow, as it has been raining on and off today, so the track conditions should be prime for everyone to go racing tomorrow. Be sure to keep an eye out for all of the different ways people will be protecting themselves from the brutal roost and who will get that priceless holeshot. Also tune in to see if Stewart can make his way back up to the top step once again,
Will it be the German boy or the Frenchman that takes their first win? Or will the Americans hold them off the top step once again? Be sure to tune into the first motos here on Allisports.com and keep up with us on twitter at @allisports and @americanmx. See y’all at the races!