Written by Nick Thiel
The final round is here.
It feels like just yesterday we were at the Hangtown National and the hype surrounding all the riders, especially the return of James Stewart to the series. James is injured now, and the summer hasn’t gone exactly the way he had wanted, but that’s just racing. The 450 class has had its moments, but nowhere near the excitement that the 250 class has provided every time the gate has dropped. This weekend will be no different, and with the top three (Baggett, Tomac and Barcia) only being separated by a mere 18 points, anything could happen. The unknown is ahead with the Marc Peters masterpiece at Lake Elsinore prepped and ready to do battle on. Lets get into what we should expect for the weekend.
Going into the final round, the 450 class title is locked up, with Ryan Dungey being your 2012 champion. The 250 class, though, is far from decided. Tomac cut his 28 point deficit in half last weekend and now sits only 14 points back of Blake Baggett. Although Baggett has held the points lead for the entire series, it’s all about the man who leads the points once the checkers fly at the end of the second moto this Saturday.
Team tactics may come into play, but if history has shown us, it will be the rider with the most heart that takes the moto wins. It very well could be a rider like Roczen or even Musquin taking the win, which could turn out to be quite the spoiler.
Marc Peters is a very well-known track builder throughout the motocross industry, and Elsinore is his masterpiece. He has literally created mountains out of nothing. He and his team have built one of the most epic and diverse circuits I’ve ever seen. You will all see come Saturday, this track is similar to no other and has features that speak for themselves. The lap times were in the 2:40 range during press day, which is going to make for some of the longest motos of the season. There are a few extremely big jumps, so if a mistake comes into play, it could mean a few seconds for one obstacle. That would be huge when every point counts for these guys!
This 250 class hasn’t disappointed. I have a feeling the gloves will be coming off this weekend at the final round. All these guys want to win - its just a matter of who will be bringing their A-game when the gate drops. Tomac has been the man on fire these past few weeks. His speed has been uncanny, and his starts have been improving. Although this is all great, it truly could be any of the top five’s race to win on Saturday.
Baggett has a small cushion, but it is 100% his race to lose, and history has shown that a cushion is not always enough to win a championship. Christophe Pourcel learned this the hard way a few years back when he uncharacteristically crashed and handed the championship over to Trey Canard.
Just like any other race, there will be surprises and shocks. The thing you can be certain of is that the 250 riders will ride their hearts out and die trying to win come Saturday. Make sure to pay attention to the awesome track that Marc Peters and his crew has put together, as well as the WMX motos, which have quite the battle of their own for the championship.
That’s all for this weeks Friday preview. Hope everyone has enjoyed them, and have a great weekend!