Thursday, August 11, 2016

No Breaks...Unadilla Upcoming.

Off time doesn't mean down time. A two week break in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships allowed riders a chance to go home, recover and build for the final three rounds.

The break is centered around the Loretta Lynn's Amateur National that takes place in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. As we look for "the next big thing" riders try to prove themselves ready for the next step in their career. A championship at the ranch can set you up for a professional career. A bad week at the ranch could possibly turn heads in another direction. One highly anticipated rider was the 22 of Chase Sexton. Heading in to the week his fate was already written with the Geico Honda team. His results proved he's ready for the next step but a knee injury means we may have to wait until supercross to see his pro debut. Joining the Cycle Trader team will be Bradley Taft. Taft WILL turn heads at the pro level. My disappointment of the week came from Joey Crown. The Kawasaki rider came in as the teams top gun but was way off the pace in the A class. He'd earn himself one moto win in the final of the A/B All-Star class. It sounds like we may see Crown go one more year in the A and Pro Sport classes, making himself and Garrett Marchbanks hopefuls for the Pro Circuit team. However many riders who even had support at the amateur level will be taking the privateer approach as they turn pro.

Loretta Lynn's
At the professional level it'd be a chance for "silly season" to start sorting out and the who is going where to make more sense. Privateers trying to prove they deserve more support in 2017 is getting interesting here towards the end of the season. Noah McConahy has been the most consistent guy and is so close to top tens. There is an open spot at Rockstar Husqvarna, but the 96 is yet to get the call. One call he did receive was that to represent Puerto Rico at the Motocross Des Nations. Heath Harrison has had some rides that prove him worthy of better support and the once definition of privateer, Freddie Noren has once again gotten the call to fill in at American Honda. They will be slapping 43 on the 14 machine for the last few rounds. Unfortunately one of our top privateer picks, Jesse Wentland suffered a broken collarbone and will miss the end of the season. Jesse is one of those guys who has again and again proved his speed and will be looking to improve himself in 2017.

Rider: Freddie Noren | Photo: Bryon Eshenburg
As we head back in to race mode it will be a mix of some injuries taking out top names and guys out to make a statement in the final rounds. What privateers do we look out for? In the 250 class I say keep your eye out for Henry Miller and Vann Martin to put in some eye opening rounds. I'm calling Miller with a 16th and Martin 19th at Unadilla. As for the 450 guys, keep your eyes on Jason Brooks and Jerry Lorenz. Lorenz has shown speed to be just inside that top 20 but hasn't found that little bit of luck it will take to finish there. It's coming. I've got these two at 18th and 19th in New York with Lorenz on top.

Rider: Jerry Lorenz | Photo: MIchael Flavell 
That's it. Let's get back to racing and see how this all plays out. Remember to cheer privateer.

-Kyle Pesci

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