This Saturday the Lucas Oil Pro AMA Motocross moves from the deep sand of Southwick’s Moto-X 338 to the deep loam of Steel City. Usually the final moto at the Delmont, Pennsylvania track marks the end of the outdoor motocross season, but this year it is the penultimate round due to the addition of Pala after Glen Helen was dropped from the schedule. Last weekend Ryan Dungey clinched the 450 championship, but the 250 class is going to come down to the wire. Let’s look ahead to the gate drop this Saturday with the MotoUSA preview of Steel City.
Will the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team dynamic suffer once Roger DeCoster moves on after Pala?
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki crew dropped a bombshell on Thursday when they announced the departure of Roger DeCoster from the team at the end of the season. Will their be tension around the trailer knowing that “The Man" will no longer be there to guide the ship next year? How will it affect Dungey’s performance in the last four motos of the year? Most likely nothing will change on the track, and RD5 will continue to dominate. Expect to see the rookie champ break the GOAT’s record for rookie wins in the first moto.
While the number one spot is on lock, second place is still up for grabs. Just three points separate Andrew Short and Brett Metcalfe with four motos remaining, and although both riders had disastrous weekends Metty inched closer to taking over second. After running out front in Moto 1 only to run out of gas on the last lap, the GEICO rider will be looking for redemption this weekend. Shorty had better bounce back from his mess of a day at Southwick, because Metcalfe is going to be on fire.
Last weekend saw Alessi slip out of his funk, sort of. Yes, he finished on the podium, but crashes and bike problems of riders in front of him gave him an extra few positions. He did however put in a two rides that allowed him to capitalize
Can mike Alessi keep the momentum going and score another top-three finish this weekend at Steel City?
on these mistakes, which hasn’t been the case for most of the season. Will his podium finish boost his confidence and drive to run up front? I say Mike has another top-three left in his mid-sized KTM before the end of the season.
As exciting the 450 class is, all eyes are now on the struggle for the 250 championship. Last weekend the leaders of the small-bore squad both struggled in one of their motos. Trey Canard gained two points on the point leader Christophe Pourcel with a third place, but it wasn’t a pretty third. Ice-Trey faltered in the second moto by dropping back to ninth place. With the points so close another result like that isn’t going to cut it.
Pro Circuit’s Pourcel has seen his lead shrink for the last couple of rounds. The Flying Frenchman finished off the box at Unadilla and Southwick; can he break the streak this weekend? The time for playing it safe is over for Pourcel, and I’m betting he wished he has some of those points he gave away by cruising in the second motos when he had what seemed like an insurmountable lead.
Although we didn’t get to see the match up we wanted between the top dogs on the GEICO and Pro Circuit teams at Southwick; things are coming to a head. Eventually push is going to come to shove, and if that happens Canard has been
Honda's Trey Canard needs to make every moto count and hope that Pourcel faulters if he wants to take home the championship.
known to push harder than his competition. Pourcel is a very clean rider, but in the heat of the battle who knows how hard these two will lean on each other if they get close on the track. I see a moto win for each of them this weekend, but what is going to matter is where they finish when they don’t finish first.
While the battle for first is tight, the points for third place are even tighter. Pro Circuit teammates Tyla Rattray and Dean Wilson are only a single point apart. Rattray took the overall last weekend boosting his confidence and momentum going into Steel City. He’s the favorite in most insider’s eyes to round out the podium, but don’t count out the Canadian kid. Wilson has got heart and will give it his all coming down the home stretch.