It’s always hard to predict these things and as it’s a one day format it makes it even harder to predict. One bad start or one crash and that’s all it takes for a kids dream of becoming world champion to be over. Anyway, I’ve had a stab at who I think will win the titles this weekend in Australia!
65cc winner – Damien Knuiman
It’s hard not to be impressed by the Young Dutch riders speed. During the EMX65 title in Loket, Knuiman was arguably the fastest rider as he won the first moto. However, crashes in the second moto cost him his title but in terms of speed he should be right at the front this weekend.
In Loket it was young Italian talent, Brando Rispoli who ended up winning the EMX65 title so there’s no question he’s in with a real chance of doing the double.
Young Danish talent, Jakob Madsen ended up second in Loket and is a very solid and consistent rider. He has another chance of landing a podium in Australia if he rides like he can.
Another name to look out for Jaka Peklaj, he might just have the speed to win, he showed that at Loket but a DNF in the second moto cost him his chance of the EMX title. The Slovenian will be out to prove a point in Australia this weekend.
The two young Aussie talents to watch out for in the 65cc class are Jet Alsop and Kayden Minear, with their home crowd behind them they’ll want to be right at the front.
Also, Kade Johnson and Logan Best from America should be at the sharp end of the pack.
85cc winner – Kay de Wolf
Anytime you watch Kay de Wolf ride his 85cc he will blow you away! There’s no doubting his speed that’s for sure and for being Dutch he’s good in both sand and hard pack which will help him for the future. He didn’t win in Loket after starting last in the first moto but he showed what he had in the second moto by winning and I think he’ll win the World Championship this weekend.
After winning the EMX85 title in Loket, Camden Mc Lellan will be out to do the double in Australia and he’s certainly got what it takes to do it so don’t be too surprised if he makes it happen.
Two young American youngsters won’t be too far off the front and that’s Caden Braswell and Ryder Difrancesco, they’re coming into the World Champs after impressing at Loretta Lynn’s. It was Difrancesco who won that event so he could be American’s best chance of beating the top European talent.
Liam Everts who is son of ten times world champion, Stefan has really stepped up his riding recently. It might be tough for him to win this weekend simply because he’s quite a bit smaller than his rivals but nonetheless his speed is impressive.
Another Dutch talent to watch out for is Kay de Wolf, the Dutch youngster wants to win and puts a lot of pressure on himself to make it happen. We will just have to wait and see if he has what it takes to grab the win in Australia.
125cc winner – Mattia Guadagnini
In the 125cc class, it’s a real pity that Rene Hofer is out injured because I think he would have been the man to win this title but never the less he’s a bright future ahead of him despite his injury.
Young Italian, Mattia Guadagnini has been on a role lately so I see him as the favourite for the 125cc title, it is a question of whether or not he can handle the pressure.
Of course, we shouldn’t discount French talent, Thibault Bénistant as it looks like he has the EMX125 title under control so winning both would make it the perfect season for him.
Aiden Tijero and Max Miller from America should be strong and battling for the winning honours too.
The two Aussie’s to look out for and have a real chance of success on the 125cc’s are Regan Duffy and Bailey Malkiewicz.
65cc winner Rispoli
The EMX champ should have the confidence to get the JWC title too but Knuiman should have good speed as well the Americans’ Johnson and Best, I also won’t be surprised to see some of the top Aussie contenders vying for the win. But as these kids are very young, it can be hard to read too much into the future as the most important thing is just to have fun.
85 Di Francesco
The Aussie track should suit the rapid American on his fully factory supported Kawasaki but EMX champ Mc Lellan should be right there as will De Wolf, Karssemakers and Everts shouldn’t be too far away either. Young American riders seem to get to their prime earlier than the more patient European riders so Di Francesco seems to be on his game and living the life and the pressure of a full-time Pro right now and that might give him the edge in 2018, but maybe not five or six years time!
I think Hofer was the man to beat in the this class but like in EMX, Bénistant could be the man to rise to the challenge in his absence. The Frenchman has speed and consistency on his side but it won’t be easy, especially with the Americans and Aussies expected to be very strong in addition to the EMX regulars.