MXGP of USA: Who could surprise?
The highly-anticipated American World Championship takes place this weekend we’ll look at some of the riders that could surprise with some good results during the weekend.
Hunter Lawrence: The Aussie is contesting his rookie year in the MX2 World Championship and he currently sits ninth in the series even though he missed two rounds due to injury. His results this season don’t tell the whole story though as he’s been involved in a lot of chaos on the first laps of moto’s as well as the odd rookie mistake. However, talent wise – well, he’s one of the most talented riders in the class.
If Hunter can get out of the gate he could stun the American’s this weekend as he has the speed to run with the very best. The Aussie would like to race Supercross over the states in the future so he will be extra motivated to get his name out this weekend.
Jorge Prado: The young Spanish sensation is another one to look out for as the last four GP races have really gone to plan. After an up and down start to the season he has now worked his way up to seventh in the MX2 World Championship and there’s no doubting his talent. It’s worth pointing out he was trying to juggle both school and riding at the start of the season.
The fast-starting Prado shouldn’t have any problems getting out of the gate as his starts have been on point all season so he should run at the front for a while. However, Prado tends to struggle with the heat but hopefully he can overcome that this weekend. The Spaniard is another one expected to make the switch to Supercross later in his career so that’s a bit of extra motivation for him to deliver in the States this weekend.
Chase Sexton: The American has been a very highly rated youngster but injuries have got in the way of him showcasing his talent in the States. Between breaking his femur and both his wrists it’s been a tough time for the young American on the injury front and he’s still yet to make his professional Supercross debut. However, he made his return to racing at round four of the AMA Nationals and has showed some good speed.
Despite missing three rounds of the series he climbed up to twelfth in the series but he might just be hitting form now that season is over! During the first moto in Ironman he was sitting in an impressive third but then collided with a lapper. He then picked up a brake problem and crashed again on the last lap so fell down the pecking order to tenth! In the second moto he had a better race as he finished in sixth after a small crash but he’ll be thinking he missed out on a podium so look out for him come out swinging this weekend!
Justin Cooper: Another young fast American to look out for is the Star Racing Yamaha rider. Justin only competed at the last three rounds of the AMA Nationals after his impressive Loretta Lynn’s performance. The first National he competed at was Unadilla and it couldn’t have gone much better for him as he finished a very impressive second in the final moto and finished fifth overall.
At Budds Creek and Ironman he finished eleventh overall at both of those rounds which is still impressive and shows encouraging signs for the future. No doubt he will be looking to battle with the GP regulars this weekend.
Arminas Jasikonis: If there was a most improved rider award then it would most likely go to the Lithuanian as he has been a revelation since signing for the Factory Suzuki team and under the watchful eye of ten times world champ, Stefan Everts. Jasikonis is very impressive in the sand so should love the track this weekend as it looks to be quite sandy.
It’s worth mentioning that at Ottobiano where Cairoli and Herlings dominated, Jasikonis was the only rider that looked to be able to run there pace for a few laps which is impressive stuff. The future looks very bright for Jasikonis but no doubt Everts will have even higher expectations for him in 2018 so we’ll have to wait and see if he can deliver.
Max Anstie: The Brit is contesting his rookie year in the MXGP class and sits a respective twelfth in the series despite missing two rounds of the series through injury. Considering how stacked the MXGP World Championship is, Anstie can be happy with how his rookie season has gone and I’m sure he’s learnt a lot.
It will be nice for Anstie to go back to America this weekend as of course he used to race in America during his younger days. The track being sandy should really suit him so if he can get the starts there’s no reason why he can’t get good results.
Cooper Webb: It hasn’t been an amazing season for arguably the second most talented American behind Eli Tomac. It’s worth considering it was his rookie year in the 450 class and he finished seventh overall in the standings which is still okay for his learning year.
This weekend he will be riding a 2018 Yamaha and he has been testing it recently. If reports are to be believed, it’s thought he looks much better on the 2018 bike so perhaps this weekend we might see a different Cooper Webb. The last time he was racing the MXGP riders was at the MXDN last year when he was battling with the likes of Strijbos and Coldenhoff so he will be motivated for good results against the GP riders in his home country. As for the 2018 season, more will be expected of Webb with his learning year now behind him on the 450.
Glenn Coldenhoff: The Factory KTM Dutch rider has quietly had a very good season. ‘The Hoff’ usually makes the podium at least once in the MXGP series and he ended up third overall at Lommel this year to get himself on the podium. With Herlings and Cairoli going 1-2, third overall was as good as a win!
He comes into this GP in good form as he also grabbed two fifth place finishes in Sweden which isn’t exactly a Glenn Coldenhoff track so things are going in the right direction. With the track being sandy this weekend he might just surprise a few people as he’s always strong in those conditions.