Before Indianapolis we said it was time for Marv to fire it up – and he did for a double win. Which should have put him right on Cooper Webb’s back mudguard – only it seems observing caution flags is not the Frenchman’s strong suit.
Marvin Musquin. 1-1. Marv needed to get those wins, and get them he did. Pretty much the Marv way, holeshot and a clear-out. In Indy he was plain gone by halfway through lap one, scorching a lone path, easily the fastest rider on track. In Seattle he quickly dealt with fast starter Zach Osborne and after that just checked his pace against his pursuers. All of which would have moved him to just eight points off Cooper Webb for the championship. Good job. Only in Seattle Marv clearly either missed or ignored caution flags that were out while an injured Chad Reed was being dealt with. For that indiscretion he got docked six points, moving Marv back to 14 points behind Webb with five rounds to go. For the fun of the battle we wish he had those six points back. Even so, for our money, Marv still has to prove he can go mano-a-mano, it’s coming back from a poor start where he needs to prove his strength.
Cooper Webb. 3-4. Webb was lucky in Seattle. If Marv hadn’t muffed those flags Webb would be down to a single-digit lead and that would surely rack up the pressure as the season winds down. As it is Webb is actually dealing with the pressure very well. Hey, he again put Tomac to the knife, easily beating him in his heat in Seattle, having already breezed past Tomac in the main in Indy. Webb hasn’t had the best starts of late, but he does a good job of a steady come back. He has the speed, he has the racecraft, but needs to keep knocking in top threes to seal the deal – not exactly easy.
Eli Tomac. 4-3 Tomac’s speed is coming and going right now. He a quality rider, for sure, but he’s been coming off second-best a little too much the past two rounds. He’s been stronger. And in Seattle he lost time most laps through the whoops, skimming them where rivals were clearly showing jumping them was faster – kind of odd he didn’t change his strategy there, was the Kawasaki not comfortable jumping through? All of which has meant in two rounds he’s made up nothing on Webb. Not good.
Blake Baggett. 2-7. Baggett continues his roll. Heck he passed Tomac and fought off Webb to grab that second in Indy – that’s two of the fastest guys in the championship. Yep, Baggett’s form continues.
Ken Roczen. 8-2. You know, Ken Roczen has won four races already this year – just they’re all heats, not mains. We’re pretty sure Honda would love to see at least one of those converted to a headline victory. Hopefully it’ll come before the end of the season. The Indy main was a disaster for Ken, crashing in T1 and not being able to muster a super-charge back through the pack. He made it up to eighth but his lap times were slower than the front-runners. He’s been talking of illness and lack of energy too, which goes some way to explain the Gentle Ken we’ve been watching. In Seattle he was much happier and second spot was much needed.
The Seattle track had a tightopening sequenceof corners which can’t have helped when Chad Reed went buckaroo as the 450 main started and then got rolled over by a rival. His injuries end his 2019 supercross season, a mighty shame because he’s been putting together a good year. Zach Osborne is back to his old self – barging his way past the opposition – but he faded badly in Seattle after getting the holeshot, so there’s more work to do there. Husky teammate Dean Wilson has his moments, battled hard, and came good with a decent sixth. Cole Seely looked to be on the up in Seattle, was mixing it with the best, but like Osborne he faded, finishing just inside the top-10.
RUST’s predictions for Houston: Webb’s lead has shorted by five points to 14. With five rounds to go and with his rivals up one week down the next it looks like keeping on doing what he’s doing is the best plan. He has the speed and consistency, mind, that if he gets a good start he could make them all pay by winning another. Musquin needs holeshots and a keener eye on the flag marshals. Tomac needs more consistency. Roczen needs a win or two – and second in Houston last year, could this be his opportunity?