Eli Tomac. Well, this is top end of season form from Eli Tomac. And not for the first time. What he could really do with is top mid season and top early season form, it takes all three to win the championship. At The Bronco’s stadium in Denver – home town to this Colorado cowboy – Tomac was unstoppable, he just blew the race to shreds, fast, confident, on a mission. His big issue is his 18 point deficit with only two rounds remaining. So he needs to win the next two – and he needs Cooper Webb to have a disaster.
Cooper Webb. Webb never looks less than the practiced professional. Okay, he had that wobble when he fought a little too rough with teammate Marv at Houston, but since then Webb has regained his composure and returned to his season-long tactic of being fast and reliable. He didn’t get the start in Denver, holding sixth after one lap, but as before he just calmly works his way forward – when we say calm, he’s still posting fastest laps – and this time when he passed Marv for the second spot there was no fight. Webb has one hand on the title. It could be done and dusted in Rutherford.
Marvin Musquin. In DenverMarv had the look of a man who knows this year’s SX title isn’t going to be his. That might be conceding defeat, it might be team orders. Marv went off like a bullet in Denver but was reeled in surprisingly easily by Tomac, and when Webb came up on him later in the race again there was little resistance. For KTM, no question, right now it’s better for Webb to finish ahead of Musquin and so Marv can do more for the orange cause looking after his teammate than gunning for individual glory. He’s been the company man for a long time know, nearly his whole career. If you want to see Musquin fly – then maybe that’s going to be in the outdoors now…
Justin Bogle. Ooh, there’s a nice season-end performance, Bogle matching his best result from earlier in the season (fourth in San Diego). An odd year from Bogle, he’s shown speed and class so many times, but he’s been more consistent in picking up backmarker places than top-10s, yet he clearly has the capability. Still, between Blake Baggett and Bogle, Rocky Mountain ATV have had a stellar year. If you were team manager you’d sign both for another season?
Joey Savatgy. Savatgy is the super-rookie. He’s had a great year, comfortably a top-10 finisher and regularly top-five. It’s remarkable that he’s not found the podium once, yet, for it’s within reach (almost). In Denver he played interference for Tomac, holding up Webb and any other hopefuls. Fast and dynamic, his weakness is still his last third of the race, he just runs out of steam. Is that fitness, or lack of experience? Either way, we can expect Savatgy to be up a notch come 2020, this season will have taught him heaps.
We can’t not mention Ken Roczen only in as much to say he didn’t feature. A poor start (eighth) led to an uneventful night’s ride. Roczen’s focus must surely have shifted – looking at the outdoors for 2019 redemption? It wasn’t nice to see Dean Wilson take a hard knock in Denver, although a relief to see him walk-off after a little time to regain his composure. Hopefully no lasting injury there, it would be great to see him see out a full season..
RUST’s predictions for next week: Much sitting around and eating chocolate – it’s the Easter break! After that, well, lets suggest Tomac, Webb, Musquin again…