With Monster Energy Supercross heading to the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario for round number 10, I figure it is a good time to take a moment to review the season so far and make some questionable-at-best predictions of what may be to come. I say “questionable-at-best” because I am going to try and stay away from making predictions based on results so far this season and get a little off the fast line and into the ruts. That being said, I waited with great anticipation for the 2016 Supercross season to start. I mean, James Stewart will be back from suspension (!), Chad Reed is back at Yamaha (!), and Marvin Musquin moves up to the 450 class (!). Not to mention the rest of the top-notch fleet of talented riders returning to their respective teams seemingly ready to battle it out and make 2016 a season to remember.
Then all of a sudden Justin Barcia suffers a thumb injury and, unbeknownst at the time, will miss the entire 2016 season. Some of you will say “Really? That is your first disappointment?” Yep, I feel like Barcia had something to prove and, if he could have started nailing some holeshots, he could be a force to be reckoned with. OK, let’s move forward from the Barcia incident; at least we have the hype of Stewart and Reed. Then came the injuries for Stewart. Now, before you get into me for being insensitive, don’t. A rider’s health should come first and foremost and riding at less than acceptable health and clarity, thereby risking a career ending injury, is not what the sport is all about. Which brings me to Chad Reed. I was looking so forward to Chad returning to Yamaha, leaving team ownership behind and focusing 100% on racing. I felt like he could really exploit his experience to take it to some of the other less-polished riders and challenge the top contenders. So far this season, not so much. He shows flashes of the Chad Reed of old but seems to lack the aggressiveness that made him an exciting racer who garnered a huge fan following that continues today. Don’t get me wrong, he is still one of the most popular riders on the track – period.
So let’s fast forward to today if we can. Anderson, Dungey, Roczen and Tomac have all climbed to that top step of the podium this year, but that statement could be said to paint a much more optimistic view of the championship this year. Why do I say that? Because Dungey, even if championship points don’t completely support the statement, seems to be the commanding presence on the track this year. There just seems to be an unspoken understanding of this with a lot of race fans and racers alike this season. From a purely mathematical standpoint, it would appear that Roczen has the best chance to topple Dungey, but can enough riders pick up the pace to bring Anderson, Tomac, Seely and Reed into the mix? I think Toronto will be a critical race in the series to see if we can get a momentum swing. As for my questionable prediction? I am putting my bets on Musquin and Reed to start playing the spoilers, but will it be in favor of Dungey, that is the question. As always leave your comments and feedback below.