The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is coming to its final weeks, but there has been no shortage of excitement or news. A cross-country trip carried the series to southern Washington for round nine at Washougal MX Park, a venue argued as the most scenic stop of the entire year, and the title fights in both the 250 and 450 divisions saw tension build. Red Bull KTM swept the day, with Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin taking all four moto wins, but the 450 class victory creates an odd mood under the tent as it decreases the points margin between teammates Dungey and Ken Roczen. Rookie Roczen has controlled the championship since the first round at Glen Helen, but a number of off weekends now have him just fourteen points ahead. Having two riders fighting for top honors is a challenge, but if there is one team manager who can handle the situation, it’s Roger DeCoster.
Although he is absent from the line, Ryan Villopoto is still playing a major part in the sport. There is no shaking the talks regarding the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider’s future career path, and with each week we hear a new chapter to the story. Let’s revisit what we stated in Kickstart from Budds Creek and add more news to what we’ve learned from a source close to the situation: Villopoto is heavily leaning towards heading to Europe for the World Championships and is currently “off” the Aldon Baker program. Baker, meanwhile finds himself in negotiations to take on the entire Red Bull KTM team’s training program (much like Jeff Spencer did at Honda in the 80s), but has concerns on the deal. Doing so would almost definitely end his working relationship with Ken Roczen, who is headed to RCH/Soaring Eagle/Suzuki in 2015 and will be a direct competitor to the team.
James Stewart and the Yoshimura Suzuki team sat out the Washougal weekend and from the sound of things, may miss more races in 2014. Another unfortunate layer to the saga Stewart is running through the pits, and this one regarding miss-shared information about an IV from someone within the camp could really bring a dark cloud to the current situation.
Our Instagram feed was filled on Friday afternoon with riders sharing the results from their USADA drug tests at Colorado, and it seems like both the blood and urine from everyone tested passed. Still, there is some unrest in the pit area regarding grey areas between the AMA/MX Sports rulebook and what is outlined by USADA.
On a bright note, we extend congratulations to both the Reed and Grant families. While Chad and Josh had lackluster days at Washougal, the impending births make up for what happened on the track. Remember, there is more to life than just motorcycles.
Welcome to Monday Kickstart.