I just finished the Monster Energy Cup press conference and practice session. It’s been a while since I have asked questions at a press conference so I was a little nervous. It was intimidating sitting next to Motocross Journalists Steve Cox and Steve Giberson (aka, GuyB) as they are the gold standard for print journalists in our sport. The pre-race press conferences are usually the most boring of any press conferences because the riders are focused on the upcoming race. I would love to throw a couple hardballs at the guys, but I don’t think that’s fair as they are in getting into their racing mindset. I really wanted to ask Eli if he was well rested after skipping the Des Nations, but this was not the time or place. I did ask Barcia why he was on a Honda, all summer he was campaigning to ride the Factory KTM. While that didn’t materialize I thought if he showed up on a privateer KTM and showed them what he could do on a KTM they might rethink their decision and add a third bike to the team. This was the most crowded press conference that I have attended, the room was jam packed.
After the Q&A the riders hit the track for about 30 minutes, they lined them up like a start and let them practice dropping down the 30 foot embankment onto the stadium floor. Unfortunately for Justin Barcia this is as far as he made it before swapping out and crashing hard at the bottom of the start ramp. He was alright but his new Honda was twisted up pretty bad. He missed almost the entire session. The surprise was Tyler Bowers on his #69 Kawasaki, he was the only rider consistently clearing a double coming out of the sand section and was one of the first riders to go 3-3-3 in the rhythm section coming back into the stadium. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Bowers get a podium. Eli Tomac looked like the same guy who rode his bike back in New Jersey (awkward and stiff), but that could change if he wakes up on the other side of the bed. Marvin Musquin looks like the “guy” this year, he has a quiet confidence and will no doubt win one of the 3 main events tomorrow. Jason Anderson and Tim Gajser both looked good and will no doubt be in the mix. I can’t wait for tomorrow to see who steps up and if anyone can want the million.
Eli doing his best “Blue Steel”
Bogle explaining how easy it was to join JGR
Barcia barley made it to the Dirt before sampling it...
Big man Benny Bloss showing off the Fly MEC LE Gear
Watch for Bowers tomorrow night, he is riding good!!!!