The fourth installment of my 2017 Supercross Preview is all about the riders who will finish outside the top ten, or simply “the rest.” Now, I am sure most of their team managers would fiercely disagree with me but simple calculations, along with a stacked pack of riders inside the top 10, says some big names will be outside the top ten looking in.
Let's start with the crafty one, Christoph Pourcel. It seems crazy to put a guy who will probably be top five every week during the afternoon timed qualifiers outside the top ten, Pourcel is definitely a riddle. Pourcel has the raw talent to be a title contender but also has lingering digestive issues from his accident in 2007 which significantly cripples his endurance. He is near the end of his career and appears unwilling to push or challenge his limits. With the timed main events his cardio, or lack of cardio, isn’t going to help his cause. As much as I want to see him realize his talent and fight inside the top 5 during main events I don't think he is willing to take the necessary risks. For a guy whose doctor gave a 70% chance of permanent paralysis in 2007 I don't blame him.
Broc Tickle is a solid qualifier out of semis and might win an LCQ or two. His strong cardio compliments the longer main events this year getting him a few top ten finishes. Still, I look for him to be a 10th through 15th place guy on most nights. He is a solid guy who RCH counts on making the Main at each round, but unless quite a few guys drop out with injury I don't see him being a consistent top ten guy.
Next is Josh Grant and I hope I don't get in trouble for this, as JG is wearing Fly this season! I haven't seen anything from Josh Grant since his first stint with JGR to make me think he can be a front runner. He is extremely talented, but also on his last shot with a Factory team and a steady paycheck. I see him making main events, but my expectations for him after that are not high. He will cash the checks as long as he can, then move on to the next chapter in his life.
Mike Alessi will do what Mike Alessi does best, holeshot and road block his way into main events. He will score points but I expect him to hover around the 10th through 15th spots. Mike has never been the fastest Supercross rider but his starts and excellent cardio will get him into mains and keep him inside the top 15.
Vince Friese had quite a bit of hype behind him heading into 2016 but his incident with Westin at A1 (
My final burning question; how does Tommy Hahn have support in 2017 when riders like Malcom, Weimer, and James still have none? I know the answer is complex, but just saying! Tommy Hahn, really!? He is not fast, he is fragile and he has questionable cardio. Sorry, but I don't get this signing. Steve Matthes once said Martin Davalos held team owners at gunpoint for contracts. This signing needs to be investigated because I suspect somebody was held at gunpoint. I believe Dean or Malcom will have his bike by the time the series goes east.
Next up are privateers, the heart and soul of our sport, our working class heroes!
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