Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A new season brings the sea change of riders and teams, new bikes coming out, new flashy riding gear and riders moving up. There has been a lot of buzz within the motocross industry about James Stewart and his move to L&M Yamaha and Chad Reed and his move to Rockstar Makita Suzuki. Less front page buzz has been about Ryan Villapoto moving up, obviously people have noticed but it hasn't received the fan fare as say, Ricky Carmichael moving up to face Jeremy McGrath in supercross. But I have to say Ryan moving up to the most likely named 450 class (replacing Supercross class name), has got me pretty pumped. I know Stewart is fast and amazing to watch, Chad is text book smooth on a supercross track, riding much like MC in his prime. But Ryan is a bit of a wildcard, but a wildcard with his act together and his program in place. He has Randy Lawrence by his side and they have been preparing for this moment on the bigger more powerful Kawasaki. You can't deny the determination of Villapoto or his dedication to his profession, when he steps onto the starting line he brings his game face to the line. I am not sure if we will see some of the rookie mistakes of past riders moving up, and I don't think Ryan has underestimated the degree of difficulty of the challenge of the new class. It's going to be tough, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he will be 110% prepared. I am not claiming that a win will come right away, or that he won't make mistakes, but he will definitely come out swinging and be in the hunt for podiums right away. So let the press follow the other riders and my advice is, fly under the radar, keep a tight lid on your progress, feel out the other riders at the first couple rounds by riding well within your limits. Then pounce and surprise them by round 4, and fight hard for a win, it might just happen that quick. It did for the other guy that ran the #2, who knows you might be trading your new 09' number for something a bit slimmer and on a red background. Good luck RV! see you at A1.