TO WIN YOU GOTTA BE THERE:
By no means should Chad Reed be discredited for the wins that he achieves from here on out in this season. Unlike Villopoto and Aiessi before him, he has stayed healthy. If there is such a thing as fate, 2009 is it for Chad Reed. There is irony involved in Chad's pursuit of the 450 title. First, no one thought Chad would ever race a National again, let alone win one. Second, if he does win the title, there will be lots of boo-birds who will point to the fact that Reed has never won a title without a knee injury crippling the front runner (Ricky in 2004, Bubba in 2008 and Villopoto/Aiessi in 2009). The 450 title is his to lose, and when the sun has long set on Reed's racing career, he will certainly reflect on Mount Morris as a very high point in his outdoor endeavors (pun intended).
WHEN THE CATS ARE AWAY: Obviously the mice will play. So who benefits from the absence of James Stewart, Kevin Windham, Ryan Villopoto, Tim Ferry, Davi Millsaps and Mike Aiessi? Every rider outside of the front pack has catapulted four to six places forward in the points standings, which might be enough to help them secure employment (or keep unemployment away). It may seem harsh to say that a third without Stewart, Villopoto, Aiessi, Windham, Millsaps or Ferry would be a ninth with them. The math doesn't escape the team managers, and with more riders available than rides for 2010, riders like Michael Byrne, Nick Wey, Ricky Dietrich, Cody Cooper, Justin Brayton, Tommy Hahn and Ivan Tedesco need to make hay while the sun shines.
ECONOMY OF MOTION: Christophe Pourcel proved to be more than just a first moto man at High Point. Although he took his first 250 outdoor moto win on American soil at the opening round of Glen Helen, he failed to derail the consistency and fluid riding of Makita/Suzuki's Ryan Dungey. Dungey, presumed to be the title favorite before the series began, struggled at Mount Morris. His succession of crashes, coupled with a lackluster start in the second moto, was all the break that Pourcel needed to capture his first 1-1 performance. What's interesting between the two competitors is that Ryan Dungey looks much faster than Pourcel (and obviously fitter). But, Pourcel is smoother, uses less energy and never makes the big mistakes. Pourcel keeps a running tally in his head of the Championship points and decides when risk is necessary. He may be the only rider on the National circuit who will settle for second rather than make a sketchy move for first. In truth, Pourcel is as fast as Dungey—he just doesn't look like it. It's certain that the transcontinental battle for the 250 outdoor title will go down to the wire.
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