MX Off-Season: MXoN and Monster Cup

MX Off-Season: MXoN & Monster Cup, Not a Vacation

When you think off-season you think of vacation and R&R. But that does not play well for some of the top moto racers. Off-season for some is just another list of races and gate drops.

Red BuuuuuuuuuuuuuD! Motocross of Nations
Wasn’t 2018 supposed to be Team USA’s year? We all know it wasn’t and it was not even close, to be blunt. We had home track advantage but that soon was smashed when the weather kept the track very wet, although not a total mud fest. The track owners anticipated possible weather well in advance and made sure that even with the rain the track could take a beating but not end up a swamp. They brought in a bunch of sand!

In the end it was a perfect storm, but not for Team USA. We pretty much got our asses handed to us. Yes we had some bad luck, poor starts, tip overs, goggle issues, but so did other teams! The Netherlands had the title in the bag but their third rider was not allowed to race his second moto due to an eye injury and they logged in two DNFs yet still made the podium. France had a solid day with Gautier Paulin, Dylan Ferrandis, and Jordi Tixler. Italy finished second and then it was the Dutch. Team USA finished sixth.

Should we still be crying over spilt milk? No, it’s over, we lost. The chat boards, blogs, instacrap, and podcasts have been going nuts over the shoulda, woulda, couldas for the past week. Yet after Monster Cup, things have calmed down. Eli Tomac went from zero to hero in seven days, but there was a $1-million-dollar paycheck involved whereas MXoN was nothing more than bragging rights.

It just wasn’t our weekend at MXoN, the swampy track totally suited the Euro riding style since they pretty much ride and practice in these conditions all the time—not totally muddy but far from perfect and wet. We knew it might be good after timed practice when we were back on the board a handful of positions, then Aaron Plessinger had to go in for goggles during his qualifying race and it was not good from there. Eli Tomac, our champ, did not look like his old self that day and seemed to be off his game a tad. It wasn’t until his last moto of the day where he started to look comfortable. Maybe it was nerves, maybe he didn’t really want to be there, or maybe it was the conditions or he was just having a Tomac off day.

In the end it gave the Euros plenty of bragging rights that they not only beat Team USA, but Herlings, as always was on fire and the long-awaited Herlings/Tomac battle was not even in the same ring. Team USA, the team that once dominated years and years ago, once again had bad luck and was beat by the Euros. Maybe next year at the Dutch circuit Assen we can do better?
Tomac at MXoN

Team Puerto Rico was a cool publicity for Travis Pastrana and a way to help raise a little scratch for their proxy country after being devastated. With a cross-over pro Ryan Sipes, busted up lunatic with mass talent, Travis Pastrana and Forest Gump Windham off the couch with a pony keg at his waist, the rag tag team actually made the show winning the B Main. I think they were almost disappointed by making the main because all but Sipes were so spent even before the three main races even began. Regardless the team was a hit in a round about kind of way.

Monster Cup: One Week Later
The tables turned one week later for Eli Tomac, taking the million bucks by winning three motos, one with a little help from a friend and new teammate. The race was nothing special since Ken Roczen was not on hand and it didn’t seem like anyone had anything for Tomac, not even 2018 Supercross Champion Jason Anderson, although Anderson is still probably not 100% after his mid-season injury.
Tomac at Monster Cup

Now is the waiting game until the start of the 2019 Monster Energy SX season. Yes there are more off-season overseas races, but A1 is really all that counts. Even though Anderson has the number one plate, it’s already pretty clear that Tomac is the rider to beat for 2019 in SX.

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