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2018 High Point Track Analysis, Predictions - Motocross

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High Point Raceway Mt. Morris, PA High Point Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship

The home race for series promoter MX Sports and this very website is next up on the calendar. The High Point National in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, marks round four of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. One of the more iconic tracks of the series, we have seen mud, heat, and everything in between (usually during the same weekend).

It’s almost a given that rain will give this event a scare, and last year was no different. Saturday morning was a muddy affair, but by the second motos, the track was near perfect. When the southern Pennsylvania dirt is tilled up, there might not be better traction to be found. If you have access to a computer, look up the 2002 edition of this national and see just how good it can be.

This track is difficult to figure out. The deep ruts and endless off-camber turns challenge riders to find the right angles. Technique is critically important here and often those known for smooth riding styles excel. Kevin Windham nearly won the second national of his career here back in 1994, using that next-level throttle control we would watch for two more decades. The French riders often excel here, too, their skill sets meshing perfectly with the Mount Morris hillside. One of the biggest factors for success is smoothly executing the long ruts in seemingly every turn. Much like last weekend’s MXGP in St. Jean d’Angely, the Mount Morris track demands perfection in technique and patience. Overriding the track isn’t rewarded on a course like this.

For the 450 Class, Eli Tomac is the man to beat. His six-moto win streak is on the line, but it seems foolish to bet against him at this point. I am interested to see how Marvin Musquin responds after a sub-par weekend in Colorado. This track suits him well, so I look for a bounce back both in enthusiasm and speed. Blake Baggett is another rider who steps up when we arrive in Pennsylvania. He has shown great pace at this track over the years, winning the overall just last year. Not to be overlooked, Ken Roczen is on the rise, too. His meteoric improvement since Hangtown has grabbed everyone’s attention. If he keeps grabbing holeshots, he is going to seal the deal sooner than later. The weekend off was a big opportunity for riders to recover and improve. We will see who made the most of it come Saturday.

Questions I Want Answered

Will Marv bounce back after a ho-hum 4-4 in Colorado?

Does Eli’s streak continue?

Does J-Mart put a stranglehold on this 250 title with Zacho’s out?

How much did Kenny improve during the break?

How will Phil Nicoletti fare as Husky’s 450 fill-in?

Who makes the big jump forward as we swing east?

Roczen placed second at Thunder Valley. Will he break Tomac's winning streak at High Point?
Roczen placed second at Thunder Valley. Will he break Tomac's winning streak at High Point? Rich Shepherd

Eli Tomac is sizzling. His six-moto win streak is the talk of the series.

Ken Roczen is on the rise and will give Eli fits as he improves.

Blake Baggett was much better in Colorado and traditionally rides well in Pennsylvania. If he gets out front early and grabs a comfortable lead, watch out.

J-Mart’s timing couldn’t be better. He won his first race of the year and his biggest competitor just exited the series.

Justin Cooper won the first moto of his career and is turning heads each and every time he heads out. He is the real deal.

Benny Bloss has been a pleasant surprise this summer. Look for him to battle for top fives if he continues to start up front.

With Osborne out of the competition, Jeremy Martin is seemingly in the clear to take his second win of the season this weekend.
With Osborne out of the competition, Jeremy Martin is seemingly in the clear to take his second win of the season this weekend. Rich Shepherd

Marvin Musquin’s 4-4 finish at Colorado was a strange one. He will be better Saturday.

Joey Savatgy had a brutal day, but his riding wasn’t the problem. A mechanical failure in the first moto and a big first-turn crash in the second guaranteed a frustrating afternoon.

Zach Osborne suffered a shoulder injury in the same crash that took Joey Savatgy down. He will be out for the remainder of this series.

Savatgy's disappointing 17th-place overall finish puts him just outside the top ten in points standings.
Savatgy's disappointing 17th-place overall finish puts him just outside the top ten in points standings. Rich Shepherd

Ken Roczen holeshots the first moto.

Jason Weigandt and Grant Langston have a rough Saturday after the annual Racer X party Friday night.

Tim Cotter refers to Saturday being a “chamber of commerce day” and mentions being from West Virginia approximately 712 times during live announcing.

Joey Savatgy tapes a four-leaf clover to his bum after such bad luck in Colorado.

Aaron Plessinger gets back into the mix with a moto win.

Phil Nicoletti ekes out a smile.

Justin Cooper holeshots a moto.

Damon Bradshaw is on hand for his sponsors and is still the most popular racer at the event.

Jeremy Martin

Aaron Plessinger

Joey Savatgy

450

Eli Tomac

Marvin Musquin

Ken Roczen