Ryan Villopoto won 18 of 24 motos in 2013, winning 8 of 12 races, never finishing worse than sixth, off the podium in only 4 motos and clinching his 8th AMA National title.
Ryan Dungey and mechanic Carlos Rivera have to regroup for 2014. They looked like they had a shot going into Red Bud, but a DNF in moto one in Michigan ended their run.
Justin Barcia finished third in the 450 class for 2013. Justin didn’t win any races, but he was consistently on the podium (and that included Lake Elsinore).
Josh Grant is scrambling. He is waiting to see if Joe Gibbs Racing renews his contract for 2014. Lake Elsinore was both the highlight and a lowlight of Grant’s 2013 season. He holeshot and led the first 450 moto, but was so exhausted from the heat that he had to skip the second moto.
Justin Brayton has another year on his JGR contract, which is a good thing because he never made the podium and never finished in the top five in any motos. Worse yet, he got beat by teammate Josh Grant in the points standings…and Grant skipped Utah for a family emergency and didn’t score points in four other motos.
Weston Peick is the privateer hero of the 450 class, but he only raced five Nationals out of 12. His average finish was 11th place. He impressed in Utah, although not at Lake Elsinore.
At the start of the 2013 AMA 450 Nationals Tyla Rattray was on the short list to get a factory ride with the new Husqvarna team for the 2014 GP series, but he had a season to forget. Tyla was 12th overall in the 450 class and his two best races were Mt. Morris and Lake Elsinore. It looks like he’ll be heading across the pond to race the Grand Prix circuit in 2014 for Kimi Raikonnen’s Ice1 Husky team.
Eli Tomac took command of the 250 Nationals at round six, and in the last 14 motos of the year Eli never finished worse than second (and won 11 of the final 14 motos).
It could be said that Ken Roczen cooled off in the second half of the season, but apart from his crash at Millville, Roczen was on the podium 10 out of the final 14 motos. The Millville crash was a hole he couldn’t dig himself out of.
Jeremy Martin (77) and Cooper Webb (175) were either very good or very bad. Jeremy Martin finished second in two motos and third in two others. Martin finished in the top five seven times in motos, but out of the top ten six times (and three of those were no-scores). With age and experience will come consistency.
You could say that Cooper Webb (175) was more consistent than Jeremy Martin, typically finishing between 5th and 7th, but he failed to either score or make the top ten 7 times (some of those were injury related). Cooper ended the 250 season in ninth overall. Martin’s and Webb’s carbureted YZ250Fs embarrassed a lot of EFI bikes.
Going into next season there will be lots of potential winners, including Jason Anderson (eighth overall) and Zach Osborne (fifth overall). In the background of this photo Yamaha’s Mike Guerra (left), Dan Rambert (center) and Alan Olson (right) are lurking.
Everybody knows that Adam Cianciarulo will be a contender in the future, but everyone was also surprised that he wasn’t a contender in his rookie season (given the success of Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb). Adam’s average finish was 12th place, but he got a third in a moto in Utah. Next year will be the year of the sophomore.