Monday, August 18

Millville (2)

Talk about eating crow! I didn't expect any of the "new kids" to do anything at Millville, but we did cover them hard on the Racer X Motocross Show from Saturday because our producer/director, Wes Williams, is a hardcore amateur motocross fan. But I was shocked, SHOCKED, with the performance of Blake Wharton on Sunday. Blake wasn't even up front early in the week at Loretta's, and even when he rebounded later in the week to win motos, he still didn't look dominant. But I think he dealt with the pressure better than the other rookies. I saw him on Sunday and he said "It's just another race," and it actually seemed believable.

In the first moto, Blake crashed on the first lap, came all the way back to 9th, crashed again back to 12th, and then finished 10th. That's a lot of energy spent, which doesn't bode well for a rider who hasn't race 30 minute motos before (and practicing 30 minute motos at home isn't the same).

In moto two, Blake got the start and even kept Ryan Dungey honest for the first ten minutes. He was going really, really fast. For Blake, it must have felt like the moto went on for an hour, because eventually Brett Metcalfe got to him, and then eventually Villopoto did. Blake must have been tired at the end, but 4th place is VERY impressive.

Now, will this be a signal of just how good Blake Wharton is going to be as a pro? Or is this another one of those amazing first national performances that won't have a follow up? We'll see.


Clash said...

I picked him for my MXD team. You should have had more faith.

I watched him ride the World Mini's a few years ago and he rode eveyhting from a PW50 to KX500 and won more gold medals than Phelps.

Wes Williams said...

Weege, just to go along with my love for amateur motocross I have to say this. Wharton is fast as hell, but guys like Larsen, Durham, Hall, etc are right in there with him. If Blake can do it, so can they. I think it's merely a matter of them shaking off some nerves, which Blake seems to be extremely good at, and getting good starts. I wouldn't doubt we'll see a few of these guys up in the top 10 the last few rounds. MARK MY WORDS MATTHES.

Clash said...

I'm with you Wes!

Even though the graduating class this year did not receive the same amout of press and hype, they are some badass cats and will be a factor sooner rather than later.

Mitch said...

Hey Weege,

I've been watching those Wharton cats for years down here in Tx. You gotta give it up for Tyler as well in the 450 class. Both did well. Great family as well.

Ben Trujillo said...

Weege, How is it ananouncing and seeing these guys at Lorettas and then seeing them pretty much the next week hang with the Pros? Pretty cool? Did you have any idea Wharton would be the one killing it? Why do you think he was the one that excelled?

Jason Weigandt said...

It is pretty neat to see the guys make the transition, although I had a little more insight with previous groups of grads. Broc Hepler was one of the first guys I ever interviewed back when I was first hired here, because Rita would always send me to Steel City for District 5 reporting duty. So seeing him move up in 2003 was cool. And last year at Loretta's, we did some really in depth TV work with Canard, Izzi and Stroupe, so I was a little closer to those guys.

As for this group, Larsen is a really cool and funny kid. If he makes it, he could be good for the sport. The Wharton's have an odd rep based mainly on their hair (yes), but they're actually some of the most polite riders you'll ever meet. Blake's very polite and Tyler is very, very polite.

Blake is one of those unflappable personalities, and I don't think pressure gets to him. He reminds me of Ivan Tedesco in that way. You never see Ivan let on emotionally, but there are times on the track when he's just riding, and there are times when he is riding with anger. But you'd never know by talking to him. As much as I would like these guys to talk trash, you have to respect how that personality works for them. Blake should have had a lot of pressure on him, but it didn't make an impact.