Can BamBam, Tomac or Baggett Surprise at MEC?
In "250 Words: Baggett, Tomac, Barcia At MEC," released today at RacerXOnline, Steve Matthes talks about the possibility of a Lites class rider pulling off an upset win at the 2012 Monster Energy Cup this weekend. One surprise for me was the confirmation in the article that Monster/ProCircuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett will be racing a 250F. The MEC is a Open Class run-what-ya-brung event, and up until today, I thought that Blake would be riding a 450. Blake had stated on a few occasions that he would be testing and then racing the 450 for the event. I never really gave Blake much of a shot for an overall win in his first race on a 450, but I definitely thought it would have been interesting to see how he matched up to the big boys on it. In this format and on the hybrid track, I think the Lites bike will be a huge disadvantage. With that said, I think a top five is a definite possibility.
Another surprise was that both RedBull/KTM Lites riders, Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin, will not be on the gate for the MEC. Matthes said they are sitting this one out, both using their off-season to get surgery and heal up from injuries suffered earlier in the year. It would have been awesome to see them on 350/450's, but it is totally understandable, especially for Roczen. The kid raced all the East Coast Lites SX series, the Seattle SX in the Supercross Class, all 12 rounds of the outdoor nationals, the German GP and the 2012 MXoN. I guess the kid deserves a little break.
The 2012 East and West Lites Regional Champions, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac, will both be on the gate on the Honda 450 for the MEC. For Eli, it's a one-off event, and he will be switching back to the GEICO Powersports/Honda 250 for the Lites SX season. For Barcia, the event will be his debut as a full time 450 rider for the MuscleMilk Honda team. Both Eli and Justin have a ton of SX skills on any size bike, so do not be surprised to see them near the front. In fact, I am going way out on a limb and predicting Barcia will win one of the three main events. Everything is ripe for a surprise at the MEC, and BamBam is just the man to do the surprising. As Matthes likes to say, stamp it!
To read more of what Steve had to say over at RacerX, check out "250 Words: Baggett, Tomac, Barcia At MEC”