Pro vs Amateur Lap Times at MEC
For me, the best part of the Monster Energy Cup is the Amateur All-Star race. First of all, it gives the promising stars of tomorrow a chance to experience the big show, and it also gives the fans a look at the future stars of the sport. On the same subject, I am not a fan of the Super-Mini portion of the amateur show. Don't get me wrong; I love watching the best Super-Mini riders in the world bang bars. I just don't think they need to be doing it on a monstrous supercross track with 60- to 80-foot doubles and triples. I think the risk versus reward factor is extremely lopsided for a 13 year trying to make it in motocross. That being said, the kids were awesome, and other than a few instances, I think most escaped unscathed.
Over at Racer X Online, "Sign of the Lap Times" from the 2012 Monster Energy Cup was posted today. In the big boy class, there were really not many surprises, but what did surprise me was how close the top Amateur All-Stars were to the big boys. I know it can be tough to compare at times because of ever changing track conditions, but the first Amateur All-Star moto directly preceded moto two of the open class, so track conditions were fairly similar. It is crazy how close these kids are and a testament to how healthy the amateur farming program in the US is right now. The top three in the Amateur All-Stars were all running 1:10's. That is just tenths of a second off of guys like Christian Craig and Kyle Cunningham and faster than the back half of the pro field. With guys like Barcia and Wilson moving up to 450's this year and Baggett and Tomac following soon, the sport will continue to be stacked as amateurs like Shane McElrath, Cooper Webb and Adam Cianciarulo stepping into the professional ranks.
Check out what I'm talking about in this week’s "Sign of the Lap Times" over at Racer X Online.