Where is Pro Circuit Headed?
I recently took a look at the most recent Great Debate over at Vurb Moto concerning how the Pro Circuit squad is looking headed into 2013 and decided that I had to write up my answer, as it's long and sort of all over the place. I'm going to try and keep away from the points made by the guys over at Vurb, but there may be some collateral damage.
I'm gonna start off with the returning guys. Blake Baggett, obviously, will be the major go-to guy as far as championships go. He's leading in points right now and has proven that he could possibly be a heavy hitter in supercross if he worked at his speed and technique in the off season. And now with Barcia and Wilson moving up the the big bikes, the East Coast lineup is looking somewhat empty.
Blake's looking to be the solid base for the Pro Circuit team in 2013.
The only other for sure spot on the team as of now is Darryn Durham. Don't get me wrong, I adore Darryn. He's one of the nicest guys and a total blast to talk with. But he's still got some consistency to prove. I can't really judge how well he'll be able to do, as his season ended on a high note in his career. He'll be the wild card, for sure. He's already proven he can be a top contender, but there's still several factors that are holding him back. His consistency hasn't been there and he's now coming off his longest recovery period he's ever had.
How Darryn can rebound from his injury is crucial to his success this year. No one can really say how he'll come back. Only time will tell what we can expect from the young, promising rider. How Darryn races in 2013 only really effects his contract outlook. Even if he falls and doesn't get the Kawi contract back, he'll still come back strong in 2014. So, this isn't make or break year for him. But it's still pretty important. There will be lots of eyes on the Pro Circuit return.
Darryn Durham will be looking to continue on seamlessly from his overall win in New Orleans.
Davalos is also pretty much set on the team. While I'd like to say that the move to Pro Circuit will fill in all of his holes, like consistency and stamina, however I'm kind of on the bubble when it comes to him. I'm not sure about Davalos. I haven't been for quite some time. I think that he has some serious potential, don't get me wrong. I just think that he can't harness that potential to make it beneficial. Are you picking up what I'm putting down? I just don't think that Davalos has what it takes to be a strong title contender, even if it's the Pro Circuit squad.
This gives him the perfect opportunity to prove me wrong, right?
Martin Davalos looks like a shoe-in for the PC opening. Will the move help with his consistency?
As for their fourth spot, it could go to anyone. Rumors that it's going to Justin Hill have been floating around, but at this point, it's anyone's guess. But even with a solid fourth rider, I'm not sure Pro Circuit has the depth to take on the growing challenge from the Geico Honda forces. Even with the loss of Justin Barcia, the Geico Honda team has filled it's tent with talent just waiting to take over.
Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn will provide a solid base for the team after years with the team. Justin Bogle will continue to grow and transition into the professional-style racing and Zach Osborne will have his time to shine. Osborne took an impressive stand in the West Coast Lites supercross series before having to travel back overseas to race GP's. This year, he's 100% America. Look for him to make a HUGE impact. As for rookie Zach Bell, word is he's fractured 10 vertebrae, so who knows what we'll see from him in 2013, if anything.
Will Pro Circuit still have a strong grasp on the 250 class? Or will they fade away due to a comparably unstable lineup?
As of now, it's too early to say.