In a new bi-weekly addition to Vital MX, questions and queries will be grabbed from race fans on different platforms and answered in a rather informal format. Consider this a relaxed start to the race weekend! A smorgasbord of topics is tackled in this feature from the likeliness of an Eli Tomac rebound to the lack of passing in the premier division. If there is something to pique your interest then this pilot feature will be filed as a success.
Questions will be gathered from the Vital MX forum, as well as social media, before each feature, so keep an eye out for those posts in order to be featured. Do not be disenchanted if your question does not get used, however, because some will be kept back for the following week. There were more than one hundred questions in the days prior to this and so the 'bank' is filling up nicely for future features. Anyway, without further ado, on with the questions…
"If Chase Sexton passes Jett Lawrence straight up, do you think that he can go on a run in 2024?" asked @Charlton.74 on Instagram.
I do not feel like it is vital for Sexton to pass Lawrence in order to initiate a streak. I would be ecstatic to see a pass for the lead of any description, in all honesty, because that has been lacking thus far. The only 'true' pass for the lead that has happened was Jason Anderson on Cooper Webb in the second main event of Anaheim 2's Triple Crown. Even that was so early on that is barely registered with most fans. It's bizarre that the season has been so incredible and yet a battle for the lead has not occurred yet.
Back to that topic at hand, Sexton could go on a run at a moment's notice. Sexton and Lawrence are the most likely to do so – they are consistent across the board. Webb and Ken Roczen have shown the speed required to start a streak of some kind, but mediocre starts and some unfortunate errors continue to cost them both dearly. It is my opinion that those are the four best competitors in the class at the moment. It is impossible to predict what Eli Tomac will do after that showing in Detroit. – @_LewisPhillips
"Will Eli Tomac be able to bounce back this weekend?" asked @DCManns on Twitter.
Tomac needs to. There is no doubt that he has to make a statement when bikes hit the track inside of the State Farm Stadium. I expect him to jump onto that track with little trepidation and throw down successive fast laps, in an attempt to shake off potential arm pump. Glendale is the best traditional supercross venue for Tomac – 3-1-1-4-2-1-1 are the results that he has achieved there. This should prompt him to waltz in the paddock with pep in his step, which is positive. The downside is that there is nowhere for him to hide. Even those with a casual interest in Monster Energy Supercross know that he performs well in AZ.
Consider that and it is a boom or bust weekend for the two-time champion. The championship is not even relevant at this point. The biggest issue from my perspective is that he appears vulnerable to his rivals – he is not feared in the manner that he once was. Finishing in sixth in Glendale would cement that position. It would put him in a metaphorical hole that would be troublesome to escape from. Will he bounce back? I have no idea, but he has to. Another appearance on the outskirts of the top five would be just disastrous for his 'contender' status. – @_LewisPhillips
"Who is more likely to get a top five finish this season, Christian Craig or Hunter Lawrence?" asked @RotWyler on Instagram.
I think that both riders will appear inside of the top five at some point in 2024 Monster Energy Supercross. Is that outlandish? Lawrence was seventh in San Diego and that was with a stacked field. Injuries will take their toll at some point and, as long as neither Lawrence nor Craig are on the bad end of that, then they'll be able to take advantage. Recency bias causes most to forget but Craig was sixth in a main event before he crashed out of last season. Yes, both riders will have multiple top five finishes before this championship concludes. Is a podium possible for either one? Now that is a meatier debate… – @_LewisPhillips