The 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is about to kick off, and the hype is reaching that familiar fever pitch. With James Stewart a question mark and Chad Reed still uncommitted to racing the series, it’s anyone’s ballgame coming in to the new season. In anticipation of the battle that is undoubtedly going to take place, I gathered a handful of predictions from friends, industry insiders and fellow staffers as to who would take this year’s AMA Pro Motocross 450cc Championship.
Personally, I think Andrew Short is going to take it, but that’s just because he’s a fellow Coloradoan. Represent!
I think Mike Alessi is going to win the 450 Outdoor Championship this year. He was the only rider to come close to Stewart last year before his gruesome crash and is back with something to prove. Villopoto will be up there with him, rekindling their fierce amateur rivalry, but the extra seat time on the 450 will give Alessi the edge. —Chris Tedesco, Photographer Extraordinaire
“I would say Ryan Villopoto. He’s riding strong and will only be better outdoors.” —Steve Lamson, Team Manager, MotoConcepts Racing
Villopoto, without question! He’s got his program dialed for outdoors. —Brandon Roberts, Marketing dude, Metzger Unlimited
“I want Bradshaw to win it. How cool would that be? I think Villopoto should take it and I will be cheering him on. The Fastest rider out there will be J-Law. And Reed? Who’s that guy?” —Bucket
“Who’s riding? That’s definitely going to affect my answer. If the Aussie boy steps up I think he’ll be a threat. Of course, I don’t want to see anyone dominate, and I’d like to see five different winners. Not that I want the dominant rider to disappear; I love seeing how high you can raise the bar. And I’d love to see someone on a blue bike win the title.” —Doug Dubach, Founder, DRD
“I just got back from “National” practice at Glen Helen. And I’m confident Villopoto will win the championship. Why? Because he was the only contender practicing today and he took the time to have a long conversation with Pro Circuit’s Mitch Payton. And what happens when those two talk? Number one plates happen. Actually, Sean Hamblin looked pretty fast, too.” —Jesse Ziegler, DR Executive Editor
“Ryan Villopoto should win the 450 class. He is a great outdoor rider and simply knows how to put together the right program to win. I think this is true even if Reed, Stewart and Windham decide to race this summer.” —Sean Finley, DR Group Publisher
“I don’t want any one rider win it all. I want a brawl between four or five guys!” —Bill Keefe, Team Manager, Team CANIDAE MotoSport Kawasaki
Do you have a prediction for the new series? Post a comment below!