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Panigaliscious
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Discussion Starter #1
I use 2010 as evidence to confirm my hypothesis. But there have been several other years that were similar. So I watched SX until all the top riders got hurt and thought it would get interesting as younger hungrier riders actually had a chance to win races or even the title. But it didn't seem to be that way, Dungey didn't dominate but did very wel,l won most races and got the title.

So then I thought to myself that outdoors would be different. Slightly different skills needed for nationals, Dungey has been "OK" in the past with several other riders stronger than him. But apparently riding that wave of confidence he is winning motos left and right and will likely be outdoor champ as well.

Watching MX/SX throughout the past 25 years it always seems there are perhaps three guys that have a legitimate shot at a championship in any given year, with perhaps another eight guys capable of winning individual races if the conditions are right. In 2010 we lost the top three riders, yet it wasn't a wide open field at all. The "aliens" were simply replaced with another set.

If the difference is confidence to be winning races or constantly finish fifth through tenth, does that make these guys head cases? The bike doesn't seem to matter much, it is almost all rider in MX.
 

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Panigaliscious
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9,103 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
good question

what stays the same, despite big name injuries, is factory support - there are only so many factory teams, and they do most of the winning. Maybe the reason has nothing to do with the riders.
I wondered about that, but if you have multiple riders on a factory team it seems both of them would do more or less the same if it was mostly the machine. It makes sense that the best riders would tend to end up on the top (factory or big budget private) teams. Perhaps it is they get the bike set up exactly how they want it for themselves and it is rebuilt every time they touch it.

Maybe if you are not on a factory bike, and racing on a limited budget (even at top pro ranks) you don't have the luxury of the freshest equipment massaged perfectly to your liking.

Having ridden dirt bike for many years, although not at a pro level, it seems that with common modifications from the huge aftermarket you could build a private bike that worked about as well as a factory bike. Maybe $10k invested today with engine and suspension mods and tuning to suit you exactly. It would get you close enough to see a difference in results anyway.
 

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There are no true big money factory teams anymore so now more than ever the equipment means less. Hell, Yamaha doesn't even have a factory team in the 450s and all the 250 teams are farmed out to Factory Connection/MotoConcepts/Valli/Pro Circuit etc etc. You can be a really good rider (think Kyle Regal last year) and still place well outdoors on a moderately funded team.

The thing that actually DOES matter is that the well paid riders have money to build their own practice tracks at their house and have a top personal trainer. Carmichael was good but wasn't the GOAT until Aldon Baker took over as his trainer and he did the same for Stewart also. Aldon also trained Nicky Hayden too. These guys all won on bikes that weren't considered the best on the grid at their times. Carmichael's Suzuki was a pile and Stewart's Yamaha was a complete pile of shit (one of the last carb'ed bike on the gate) and the Yamabog almost ended his season on the first race in 2009. The bike put him back in the standings more than once but he outrode it in the end. And Nicky had endless bike problems but overcame. Aldon is behind alot more Championships than people know as he puts his riders on the gate KNOWING they can win while the rest of the 39 riders are HOPING they can win.;)

Everyone will say "what about Dungey" but he's been VERY fortunate his whole career. Yes, he's worked hard but he cratered and blew a Championship to Lawrence and the next year injuries took out his main competitors. Last year he got gifted an outdoor Championship when Pourcel's bike blew on the last weekend of the year as he stood NO chance to win it otherwise. And this year indoors Reed took out Stewart for the year and Villopoto offed himself. Dungey had some spectacular wads and was lucky to get away unscathed. He's doing well outdoors this year for sure and that's commendable. But lets see who is smoking who when Stewart comes back for the last for races of the year. Can't wait for Southwick baby!:rockon
 
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