Before the dust from Supercross has even settled, the first round of Motocross will be underway. We’re not where we expected we’d be for the beginning of the MX season…but what else is new? Supercross shook everything up and, by the end of the season, the expectations for some riders were exceeded, the hopes for others were not reached, and some riders crashed out before anything was really achieved.

Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

But now, it’s back to square one for the riders – a new season and a new start. With another stacked field and a few wildcard riders, it’s hard to know where the racers are going to finish. That being said, I’m still trying my hand at some Motocross predictions, and we’ll check in at the end of the season to see how right (hopefully) I was.

For these predictions, I’m going to breakdown the different groups that I think riders will fall into. With explanations as to why each riders belongs in their groups, you’ll be as convinced as I am of the outcome of the 2019 MX season.

Let’s get to it.

Titles and Top 5s

These are the riders that have a chance to take it all. They all have the speed, talent, and know-how necessary to earn the title, or at least finish in the top 5.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#25 Marvin Musquin – Red Bull KTM

The latter half of the Supercross season, we saw Musquin getting bad starts, making mistakes, and crashing. It hasn’t been an easy year for the Red Bull KTM rider, especially with his new teammate taking away the top spot on the team and the series. Though he finished 3rd place overall, his skill, consistency, and reliability should’ve taken him closer to the top.

Where Tomac has taken 1st place in MX the past two years, Musquin has taken 2nd. That’s been the Frenchman’s best 450MX finish to date…but his worst was 3rd in 2016, so it’s safe to say he’s a consistent title contender. Like Tomac, Musquin also has a lot of determination going into this Motocross season. It’s now or never for the rider, and it’s time for him to earn a 450 title before it’s too late. Musquin’s also on a contract year and, as of this article’s posting, hasn’t yet signed a new deal with Red Bull KTM. Though one has been offered, perhaps a better outdoor finish could negotiate something more favorable for Musquin, or attract other teams that would pay top dollar for the successful rider. Whatever his motivations are, it’s clear that Musquin is motivated and isn’t afraid to be on the offensive for the win.

The Bottom Line: The title is going to either Musquin or Tomac and, if Musquin edges out good finishes at the start of the season, he can either steal the lead from the start or stay close enough to Tomac to steal the lead if the Kawasaki rider makes a mistake.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#1 Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Kawasaki

2019 was just another year of watching Tomac fall short of the Supercross title. His season started out well with three podiums, including one win, in the first five rounds of the series, but it never quite took off. With a few finishes off of the podium and even out of the top 10, Tomac just didn’t do well enough to close the points lead Cooper Webb amassed. The last race came down to 21 points – small enough that Tomac could win by some miracle, but large enough that it was very unlikely. Sure enough, Tomac failed to clinch the title once again, leaving many to wonder if his speed is just too inconsistent to be trusted.

Even with that, Tomac is still the favorite going into the 2019 Motocross season. He’s actually the favorite going into most race series, but at least he has a few outdoor titles to lend credibility to his Motocross hype. As the defending champ from 2018 and 2017, along with a track record of other impressive overall finishes since his 450MX debut in 2014, it’s unlikely that Tomac will relinquish his #1 without a fight. With that two-year title defense, plus his disappointing Supercross loss, Tomac has something to prove this season, and he’s got the speed to prove it. If he keep it on two wheels like he has the past two seasons, Tomac is going to be tough to catch and even tougher to beat.

The Bottom Line: If Tomac gets a solid start to the season and wins the first few races, he’ll likely build up his points lead and take the series. One bad race, however, and the title will likely go to Musquin.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#1 Cooper Webb – Red Bull KTM

After this year’s incredible Supercross season, it’s hard to know where Cooper Webb will finish in Motocross. He’s proven that his stats from previous years can’t be trusted, improving on all counts from 2018 to 2019. His average overall SX finish went from 9.15 to 2.83. He went from leading one lap in 2018 to leading 128 in 2019 – the most of the season. He jumped from 9th overall in 2018 to 1st in 2019. Compare 2019 SX champion Webb to everything else he’s done in his 450 career, and you wouldn’t think it was the same rider.

So do I think that will earn him an outdoor title? Honestly, probably not. There’s no denying that Webb was one of the fastest guys on the track during the Supercross season, but when Tomac and Musquin were on top of their game, they were some serious competition for Webb. Granted, Tomac and Musquin weren’t both on that often, but they were near untouchable when they were feeling up to it.

Gut feelings aside, Webb has even expressed himself that he hasn’t been focused on Motocross. When asked about the upcoming season in his post-race press conference in Vegas, Webb said, “I couldn’t give a s*** about outdoors right now.” If that doesn’t make you feel a little wary about Webb bringing it this season, I don’t know what will.

The Bottom Line: While I don’t think he’ll take the title, he’ll most likely finish in the top 3. His program at the Baker Factory seems to be working too well for him to not finish among the top riders. Even if he’s not the best or most focused outdoors, I don’t see him finishing out of the top 5.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#94 Ken Roczen – HRC Honda

Even a tougher egg to crack than Cooper Webb, Ken Roczen could do anything this Motocross season. If you take his last Supercross season into account, it’s going to be dicey in the outdoors. Roczen really faded as the SX season wore on, starting with podium finishes and ending with 8th place finishes and beyond.

If you’re taking his MX history into account – different story. As a two-time champ that hasn’t finished out of the top 3 in his entire 450MX career, he shouldn’t be considered for anything else but the win.

It’s hard to balance those two versions of Roczen, but after two season-ending, exhausting injuries, he may need some more time before he takes the top step – or any step – of the podium again. Towards the end of the SX season, Roczen and his team kept referring to an illness or condition they were battling. With longer, more brutal motos than Supercross, Motocross could be even more of a struggle. Honda did sign him for three more years, though, so maybe they know something we don’t…

The Bottom Line: It’s unlikely that Roczen will be in the top 3 without Tomac, Musquin, or Webb crashing out. After his physically and mentally exhausting SX season, Roczen isn’t going to pose much threat for the title, but he’ll be determined enough to edge out a top-5 finish.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#4 Blake Baggett – Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM

Yes, Baggett is our rider. We may be a little biased, but not without good reason. A steady rider in both Supercross and Motocross, Baggett has always ridden in the front. In the past two years, Baggett has finished 5th and 3rd in SX and MX, and that proves that he has what it takes to battle it out with the other top riders. After carrying the MX red plate in 2017, winning multiple motos, and taking several podiums in 2018, Baggett’s an inarguable contender for the top step of the podium. He’s been stalking it for so long, 2019 may just be the year that El Chupacabra strikes.

The Bottom Line: Baggett will take some podiums and take home some possible wins, but he would need to be up front every race to take the title. There’s no doubt that Baggett has it in him, he will need to work on his consistency and start healthy to exceed 4th or 5th overall.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

On the Podium and in the Mix

These are the riders that will podium during the season, but will fall short of the top overall finishes. They’ll likely end the season in the upper-half of the top 10.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#51 Justin Barcia – Monster Energy Yamaha

Missing a total of five races this year, Barcia had a rough go of it in Supercross. He kick-started his season with a win at A1, but didn’t get a finish even close to that for the rest of SX. His second best finish of the season was 5th place, but that was overshadowed by him placing 17th, 17th, and 19th the three rounds right after. To make matters worse, those were the last three rounds of the season he raced before his injury. He finished the year in 13th place overall, leaving a lot to be desired of him from his fans and his team.

Moto, however, is a different story. Barcia took 4th place overall last year, and took 4th in 2016 and 3rd in 2015. He has a dependable history of wins and podiums, making it a tough call to put him out of the top 5. After his season of injuries, however, it’s not likely that he’ll ride better than the top 5 riders, or even some of the others in this top-10 category.

The Bottom Line: Plagued by disappointment and injuries, Barcia will want to do well, but may not have the push or capability to overtake the top riders. He’ll take some podiums, but that’ll be the best he can do.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#21 Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

After such an underwhelming Supercross season (if you can call three rounds a season), Jason Anderson has a lot of time to make up. People were already skeptical about his 2018 SX title, so his lack of focus and speed in 2019 solidified the belief in a lot of peoples’ mind that that he is a one-hit-wonder. If he wants to shed that image, he’s going to have to come out swinging from the beginning (lest we fickle fans say he only did well because everyone else didn’t).

Even with that being the case, it’s unlikely that Anderson will score more than a few podiums. Though training seems to be going well for Anderson and he’s still working with the legendary Aldon Baker, he seems to lack focus. Besides, call it recency bias but it seems as though every other top rider could smoke Anderson, and that the competition has all but moved on without him.

The Bottom Line: When it comes down to it, Anderson had an underwhelming SX season, he’s coming off of an injury, and he hasn’t raced an entire MX season since 2015. With all of that combined, it’s unlikely that he’ll take more than a few podiums or place in the top 5 overall. My guess is that his speed will take a few races to show up and, by that point, it will be too late.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#16 Zach Osborne – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

Zacho had a slow build to his Supercross season this year. Missing the first six races of a season is never good, but DNFing in two of the first three races you do make it to is even worse. That being said, he started to deliver on his hype towards the end of the season. After his two DNFs, he didn’t place worse than 8th, bagging three top-5 finishes including a 2nd place on the podium. That’s the best finish of any rookie in the 2019 season, but not the most consistent performance.

For that reason, I’m predicting that Osborne will frequent the podium, probably more so than his teammate Anderson, but won’t take a top-5 overall finish. Zach’s 250MX career has shown that he knows how to win races, but also shows that he has a tendency to crash out. Pair that with the fact that he missed half of the 2019 SX season due to an injury and crashed out of two races, I think there’s a good chance that Osborne will be in the top in a lot of races, and at the bottom in some others.

The Bottom Line: It’s doubtful that Osborne will be able to keep it on two wheels all season, and one bad race could make the difference between the top 5 and the top 10. He may have a few bad races, or may just not be able to keep up with Tomac, Musquin, and Webb. Either way, he’ll likely finish right around 5th place.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#17 Joey Savatgy – Monster Energy Kawasaki

After an admirable rookie SX season, Savatgy was named AMA Rookie of the Year, and for good reason. His five top-5 finishes were the most that any rookie got, and all but three of his finishes out of the top 5 were all in the top 10. Basically, Savatgy had the skill to hang with the top dogs of the 450SX class, but he didn’t really have the speed to pass any of them. In a lot of races, Savatgy started out front and ended more than a few spots back. He lost speed throughout the 20 minute races, making me skeptical that he’ll be title competition for Motocross this year.

During his 250MX career, Savatgy never finished better than 3rd overall. He typically finished from 5th and beyond, his worst finish being his rookie season in 2013 when he crashed out and finished in 17th overall. Much like Osborne, Savatgy has proven that he has the chops to contend with the top guys for a few races, but has also proven that he knows how to crash or wear out of a top finish.

The Bottom Line: Savatgy will take the podium at least once this season, but won’t be fast enough to consistently take the podium or even take a win. He’ll likely end the season right around 7th place.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#15 Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

It’s so easy to get injured in this sport, but some riders seem to be injured more often than not. Dean Wilson’s entire career has been plagued by injury, and that’s why it was so refreshing to see him racing and riding so well this season. He kicked off the season with a 4th place finish, and went on to take three other top-5 finishes along with a 3rd place on the podium. Wilson was right on track to finish the full season, until a crash in Denver took him out of the main event and the rest of the season. Citing an injured shoulder, Wilson missed the last two rounds, but still finished in 6th place overall.

Despite the impressive overall finish in SX, Wilson’s shoulder injury is likely going to prevent him from attending the first round of Motocross. That alone will hurt his points standings, but it also doesn’t help that his MX results have been all over the place for the last few seasons. He didn’t race in 2018, took 4th place in 2017, and took 19th place in 2016. Wilson has the speed, but the shoulder and scary track-record with MX will likely land him on the cusp of the top 10.

The Bottom Line: Recovering from his painful shoulder injury, Wilson won’t have more than a few top-5 finishes in him. He’ll run in the top 10 more often than not, and though he may have a few bad races, he’ll likely still finish at the very end of the top 10.

Dean Wilson Supercross 2019
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Top 10 and Beyond

These are the riders that will show up in the top 10 for some races, and finish out of it for others. A bit on the fringe, these riders are likely to have overall finishes just out of the top 10.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#14 Cole Seely – HRC Honda

Another rider who had a tough SX season, Cole Seely struggled to find his pace this year. With only one finish in the top 5 and nine others in the top 10, Seely needs to step up his game in MX this year. With his serious back injury in 2018, Seely didn’t race at all that season. He raced the entirety of 2017, earning a 5th place overall, but hasn’t ever raced a full series in his 450MX career aside from that year.

The Bottom Line: With his struggles in SX and no doubt residual effects from his injury last year, Seely will likely finish where he did this SX season – around and out of the top 10, in races and overall.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#19 Justin Bogle – Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM

Justin Bogle took a lot of people by surprise in 2019. He was a last minute fill-in for team Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM, and didn’t have a great start to the season. His first finishes were a 19th, 15th, and 17th place, so people weren’t expecting much from him. That’s when Bogle burst on the scene, taking 4th place in the fifth round of the series, going on to get two heat race wins, four more top-10 finishes, and an impressive season standing at 9th place overall.

MX is more of the same for Bogle – up and down. He wasn’t healthy enough to attend all of the races in 2018, and didn’t do well in the races that he did attend. In 2017, he took 6th overall, getting two wins and one other podium. In 2016, he placed 16th overall after crashing out halfway through the series. He only raced the last six rounds of 2015, landing him in 26th overall by the end. Getting the up-and-down picture yet?

The Bottom Line: Because Justin Bogle has been all over the place for the past few years, he’s going to have some really good races this year, and some really bad ones. That type of fluctuation rarely puts anyone in the top 10, but he’ll likely be very close by the end of the MX season.

Justin Bogle Supercross 2019
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#60 Benny Bloss – Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM

After missing an entire SX season and the first few rounds of the MX season, Bloss will either be rested and ready to go, or a little unsure and out of practice. If it’s the latter, then he’ll need a few rounds of the season to just get used to being on the bike again and racing the practiced SX racers. Bloss has the skill to take some top-10 finishes, but it may take some time for him to consistently be in the top. The field is so stacked against him that this may be the year he takes it slower to avoid injury and missing another SX season.

The Bottom Line: Though Bloss is fast and has taken 7th overall before in MX, a late start to the season and coming fresh-off an injury will likely mean he’ll need some more time to break the top 10 enough to place there overall.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#46 Justin Hill – JGR Suzuki

What to say about Justin Hill…

Supercross did not go the way anyone expected it to for Hill. It’s unlikely that anyone is more disappointed than he is, and understandably so considering his average finish of the season was 12.00 with his best finish just 7th place. There’s not much else to say about it except it seems like Hill is taking some time adjusting to the new bike and competition.

Hill’s 250MX career doesn’t look very promising, either. He hasn’t raced an entire season since his rookie year in 2013 where he took 12th – his best overall MX finish to date. Last year, he stopped racing after round 6, leaving him to take 24th overall. Based on that track record, his Motocross finishes aren’t going to be anything surprising or spectacular.

The Bottom Line: Justin Hill will not take a podium or get anywhere close. He may crack the top 5 in one race, but he’ll stick to placing in the bottom of the top 10 and beyond.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Factory Fix

Some final food for thought: 2019 is a contract year for several riders. That being the case, some might pull out all the stops to stay on their teams, or ride well enough to attract another team. Here are the riders that are up for new contracts:

  • Cole Seely
  • Marvin Musquin
  • Dean Wilson
  • Justin Hill
  • Justin Bogle
  • Benny Bloss

Justin Bogle and Blake Baggett

That’s just in addition to some of the talented Privateer riding we saw earlier this year in Supercross. Whether these riders go all out or feel secure with their teams, only time will tell.

We’ll See This Weekend…

The stage is set for Motocross, now all we have to do is wait and watch to see how our favorite riders tackle the outdoors.

Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Tell Us What You Think

Have you made predictions for this season? Do they look anything like these? Share your thoughts in the comments!