A few months ago and seeking redemption from my second-to-last-place-finishes in my RMFantasySX groups, I took it upon myself to make predictions for the upcoming Motocross season.

Now, the season is all wrapped up, so it’s time to revisit those predictions to see how right – or wrong – they were.

To make it even more exciting, I’ll give my predictions a score of anywhere from 1-5 points based on their accuracy. The more points each prediction gets, the more accurate it was. The goal is to get as close to the maximum 70 points as possible.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

So, at the possible expense of my pride and reputation, keep reading to see my original predictions and the points they earned me, along with an analysis of each riders’ season and some Supercross speculation.

Titles and Top 5s

#25 Marvin Musquin – Red Bull KTM

Overall Finish: 3rd

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 3 – Musquin wasn’t in 2nd place overall until round 6, and even then, he was barely within striking distance of the title. If he had been, the championship wouldn’t have been tied up at Budds Creek.

Analysis: Musquin’s MX season started with the same shakiness his SX season ended with. His first four MX finishes were 6-2-5-6 – hardly contention for the title. By the time he climbed up to 2nd place at Southwick, he was 26 points behind Tomac, and that was the closest the two ever were. Musquin didn’t win another round after Southwick, and what’s more, he only beat Tomac one other race the rest of the season. With that, Tomac’s lead was solidified and his points kept adding up until there were 50 between him and Musquin.

Just because the season was over for Tomac by Budds Creek doesn’t mean it was for Musquin. By the penultimate round, Roczen had shrunk the gap between 2nd and 3rd place to just five points, giving Musquin a different fight for the final round. It seemed to be going Musquin’s way, too, until his collision with Zach Osborne in the second moto. The scuffle ended with Musquin on the ground and taking 9th place overall, pushing him back to 3rd in the final points standings.

By the end of the season, it was the same picture we’ve seen before – Musquin on the podium, but not quite on the top step. It has to get frustrating to always be the runner-up, but, if it is, Musquin doesn’t seem to be too concerned. In a lot of races, it seems that if he were just to push a little harder or go a little faster, the win could be his. With his professional career slowly approaching its end, Musquin’s title chances get slimmer and slimmer each series. If he’s going to win it all, he’s going to have to win it soon.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#1 Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Kawasaki

Overall Finish: 1st

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 5 – What can I say? Tomac got the solid start he needed, took the red plate by round two, and carried it all the way to the end of the season. Building up the points to clinch the title by Budds Creek was no small feat, either.

Analysis: As predicted, Tomac was tough to catch and even tougher to beat this season. A quick look over the results show that Tomac took 1st in 6/12 races and was on the podium for 5 of the other 6. His worst finish of the season was 4th place – not a bad race by any means. By the second round he had the lead, and by the 11th, he had the title.

With the third consecutive MX title under his belt, Tomac has proven that he’s got the speed, skill, and finesse for the outdoors. We kind of already knew that, though. What the people really want to see is the talent transfer to SX. Tomac is all the right parts cool, collected, and confident in the outdoors, just to seem erratic, inconsistent, and unreliable come indoors. He’s already so close to being the all-around champ that everyone wants and expects him to be – he just needs a little consistency to take him the rest of the way.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#1 Cooper Webb – Red Bull KTM

Overall Finish: 6th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 2 – Before Webb crashed out, he was in the top 5 overall, but never higher than 4th place and never within striking distance of the title.

Analysis: Once the MX season started, it seemed as though Webb’s impressive SX victory was all but forgotten. He flew under that radar for the majority of the season, placing 4th, 5th, 6th, until he came out of nowhere to take the win at Spring Creek. He took 4th place the week after, and then was out for the rest of the season with a knee injury He wasn’t focused on, and he wasn’t ever in the running for the title. That being said, he also wasn’t ever out of the top 10 in races or top 5 overall before he missed the last three races.

MX may not be Webb’s forte, but now that the sport is transitioning back to SX, he’ll likely be the big focus and competition for 2020.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#94 Ken Roczen – HRC Honda

Overall Finish: 2nd

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 3 – Roczen has an enduring resilience that I didn’t give him enough credit for. Aside from a few iffy races, Roczen came alive during the outdoors and was beating Webb well before he crashed out.

Analysis: Roczen’s 2019 MX season can be perfectly broken into three sections:

  • Coming out swinging: Roczen kicked off Hangtown with the overall win, and kept it going weeks after with a 3rd place, another win, and a 2nd place.
  • Mid-season slump: After his four podiums, Roczen took a four-week break from the podium with two finishes out of the top 5 followed by back-to-back 5th places.
  • The strong finish: The last four rounds for Roczen were reminiscent of his first. The Honda rider capped his season on a high note with finishes of 2-1-4-2.

Overall, it was a phenomenal season for Roczen both physically and mentally. After two season-ending injuries that could’ve easily been career-ending injuries and the strenuous training and therapy that followed, Roczen is finally seeing the fruits of his labors. He’s starting to ride like he was before his A2 crash in 2017, and – as his 2nd place overall indicates – he’s ready to start taking titles again.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

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

Overall Finish: 10th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 1 – Even before he missed the last four rounds of the season, Baggett was well out of the top-5 overall in 8th place.

Analysis: There’s not much to say other than Blake Baggett is a human, and humans get sick sometimes. Baggett had an extremely rough season physically, struggling with fatigue and what was eventually revealed to be a sinus infection that turned into a staph infection in his right eye. The condition was serious enough to take Baggett out of the last four rounds of competition – the first time Baggett missed a race in 86 races.

With Baggett set to recover well before the start of the 2020 SX season, we’re confident that there will be several podiums and first-place finishes waiting for him in the new season.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

On the Podium and in the Mix

#51 Justin Barcia – Monster Energy Yamaha

Overall Finish: 7th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 2 – Barcia’s closest podium finish was 5th place, falling short of his reputation and expectations for the 2019 season.

Analysis: Unfortunately for Barcia, his underwhelming SX season was followed by an equally underwhelming MX season. He cracked the top 5 once with his overall finish of 5th at Ironman – other than that and his 3rd place first moto finish at Unadilla, Barcia seemed to stay out of sight, out of mind. He was there every race, but you almost wouldn’t even know it. Despite missing the final three rounds, Webb still scored above Barcia in the overall points standings, leading him by 9 points. Considering that Barcia hasn’t placed worse than 4th overall in every MX season he’s raced fully, 7th place has to be a tough blow. It’s clearly time for him to dig deep, train hard, and prepare with his team for the upcoming SX season.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#21 Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

Overall Finish: 4th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 1 – This one was just plain wrong. Anderson’s speed was there from the start of the series with a podium at Hangtown, and he only kept that steam going to take 4th place overall by the end of the season.

Analysis: If there’s one rider who surprised me the most, it was Anderson. That may be because if there was one rider I was harshest on, it was Anderson…but that’s beside the point.

When Husqvarna announced that Anderson signed a five-year extension with the team, my first thought was, “do they know something that we don’t?” Evidently, they did. Anderson came out swinging, following his podium at Hangtown up with three more over the course of the season. What’s more impressive, though, is that even when Anderson wasn’t on the podium, he was in the top 5 all but two times. While the spotlight of the season shone on the riders battling for the title, Anderson was quietly laying down fast lap times, pulling off impressive passes, and demonstrating improved consistency. 2019 was his best MX season to date with a 4th place finish overall.

That being said, Anderson barely edged out his teammate Zach Osborne by a meager four points, even with Osborne missing a round. The two had several intense battles, riding bar-to-bar for most of the season. Anderson and Osborne will have some steep competition in the upcoming Monster Energy Cup event and SX season, but if this MX season is any indication, perhaps their steepest competition will be each other.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#16 Zach Osborne – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

Overall Finish: 5th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 4 – As far as predictions go, this one was pretty close. If I hadn’t been so insistent that Zacho would crash out or sure that he would finish just out of the top 5, this would’ve been a 5-pointer.

Analysis: All things considered, it was a good MX season for Rockstar Husqvarna with both Anderson and Osborne following up their disappointing SX performances with top-5 overall finishes for the outdoors. Osborne’s performance was especially notable, the 450MX rookie taking six podiums and top-5 finishes in all but one race, even bagging one moto win. And, even missing RedBud, Osborne beat 6th place by 79 points and narrowly missed 4th place by four points.

In the outdoors, it seems that Osborne and his teammate, Anderson, are well-matched and tough competition for the podium. If they keep up that speed for SX, they’re likely to be regulars on the podium again.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#17 Joey Savatgy – Monster Energy Kawasaki

Overall Finish: 11th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 3 – A 7th place overall seemed unlikely for Savatgy after he missed the first two rounds of the season, but it became even more unattainable after the lack-luster performances following his return.

Analysis: Like I said, I knew there wasn’t much hope for Savatgy to take at least 7th overall after he missed the first two rounds of the series. But I also figured that a few riders wouldn’t make it to the end of the season (i.e. Webb and Baggett), which would give Savatgy the chance to climb up the points ladder through Ironman. Then, Savatgy took 39th place at his first race back, followed by an 8th place, and then a 13th.

I shrugged it off that he was just taking his time recovering and getting back in the swing of racing. That’s how it was for SX – he placed out of the top 10 twice in the first three rounds, then only missed it one other time for the rest of the season. Savatgy was given infinite chances to impress, but he failed to deliver on any of them. He didn’t get close to the podium until Ironman, where he took 4th overall.

Some blame Savatgy’s poor performance on the announcement of Adam Cianciarulo’s advancement to the 450 class – why care for a team that doesn’t care for you? Whether or not that conflation is accurate, one can only hope that Savatgy already has a sponsorship nailed down for 2020 and isn’t basing his prospects off of his 2019 MX season.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#15 Dean Wilson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

Overall Finish: 13th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 2 – The closest Deano got to the top 5 was 7th place. Perhaps more upsetting and more detrimental to my prediction, however, is that he didn’t actually start racing until round seven at RedBud.

Analysis: The real kicker in all of this is that I sincerely thought Wilson would be back sooner than RedBud. With all the ambiguity and “I hope to be back racing next week” that surrounded Wilson’s shoulder injury, I figured he wouldn’t be out for long, especially not for seven rounds. Nevertheless, he was, and upon his return, he unsurprisingly rode consistent with someone who was out for several weeks with a shoulder injury. Wilson’s average finish was 9.33, and he barely took 13th place from Dean Ferris. There’s not much more to it than that.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

Top 10 and Beyond

#14 Cole Seely – HRC Honda

Overall Finish: 22nd

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 4 – This prediction was on track to be one of my most accurate until Seely crashed out before High Point. Had he raced the whole season, I’m confident this still would’ve been correct, but we’ll dock the one point to cater to the “what-ifs.”

Analysis: There isn’t much of a season to analyze for Seely. After taking 14th, 10th, and 11th place overall in the first three races, the Honda rider injured himself during practice and had to pull out of the competition to get surgery and recover. Another abrupt end to a season, paired with his underwhelming SX season, made many fans wonder who CS14 would be riding for in 2020. Then, Seely announced his retirement on Instagram. He explained there, and more in a YouTube vlog, that it was always his intention to retire at the end of 2019, though he wished it could’ve been after a complete season. Either way, he made the decision to step away on his own and in his own way, and that’s something to be proud of. We’ll miss seeing him line up every weekend, but we’re excited to see what he does next.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

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

Overall Finish: 9th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 4 – Bogle finished close to 10th place alright, just a little closer than I predicted. Though his finishes still fluctuated slightly, Bogle showed determination, improvement, and resilience all season.

Analysis: Since filling in for the RMATVMC-KTM-WPS team at the start of the SX season, Bogle has been putting in work to become a reliable and high-performing rider. He’s clearly still got some work to do – his best finish of the MX season was 6th, his worst was 20th – but he’s proven he’s got the determination. Right before Ironman, Bogle informed fans via Instagram that he’s been struggling with the Epstein-Barr virus, but that he’d be pushing through because he wants to “secure a job for next season.” With that resilience, and his improving stats, he should have a pretty good shot at doing just that.

All year, it seems like Bogle has been right on the cusp of something big – a podium finish, being a consistent top-5 contender, etc. – but has fallen short at the last minute. We saw it when he finished in 4th place this year in SX, and when he got the holeshot this year in MX. Bogle is so close to reaching that level of a top-10 rider again – he’s got the speed, work ethic, and determination to make 2020 his year back on the podium.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

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

Overall Finish: 12th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 5 – It’d be hard to place in the top 10 after missing the first three rounds of the season and not racing for over half a year. Taking all that into consideration, 12th place is a respectable finish for Bloss.

Analysis: Bloss struggled his first races back with finishes of 12-16-14 overall. But, after some grueling weeks of training and a few spills and crashes, Bloss started to show consistency and improvement. He finished the season strong with three top-10 finishes in a row and earned enough points to tie with Joey Savatgy in 11th place.

All in all, it was the expected performance from Bloss, and the improvement he showed towards the end of the season was nothing short of encouraging. Benny has the ambition and ability to be top contender, but he needs to stay healthy enough to get there. While his 2020 plans have yet to be announced, we’re confident that, if he stays healthy and keeps improving, Bloss will be a name to watch in SX.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

#46 Justin Hill – JGR Suzuki

Overall Finish: 24th

The Prediction: 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.

Points: 5 – Before he crashed out of the series, Hill was putting down finishes of 21st, 7th, and 12th. It’s consistent with what I predicted and likely would’ve stayed that way had he kept racing.

Analysis: 2019 has not been kind to Justin Hill. After such a disappointing SX season, many were expecting Hill to treat the outdoors as redemption, especially since his factory contract will be complete at the end of the season. Whether Hill was feeling that pressure or not, he was not securing stellar finishes. His first three – and only – finishes of the 2019 season were 21-7-12, putting him in 12th place overall at the end of Thunder Valley. A crash during a practice session left him with a shoulder injury that would require surgery and extensive therapy, taking Hill out for the rest of the season.

In short, there was high pressure and even higher expectations placed on Hill, but he crashed out before he could do anything about it.

Jason Anderson’s 2019 SX season, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

If we’re drawing the parallel between Anderson and Hill, then we can also hope that Hill will return from his season off with the same triumph that Anderson did. Plus, Hill’s more disappointed in his results than we are, saying himself, “I want so badly to right the wrongs and prove I can be the man.” Here’s to hoping that 2019 was just a rough rookie year, and that 2020 will have the top finishes we’ve all been waiting to see from Hill.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

The Final Tally

If you’ve been keeping track, my final points for the season were 44/70 – 63%.

There’s clearly a lesson in that number, and it’s not that Motocross is an unpredictable sport full of crashes, passes, and surprises.

No, if there’s anything to take from this, it’s that now is the time to dig deep and start preparing for next year’s predictions. I’m aiming for that 70/70 in 2020. See you then.

2019 MX Predictions Revisited
Photo Credit: Kardy Photo

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Tell Us What You Think

Did the season end the way you thought it would? Did any riders exceed your expectations? Talk about it in the comments below!