Should Ryan Villopoto go race the MXDN? Swizzle and I hash it out.
Swizzle- Firstly, it feels good to get back into the Point/CounterPoint bandwagon. It’s been too long but it’s nice to see the bandwagon hasn’t been chauffeur-less while we’ve been tending to other issues. Who better to keep the P/CP train on track than Jason “Pretty Boy” Weigandt? Honestly, P/CP isn’t the most original idea but it is a PulpMX staple so I hope in the future Weege sticks to backyard wrestling, missing gate drops on live race broadcasts and whatever else he focuses on to ruin “our” sport.
Ahh, just kidding, I love Weege and all that over-achiever does to bring great insight to moto. On to the topic at hand.
Should Ryan Villopoto be considered a viable option for the USA MXdN Team? Hmm, where have I heard this debate before? It doesn’t matter, I’m laying claim to that which is rightfully PulpMX’s, even if Matthes is too afraid to tell his boss “no, that’s ours”.
I’l start my side of this little debate with something you are familiar with Mr. Matthes. With all your talk of Barcia being an amazing sand rider, do you recall when we were at RV’s and before even completing his first lap of his first 30 minute moto at his house, he put the throttle to the stop and pretty much jumped right over the head of phenom, Adam Cianciarulo through the sand rollers? I know you do because we all looked at one another in complete disbelief. It was one of those knee buckling moments when something just flabbergasts you. That little spitfire, RV not Adam, can do some amazing things in the sand and he should absolutely be considered for the Team, whether he returns to the Nationals or not.
As we all know, he began riding again last week which puts him at 3 months off the bike and gives him 2 months to prepare. With RV’s track record over the last two seasons and more specifically, his past rides at the MXoN, how could you not expect him to be fully capable within that time frame? In my mind, this is more a question of whether Ryan feels that he’ll be riding at capacity by September 30th, than if the powers-that-be should select him.
Who else would they send? Alessi? Not a chance. Roger doesn’t want anything to do with that program again and without Factory support, The Navy Seal’s chances look even more bleak. Barcia? Don’t get me wrong, Barcia’s a stud but to send him across the pond to represent the United States of Freaking America (these colors don’t run) in his first ever MXoN appearance as the MX3 rider??!! I think I just popped a capillary.
Ryan Villopoto has proven time and time again that when the pressure is on, HE is the guy you put the chips on.
Every MX2 National Title he contested? His.
2007 MXoN; I mean, REALLY?! Whooping everyone on a 250F.
2011 SX Title down to the last round. RV
2011 MX Title down to the last round. RV
2011 MXoN. Check.
2011 M.E. Cup. 3, count them 3 races. Sweep.
If you think you can trump my points, you’ve spent too much time on the lithical and must be feeling light-headed.
Matthes- Yeah Weege asked me if we could do a P/CP for the MXDN team but maybe he never reads Pulpmx and had no idea that we already did something like that. Or maybe he knew and thought it was a great idea. I don’t know, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so whatever. I’ll take it. Besides, I took the concept from an ESPN column I like to read.
Ok, back to the topic. I’m not going to sit here and dispute your case that RV is a great rider. This we all know, he’s one of the best ever to put on a Gold Belt (sorry, dated ‘70’s reference there). But you’re ignoring a couple of key things here. You say that he should be on track to come back from an ACL reconstruction by the time the race rolls around but really, is he? Sure physically he might feel great but the man hasn’t raced in four months by the time the race rolls around. With a couple of weeks for shipping to MXDN, a week or two for any delays, you’d have to get everything going by the beginning of September- and that would be touch and go for RV getting back and doing any nationals. And despite me working the Google and coming up empty handed, I believe the team has to be entered 30 days out which is, again, beginning of September and RV will be lucky, lucky I say, to make the Lake Elsinore national which is September 8th.
We don’t have enough time to get him ready, we don’t know how he’s going to be on the deep sands of Lommel and trust me, Team USA is going to need 100% out of everyone they have to go over there to win. This one’s not going to be easy.
Ryan Villopoto pre-knee injury? Yes, send him and anyone who says not do should be lit on fire and banished from America. A Ryan Villopoto who is just coming back from a serious injury and hasn’t raced in forever? Nope- give me Navy Seal, mustache boy or Jake Weimer.
Swizzle- Hold on now, you know first hand how quickly RV was back to vertical following his surgery and looking well. For cripes sakes, he rode the bike in opening ceremonies at Vegas in street clothes. The guy has been walking and doing physical therapy for weeks and weeks, the doctor said the procedure went better than expected because there was less scar tissue and damage done during the repair than anticipated. This is the best of a best case scenario when it comes to an ACL and you can guarantee that Aldon has been Johnny-on-the-spot, keeping RV’s condition as peaked as possible, of course without risking ligament damage. Add to that, RV’s insatiable desire to prove he is the guy and this is shaping up to be an inspirational tale of triumph over tragedy(sorry that’s just a song title I love).
Without RV, the 2012 USA MXdN Team is a lesser team, yes even coming back from injury.
Matthes- Now you’re sounding like a crazy man. Or Roger DeCoster, I can’t tell. You’d rather take a rider (albeit it’s RV we’re talking about here) fresh out of having a new ligament put in, with either one or zero races in four months to a mega-whooped out sand track in one of the biggest races of the year? That’s akin to RD saying he’d rather take a kid who hasn’t raced a 450 all year over a dude that just beat Ryan Dungey. Oh wait, he did say that.
What about the fact that he doesn’t have a contract yet? Yes, by the time the MXDN comes around he’ll probably be back on Kawi for three more years but maybe not. Maybe he goes to a Honda team? Would you still take him? What then? What about the knee? What about his endurance? What about all these questions I’ve just asked Swizzle? See, that’s just it. TOO MANY QUESTIONS to take him over there.
I’ve said it all along, James Stewart should go, his injury will be 100% healed according to his team manager when we pick things back up at Southwick but he ain’t going. So then we should pick Mike Alessi but seeing as how Roger is acting like he’s got an STD and they’re going to do "it" in Belgium, I’d take Justin Barcia. Or Weimer who’s been there before and rode great in a USA win.
Just not RV, too many questions, too much at stake. Oh and you can’t steal my “stamped” thing. It’s mine, I made it up. Stamp it.
Swizzle- Oh I see, only Weege can steal from you. Got it.
It’s a risk sure but I don’t see an RV who hasn’t raced a National in 2012 as being a bigger risk than sending a Barcia who has spent all summer ripping a 250F to a country who surely knows his reputation from Bercy and will be working overtime to get him frazzled and off his mental game. RV? We know there is no getting him off his mental game. RV is special. He is the ultimate incarnation of DGAF and when the chips are down he delivers.
And you can take THAT to the bank.(Crappy Segal movie quote)
Matthes- I think that if RV were to show up at a national he would be somewhere around Alessi and Weimer's speed. I definitely don't see him beating Dungey and would think that, to start, he'd be in the battle for second. That's just what it's like at these high levels. It isn't a walk in the park for someone with a new knee ligament and four months away from racing. So yeah, he's a bad-ass and he'd do everything he could to be ready if selected but let's not put him in that position when we have more than capable enough riders who have been racing all summer long. Yes, it may not look like Weimer, Alessi have been doing their work because of the beat-downs that Dungey gives them but you go and line up next to them on the gate and I think you'll get an appreciation of how effing fast these dudes are.
So no, Ryan Villopoto should not go to the Motocross des Nations no matter what. Deposit that bro.