Those taking part in the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship are charging towards a conclusion now, as the penultimate race of the current term will be run in Turkey over the weekend. Afyonkarahisar can be tough for some of the smaller outfits to reach – especially at this point in the year when budgets are stretched – and consequently the landscape in both MXGP and MX2 will be slightly different this weekend.
A lot of the premier-class contenders have made it across to the hard-pack venue, except for those who succumbed to injury at the previous race in Sweden. The MX2 class is littered with new names though. A couple of EMX contenders have stepped up now that their respective series have drawn to a close, which means that there are some unknown commodities for the Fantasy MX Manager players to consider. Those riders are capable of achieving a ton, but it is by no means a guarantee that they will be successful and consequently there is a certain amount of risk involved.
There is no doubt that Roan van de Moosdijk is going to be picked more than anyone else this week, because of what he achieved the last time that he lined up in the MX2 class. The Grand Prix of Portugal was where he first competed on the world stage and he immediately impressed – a fifth in the second race sent shockwaves through the paddock. It seems as though that is all anyone remembers though. The fact that he ended up fourteenth in moto one – after getting caught up on lap one and starting in twenty-ninth – has been disregarded by most.
Charging through the field like that was obviously impressive, but it is certainly not guaranteed that he will finish in the top ten in both motos like so many would presume. Moosdijk could still be considered a risk at the €350,000 mark. It is likely that most will still jump onto his bandwagon and ride the wave though, as it is tough to ignore his raw speed. There are some other graduates at better prices though: Alberto Forato costs €300,000 and could beat his EMX250 title rival. Forato is in a similar boat to Moosdijk but will not get the same level of attention, meaning there is more to gain.
What about ignoring both of those riders and focussing on someone who has more experience in the MX2 class, like Kevin Horgmo? Horgmo has had his price cut since the Grand Prix of Sweden – where he acquired just two points – and now sits at the €150,000 mark. There is a ton of upside with that signing, but will the casual player even notice? The only question that could cause one to hesitate is whether his move over to Marchetti KTM will prompt a learning curve of sorts. It is not like he is on a different colour, so it should be fairly seamless. You never know though! Watch the practice times.
Mattia Guadagnini is also stepping up to the MX2 class on Turkish soil but faces an even bigger jump than those mentioned previously. Guadagnini was racing in the EMX125 class just two weeks ago and has not piloted the FC 250 in anger this season. There is really no way to predict how this thing is going to go for him – the €200,000 price tag is daunting. Perhaps he will jump off the page in the qualifying process and shock the thousands in attendance? One would think that it is just safer to go with Horgmo and actually save some cash, but then the safe option may not carry a player too far at this point in the game.
Those are just some of the unique Fantasy MX Manager options to consider. What about Jeffrey Herlings? Herlings burnt a lot of players last week but may be too tough to ignore this weekend. There are just so many different ways to go. There is one thing to remember though: Those in Turkey are two hours ahead of the United Kingdom, so entries are going to close slightly earlier on Sunday morning. You have been warned.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Ray Archer