Race day! Race day! Race day! First off, let me just say thank you to everyone who took the time to sign up and pick a team for our debut Final Four game.
This once again all began with a simple pen & paper league with my buddies on a text thread. Yes, I was still knocking out pen n paper dirt bike games in 2015 and I have the notebooks to prove it. It started out 6 or 7 years ago as a PickEm game where we simply guessed the top 7 of each class, a game were still playing today on the thread, but I'm happy to say I've moved up to a laptop and a spreadsheet.
The game then evolved into what we have now, a salary based series where rider's value is based on their current results and you have to fit your team in under the salary cap. Similar to our original MotoXDream over 20 years ago, teams remain at four 450 and four 250 riders along with the usual list of HOT riders. Only now the HOT riders receive a 10pt bonus each moto they finish in the top 10 rather than doubling up the points like in the past.
But enough about the game play, let's talk about what a wild week it's been leading up to today's Millville National. First we had Dean Wilson, surprise everyone & pull out of the series to have surgery on his knee. Who at the time, was the leading HOT rider & on a whopping 23% of the teams.
Sanaye then dropped out to have surgery on his shoulder. All the while there were two announcements the rookies are coming! The rookies are coming! Star Yamaha's Jarrett Frye & TLD KTM's Nate Thrasher were making their pro debuts today. Now it's just Frye because ironic enough, Star had stolen Thrasher away from the TLD team while they make the crossover from orange KTMs to red KTMs (GasGas). You can't make this shit up.
And last but not least, the popular Texan Ty Masterpool announced on his IG he is going to miss today due to nerve damage in his leg from his crash with Jett at RedBud2. Have I mentioned just how brutal this dirt bike racing can be? Hopefully we see the #41 back in Florida next Saturday. With his starts, the skies the limit with this kid these final rounds.
I would also like to mention, we now have created the Fasthouse Injury Report. We will be updating it throughout each week and pretty much daily as we learn of who's out and who's in for these remaining races. You can find the link right there on your team hiring page.
With only a few hours left until our 1pm cst lock out, let's take a quick look at the ZULZ Stat page. In the 450 class, despite the fact he only has a single moto win out of the past 10, Eli has been picked up by the most teams at nearly 39%. Clearly many of you believe, it's now or never for the 3-time 450 Champ as he tries to get his 2nd win on the season. And at $740k, that's a solid value for Tomac, unless he puts up a couple 5ths. Nothing short of the podium will be a disappointment for the teams with the #3.
JGR Suzuki's Fredrik Noren is the leading HOT rider on teams, at 34%. Considering the Swede scored 7-11 moto finishes last year at Spring Creek and with Wilson out, this is a good hire in hopes of those 10pt bonuses.
Altho Noren only has 3 top 10 finishes out of 10 motos and went 12-18 at RedBud2. It he truly reliable enuf at $271k? We will see in a few hours.
In the 250 class, the leading HOT rider is also the rider on the most teams. Coming off a moto win last year in the mud, Hunter Lawrence is on nearly 36% of the teams. 2nd on the ZULZ Stat board with the points leader and local favorite, JMart on 35% of today's teams. And not far behind, at 31.58% is the other Martin, Alex.
When the final combined practice times are posted, we will have the link on the main page, so make sure and check back around noon cst to see who's laying down the fastest times this morning and if you need to make any last minute changes to your team.
Well that's it for this morning! Thank you to our sponsors, Storm Lake Honda, Fasthouse, ZULZ & Forged Authority for teaming up. And a monster thank you to my partners in all this chaos, Bret & Scott. The rebirth of MotoXDream360 couldn't have been possible without every listed above. So good luck today in our round 1 of the Final Four. As RC always said, you can't win a series at the opener, but you sure as hell can lose it. No pressure!