I have been asked my opinion, a few times this month, on what moments defined 2010 in the world of FMX. So it got me to thinking, what will 2011 look like and who will excel both on and off the bike?
Here is my take on the year ahead -- the Best of 2011.
Levi Sherwood was having a breakout year in 2010 when disaster struck. He has been laying way low in New Zealand, getting that femur fixed with magic from the Hobbits and Elves and Gandalf the White Wizard. He comes back strong in '11 and claims at least one major title ... maybe ALL of the major titles.
The only rider that can stop Levi's charge is the scarily consistent and focused Nate Adams. There will be an incident early in the year, however, where Adams has a rough Supercross race, shorting a couple of triples and shaking him a bit. In the post-race interview he will remove his helmet and a plate will fall from the back of his head revealing what we had all feared ... He's a cyborg!
Travis Pastrana has made the bold move to NASCAR where I predict some surprise top ten results in his rookie year. He can drive, that's for sure, and he will spend a lot of time turning left, but we all know Travis and so eventually he will turn right. I have a feeling his car will cost a lot more to replace than his old Suzuki RM250's. Is there even such a thing as a NASCAR foam pit?
Brian Deegan followed Pastrana into the four-wheel world and has found success in off-road trucks, but not Pastrana's level of success in rally. In another shrewd marketing move, Deegan will leapfrog Pastrana and jump into the high class, high-speed world of Formula One. Other drivers will live in fear of the "M/M" and skull logos and the matte black on black Metal Mulisha F1. Expect spikes on the rear wing and more Mulisha toys at Wal-Mart.
Noting Pastrana's successful return to X Games in 2010, Mike Jones, Clifford Adoptante and Trevor Vines will all make a run at X for a chance to take down the new kids.
Robbie "Maddo" Maddison will be back in a big way. 2010 saw a broken hand, a set of bars to the neck and, oh yes, baby Kruz being born. Now he's focused again and you can guarantee he's into something huge!
Eigo Sato, after crashing out of 2010, will return with a new, improved version of his new trick the "Airplane." Look out for the "Space Shuttle."
Libor Podmol will show off his shiny FIM World Champion belt and will announce that he has retired from high-speed nose wheelies.
There will be an epic front flip battle between Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Jackson Strong and Paris Rosen. I am assuming that none of them have watched Charles Pages' gnarly crash video.
Drake McElroy will still be the most stylish rider out there and might possibly figure out a way to wear even tighter pants.
Adam Jones will still occasionally be angry.
Mike Mason will still drink Coors Light.
Taka Higashino will keep smiling.
Beau Bamburg will still be the most underappreciated guitar player and freestyle rider on the planet.
I will continue to be a crappy writer who loves freestyle motocross.
Happy 2011 everybody!