2021 Supercross/Motocross Silly Season Roundup No. 2 (Feat. MXGP)by Jack Gaffney July 28, 2021 1 comment
We now sit just short of two months away from most major moves in the American Supercross/Motocross scene taking form. There have already been numerous moves reportedly set in stone, but even more are beginning to trickle in. Not just in America, but also in Europe on the MXGP circuit, particularly in recent weeks.
You can catch all the latest news and race recaps here.
Red Bull KTM Split
The structure for the factory KTM squad over in Europe is a tad different than it is in America. While there are numerous 450 and 250 riders, the team is essentially split into two factions but are all technically teammates. There is the base factory Red Bull KTM squad, which employs Jeffery Herlings, Tom Vialle, and Rene Hoffer. But then there is also the De Carli sect of Red Bull KTM. The longtime team, formerly running Yamaha’s up until 2009, fields Antonio Cairoli, Jorge Prado, and Mattia Guadagnini.
The later faction could reportedly undergo another manufacturer change. According to multiple reports, the De Carli faction will be making the switch to GasGas in 2022. Hoffer will also reportedly make the switch over as well, according to Andrew Hill of TMX in the UK. Herlings and Vialle will be the only riders across the pond for the orange brand in 2022 by the looks of it.
Husqvarna 450 Future
While it appears that the IceOne squad that runs the Factory Husqvarna outfit is moving to Kawasaki, there is a plan in place for next year. The Nestaan team, which is the premier Husqvarna team in the MX2 class, is apparently going to head the factory husky effort in both classes moving forward. The Nestaan team currently employs Jed Beaton and Kay De Wolf. Where this leaves the GP class riders of both Monster Energy Kawasaki and Rockstar IceOne Husqvarna remains to be seen, however.
Just announced on Tuesday, Turkey will now be hosting a doubleheader for MXGP in early September. This is due to the Swedish GP being outright canceled for this year. Turkey last hosted an MXGP event in 2019 at Afyonkarahisar. The other wrinkle here is that it will be two events in the span of just a few days. The first event is on the fourth and fifth, and the second on the seventh and eighth of September.
Des Nation Teams
As it currently stands for countries outside of the United States, the only Nation with a team set currently is the Dutch. Herlings and Glenn Coldenhoff will serve as the team MX1 and Open class entries. While Roan Van De Moosdijk was set as the Dutch MX2 rider, that is no longer the case. A broken Scaphoid suffered at the Czech GP last weekend has knocked him off the team. The logical replacement for him is De Wolf, who sits 10th in the MX2 standings this year.
Coldenhoff is undefeated in his last four Des Nation Motos. Herlings on the other hand has finishes of first, second (twice straight), and fourth in his last four races. With this year’s Motocross Des Nation now under two months away, team announcements should likely ramp up in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for the teams of France, Italy, Belgium, and The United Kingdom, as they should be contenders.
250 Class Rumblings
The biggest piece of information is that Jeremy Martin will almost certainly be back with Star Yamaha on a 250 in 2022. After missing all of Supercross after racing in the opening 15-seconds of the 250 West season, he sits fourth in this year’s outdoor tilt. A disappointment from the standpoint that he probably wanted a 450 ride, but he gets another couple of good shots at 250 championships in 2022.
Over in the Pro Circuit Kawasaki hauler, highly touted Kawasaki prospect Jett Reynolds is expected to make the jump to the pro ranks. The odd man out on the team appears to be Jordon Smith, who has had perhaps the worst injury luck in the sport the last half-decade.
Jo Shimoda, who came in late as a fifth rider, now sits as the best rider on the team. Mitch Payton rewarded his efforts with a new contract earlier this summer. Outside of that, the team should remain the same. Elsewhere, Jalek Swoll, who’s had an excellent 2021, is expected to be back at Husqvarna in 2022. Top Yamaha Prospect Levi “The Master Chef” Kitchen has already made pro starts for Star, and should factor into their 2022 plans.
Former rider Wil Hahn, who spent years at Star Yamaha as the 250 team manager, has already settled in at his new home. Which is with the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas squad as of around a month or so ago. Hahn was the team figurehead from 2017 to mid-2021 and oversaw the 250 team bring home five Supercross Championships, along with a pair of Motocross Championships. A nice get for the GasGas outfit indeed.
With Jason Anderson on the way out of Rockstar Husqvarna and in all likelihood headed to Monster Kawi, there’s a spot available on the former team. The hot rumor is that Malcolm Stewart will indeed slot in for El Hombre. The younger Stewart brother after his season-ending injury in 2019, has put up Supercross points finishes of seventh and sixth these last two years. He also has eight top-five main event results in the last two years.
While Mookie has not run in Motocross since 2014, he has been open about being willing to do the outdoor tilt again. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but one would imagine it does happen. He likely would not be signed with Husqvarna otherwise.
Grand National Championship?
Over the last few days, both AMA Supercross and Motocross have sent out fan/post-event survey emails out. One of the later questions given out was a very interesting proposition. Being a potential combined points championship between Supercross and Motocross. I feel quite comfortable saying this would not be posed as a question if this was not discussed preliminary at the bare minimum.
I sure would. If you get this survey in your email you better be answering it. pic.twitter.com/8XsaZPRtL0
— Travis Marx (@imtravismarx) July 26, 2021
This is also not a new concept either. The AMA ran a Grand National Championship back in the 80s for a number of years. The champion would sport a blue plate with either a white or gold number one. Granted, this was back when career numbers had yet to be incorporated, so that would likely change. Surprisingly this has been a polarizing topic amongst the fandom since it has made the rounds, however. Personally, I think it would be an interesting thing to see.
The expectation, as it has been for many years, is that Team USA for Des Nations will be unveiled the weekend of the Unadilla National. A big wrinkle is set to affect not just Team USA, but Team France as well. Star Yamaha reportedly will not be sending any riders over this year. This is due to a cross-country move for the team the week of Des Nation tying up things.
If this is the case, and it seems like it indeed is, it is a good news/bad news situation. The bad news for the USA here is that this eliminates Martin, Justin Cooper, and Aaron Plessinger from team consideration. The good news (from the American perspective), is that this also eliminates Dylan Ferrandis from consideration for the French. The likely National Champion paired with Romain Febvre would have been one of, if not the top 450 rider pair in the event.
Now as it stands for Team USA, R.J. Hampshire feels all but certain to be the MX2 entry. While his teammate Swoll could be an intriguing option, Hampshire has the clear experience advantage. Not to mention him having an MX2 overall win to his name, coming back in 2017 at WW Ranch. For the two four 450 entries, the red white, and blue have a fair share of options. The top three likely being Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia, and Chase Sexton. Any combination of those two with Hampshire would give the United States a fighting chance in Italy this September.
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Main Image Credit: Moto-Station.com