Preview of AMA East Coast Motocross Scouting Combineby Jack Gaffney August 27, 2021 1 comment
A brand new initiative by MX Sports is set to begin today at Ironman MX in Indiana. That being a Motocross scouting combine of the nation’s top amateur riders. 50 riders in total received invites to two separate events over these next two weekends. The first being today at Ironman MX for east coast riders. While the second is next weekend at Fox Raceway in Pala, California for west coast riders.
Make sure to check out all of our Motocross coverage.
Motocross Combine Entailments
While most of the elite amateur riders are currently in the pipelines of factory teams, these combines still serve a purpose. Which is to give the riders the tools to prepare for a transition to the professional ranks. Ranging from real Motos on a National Championship circuit and media prep. To also fitness and nutrition prep, and even coaching from championship-caliber riders. The four riding coaches are Damon Bradshaw, Chad Reed, Broc Glover, and Grant Langston, which is quite the field of coaches. A quick note on the later, yesterday Langston announced he is leaving the NBC Motocross booth over covid reasons effective immediately.
The media training unit is lead by Langston’s now-former partner Jason Weigandt. As for the guest trainers, they include former rider Gareth Swanepoel, who currently trains the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha squad. Joining him also will be Ryan Fedorow, and John Wessling. On top of all the resources available, there will be two 25 minute plus two-lap Motos ran today as well. Now for the riders.
Riders to Watch
Riders were given select invites to these combines based on their performances at Loretta Lynn’s last month. To be eligible, riders must have finished top 10 overall in the following classes in this year’s Amateur National Championships. Open Pro Sport, 250 Pro Sport, 250 B, 250 B Ltd, and Schoolboy 2.
The most notable rider attending based on Loretta Lynn’s results is one Chance Hymas. He has been in Kawasaki’s “Team Green” pipeline for a number of years now after starting out on a KTM. Hymas also finished second in the Open Pro Sport and 250 Pro Sport classes to now pro rider Levi “The Master Chef” Kitchen at Loretta’s this year. The Idaho native, however, has won a title at Loretta’s, that being the Schoolboy 2 B/C class a year ago. The man he beat out, Nate Thrasher, who already has two Supercross Main Event wins to his name.
Another Kawaski prospect to watch for is Venetia, Pennsylvania’s own Gavin Towers. After nearly a decade with KTM, Towers just last year switched over to running a Kawasaki. Despite never winning a title at Loretta’s, he has not finished worse than fourth in a class since 2017, and he has run in eight since then.
The final major Kawasaki prospect to look out for is Ryder DiFrancesco. The 16-year-old native of Bakersfield, California was 2020’s AMA Youth Rider of the Year. Not much of a surprise looking at his Loretta Lynn’s track record. He is an eight-time champion, ranging over seven different classes dating back to 2011. The thing to note with DiFrancesco is that he suffered a broken femur earlier this year in May, which forced him to miss Loretta’s this year. The good news is that he has been back on the bike since last month.
KTM has four riders total officially listed for this scouting combine. One of them is Caden Braswell, a native of South Carolina who now resides in Florida. Braswell has spent the majority of his Amateur career with KTM, however, did spend six years with Husqvarna, Yamaha, and Suzuki in the middle. After bouncing around, Braswell won the Mini Sr. 2 class his first year back with KTM in 2018. Braswell also just this year won the Schoolboy 2 class in July, going 5-2-1 on the week.
Joining Braswell is North Carolina native Daxton Bennick. A four-time Loretta’s champion who has already been seen at the Baker’s Factory with pro riders. Bennick’s run at Loretta Lynn’s this year did not go as he would have hoped. After he finished second to open up the Schoolboy 2 class, he then finished 11th and 13th in Moto’s two and three. A disappointment, but an off-year at Loretta’s is not anything to be concerned about. Bennick at least partially training with Aldon Baker should be an indicator of his talent and drive.
The lone Suzuki rider in the entry list is Chase Yentzer. You may remember him from the 2019 125cc All-Star races run before some Nationals. In fact, Yentzer won one of those rounds, that being at Unadilla. This year at Loretta’s, he finished third in 450 B, while also finishing sixth in 250 B Limited.
Next are a pair of riders who were in this year’s 450 B Limited class. First up is Larry Reyes Jr. The Yamaha rider finished second in the 450 B Limited C this year, barely losing out on top honors. Outside of a rough stretch from 2015 to 2018 at the ranch, he has had a respectable career at Loretta Lynn’s. Joining him is Jayden Clough, who had a bittersweet weekend at Loretta’s. After a mechanical cost him the opening 450 B Limited Moto, he went on to win the next two. Clough is now back with Kawasaki after a couple of years elsewhere.
Finally, there is the fighting pride of Hanover, Massachusetts, Justin Cokinos. The king of the Hanover Mall (if you know you know) like Yentzer, is also a former 125 All-Star winner, doing so at RedBud in 2019. Cokinos is also the lone GasGas rider that received an invitation. At Loretta Lynn’s this year, he won the College (18-24 Class) going 1-2-2 on the week.
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