2022 Supercross/Motocross Silly Season Roundup No. 1by Jack Gaffney May 19, 2022 0 comments
Once again, it is that magical time of year in the Supercross/Motocross realm where dominos for the following year have already begun to fall. Whether that be contract, injury, or manufacturer information, there is usually something to talk about around this time of year. 2022 is no different, with stuff in all three categories to suit your interest. Some of this is new, some a tad older, but never a bad thing to get up to speed. Without any further delay, here is just some Silly Season information, just over a week away from Lucas Oil Pro Motocross.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha
The main two pieces of Star Yamaha, Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis, arent going anywhere for next year. Where things get very interesting is their 250 program, which will look significantly different in 2023. We know Christain Craig is off to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna on a 450 next year, but both Justin Cooper and Colt Nichols will also be jumping up. Despite the latter two racing in zero Supercross Main Events this year, their 2021 titles and their accumulated 250 class time will automatically force them up. As of now, their landing spots are TBD. Jeremy Martin is also on the way out but will remain on a 250 with the ClubMX Muc-Off Yamaha team.
Normally, losing four title-contending riders in one offseason is a complete catastrophe, however, this is Star Yamaha we are talking about. Their amateur program is loaded, and they will most certainly move some of their guys pro alongside Nate Thrasher and Levi Kitchen. The big-name is Nick Romano, a four-time Loretta Lynn’s Champion, who most recently won 250B a year ago. Next up is Matt LeBlanc, a six-time Loretta Lynn Champion, two of which came in 2020. As for Haiden Deegan, don’t hold your breath on him to turn pro just yet.
Even with the two amateur call-ups, Jeremy Coker’s squad has been linked to some veteran 250 riders via Michael Lindsay of VitalMX. One of those is Jordon Smith, who finished sixth in the 250 East Championship with Fire Power Parts Honda. The injury history is well documented, but so is the talent when he can stay upright. Another name is Stilez Robertson of Rockstar Husqvarna, who has also had some sneaky injury history in his early career. However, a change of scenery could do him some good.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Starting things out for the Husky squad is a major injury rumor involving Malcolm Stewart. What is being speculated as of now, is that he has had a knee injury as far back as St. Louis, specifically a torn ACL that will keep him out of Motocross. While this is all technically speculative for now, what isn’t is R.J. Hampshire riding a 450 at Glen Helen a week and a half out from the start of Motocross. It is also worth noting that Shane McElrath is officially on board with the Husky outfit for the first few rounds at the minimum. However, it would be far from shocking to see this stint last the full Motocross season. Also worth noting, is that Dean Wilson is still recovering from his injury in St. Louis as well. However, Deano is at least having some fun with it.
It is not a completely unnoteworthy period for Rockstar Husqvarna on the amateur side of things either. Their most notable prospect, Evan Ferry, is officially a free agent as of now. The son of Tim Ferry is coming off of a Loretta Lynn’s run where he won both Schoolboy B/C, and 125 B/C a year ago.
Monster Energy Kawasaki and Pro Circuit Kawasaki
It was a monster (pun very much intended) opening season for Jason Anderson on Team Green. He picked up a career-high seven Supercross wins en route into the Pro Motocross campaign. He will have a temporary teammate for this summer in Joey Savatgy, who is filling in for Adam Cianciarulo who is taking the year off to get physically right. Worth noting that AC is also a pending free agent this year as well. He has been with Kawasaki his entire life, but recent moves from guys like Tomac, Anderson, and Stewart may get him thinking about a move at least.
Moving over to Mitch Payton’s operation, they were hammered with injuries just as much as Star Yamaha was in Supercross. As of now, none of their five riders (Jo Shimoda and Austin Forkner for sure) are currently expected to leave at year’s end. Better yet, they should be at 100 percent for the first gate drop of Motocross. Even if one or two do end up leaving, top amateur Ryder DiFrancesco almost certainly will be a full-time pro next year with Pro Circuit. It will be interesting to see if he will still wear Renen gear, as it is owned by Pete Fox.
Not much on the Honda HRC front save Chance Hymas likely turning pro, so let’s talk some Roczen. He will be back for Motocross which isn’t new. What is worth keeping tabs on is the fact that his current deal is up this year. It didn’t sound like he was happy with the bike/team at all during Supercross either despite winning Anaheim 1.
If Roczen were to leave Honda, his options are of course limited due to his personal sponsorship deal with Red Bull. On top of that, the two likely destinations, GasGas and KTM, do not feel like fits. Roczen made it known loud and clear years ago that he didn’t like the Aldon Baker program at all. GasGas meanwhile doesn’t seem to be expanding its 450 program yet. Beta could also be making its AMA debut next year too, but it’s hard to imagine Roczen making that move unless it’s a market resetting contract. Of course, a new deal with Honda shouldn’t be ruled out either, especially with the Lawrence brothers still in the 250 class.
Red Bull KTM
It wasn’t exactly a banner year for Ian Harrison’s team even with the one Marvin Musquin Main Event win. Cooper Webb was brutal in spots, and Aaron Plessinger didn’t get to finish the full tilt in his first Supercross season with the team. Not to mention the Max Vohland conundrum where he outright failed to make some night shows. Speaking freely, turning him pro a bit early and then switching his mechanic halfway into his first outdoor campaign wasn’t a great move.
Speaking just of those four riders above, Plessinger is for sure on a multi-year deal so he will be back in 2023 no matter what. Despite Webb being a free agent, he made it seem like he would be back for next year when he was live and in person on PulpMX. Musquin however is the wildcard, there is no guarantee he is back with the team next year, and in a turn of events, he does not want to retire. His market should be fascinating, considering he will most likely be Supercross only. As for Vohland, his contract status beyond 2022 is unknown at the moment.
Now for the big guns coming in for the summer, Ryan Dungey and Antonio Cairoli. Dungey was also recently on PulpMX and confirmed what many figured. That of course is that Deisel will be a full go for the entire Motocross season. Alteast for one summer, Dungey once again becomes the all-time active leader in premier class National wins with 39. As for TC222, he is officially in the United States as of Wednesday. Hard to imagine he isn’t in for the full season too if these opening rounds go well.
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Main Image via KTM