2008 Toyota AMA MX Championship features Monster racers aboard Kawasakis and Yamahas in both the Lites and MX classes
CORONA, Calif., (May 21, 2008) – Monster Energy will certainly be well- represented this summer on the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship series tour, aka the “Outdoor Nationals,” beginning this weekend with the opening round at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif.
Flying the iconic M-claw flag for Monster Energy in the premier AMA Motocross class will be Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s James “Bubba” Stewart and Tim “Red Dog” Ferry. The two fast Floridians are both expected to challenge for the podium right out of the gate as both have won at Glen Helen in the past, Ferry in 2001 (MX class) and Stewart in 2002 and ’04 in the Lites class.
Unfortunately absent from the Glen Helen lineup will be Monster Energy’s Grant Langston (Yamaha) – the defending Motocross class overall champion. Langston, who’s recovering from a concussion and shoulder injury suffered at Glen Helen during a test session earlier this month, is expected to be on the sidelines for another several weeks before his doctor clears him to begin riding again.
In Langston’s place with Yamaha will be Monster Energy’s Josh Hill. Moving up to the MX class this summer, Hill scored three top ten Lites class finishes last summer during his first full season on the Outdoor National tour. With a win at the Minneapolis supercross and 5th place overall finish in the SX class Hill established himself as one of the sport’s elite racers in the premier class and is looking to parlay that newfound success outdoors.
The AMA Motocross Lites class will again be stacked with talent from both the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team, led by two-time defending champion Ryan Villopoto, as well as defending AMA Western Supercross Lites class champion and ’07 Nationals’ Lites class 4th place overall finisher, Jason Lawrence (Yamaha of Troy).
Villopoto returns as the odds-on favorite to claim his third consecutive Lites class title. The Poulsbo, Wash., native won five Nationals last year and recorded six additional podium finishes for a 544 to 525 win over then Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Ben Townley. Joining Villopoto in the hunt for the Lites class title from Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki will be Austin Stroupe, who scored three top ten finishes in his first three Nationals races last summer. Stroupe is coming off a solid rookie supercross performance as well, finishing 3rd overall in the WSX with a win a Houston.
The two aforementioned Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racers will be joined by veterans Brett Metcalfe and Branden Jesseman. The Australian Metcalfe finished 7th in the MX Lites points chase last year, recording three overall podium finishes. Jesseman, the 2003 ESX champion, raced a limited Lites schedule last season. His best finish was a 14th at Unadilla.
Finally, Monster Energy is expecting a big season out of its reigning WSX champ – Lawrence. The California transplant scored Nationals podium finishes last year at Budds Creek (Md.) and Unadilla (N.Y.).
Considered more of a pure motocross racer than he is a supercross racer, look for Lawrence to improve upon his 4th place overall finish from last year during the Nationals season.
For more information on the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship, link