Last year was a watershed year for free agent deals, with a near-record level of movement of old faces going to new places, and rookies making the big leap. Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia, Davi Millsaps, Cole Seely, Jason Anderson, Wil Hahn, Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson, Justin Brayton, and Josh Grant were all on the market, and many locked in multi-year deals.
Who will be on the move for 2016?
Ryan Dungey has already re-signed with Red Bull KTM, James Stewart has re-signed with Yoshimura Suzuki, and Trey Canard is still in the middle of his deal with Team Honda HRC, which leaves Eli Tomac as the biggest fish to catch. We hear heavy rumors that Tomac could be headed to Monster Energy Kawasaki, but it’s not official and Honda HRC could still be in the mix for his services.
You’ll have to look to the graduates from the 250 class to find the next big movers. Cooper Webb, 250SX West Champion, and Jeremy Martin, 250 National MX Champion, have plenty of time left in the 250s, and they’re still set with Yamalube Star/Racing Yamaha. This leaves Marvin Musquin and Justin Bogle as the biggest grads from the small bikes. But moments after he wrapped the 250 SX East Championship, Musquin announced he had re-signed with Red Bull KTM. (For more on who is pointing out, go here.)
“I’m really excited to spend the next two years with KTM,” stated Musquin in a team PR. “They are my family. It feels like home under the Red Bull KTM tent as we’ve spent almost seven years together already. I know how much effort they have put into R&D to give us the best KTM race bikes, and I believe in them just as they believe in me. I’m looking forward to even more success with my team.”
“The whole team is happy to have Marvin re-sign with team,” commented Red Bull KTM Factory team manager Roger DeCoster. “Marvin and Ryan [Dungey] have a great working relationship. I have not seen a bond this great between teammates in a long time and we are happy to work with them both. Marvin is a smooth rider with great technique and we feel he will easily adapt to the 450 and we are looking forward to what he can bring to that class.”
Besides the Tomac watch, then, Bogle might be the best talent left. He’s pointed out of the 250 class, but he told us he thinks it’s time to move up, anyway.
“Regardless [of points] I’m racing a 450,” Bogle told us after the New Jersey supercross on Saturday. “It doesn’t matter either way, I’m moving up.”
The good news is Bogle has some potential suitors, but he’s leaving that to the business types and just focusing on his racing. “We’re working on it,” said Bogle. “As of right now we’re still negotiating, but that’s what we’ve got agents for.”
It will be hard to figure where Bogle will fit into the free agent mix. He has a supercross title, but he’s also ridden hurt throughout much of his supercross career, so we may not have seen his true ceiling. He’s yet to get a moto or overall win at a national yet, but that could change this summer. He’s also a great personality and stylish rider, although teams have stated over and over that they’re paying for results more than anything else—short sighted as that might be.
That’s okay. Bogle feels he has the talent and ability to succeed at the next level, so he’s not worried about what’s next. “I feel like I’m not a chump; I’m capable of being competitive at whatever level I’m at,” he said. “Something will come around.”