250 Words: Silly Season

250 Words Silly Season

November 10, 2015 12:40pm

With the 2016 season of Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, fast approaching, it’s time for a peak at what the paddock will look like next year. There haven’t been as many changes this season as we’ve seen in the past, but there have still been a few. While we released an earlier version of this list a few weeks back, a lot has changed since that time.

Where is your favorite rider headed next year? Take a look below.

GEICO Honda

#39 Jordon Smith 250SX
#31 RJ Hampshire 250SX
#50 Malcolm Stewart 250SX
#38 Christian Craig 250SX
#58 Jimmy Decotis 250SX
#19 Justin Bogle 450SX

Notes: Jordon Smith, RJ Hampshire, and Malcolm Stewart all return for a second year with the team. After coming out of retirement early in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Christian Craig signed a deal to stay with the team in July. Craig hasn’t competed in Monster Energy Supercross since 2013. Last week, the team announced they have signed Jimmy Decotis for the 2016 supercross season. Decotis, who rode for the team as a fill-in in 2011, could be an insurance policy for the team, as Hampshire’s status for supercross is up in the air after he sustained a severe head injury at Red Bull Straight Rhythm. 

A lot of rumors surrounded Justin Bogle this off-season, including being linked to the Monster Energy/Yamaha deal with Chad Reed, but he will return to GEICO Honda. Like Eli Tomac last year, Bogle will be pitting out of the HRC Honda rig and racing a 450. Bogle’s spent his entire career with the team. 

HRC Honda

#41 Trey Canard 450SX
#14 Cole Seely  450SX 

Notes: Cole Seely enters year two of what the team called a "multi-year contract" in 2014. Seely won 2015 SX Rookie of the Year honors during a season that included one win and four additional podium finishes. He finished third overall in 450SX in 2015.

Canard signed a two-year extension with the team in 2014. Last season, Canard had seven podiums and two wins prior to breaking his arm at the Detroit Supercross and missing the remainder of the supercross season.

After coming out of retirement for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, Christian Craig will remain on GEICO Honda for 2016.
After coming out of retirement for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, Christian Craig will remain on GEICO Honda for 2016. photo: Cudby

Crossland Racing 

Notes: Things have yet to be finalized with this team, and we’ve heard every rumor, from going big to shutting down. This week Kyle Peters told us that he had re-signed with the team, so it appears the squad will be back, but that’s all we know. Last year, Peters, Colt Nichols, Fredrik Noren, and Tommy Hahn rode for Crossland. It’s not yet certain who else will join Peters in 2016.

Yoshimura Suzuki

#7 James Stewart  450SX
#4 Blake Baggett 450SX 

Notes: Suzuki stuck behind James Stewart during his sixteen-month suspension, signing the future Hall-of-Famer to a multi-year deal in June that will likely see Stewart be on the brand until he retires.

Blake Baggett was a pleasant surprise in Monster Energy Supercross during his rookie season, grabbing one podium and finishing fifth in points. He is back for a second year with the team.

RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki

#94 Ken Roczen 450SX
#20 Broc Tickle 450SX 

Notes: Following a turbulent first year with the team, Ken Roczen began to pull things together late in the season—winning a moto at the final round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and winning the Monster Energy Cup. The big change for Roczen, who underwent back surgery following the season, is the switch from Showa to KYB suspension.

Broc Tickle is expected to return for a third year with the team, but nothing official has been announced. After missing the majority of the 2014 season with injury, Tickle was a consistent second rider behind Roczen last year, finishing eighth in Monster Energy Supercross and seventh in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. 

MAD Racing powered by Yoshimura/Dirt Candy Suzuki

#78 Daniel Baker 250SX
#32 Matt Bisceglia 250Sx 

Notes: The official announcement from the team came late on Friday, with Daniel Baker and Matt Bisceglia signing two-year deals with the team. Baker turned pro at this year’s Hangtown National and spent his first season with KTM’s Orange Brigade. He will race the 250SX East Region.

After two seasons with GEICO Honda, Bisceglia joins the new 250 Suzuki team. He will race the 250SX West Region. Here’s footage of Matt in one of his first rides on the new bike.

Team MicroBilt/PRBC

#88 Ronnie Stewart 450SX 

Notes: The team is working on strengthening its efforts after forming this year during the short break between Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross.

Matt Bisceglia is now on a two-year deal with MAD Racing Suzuki.
Matt Bisceglia is now on a two-year deal with MAD Racing Suzuki. photo: Spencer Owens

Red Bull KTM

#1 Ryan Dungey 450SX
#25 Marvin Musquin 450SX
#15 Dean Wilson 450SX 

Notes: Ryan Dungey’s locked in with KTM through the 2017 season. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is coming off a season in which he won both 450 AMA Supercross and Motocross titles for the second time in his career—his first double since 2010. 

Dean Wilson returns for the second year of a two-year deal. In his first year, Wilson sustained a torn ACL/MCL at the KTM test track in January and missed the majority of the season. 

Marvin Musquin signed a two-year deal with KTM to begin his 450SX career in April. The 2015 250SX East Region Champion underwent wrist surgery following the Motocross of Nations but is expected to be ready for the season opener. 

BTOSports.com/KTM

#29 Andrew Short 450SX
#10 Justin Brayton 450SX
#18 Davi Millsaps 450SX 

Notes: Andrew Short has re-signed for 2016 with the team, and Justin Brayton returns for the final year of a two-year deal. Brayton missed nine rounds of Monster Energy Supercross due to injury. 

After being released from his contract with Monster Energy Kawasaki, Millsaps missed all of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross before inking an SX-only (at this time) deal with the team in August. Millsaps made his debut at the USGP at Glen Helen and also raced the Monster Energy Cup, where he finished fifth overall.

Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull KTM

#13 Jessy Nelson 250SX
#30 Shane McElrath 250SX
#36 Justin Hill 250SX
#TBA Alex Frye 250SX
#42 Mitchell Oldenburg 250SX

Notes: Justin Hill was not let go from Red Bull KTM. The TLD/Lucas Oil/Red Bull KTM squad is now KTM’s official factory 250 effort. Here’s team manager Tyler Keefe talking about it.

Jessy Nelson and Shane McElrath both return and will be joined by new additions Mitchell Oldenburg, who signed with the team prior to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, and rookie Alex Frye, who made his pro debut at Budds Creek with Orange Brigade KTM. Like Hill moving over from the factory team, Frye’s deal with the Orange Brigade was taken over by TLD.

The team announced over the weekend that McElrath sustained a wrist injury during a practice crash and will miss four to six weeks. This likely puts McElrath, who finished second in the 2015 250SX West Region, in the 250SX East Region.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

#16 Zach Osborne 250SX
#49 Martin Davalos 250SX
#21 Jason Anderson 450SX
#377 Christophe Pourcel 450SX

Notes: In August, Bobby Hewitt locked in his two 450 stars to long-term deals. Jason Anderson and the team agreed to an extension through the 2018 season. Anderson has spent his entire career with the team.

Christophe Pourcel, who signed with the team prior to the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, agreed to a deal through the 2017 season. Pourcel hasn't raced supercross in America since winning the 2010 250SX East Region title, and he has never raced it on a 450. 

Zach Osborne and Martin Davalos both return for a second year. Davalos sustained a thumb injury that required surgery at the Monster Energy Cup, which could move him to the East Region. 

Justin Barcia will remain with JGR through 2018.
Justin Barcia will remain with JGR through 2018. photo: Cudby

JGR Yamaha

#51 Justin Barcia 450SX
#28 Weston Peick 450SX
#34 Phil Nicoletti 450SX

Notes: JGR has its man of the future, having locked up Justin Barcia through the 2018 season. This deal stamps the commitment of Joe Gibbs Racing to this sport for the long term. Barcia finished third overall in 450MX in 2015, tying a career high.

Weston Peick and JGR agreed to a deal last May that will see the long-time privateer back on factory equipment through 2016. In his first year with the team, Peick finished tenth in 450SX and ninth in 450MX.

Although nothing is official, Phil Nicoletti’s deal is expected to remain the same as last year—fill-in rider for supercross, full-time rider for motocross. 

The team is also expected to add Monster Energy sponsorship in some capacity. It’s not yet known if the energy drink giant will serve as title sponsor. 

CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha

#71 Kyle Partridge 450SX
#46 Luke Renzland 250SX
#69 Colt Nichols 250SX

Notes: Although the team has yet to announce anything official, Luke Renzland is expected to return for a second season and be joined by Colt Nichols (250) and Kyle Partridge (450). 

Nichols spent last year with MotoSport.com/GPI/Crossland Racing Honda before tearing his ACL in St. Louis and missing the remainder of the season. He is expected to race the West Region, with Renzland on the East Region. 

Partridge comes over from the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC team. 

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha

#6 Jeremy Martin 250SX
#26 Alex Martin 250SX
#17 Cooper Webb 250SX
#23 Aaron Plessinger 250SX
#TBD Mitchell Harrison 250SX

Notes: Star Racing is set for this year and beyond. Two-time 250 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Champion Jeremy Martin and 2015 250SX West Region Champion Cooper Webb both return for 2016. They will be joined by 2015 SX and MX Rookie of the Year Aaron Plessinger. 

After two-plus seasons with CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha, Alex Martin joins his younger brother Jeremy on Star Racing. Rookie Mitchell Harrison will be the fifth member of the team. Anthony Rodriguez, who spent the first two years of his professional career on the team, is not expected to return.

Cooper Webb returns to Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha for another year.
Cooper Webb returns to Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha for another year. photo: Cudby

Blue Buffalo/Slater Skins

Notes: The team told Racer X they’ll be fielding a team for 2016, but is unable to announce details at this time. 

51FIFTY Energy Drink Yamaha

#72 Hayden Mellross 250SX West
#65 Zach Bell 250SX West

Notes: The team agreed to a deal with former GEICO Honda and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Zach Bell this week. Bell joins Australian privateer Hayden Mellross on the team.

Slaton Racing

#TBD Zac Commans 250SX

Notes: Rookie Zac Commans is the only rider currently signed. The team is in talks to add one or two more riders.

Barn Pros/Home Depot Yamaha

#68 Cole Martinez 250SX West
#87 Austin Politelli 250SX West
#76 Scott Champion 250SX West

Notes: In its second season, the Washington-based team has brought on three riders familiar with the Yamaha brand for 2016. Austin Politelli, who spent last year with 51Fifty Energy Yamaha, joins Cole Martinez and Scott Champion on the team. Both Champion and Martinez rode for Strikt-Slaton Yamaha in 2015.

RG9/Arma Energy Yamaha

#85 Michael Leib 250SX West

Notes: We’ve heard that Andrew Silverstein will join Leib in 250SX, while Nick Schmidt and Kyle Cunningham will ride a full 450SX season. At this time only Leib has been confirmed. 

Team ROCKWELL

#47 Tommy Hahn 450SX

Notes: The team is also in negotiations with three additional 250SX riders. We hear one of the riders is South African Champion Kerim Fitzgerald. A bike brand has not been announced yet.

Monster Energy Kawasaki

#3 Eli Tomac 450SX
#54 Wil Hahn 450SX

Notes: In a rather slow silly season, Eli Tomac was one of the few big names on the board. His deal with Monster Energy Kawasaki was announced on October 15. Tomac, who finished runner-up to Ryan Dungey in Monster Energy Supercross and won five straight motos to begin Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, is back on the bike after undergoing surgery on both shoulders following a crash at Thunder Valley. Tomac joins Kawasaki after spending his entire pro career with GEICO Honda.

Wil Hahn, who missed all of Monster Energy Supercross due to injury, returns for a second year with the team.

Wil Hahn returns to Monster Energy Kawasaki for the second year of a two-year deal.
Wil Hahn returns to Monster Energy Kawasaki for the second year of a two-year deal. photo: Cudby

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki

#44 Adam Cianciarulo 250SX
#35 Chris Alldredge 250SX
#53 Tyler Bowers 250SX
#66 Arnaud Tonus 250SX
#37 Joey Savatgy 250SX

Notes: Mitch Payton's Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team will go unchanged in 2016. Adam Cianciarulo, Chris Alldredge, Tyler Bowers, Arnaud Tonus, and Joey Savatgy will all return for next season. Amateur sensation Austin Forkner is expected to make his pro debut at the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross opener, but the team details for that deal will be locked in at a later date.

Team Tedder/Monster Energy Racing

#151 Dakota Tedder 250SX West, 450SX East
#12 Jake Weimer 450SX

Bud Racing/Monster Energy Kawasaki

#98 Darian Sanayei ​ 250SX
TBD Maxime Desprey​ 250SX

NOTES: The team is expected to contest the first seven rounds before heading to Europe to contest the European Motocross Championship in the EMX250 class.

Former Team Green standout Darian Sanayei signed with the team last week. The second rider will be France’s 2015 Motocross National Champion Maxime Desprey.

The team will be coached by former champion David Vuillemin.

Team 100

#57 Josh Hansen 250SX West, 450SX East

Traders Racing Kawasaki

#62 Justin Starling
#70 Tony Archer
#73 Nick Gaines

Notes: Nothing is official at this time, but the team is expected to bring back all three riders from last year.

Mike Alessi is on the MotoConcepts team again, and he's riding a Honda.
Mike Alessi is on the MotoConcepts team again, and he's riding a Honda. photo: Cudby

Smartop MotoConcepts Racing

#800 Mike Alessi 450SX
#55 Vince Friese 450SX

Notes: Vince Friese is expected to move up to the 450 in 2016. The team has yet to announce its plans for outdoors, but is expected to contest the entire 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season. Friese and Mike Alessi will both be on Hondas.

Strikt-Triple Effect Racing/US Racing

#196 Damon Back 250SX
#820 Dalton Oxborrow 250SX
#91 Brandon Scharer 250SX
#92 Ryan Breece 250SX

Notes: Marty Smith will manage the new partnership between Strikt, the Canadian gear company, Triple Effect (a graphic company) and US Racing.

Damon Back and Dalton Oxborrow will both compete on Kawasakis, while Brandon Scharer and Ryan Brecce will compete on Yamahas. All four riders will contest the 250SX West Region.

Others

#84 Jimmy Albertson – Albertson has something in the works for 2016, but at time of posting, he was unable to reveal the details. Matt Goerke, who won the Canadian MX1 Championship in 2015, is expected to be on this team as well for Monster Energy Supercross. Goerke will return to Canada this summer with Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha.

#24 Brett Metcalfe – Metcalfe will once again spend his summer in Canada, having signed with the Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha team. At this time, it’s unknown if Metcalfe will race Monster Energy Supercross in 2016. He raced the first six rounds in 2015.

#11 Kyle Chisholm – One way or another Chisholm says he’ll be racing in 2016. He’s in the process of putting together everything yet again for Team Chiz, this time with better support, but has also drawn the attention of a few teams. He has yet to decide which option is best for him. 

#22 Chad Reed – The only thing we know with Reed at this time is that long-time sponsor Discount Tire will not return in 2016. Reed did say on social media last week that he is not retiring.

#33 Josh Grant – One of the big players still on the market, Grant spent last year with Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports, before filling in at Monster Energy Kawasaki after TwoTwo folded. At this time, it’s not known what Grant will do next year.

#27 Nick Wey – Will Wey race one more season? If he does, expect it to be a supercross-only deal like 2015.

#52 Ben LaMay – We haven’t heard what LaMay’s plans are for 2016. He started 2015 with CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha, and ended it on a Munn Racing Husqvarna.

#60 Matt Lemoine – Lemoine raced for JAB Motorsports Kawasaki in 2015, but halfway through the Nationals the team went off the road due to lack of funding. We’ll see where he ends up for 2016.

#75 Josh Hill – Josh Hill announced his retirement from professional racing this off-season. He has taken on a role with Monster Energy.

#48 Anthony Rodriguez – Rodriguez is currently in Australia racing for Penrite Honda. Details on a landing spot for the former Star rider are still up in the air.