It's Official: RV Headed to GPs | Kawasaki Announces 2015 Lineup
Kawasaki made a big announcement this morning -- and not just the conformation that Ryan Villopoto is headed to the FIM World Motocross Championship in 2015. The brand also announced that they have signed Davi Millsaps and Wil Hahn to replace Villopoto and Jake Weimer at Monster Energy Kawasaki.
Kawasaki also announced today that Tyla Rattray will join Villopoto in the MXGP Class and that Dylan Ferrandis, Thomas Covington and reigning MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier will race in MX2.
The 2015 Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki squad was also announced. Adam Cianciarulo returns for his second full season and will be joined by new-comers Tyler Bowers, Arnaud Tonus and Joey Savatgy. Rookie Chris Alldredge will make his full time debut in 2015.
The brand also announced their partnership with Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports and Chad Reed and Josh Grant. Also, Josh Hansen will return to racing in the 250 class with Team 100 MotoSport.com Kawasaki.
You can read the entire press release below.
Irvine, Calif. - Monster Energy Kawasaki is excited to continue its legendary form into the 2015 season aboard the championship proven Kawasaki KX™ lineup. Following nine major championships in the United States, Kawasaki announced that Ryan Villopoto will look to capture another prestigious title by contesting the FIM Motocross World Championship in 2015. Leading the charge in the U.S. for Kawasaki, the team welcomes two former 250 supercross champions as Davi Millsaps and Wil Hahn make their debut on the KX™450F. Millsaps proved himself in 2006 by dominating the Eastern 250 Supercross Championship and has continued to be a top competitor including finishing runner-up in both the 2012 and 2013 Monster Energy Supercross Championships. Hahn made his debut in the 450 class after capturing the 2013 Eastern 250 Supercross Championship and is poised to collect podium finishes in 2015 on his new Kawasaki.
“We are extremely anxious to begin the 2015 season,” said Dan Fahie, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Manager. “We have big shoes to fill after winning four-straight supercross titles but I could not be more excited to have both Davi and Wil on the team. Both riders have proven to be top contenders in the 450 class and they are just as enthusiastic as we are to get back to racing and on top of the box.”
After four-consecutive Monster Energy Supercross championships and two Pro Motocross championships in the premier class, Ryan Villopoto looks forward to a new challenge in 2015, one that has never been done. Villopoto will join the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in Europe to compete in the FIM Motocross World Championship beginning in March. By doing so, RV will become the first rider to leave behind a supercross title defense to compete for a World Championship and plans to bring Kawasaki their first World Championship in the premier class. Joining Villopoto is former MX2 World Champion and Kawasaki veteran Tyla Rattray in the MXGP class. Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team will welcome back Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis and American Thomas Covington to compete for the MX2 World Championship and will be joined by the reigning 2014 MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier, as he will run the No.1 plate on his KX™ 250F.
“I am ready for the final chapter of my career, and in my final year of racing I am looking to accomplish something no one else has achieved,” said Villopoto. “I’ve never been one to look at the record books so when an opportunity like this comes around, to race against the best in the world and represent the U.S.A., I have to see it through. It will be a major change of pace, but I am extremely excited about the opportunity and also to be joined by a former champion like Tyla. He knows what is needed to succeed on the world championship stage and I know I can learn a lot from him.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki is excited to return to sweeping the podium with a nearly all-new roster for 2015. Adam Cianciarulo returns for his second full year after an astounding rookie showing in 250 East Supercross, winning the first supercross he entered along with two additional wins and five podium finishes in five races. Four-time arenacross champion Tyler Bowers returns to the team for his first full season following special appearances that included a 250SX win at Las Vegas in 2013. Chris Alldredge will make his supercross debut following impressive top-10 finishes in the last three Pro Motocross nationals along with Arnaud Tonus who will make his U.S. debut after competing in the MX2 World Championship for Kawasaki where he won the 2014 MXGP of Brazil. Rounding out the roster is Joey Savatgy who scored his first professional podium finish in Indiana with second overall in the 250 Class.
“We have a fresh crop of riders for the new season, all of which have a lot of potential,” said Mitch Payton, Pro Circuit owner. “We expect Adam and Tyler to hit the ground running, while Alldredge and Tonus will be making their supercross debuts, and Savatgy will be looking for a breakthrough year. I expect nothing but the best from each of these guys every weekend.”
Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports will continue their partnership with Kawasaki in 2015 as multi-time supercross champion and former Pro Motocross champion Chad Reed is joined by Josh Grant on the KX450F. As well, X Games gold medalist and 250 supercross winner Josh Hansen will make his return to competition on his Team 100 Motosport.com Kawasaki.
“We have put together a tremendous group of riders for the 2015 season. The championship proven line of KX bikes has allowed us to fill our stable with race winners and champions,” said Reid Nordin, Senior Manager of Racing. “Having TwoTwo Motorsports choose Kawasaki is important to us as well. Chad is a proven champion and knows he needs good equipment in order to be competitive and win. We’re also excited to have Hanny return to racing. He came close to winning a championship for us in the past and we believe he has the talent and determination to be competitive.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki would not have a star-studded lineup without the prestigious Kawasaki Team Green program which enters its 34th year in 2015. As top manufacturer with 13 championships at the 2014 Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s, Team Green continues to build champions such as recent graduates Cianciarulo and Alldredge. For 2015, the team will consist of Jett Reynolds, Ryder DiFrancisco and Nick Romano on the KX™65, Stilez Robertson, Carson Mumford, and Lance Kobusch on the KX™85, Garrett Marchbanks and Tanner Stack on the KX™100, and leading the team Mitchell Harrison, Tristan Miller, Darian Sanayei, and Mark Worth in the A class, and Austin Forkner, Joey Crown, Jordan Bailey and Brandy Richards in the B class, all aboard the KX250F.
“We have a lot of faith in our riders and do not cut any corners to give them the best chance at success,” said Ryan Holliday, Team Green Supervisor. “We give them all the tools and a foundation for these kids to transition through the ranks. We know we have some of the best equipment and all our riders become KX™ ambassadors at the grass roots level.”
First to debut on their 2015 Kawasaki will be Hansen at Red Bull Straight Rhythm at Pomona Fairplex on October 4th, followed by the Monster Energy Cup on October 18th in Las Vegas where Millsaps will also make his return to racing along with Team Green who have won the Amateur All-Star class and are undefeated in the Super Mini class.