Rome, Ga. – In less than 48 hours, the talented roster of Pirelli racers will line up for the first time in 2016 when Monster Energy Supercross kicks off at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California for Round 1 of 17. Pirelli welcomes the return of sponsored teams Autotrader/Monster Energy/Yamaha and BTO Sports/WPS/KTM, while also making its first foray into the 250SX Class with the support of newly formed Yoshimura/Dirt Candy Graphics/Suzuki and Motorcycle Superstore Suzuki teams. When the gate drops, all of these teams will be competing aboard the performance-driven Pirelli SCORPION™ MX tires.
Leading the way for Pirelli is Joe Gibbs Racing’s Autotrader/Monster Energy/Yamaha team, which marks its sixth season as a sponsored partner, and looking for its best year ever. Rider Justin Barcia (#51) comes off a stellar motocross season eager to make his mark on the 450SX Class as he looks to add to his two premier class Monster Energy Supercross wins. Teammate Weston Peick (#28) made several charges during last year’s supercross season and will be looking to make a mark of his own for the JGRMX team. While not racing a full supercross schedule, JGRMX has brought back Phil Nicoletti (#34) as its interim rider when needed while the season is indoors. He will race the full motocross schedule.
A Pirelli sponsored partner since 2012, BTO Sports/WPS/KTM will showcase a trio of riders during the 2016 supercross season. Returning for the third-straight season, Andrew Short (#29) – the 2015 holeshot king – will unfortunately be starting the season from the sidelines with a shoulder injury. His teammates Davi Millsaps (#18) and Justin Brayton (#10) are more than capable to lead the team with wins and podiums filling out the two riders’ resumes.
The newly formed Motorcycle Superstore Suzuki team will feature four riders showcasing Pirelli tires in the 250SX Class. Jimmy Albertson (#84) will lead the charge as he returns to the 250SX Class for the first time since 2009. Albertson and teammate Kyle Cunningham (#45) will offer their veteran guidance to rookie riders Mark Worth (#172) and Josh Osby (#174), who will make their professional debuts this season.
The second of the two new teams this season running the dependable Pirelli tires is the factory-backed Yoshimura/Dirt Candy Graphics/Suzuki. Riders Matt Bisceglia (#32) and Daniel Baker (#78) will be contesting the 250SX Class, with the riders dividing up the east and west coast duties. While Baker will be racing his first supercross this season, Bisceglia will enter his third season. He concluded the 2015 supercross campaign in Las Vegas with a repeat podium finish that he accomplished the previous year.
In addition to assisting 450SX and 250SX teams, Pirelli recognizes the importance of the true privateer team and rider. The Privateer Journey Racing Team features Killian Auberson, Nick Schmidt (#79), Dustin Pipes (#95) and Teddy Parks (#274), while independent supercross riders Alex Ray (#314) and Ronnie Stewart (#88) will also receive Pirelli support throughout the season.
Supercross action from Angel Stadium gets underway on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. PT and can be viewed on FOX SPORTS 1. Check local listings for channel information.
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