After five rounds of the Australian Motocross Championship, MEGA Bulk Fuels/Monster Energy Kawasaki has released Aleksandr Tonkov from his contract.
The Russia native, and former FIM Motocross World Championship contender, signed with the team this off-season after visa issues threatened his racing career in Europe. Tonkov had another year on his contract with Yamaha Motor Europe, and was expected to race the MXGP class in 2017 with Wilvo Yamaha before problems arose regarding his visa. In November, he spoke at length about the situation with MX Vice. You can read the full interview here.
Team manager Troy Carroll issued the following statement regarding the situation.
“This is not an ideal situation, however we are remaining focused and we are in good spirits coming into the second half of the motocross season. We will continue to compete in the 2017 MX Nationals with the most promising rookie in the field, Nathan Crawford and we will hopefully be announcing a replacement rider for Tonkov shortly.”
According to a team statement Tonkov has returned to Russia. He has yet to release a statement regarding his release.