Few rides remain in the 2017 silly season, which makes Autotrader/Yoshimura JGR Suzuki's search for four 250-class riders the one to watch. The team already announced Justin Hill, formerly of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki, is moving over for 2018 (and with a guaranteed 450 deal for 2019) and now a second rider has been announced—Jimmy Decotis.
JGR says that its four-rider 250 team will feature two riders on each coast of Monster Energy Supercross, and then two of those riders would be selected to continue with the team for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. Hill will race indoors and out, today's press release indicates Decotis' deal "includes the potential to also contest the 250 motocross series."
“I heard that Suzuki was making a big push with their 250 program," said Decotis today in a team statement. "I immediately went to JGRMX and met with the team. Believe it or not, the first free sponsored bike I ever got was a Suzuki RM-Z250 when I was an amateur. John Dowd helped me get my foot in the door. I still think about the day the truck showed up with a free RM-Z250 in it. My dad and I were freaking out! I really liked the brand and did well, which is why I wanted to get back on yellow. I figured it was a good idea to visit with the team and throw my hat in the ring."
The Peabody, Mass. native continued, “I signed with JGRMX because they believe in me. I really like the team and the atmosphere. It’s a very good fit. There are a lot of positives, and I feel that I can be the guy to get Suzuki up front. This is where I belong.”
“I have known Jimmy for a while and always kept my eye on him," said Team Manager Jeremy Albrecht. "Now that we’ve reached a partnership with Suzuki Motor Corporation of America, Inc., we have the ability to field a full factory effort. Decotis was on my wish list. He strikes me as a consummate professional who knows what it takes to succeed. It goes without saying that Jimmy has the talent to perform at the highest level. I’m excited to begin working with Jimmy.”
In 2017, in his second go-around with GEICO Honda, Decotis logged the best supercross season of his career, leading laps and battling for his first-ever podium. He ended up fifth in points and just missed the box with a pair of fourth-place finishes.
There are still two more spots to fill on this squad. The team says a full team lineup, including which coast Decotis will contest, will be provided in the coming months. Who else will fill the remaining spots? Phil Nicoletti would appear to have an inside track since he's raced for the team for the last several years, and Mitchell Harrison, formerly of Star Racing, has also been linked to the team. Nothing is official though. In addition we hear that Mitchell Oldenburg's move to Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha could impact this silly season, as he was first rumored to be moving to Rockstar Husqvarna. Now that he's gone Yamaha, could Rockstar Husky be in the market for another 250 rider?
Few jobs are still up for grabs. This will be interesting.