The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM team announced earlier this week that a mystery rider would race under the tent for this weekend’s Spring Creek National in Millville, Minnesota. We had a few guesses as to who it might be—maybe the recently-crowned 2020 Canadian MX2 Champion Jess Pettis, or maybe an amateur like Nate Thrasher or Maximus Vohland. We’ve now heard it will be Thrasher making his pro debut. The Tennessee native is coming out of the B class at Loretta’s last month. Thrasher rides and trains at the Baker’s Factory with the majority of the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna pro riders, though, so he’s well-versed in running 30 plus twos at a professional pace. We have heard he can hold his own against that group, so it will be interesting to see him try to translate that speed into the race this weekend.
Thrasher won three of his six motos at the 2020 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in August, in the 250 B and Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C classes, but came up short of both titles, taking second each time to Matt LeBlanc (250 B) and Chance Hymas (Schoolboy 2). The speed was there but bad starts in his first motos made his week tough.
There’s a vacant bike under the team tent this weekend because Pierce Brown hurt his knee at RedBud 1. He was unable to race RedBud 2. Brown will need knee surgery, so this could end Brown’s season early and likely put Thrasher on the bike for a few more weeks.
When we talked to Thrasher back in March, he let us in on his future timing, which has since been slightly adjusted.
“I did not do any Supercross Futures this year, so I will focus on that to get the points for my pro license, then I will make my pro debut at Hangtown 2021 and do the full season,” he said. “Then I will be a full-time pro for 2022 with the TLD KTM team.”
The 250 class thus far in 2020 has been divided into two packs: veterans like Jeremy Martin, Dylan Ferrandis, RJ Hampshire, Shane McElrath, and Alex Martin are 1-5 in points, and a lot of young riders are looking for their breakthrough. We’ll see how Thrasher fares starting this weekend.