It’s becoming an annual tradition around here at Racer X Online, as we list riders who should be extra happy to be in their current situation. We love this sport, but the reality is that racing can be cruel and brutal, and that’s even in a normal year. You all know that 2020 has made life tougher than usual. Finding health, success and a damned ride are never things to take for granted.
Here’s The List of riders with something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Eli Tomac: Finally, finally, finally, Eli has a Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship on his mantle. What a relief! He also has a new baby daughter. Things are good for the Tomacs.
Zach Osborne: Despite decades of riders claiming the bigger bike “suits their style” better, the road is littered with 125/250F champions who couldn’t find that same success in the premier class. Zach Osborne’s road was longer than most, but he made it happen with a supercross race win and then the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Just a few years ago, Zach was not expecting such success to come to him. He’s also got that family part dialed in. Things are good for the Osbornes.
Justin Bogle: Sheesh! Maybe someday we get to take Bogle off this list, and for the right reasons. Once again the Bogle story is the same: rough year with big, scary injuries, but he got it right at the right time and has another shot on good equipment. When Bogle gets it dialed in he can holeshot and go fast. Plus, he’s a likeable guy. That’s how he keeps getting shots like the chance he again has with Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS.
the Lawrence Brothers: GEICO Honda may be gone, but the bros are going to factory Honda. We’re waiting for the official word, but the word will be good for them.
Max Vohland: Got that long contract on a factory team, no less. He didn’t expect to be jumping to supercross so quickly, but with a Red Bull KTM deal dialed in through 2023, Maximus has extra time to find his max.
Jeremy Martin: GEICO Honda is done so any rider from that team has to be happy to have a slot. Jeremy returning to Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha was not a move anyone saw coming, probably not even Jeremy. But the bike is right. Jeremy’s gotta be happy.
Christian Craig: Very similar story to J-Mart above. GEICO is gone but he’s got a fresh shot with the Blu Cru.
Jo Shimoda: The GEICO Honda scramble continues. We think he has a ride on green bikes but it’s not official yet. Should be good news for him, though.
Justin Barcia: A fresh shot on proven equipment with this Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas deal. We’d imagine Barcia will be the subject of quite a bit of “flying at the test track” talk over the next month or so. Justin also got to take his mechanic, Billy Hartle, over to TLD, which is good news since the old factory Yamaha squad is no more.
Dean Wilson: Another year on factory equipment? Who doesn’t love Dean? Plus, he just got married to his fiancé, Sarah. Kris Keefer would approve: #homelife. Congrats to the Wilsons!
Shane McElrath: “Where is McElrath going to go?” was a question literally all year. He’s answered it with SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda, a team as capable as he is.
Benny Bloss: Benny had to put his own privateer deal together for Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross and it was tough. He’s on MotoConcepts now along with McElrath. Also, his trusty mechanic Derick “Jericho” Rankin followed Benny to privateer island, but has now been rescued by Star Racing. Jericho is wrenching for Christian Craig.
Marvin Musquin: Pre-season in 2019 Marvin had a bad knee and wasn’t sure he would even race supercross. He made it to Anaheim, but lost valuable prep time. Last year at this time, he was already out for the entire supercross season. A legit healthy supercross pre-season for Marv has got to feel good.