It's New Year's Day for the U.S. motocross industry! October 1 is January 1 in this parlance, as factory contacts expire at the end of September, and new rider signings can be officially announced on October 1.
We expect several PRs to drop today, including the announcements that Jason Anderson is moving to Monster Energy Kawasaki and Eli Tomac is heading to Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing, and possibly more news. For now, the old teams for Anderson and Tomac saluted their old employees before the clock struck midnight on September 30.
Here's a Husqvarna press release regarding Anderson:
HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES THANKS Jason Anderson
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING PART WAYS WITH FORMER 450SX CHAMPION AFTER SEVEN SUCCESSFUL YEARS TOGETHER
Husqvarna Motorcycles would like to express its sincere thanks to Jason Anderson for his hard work, commitment, and racing achievements during the last seven years. Following a highly successful relationship with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, the American’s time with the team has now drawn to a close.
Since joining Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing in 2015 to compete on FC 450 machinery in the 450 class, Jason Anderson has entered each AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross season as a genuine title contender.
Unquestionably, the highlight of Anderson’s time with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna came in 2018 when he was crowned 450SX champion. The victory marked the first 450 supercross title for Husqvarna Motorcycles with Jason’s performances and championship result also making a notable contribution to the brand’s international standing, as well as adding to their now 106 World Championship wins. During his time with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Jason won seven 450SX Main Events and claimed 27 podium finishes.
Further success was achieved outdoors in the 450 Pro Motocross series, with Anderson claiming 16 overall podium results and a career-best championship finish of fourth in 2019. Outside of racing in America, Anderson won multiple Australian Supercross Championship races and represented Team USA at the FIM Motocross of Nations on two occasions.
Robert Jonas – Vice President Motorsports Off-Road: “We’ve had a great seven years with Jason and are hugely appreciative of all that he achieved and contributed to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. The highlight of course was winning the 450SX title in 2018. It was a huge achievement, both personally for Jason and also for Husqvarna, marking the first 450SX championship for Husqvarna and the FC 450. That championship win really helped elevate Husqvarna’s position within global motorsports, and really helped push the brand forwards. Everyone at Husqvarna Motorcycles wish Jason the very best of luck for the future.”
Stephen Westfall - Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Manager: “It’s been an honor to have worked with such a talented and committed racer like Jason. His dedication and talent, together with his willingness to always put the work in, ensured he was always the best rider he could be. It’s unfortunate that his time with the team coincides with him being injured as he was showing some great speed early on in the Pro Motocross season. On behalf of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, I wish Jason well and look forward to seeing him at the races in the future."
Anderson's tenure with Husqvarna actually started with KTM, which picked up the Rockstar team in 2014. Anderson won the 250SX West Region Championship that year, and then the squad later transitioned to Husqvarna. In those days, the Rockstar team was privately owned by Bobby Hewitt, always a loyal supporter of Anderson, dating back to Jason's rookie pro season. The team rode Suzukis during Anderson's rookie pro season and eventually moved to KTM. Later, Hewitt and the factory Rockstar Husqvarna effort eventually parted ways.
Anderson, though, did complete his final season on amateur racing on Kawasakis, and won the AMA Nicky Hayden Amateur Horizon Award, so he has a small history with the brand.
As for Tomac, Kawasaki announced his last day with the brand with a pair of social posts.
Back in May, Kawasaki announced Tomac would not return for 2022. Kawasaki's press release is below.
"We are extremely proud of the success that Eli and the Monster Energy Kawasaki team achieved over the last six years,” said Kawasaki Senior Manager, Racing, Dan Fahie. “We have built a great relationship with Eli and his family and we are proud that Kawasaki played a strong role in Tomac’s racing legacy."
The Monster Energy Kawasaki team and Tomac have enjoyed tremendous success during their six-year campaign with the Colorado-born rider earning four AMA championships on the Kawasaki KX™450. During his six years with the team Tomac lined up on the starting gate 165 times and earned 60 wins while only missing one scheduled main event. The 60 wins is the most by any rider during that time frame.