Mitch Payton has a long-running move with his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki outfit. He enters every rider into round one, which means the AMA entry list doesn't indicate which riders will actually line up at the opener. So when we posted the AMA entry list yesterday, four Pro Circuit riders were on the list for Anaheim 1: Jo Shimoda, Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner, and Cameron McAdoo (only the injured Jett Reynolds was left off the list).
Today the team finally confirmed who is actually racing round one: Shimoda and Hammaker. Both riders won races in 2021.
Now the West is taking shape. We learned yesterday that defending 250SX West Champion Justin Cooper is definitely out following a major foot injury that could keep him out for six months. Also, we noticed something else that was strange When we first found the AMA entry list on Monday, Jett Lawrence was listed as the only Honda HRC rider. Then suddenly Hunter Lawrence's name was added on Tuesday afternoon. Jett is still on the list, though. What's going on there?
Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha has Colt Nichols, Christian Craig, and Nate Thrasher on the list, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas is going with Michael Mosiman, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna has Jalek Swoll entered.
As for Pro Circuit, here are some thoughts from today's press release.
It felt like a long off-season for Seth Hammaker who had been on the mend as the 2021 season closed out. With a fresh perspective and a full rookie season under his belt, the sophomore supercross rider will be looking for his second career win in 2022. Teammate Jo Shimoda will also be gunning for his second win as well after both riders captured their first career wins in 2021. Shimoda found consistency in 2021, something he’s hoping to work into his favor in 2022.
“We began testing new engine and chassis setups during the last few outdoor rounds in preparation for 2022," says Team Manager Ian Southwell. "Since then, our suspension technicians, Mitch, and myself have furthered what we learned there. Our mechanics have worked hard to implement those changes as well as being at the track with our riders four days a week. Jo and Seth have been riding exceptionally well, both are main event winners and we'll be expecting nothing less from them in 2022. Our sponsors and suppliers have delivered on our requests despite trying times and everyone is looking forward to Anaheim 1."
* Main image courtesy of Octopi Media