After racing the Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C and 250 B classes at the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, Haiden Deegan moved to the A class. Following his championship in the Schoolboy 2 class at Loretta Lynn’s, Deegan teased some “exciting big things” happening in the near future while on the podium.
Deegan competed in the pro-am races at both the Unadilla National and the Budds Creek National in order to get enough A class points to earn his pro license.
Now, the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing rider is set to make his professional debut this weekend at the Ironman National, round ten of the 2022 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Deegan will lineup as #438 on his Yamaha YZ250F to compete in is first professional race on Saturday.
PulpMX’s Steve Matthes has announced on Twitter that this news is official, although Yamaha has yet to make a statement. We will update this post with any information from the team.
Injured riders Matthew LeBlanc—returning following a broken collarbone at the Southwick National—and Levi Kitchen—returning following a broken wrist suffered in practice the week following the Southwick National—will be back to the gate for the first time since July 9.
With Deegan adding another bike under the tent and the return of LeBlanc and Kitchen, the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team is expected to field six total riders in the 250 Class this weekend as the aforementioned riders will join Justin Cooper, Nate Thrasher, and new Guillem Farres. Farres made his U.S. debut with the team at the Budds Creek National and finished 6-13 for ninth overall, earning a second ride with the team this weekend in Indiana.
Farres is filling in for an injured Nick Romano, who suffered ligament damage in his thumb that required surgery, ending his rookie season several rounds early. Romano has undergone surgery but is out for the final two rounds.
Late Tuesday, Deegan posted the following teaser on his Instagram:
[Update: Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET]
Yamaha has officially announced Deegan will debut this weekend.
The following press release is from Yamaha:
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Back to Full Strength for Ironman
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan will make his pro debut with the 250 team this weekend at the Ironman National in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Levi Kitchen and Matt LeBlanc return to action, as will newcomer Guillem Farres, making for a full six-rider lineup at the penultimate round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at the Ironman Raceway on Saturday, August 27. Unfortunately, Nick Romano will sit out the final rounds of the season to focus on returning to full fitness.
Deegan is eager for his much-anticipated debut in the Pro Motocross series. The second-generation racer has multiple amateur national championships to his resume and looks forward to lining up against the best in the 250 class.
Kitchen looks to pick up where he left off with a return to the podium. The young Washington rider scored his debut moto win early in the season at Thunder Valley and returned to the podium with a runner-up finish in Moto 2 at Southwick. He still sits 10th in the point standings despite missing the previous four rounds after breaking his wrist while preparing for the Spring Creek National.
LeBlanc also returns this weekend after being sidelined with a broken collarbone from a second moto crash at Round 6 of the championship in Southwick, Massachusetts. With two rounds remaining, the 18-year-old looks to build on the progress he has made so far during his rookie season.
After a strong debut last weekend at the Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, Maryland, Farres returns with the team for another round. The Spaniard turned a lot of heads with an impressive charge to fifth and crossed the line sixth in the first moto. He ended up scoring a top 10 overall in his first race in the U.S. with 6-13 moto scores.
Romano will sit out the remaining rounds of the season. The New Yorker underwent a successful surgery late last week to repair a thumb injury he sustained while training and will focus on returning to full fitness.
Jensen Hendler | Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager
“We’re back to a full roster for Ironman. Haiden will join us this weekend, and we’re looking forward to seeing him get some seat time in the pro class. We’re also happy to have Levi and Matt back. They have been working hard to get back to racing before the end of the season, so it’s great to see them back. Guillem will also be with us again this weekend. He had a great debut at Budds Creek, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do with a race under his belt. Justin and Nate have been putting in the work, and we’re looking to end the season on a high note.”
“I’m really looking forward to racing the Pro Motocross National at Ironman this weekend. It’s going to be a big learning experience for me, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
“I’m stoked to get back to racing. We’ve been working hard to get back on track before the end of the season. I’m just going to have some fun and see where we end up.”
“I’m excited to get back to racing. We’re ready to see how it goes and looking to finish off the season strong.”
“Budds Creek was a good race, and I got the opportunity to race with the team again at Ironman. We’ve been testing some things at The Farm this week and trying to improve with the bike. This has been helping me because I haven’t had a lot of time on the bike, and it’s a completely different bike from what I was used to. So every day is getting better and better, and I think that Ironman should be good. The team is doing a really good job and is working hard to make me as comfortable as possible. I’m going to Ironman with no expectations and to try and ride like myself and just have some fun.”
Main image by Mitch Kendra