We are just days away from the start of the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross championship, but excitement around the new year has been overshadowed by a sudden rash of injures suffered by top contenders. This is a devastating blow to the season, particularly after last year’s full lineup in both the 250 and 450 classes. Some will miss only a handful of rounds to recovery, while others must miss the entire indoor series and possibly, the full year.
Depending on who you are, however, this string of injuries can be an upside. Riders who were unable to land a ride for the new year have netted fill-in roles, and this is a second chance for their season. If the injuries continue, one can expect to see the roster change again slightly.
Luckily for racers, team managers, and fans, the next week should be less eventful because riders will tone down their weekly schedule for the holidays and to be fresh for Anaheim One. We say it every year, but January 4th cannot come soon enough.
Davi Millsaps – Rockstar Energy Racing KTM – 450 Class
Davi Millsaps’ incredible run through last year’s Supercross season was marred by a bum knee and leg injury, and the Rockstar Energy Racing team captain was forced to sit out the Nationals after a necessary surgery. When Millsaps returned to the bike in mid-August, it was aboard an all-new KTM 450 SX-F built by KTM’s Factory Services department, the result of Rockstar Energy Racing and KTM’s new partnership. But while practicing at Pala’s Supercross test track just before Thanksgiving, Millsaps’ tucked the front-end of the bike when entering a corner and had a body-contorting crash. This tweaked something inside Millsaps’ “good knee,” and his status for the new year immediately became questionable. He and the team have still not determined if he will miss the Supercross season to recovery, but have hired Ivan Tedesco as a precautionary fill-in.
Trey Canard – Team Honda Muscle Milk – 450 Class
Trey Canard’s 2013 comeback read like a Hollywood script. After a catastrophic back injury at the 2012 Los Angeles Supercross and months away from the bike, the Team Honda Muscle Milk rider returned to the line at the Anaheim opening round and just missed taking the win in his first professional race in nearly a year. There were small miscues throughout the year, including a midseason Supercross concussion that forced him to miss a few rounds, but Canard made it through the full year intact and immediately began prepping for 2014. During a practice session on the first weekend in December, a crash resulted in a broken arm that required quick surgery. From what we have seen in recent photo shoots for DC, Canard is sporting a soft cast and Honda has stated he will definitely miss the opening rounds of the year. In addition, they have also said they will not use a fill-in rider.
Justin Bogle – GEICO Honda – 250 Class
A number of injuries kept Justin Bogle from making a full run at the 2013 season, but his performance through the latter part of the year proved that the young rider is capable of fulfilling the expectations set by the GEICO Honda team. Bogle finished the Nationals without issue and began preparing for the approaching Supercross season soon after on the Milestone practice tracks. During a recent moto on the private GEICO course, Bogle was reportedly thrown from his bike over one of the larger jumps and landed on his back. The impact fractured five vertebra and a shoulder blade, which could make him miss the 250 East Coast Supercross championship he was slated to compete in. GEICO Honda has brought Blake Wharton to be a fill-in rider for the championship, and if Bogle is able to return in time, both will race.
Joey Savatgy – Rockstar Energy Racing KTM – 250 Class
Joey Savatgy claimed rookie of the year honors during last year’s Supercross series, but a wrist injury ended his National run. Shortly after he returned to riding, he suffered a broken pinkie that halted progress, but things were back on schedule during November and early December. During a practice day at Milestone MX just over a week ago, Savatgy had another crash, this one with extensive injuries, including a broken wrist, separation in his shoulder, a number of broken ribs, and a partially collapsed lung. This long list of injuries will keep him front lining up for an unspecified time.
Darryn Durham – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 250 Class
Darryn Durham worked to regain the race pace through the 2013 Nationals, missing only Thunder Valley with a leg injury. Durham was entered to race the recent Geneva Supercross, but suffered a concussion just before he was set to leave for Europe. He opted to miss the race to recovery and took the following weeks easy so not to overexert himself. Mitch Payton tells his entire team of riders to be prepared for Anaheim One and makes his decision of who will race which coast just before the new year, but from what we have heard, Durham will compete on the East Coast to further heal.
Marvin Musquin – Red Bull KTM – 250 Class
After just missing last year’s 250 East Coast Supercross championship, the Red Bull KTM team and Musquin decided to pursue the title in 2014 and have new recruit Dean Ferris race the West Coast. Musquin recently claimed King of Geneva title with a consistent weekend in Switzerland and spent days turning laps at the KTM test track, but late last week misfortune struck in the way of a torn ACL when he planted his foot in a corner. He will undergo surgery in France this week and will undoubtedly miss the East Coast Supercross series. There is speculation to what Red Bull KTM will do to counter the injury, including the possibility of a fill-in rider. One name that comes to mind is Austin Politelli, who raced for the team at the Monster Energy Cup.
Blake Baggett – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki – 250 Class
A wrist injury haunted Blake Baggett throughout the 2013 season, but the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 champion overcame the damage to take fourth in the overall standings then underwent surgery to repair the joint. To fully prepare for the next season and a run at the Supercross success that has eluded him, Baggett locked down at the private practice tracks and turned as many laps as possible. On Tuesday, December 17th, word spread that Baggett had suffered a broken foot in a crash, and Kawasaki confirmed the news later that evening. The extent of the damage is uncertain, but one would think there is a chance at racing the 250 East Coast Supercross series.