2015 Monster Energy Supercross Preview | 250 East
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Photos – Antonovich, Maeda, Swanberg, Kardas, Davis
The 2015 Monster Energy Supercross Series continues the run around the United States and this weekend’s event at AT&T Stadium will serve as the start of the 250 East Coast Regional Championship. For the last few weeks, we’ve watched riders on the West Coast do almost anything for a win, but we have to wonder if the same level of aggression will come out from their counterparts? While we can’t say for sure, there’s no doubt there will be battles until the final checkered flag for the title. This year we will see Justin Bogle defend his 2014 title against a gate of former champions, cagey veterans, and a slew of rookies eager to make their mark. Be ready for anything…
Team Manager | Mike LaRocco
GEICO Honda has long been one of the top teams in the 250 class, but they’ve managed to grow even more in recent seasons with direct involvement from Honda and Yoshimura. A series of 250 team-wide deals will put all five riders in matching Alias gear, 6D helmets, Alpinestars boots, and 100% goggles. Three of the team’s five-man roster will compete on the East Coast.
Rider – Justin Bogle
What’s easier: winning the number one plate or keeping it? 2014 250 East Coast Regional Champion Justin Bogle is back to defend his title, but will have to withstand an onslaught from competitors for nine rounds. A shoulder injury struck Bogle in the off-season, but enough time has passed for it to be a non-issue in the new year.
Rider – RJ Hampshire
Originally slated to race the West Coast, a last-minute decision by the team moved the rookie to the other series. This might prove to be a wise move since Hampshire already spends his time in Florida under the guidance of Tim Ferry and the extra prep could only helped the young racer. Keep an eye on Hampshire.
Rider – Jordan Smith
It’s a bit of an odd move to put two rookies on the same coast, but GEICO Honda had little option. In order to race, Jordan Smith needed to score necessary points in the Ricky Carmichael Road to Supercross program, which meant missing the start of the West Coast season. Unfortunately, Smith suffered a hand injury shortly before the Dallas race and will miss at least the opening round.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Team Manager | Mitch Payton
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki roster for the East Coast includes new European talent and a speedy though often injured young rider, but fans need not worry. Mitch Payton knows how to pick riders, and if you need a reminder, look at the championship plates on the team trailer. Team-wide apparel deals will put every rider in Thor gear, SCOTT goggles, and Alpinestars boots, with Bell helmets now holding their heads.
Rider – Joey Savatgy
It’s been an extremely long time since we’ve seen Savatgy on a Supercross track. A list of injuries kept him from lining up indoors in 2014, but it impressive speed all the way back in 2013 and a stellar run through the last summer’s Nationals that helped him earn a place on the famed Kawasaki squad. Expect him to be on a regular on the podium.
Rider – Arnaud Tonus
Sure, there might not be a lot of Supercross riding in Switzerland, but that hasn’t stopped Arnaud Tonus from learning. Once the season on the 2014 GP circuit concluded, Tonus came to Southern California and immediately started working with the team. Broken bones in his wrist halted the progress for a short time in the off-season, but we’ve spotted him around the test tracks in preparation for Dallas in the time since.
Red Bull KTM
Team Manager | Roger DeCoster
Red Bull KTM is the only factory team still running a 250 operation directly under their tent, with riders on both coasts. Justin Hill showed flashes of brilliance out West and now it’s time for Marvin Musquin to take over. A 250-team deal with FOX will put both racers in matching apparel, but other elements of gear are open to the individual.
Rider – Marvin Musquin
The two-time MX2 World Motocross Champion has been considered a favorite for the title he’s entered, but injuries have kept the French rider from fulfilling the expectations. Completely healthy and under the guidance of trainer Aldon Baker, this should be Musquin’s best and last shot at taking a title since he is expected to join the 450-class next season. He will wear Airoh helmets, 100% goggles, Alpinestars boots, and a Leatt neck brace.
Team Manager | Steve Lamson
The transformation of the Star Racing team in just two years time is incredible. They have direct support from Yamaha, are aboard some of the fastest bikes in the pits, and have a stack of young riders willing to push the limits, consequences be damned. Cooper Webb is en route to the title out West, but can they match the performance on the other side of the country? The entire team wears matching ANSR gear, Bell lids, 100% goggles, and Gaerne boots.
Rider – Jeremy Martin
Let’s go back a year, to when Jeremy Martin failed to qualify for the first two mains of the Supercross season and felt the fury of fans and critics. Martin had to put the issue behind him and started prep for the Nationals, which he won in dominating fashion. If we had money on the line, we’d the championship-caliber Martin comes out when the gate drops…
Rider – Anthony Rodriguez
There’s no denying A-Rod’s speed. He burst onto the scene last year in Dallas, running up front early in the main event, until a massive crash and concussion kept him from finishing his debut. Injuries piled on as the year continued, forcing the rookie to miss much of the season, but he and the team are back for another go.
Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna
Team Manager | Dave Gowland
Rockstar Energy Racing’s progression from a small satellite outfit to top-tier team continues in 2015, and they are now the official factory effort of the revitalized Husqvarna brand. Three guys comprise the 250 portion of the team, with just one contesting the East Coast swing. A new deal will put all of the small-bore riders in FLY Racing apparel with Airoh helmets, Dragon goggles, and Gaerne boots completing the look.
Rider – Martin Davalos
Davalos was in control heading into the final races of the 2014 250 East Coast Championship until foot and ankle breaks from a mid-week practice crash killed the run at the title. The class veteran spent much of the past year recovering, working with the Husqvarna factory team, and even lining up for the 450-class in Oakland. He should once again be considered a title favorite.
Team Manager | Christina Denney
A list of rookies make up the CycleTrader.com/Rock River/Yamaha team in 2015, all of whom will compete aboard equipment directed by Yamaha’s factory efforts.
Rider – Luke Renzland
Rider – Nick Desiderio
Rider – Greg Gehrer
Team Manager | Tony Alessi
Mike Genova’s privately funded team is a mainstay on the Supercross circuit and their decision of riding the bike a rider prefers built with parts they think work best compared controlling OEM support is uncommon for a large operation. To take it one step further, they are now cladding riders in unbranded gear, goggles, and helmets.
Rider – Vince Friese
Friese ran the 2014 Supercross season as a privateer and was scored third in point standings at the end of the tour, a major accomplishment for the class veteran. In fact, the finish was so strong that had fans cheering for the rider often criticized for aggressive riding. Back with MCR for another run, it will be interesting to see where he is ranked in the competitive field.
With full support from an OEM and a well-structured program captained by a 450-class veteran, expect anything from this first-year effort. Team deals have both the 450 and 250 riders in FLY Racing apparel and helmets and SCOTT goggles.
Rider – Mitchell Oldenburg
After racing 2014 as a full privateer, Oldenburg joins Jimmy Albertson’s recently formed team as the 250-rider. To prepare for the season, Oldenburg entered a handful of 450 races on the West Coast aboard his small-bore bike. Add the Texan to the long-list of possible podium finishers for the 250 class.
Team Manager | Guy Cooper
A second-year effort with support from major industry brands, the Crossland Racing team is putting in a massive effort for the East Coast with the recent signings of two 250 riders.
Rider – Kyle Peters
Peters has scored a series of impressive finishes in the past, but issues kept him from finishing in the top-ten early in 2014 and shoulder injuries ended his season early. The speed and skill are obvious, it’s on Peters to keep things steady through the season.
Rider – Colt Nichols
AMSOIL Arenacross and Loretta Lynn’s success: Colt Nichols has the pedigree of a Supercross star in the making, but there will be plenty for the Midwesterner to learn in his rookie season.
Team Manager | Bruce Lemoine
Rider – Matt Lemoine
You can always count on Matt Lemoine to make things interesting on the East Coast. The tall Texan is in the front pack more often than not and will once again battle with the young riders in the competitive small-bore division.
Team Tedder/Monster Energy/Kawasaki
Team Manager | Matt Tedder
Rider – Dakota Tedder
The California family team will run the full series in support of 450-class rider Jake Weimer and will run the 250-class with son Dakota. After a handful of solid scores last season, Tedder could rise to the next level on the East Coast.
Gurrnaid Energy/AG Motorsports
Team Manager | Al Albiker
Rider – Kyle Cunningham
After befriending the team during the 2014 Nationals, Cunningham officially joins the effort for the 250 East Coast season. The Texan has been a front-runner through all of his career and spent plenty of time in the off-season with the new team.
Orange Brigade KTM
Rider – Dakota Alix
This will be the first time the talented racer from Vermont makes a run at the Supercross series, and support from KTM will have him aboard of the better bikes behind the gate.
Legends & Heros
Rider – Gannon Audette
Once again partnering with the popular mobile museum, Gannon Audette will receive support from Kawasaki’s Team Program in his run for the 250 East Coast championship. Audette notched a number of solid finishes in the 2014 season and could be a big surprise sometime in the new year.
The East Coast is packed with rider running their own programs, and this year’s field includes a number of talented independents who could change up the running order on any given night.
Vicki Golden – Golden intends to be the first women to make a Supercross night show in Dallas.