Will five-time Arenacross Champion Buddy Antunez leave the small arenas in favor of a shot at Supercross and National MX glory in ’02? According our reports, the Lord of the Rings may be doing just that.
At 28-years old, Antunez knows that his career is in its twilight years and that he has two good years left in him. With five AX Championships and 106 main event wins under his belt, it seems that there is little left for the Moreno Valley, California, resident to accomplish within the tight confines of the winter series.
Contractual obligations with Suzuki have prevented him from competing in SX and National events in the past, and now it seems that Antunez wants to make one last go at it. As we speak, Antunez is negotiating a potential deal with Team Suzuki to compete in the 125cc National Championship Series and the Eastern Region 125cc SX Series, plus the West Coast 250cc SX events that don’t conflict.
Antunez feels that with the current crop of riders “pointing out” and moving up to the 250cc class in ’02 (Travis Pastrana, Nick Wey, Ernesto Fonseca, etc…), he will be a threat for the 125cc East Coast SX Championship. Though he has not competed in the 125cc Nationals in some time, Bud Man feels that he can be competitive outdoors, as well.
One thing’s for sure – we can think of at least a dozen Arenacross regulars who will sign a collective breath of relief if Antunez’s deal pans out! Stay tuned for more details…