Perhaps the most interesting is former 125cc SX Champion Nathan Ramsey joining team Honda to contest the CRF450R four-stroke in the 250cc SX and National Championship classes. Apparently, Ramsey’s decision to contest the non-conflicting West Coast rounds of the 2001 250cc SX Series paid off and he caught Honda’s eye with his big-bore thumper skills. Ramsey is reported to have signed a two-year deal with the Red Riders. At the moment, Nate Dog is considering several clothing offers.
But what about Ryan Hughes? Though Ryno will compete in selected events, his main job with Honda is in a research and development capacity, much like the job Doug Dubach does for Yamaha.
Sometime this week, Tim Ferry is expected to sign a two-year deal with Yamaha to contest the 250cc class aboard the YZ426F he has grown to love. Fox Racing is said to have dropped its team sponsorship deal with Yamaha, which makes Ferry a free agent as far as clothing deals are concerned.
Team Suzuki’s 125cc class effort will be headed by gazillion-time Arenacross winner Buddy Antunez, who is giving the 125cc SX and National Series one last go before he retires. Danny Smith renewed his Suzuki contract recently, and will be back with a vengeance in the 125cc class. Amateur sensation Shane Bess is expected to round out the three-man squad in ’02.
Rodrig Thain, meanwhile, is said to be negotiating with the Yamaha of Troy squad, who at the moment only has Justin Buckelew locked in for ’02. Two-time 125cc SX Champion Ernesto Fonseca will leave the YoT squad for one of two places – a spot in the factory Yamaha semi, or alongside Jeremy McGrath on the Mazda Yamaha team.
As reported earlier, Team Kawasaki will consist of Stephane Roncada and Ezra Lusk. RC’s departure for Team Honda has not yet been officially announced, but with Lusk leaving Honda for the green team it seems pretty obvious. Expect Sebastien Tortelli and Mike LaRocco to stay right where they are.
That’s about it for now, as far as semi-reliable info goes. Oh, save for one last “team change” – leaving the Motocross Action camp in favor of an exciting position in the TransWorld Motocross pits is former Wrecking Crew private, Mike Basher. “Thrasher” comes to TWMX full of enthusiasm and with plenty of experience, and will undoubtedly help make your favorite MX magazine even better. Now, if we could only find the kid some steady sauce…