2018 ANAHEIM ONE SUPERCROSS | COMPLETE COVERAGE

Take a short walk beyond the polished semi trucks and colorful canopies of the factory teams and you’ll find yourself among the privateers of the sport. While they may not be recognized as the stars of Supercross and motocross, they are every bit as important to the success of the sport. Life as a privateer has never been easy, and while more new and talented faces are entering the sport every year, the number of paid rides hasn’t increased much, if at all. Despite the numerous challenges a privateer must take on, they continue to show up each and every weekend at whatever cost.

With all of that in mind, we set out to cruise the privateer section of the pits and get familiar with some of the guys doing whatever it takes to race professionally. Although the day was plenty hectic, we managed to chat with five privateers and snap a few photos of their bikes before the action of the night got underway.

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INSTAGRAM | @scott_champion

Scott Champion | 84
Age | 28
Hometown | Temecula, CA
Sponsors | Partzilla.com, TexPlex, Aqualine, Motor Medic Racing, Dedicated Ride Co., 6D, FMF

What is life like as a privateer?
We put this thing together in the last month and it’s just been wide-open for me. I’m coordinating everything and once we hit the road it’ll be a lot of traveling and driving. I’ve actually only ridden this race bike two times in the last month because I’ve been off the bike putting everything together. We’re a little behind, but I think I’ll get better each weekend.

What are your expectations for 2018 and how many races are you hoping to attend?
I want to be top 15. The 450 class is super stacked, so obviously it’s good to just be in the main events every weekend, but if I can get around fifteenth or even top 10 that’d be great for me.

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INSTAGRAM | @casey_383

Casey Brennan | 383
Age | 21
Hometown | Albuquerque, NM
Sponsors | Bobby J’s Yamaha, Energy Pros, Skillz Racing, Arai, Motor Medic Racing

What is life like as a privateer?
It’s actually been really good. MMR has been helping me out. Everything’s going really smooth this year and I’ve been spending a lot of time on the bike. Preparations started a little earlier than last year and it’s been really solid. I’m really comfortable on the bike in general. I’m just excited.

What are your expectations for 2018 and how many races are you hoping to attend?
Overall, during the day I want to qualify in those low 20’s and put myself into main events. I was close a couple of times last year, but luck just wasn’t on our side in some races and I had an injury that held me back. Coming into this year, we’ve made improvements to the bike and I think I really can be a main event contender.

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INSTAGRAM | @karnow471

Logan Karnow | 471
Age | 23
Hometown | Vermillion, OH
Sponsors | Strikt Gear, Team PR-MX, Pelletier Racing

What is life like as a privateer?
It’s not easy, it’d sure be a lot easier being a factory guy, but you have to work with what you’ve got. I’ll be in California for the whole month before the series heads East. That should be good.

What are your expectations for 2018 and how many races are you hoping to attend?
I’m coming off of a really big injury last year. I messed up my back and currently have rods and everything like that. I was asked if I wanted to do some rounds out West on the 450, so I’m going to do all of the West rounds on a 450 and then really focus on 250 East, that’s my main goal.

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INSTAGRAM | @kele715

Kele Russell | 715
Age | 23
Hometown | Seabeck, WA
Sponsors | Peninsula Moto Group, Team Chaser, Apparel Firm, THOR MX, 100%, Flo Motorsports, No-Toil

What is life like as a privateer?
Expensive! It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun [laughs]. I’m living the dream and doing everything I can to try to get into the night show. We’ll see how it goes.

What are your expectations for 2018 and how many races are you hoping to attend?
I really want to do 250 West. That’s my main focus. If we can be head and shoulders ahead of last year and get into the night shows, that’d be like a championship to me. Then if that goes well, I might go over to the East Coast. I just got my van so I might do the East with some 45o stuff and try to earn some money instead of just riding the same two Supercross tracks here in California for six weeks.

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INSTAGRAM | @austinpolitelli

Austin Politelli | 981
Age | 23
Hometown | Murrieta, CA
Sponsors | U of MX, TXS Productions, California Coast Plumbers, HRT, Rekluse, DT1 Filters, Moto Stuff, Mika Metals, Works Connection

What is life like as a privateer?
It’s been tough. I had knee surgery this last summer so I’ve only ridden Supercross three times. I’m a little bit behind, but it’s working out. We’ll keep racing and keep improving each weekend, that’s the goal.

What are your expectations for 2018 and how many races are you hoping to attend?
Just to be in the main event every weekend. The races I did last year, I made it in. I got hurt at one of them so I missed a few rounds. I want to be consistent in the main event and improve on that.