Round four of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series takes off this weekend at High Point, PA, with some big news happening in the sport that we covered last week. With the series coming off its first weekend off, there came some other stuff trickling out so let's look at that and then take a very early look at silly season in the 250 class, yeah?
– Trader's Yamaha, led by crew chief Skip Norfolk, will be making its debut at the nationals this weekend with Luke Renzland racing 250s and Nick Gaines racing 450s. It is a bit unusual, because the team is 250-based, but taking a look at the lack of depth in the 450MX class, Gaines has a chance to do pretty well. The team initially was not supposed to do outdoors and that is a shame for Renzland, who is a talented kid who is still looking to establish himself, but it looks like they found some funding and will be hitting the east coast races. Gaines is fast for sure, he has just got to stay on two wheels.
– There is a new team based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, that will debut at High Point. They will be on Honda bikes and Ben Lamay will move his Honda from TPJ Racing to the new squad. Heath Harrison will join Lamay on the team and make his season debut as well. Harrison, like Gaines and Henry Miller who raced Lakewood, have to be drooling at the chances of breaking top ten in 450MX.
– Matt Bisceglia will be making his outdoor debut in 450MX next weekend in Muddy Creek for the Ti-Lube Honda team. Matt has got the ability to really ride well with his start skills and even though he has not raced for a while, he has shown before that he can jump in and run the pace.
Something we were talking about on the Fly Moto:60 Show yesterday was how the premier teams in the 250 class are all kind of set for 2019. The biggest name available for hire in 250s is Alex Martin of the TLD KTM team. There is really only one spot, maybe two, left for A-Mart to go to. Let's run through the teams, shall we?
– GEICO Honda is going to have RJ Hampshire, Jeremy Martin, Chase Sexton, Christian Craig (I would assume) and Hunter Lawrence (from MXGP).
– Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki has got Austin Forkner, Adam Cianciarulo, Garrett Marchbanks and one spot open that team owner Mitch Payton indicated to me would go with re-signing Martin Davalos.
– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha are set with Justin Cooper, Aaron Plessinger (maybe 250SX only), Dylan Ferrandis just re-signed with the team as did Colt Nichols. The BluCru is all done for 2019.
– TLD KTM's going to have the same lineup in Shane McElrath, Jordon Smith, Sean Cantrell and newcomer Mitchell Falk. There is potential for a fifth spot and the team would like to see Martin come back, but one would think at a lower salary than now… Something he may not like.
– JGR Suzuki are going to have two spots open for 250 guys, but you would think Enzo Lopes would be a front-runner to grab one position. We will have to see if the 2019 Suzuki RMZ250 is revamped or not. If it is not, the JGR guys might have some trouble attracting riders over there. If it is, Martin could end up there.
Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: KTM Images/Simon Cudby