This week in US powersports racing.
FMF KTM FACTORY RACING’S DANTE OLIVEIRA CLINCHES 2023 NGPC PRO CLASS CHAMPIONSHIP WITH RIDGECREST VICTORY
RIDGECREST, Calif. – FMF KTM Factory Racing’s Dante Oliveira has made it four-straight AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) victories after clinching the 2023 Pro Class title at Ridgecrest’s penultimate round of the season on Sunday, charging to a fifth win of the year in what has marked a dominant title defense once again.
In taking the lead on the opening lap, defending champion Oliveira powered his KTM 450 XC-F across the tough terrain of the Californian desert, holding first place for the duration of the seven-lap affair and fending off multiple challenges from behind. In true championship form, Oliveira crossed the finish line in P1 and sealed the 2023 NGPC Pro Class title in the process.
Of the rounds contested to date in 2023, the number one has collected a strong haul of five overall race victories and has finished off the podium on only one occasion. With that, Oliveira captured the championship with one round to spare and in convincing fashion.
Dante Oliveira: “Today was epic! We had a lot of time between races, so I couldn’t have been more stoked to get back out there and send it. It was a super-fast race, we were on the edge the whole time, and for whatever reason Ridgecrest always brings the best out in everyone, so the battles are so gnarly. My fitness was great today and shoutout to the whole FMF KTM Factory Racing Team, I’m stoked to get the championship with them, and now let’s go fight for this last one in Havasu!”
Pro Class rookie and FMF KTM Factory Racing teammate Mateo Oliveira positioned himself well on the opening lap at Ridgecrest, sitting in sixth place as the race began, before a race-long battle saw him eventually charge to a hard-fought P9 finish as the checkered flag waved.
With his Ridgecrest result, the younger of the Oliveira brothers sits eighth place in the NGPC Pro Class standings with one round remaining in Arizona.
Mateo Oliveira: “Not a bad weekend here for the NGPC Series. The result is a little off where I expect it to be, but there are positives to take away from here… My opening laps were strong and my body felt good for the whole duration of the race. We’ll go back now, regroup with my trainer and work harder, and continue building to close the gap to the front. My motivation levels are super-high and I can’t wait to finish the series off strong.”
The weekend also saw a class victory for 2022 Pro Women’s champion, Brandy Richards, who made it two-from-two wins following her return to action from injury. Next in line, Mikayla Nielsen secured a 1-2 finish for the KTM-mounted riders, finishing P2 in class.
Round 9: Lake Havasu, Arizona – October 13-15, 2023
Results: Round 9
1. Dante Oliveira, KTM
2. Austin Walton, HQV
3. Justin Hoeft, YAM
9. Mateo Oliveira, KTM
1. Dante Oliveira, 202 points
2. Ryan Surratt, 160
3. Austin Walton, 154
8. Mateo Oliveira, 97
Pro Women Results
1. Brandy Richards, KTM
2. Mikayla Nielsen, KTM
3. Ava Silvestri, GAS
TOP-FIVE RESULT FOR ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA’S TREVOR BOLLINGER AT MUDDOBBERS NATIONAL ENDURO
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team of Trevor Bollinger and Craig DeLong delivered a consistent day of racing at Round 8 of the 2023 AMA National Enduro Series, with the duo securing fifth and sixth places, respectivley, in the NE Pro1 Class at the Muddobbers National Enduro in Matthews, Indiana.
Following a tough start to his 2023 season after sustaining injury earlier in the year, Bollinger continues to surge back into form with each race completed. A strong day at the technical Muddobbers event saw the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider conclude the opening test in P5, which is the position he would hold until race’s end.
“The Muddobbers National Enduro went well for us!” said Bollinger. “I took a little while to get firing, but together with the team we made some suspension changes to get comfortable, which increased my comfort throughout the day. We ended up in fifth overall, so we’ll continue to build from here and push hard to keep the improvement coming throughout these final couple rounds of the season.”
Teammate DeLong started off the race with an unfortunate problem that sent him down the order, making for a difficult day at the office as he then worked to claw his way through the field as the tests wore on. A race-long charge resulted in DeLong powering his FX 350 into a hard-fought P6, after registering top-three times throughout multiple stages of the race, despite encountering his share of traffic.
“Today was decent, we started the day with an unfortunate little issue that we managed to fix, although I was back a ways after that,” commented DeLong. “Clawed my way through the field all race long and finished in sixth place, which was challenging to do through the traffic, although I felt good on the bike today. We’ll hold our heads high and now set our sights on next weekend, as these next couple races are going to be really important.”
Next Round (9): Stanton, AL – October 29, 2023
NE Pro1 Class – Muddobbers National results
1. Steward Baylor (KTM), 124:39.077
2. Josh Toth (GASGAS) +53.798
3. Grant Baylor (Kawasaki) +1:47:914
5. Trevor Bollinger – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6. Craig DeLong – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA’S AUSTIN WALTON RACES TO P2 RESULT AT RIDGECREST NGPC ROUND
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Austin Walton continues his charge toward the front of the 2023 AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) Pro Class field, after earning second place at the eighth round of the season in Ridgecrest, California, as teammate Dalton Shirey finished P8 in class.
Maintaining an immense amount of pressure on the leader throughout the entirety of the race, a final lap push saw Walton cross the line just three seconds from defending champion Dante Oliveira, with his second-place score matching his season-best result for this year.
Finishing runner-up at Ridgecrest this weekend sees Walton maintain P3 in the Pro Class season standings, just six points from second position, with only one round remaining in Lake Havasu, Arizona, later this month.
“Today was awesome,” Walton commented. “I was on Dante [Oliveira] from the beginning and lost a position there to Zach [Bell] on lap two, but just relaxed and found my flow about halfway in. That’s one thing that we continue to work on, is just getting more comfortable early on, especially as we all finish the race faster than we start nowadays, which is absurd! But all-in-all, I’m stoked with how the bike felt, which is a huge testament to the team and, man, so close there at the end, but we’ll come out swinging at the next one.”
Meanwhile, a 10th-place start for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Shirey saw him make his way forward throughout the seven-lap encounter, with a consistent push through the Californian terrain resulting in an eighth-place finish by the end of the race.
“Round eight was decent for us,” recalled Shirey. “We had a long break in between races here, but I felt ready coming in, although just not the result we were looking for here at Ridgecrest. I got off to a poor start, which made life difficult for me, but charged my way through the field, and finished up with P8. Not stoked with that, but it just means we’ll work harder for the next one.”
Next Round (10): Lake Havasu, Arizona – October 15, 2023
1.Dante Oliveira, KTM
2. Austin Walton – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
3. Justin Hoeft, YAM
8. Dalton Shirey – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Monster Energy® Kawasaki Announces 2024 SuperMotocross World Championship Roster
Foothill Ranch, Calif. (October 2, 2023) – Monster Energy® Kawasaki and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki are ready for more world-class racing in 2024. The Monster Energy® Kawasaki racing teams will compete against the top supercross and motocross talents from around the world as they look to compete for the 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, the AMA Pro Motocross Championship and the revolutionary SuperMotocross World Championship.
Monster Energy Kawasaki will continue with its two title favorites in the 450 class aboard the all-new 2024 KX™450.; . Kawasaki Team Green™ alumni, 2019 250MX Champion, 2019 Monster Energy® Cup Champion and 2020 AMA Pro Motocross runner-up Adam Cianciarulo will compete for his fifth year alongside 2018 Monster Energy® Supercross Champion and 2022 Supercross runner-up Jason Anderson. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki is set to lineup with established race winners, Austin Forkner, Cameron McAdoo, and Seth Hammaker, while also welcoming the championship contenders Levi Kitchen and Maximus Vohland.
Cianciarulo will line up with Monster Energy Kawasaki in 2024 to continue his notable 19-year partnership with Kawasaki as he enters his fifth year of 450 Class racing. The No. 9 graduated through the Kawasaki Team Green™ program on his way to the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championship, 2020 Pro Motocross Rookie of the Year and a total of 21 combined professional SMX wins. After completing the entire 2023 season injury-free, Cianciarulo is set to capitalize on a full off-season of preparation riding the new 2024 KX™450 with the team to be in prime form for his 2024 Championship efforts.
Anderson and his KX™450SR proved to be a strong duo throughout the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, earning seven Top-5 finishes. After injury at Round 15 of Supercross, Anderson carried his success into the Pro Motocross Championship where he claimed four Top-5 finishes and two overall podiums. Looking forward to the Monster Energy Supercross Championship, Pro Motocross Championship and SuperMotocross World Championship in 2024, Anderson aims to continue his fight for premier class supremacy.
Supported by an astonishing 31 years of professional racing success, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki race team will contest the 2024 SuperMotocross World Championship with a new lineup. The team who has achieved an unmatched 294 combined SMX wins, and 31 total championships, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki is gearing up for more victories with Forkner, McAdoo, Hammaker, Kitchen and Vohland.
Entering his ninth year with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, Forkner’s impressive 13 victories position him as a top contender for the championship in 2024. This seasoned 250 Class rider is primed to clinch his inaugural professional championship.
McAdoo earned his 17th Monster Energy Supercross podium in 2023 before an injury after Round 5 sidelined him the remainder of the 2023 season. The Iowa native aims to come back stronger than ever and build upon his success with a full championship campaign in the year ahead.
As Hammaker lines up for his fourth year in the professional circuit, his supercross Main Event win and his five podium finishes attest to his readiness to contend for the championship throughout the season.
New to the team, Kitchen and Vohland look to infuse their skill, determination and passion into the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki lineup for the 2024 season. These rising stars in the motocross realm are determined to achieve even more remarkable results in the upcoming year. With a combined track record that includes Kitchen’s outstanding eight podium finishes and a main event victory, alongside Vohland’s impressive 10 Top-5 finishes, positions them as premier contenders in the class.
Monster Energy Kawasaki and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki will host a full roster of proven Team Green contenders for the 2023 AMA SuperMotocross World Championship.
“I am super excited for my future with Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. I am ready to have a fresh start on a new team and put the KX™250 on top.”
– Levi Kitchen
“I am beyond thrilled to get on a new bike, especially with Monster Energy®/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. The power behind these machines are incredible and I am looking forward to my future with the team.”
– Max Vohland
“I had a good run in Moto 1 and a tough one in Moto 2. We are ending the season healthy and ready to keep improving for 2024. We have an all-new KX™450 that I’m really looking forward to preparing for next year.”
– Adam Cianciarulo
“Today was a great way to end the year. I felt great coming into this weekend and although I had a mistake in the first moto, I’m pumped to be able to finish the year strong on my KX™450SR.”
– Jason Anderson
RYDER DIFRANCESCO TO GET ON THE GAS IN 2024 WITH TROY LEE DESIGNS/RED BULL/GASGAS FACTORY RACING
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing has signed Ryder DiFrancesco for the 2024 SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) season, spanning the AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross Championships, as well as the high-profile SMX Finals series.
- Ryder D is GASGAS-bound for 2024 onboard the MC 250F Factory Edition
- Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing lands talented teenage prospect
- 2024 season will mark DiFrancesco’s first in 250SX regional division
Still just 18 years of age, Ryder D is regarded as one of the sport’s finest young talents in U.S. competition, emerging from a highly-decorated amateur career into the professional ranks this year with immediate promise and a share of encouraging results.
The 2024 season will see DiFrancesco line up for his rookie 250SX campaign – the specific region yet to be determined – when the gates drop on Supercross early next year, in addition to his second term of lining up outdoors in 250MX, and the SMX post-season.
Max Lee, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing Team Manager: “We’re super-excited to have Ryder DiFrancesco join the team for the 2024 racing season. He has a lot of talent and a good work ethic, so I think he’s a great fit for the group and the GASGAS brand!”
After beginning this year in Supercross Futures, Ryder went on to contest the entire Pro Motocross Championship, achieving four top 10 overall results in 11 rounds, and a season-best of sixth at Ironman Raceway’s final round, which earned him 10th place in the standings.
DiFrancesco continued that form at SMX Playoff 1 in Charlotte, where he finished fourth overall, and would eventually race to 12th position in the 250SMX Championship. Now, the opportunity to GET ON THE GAS arrives, and the teenager is eager to take on fresh challenges in a new environment, equipped with the razor-sharp MC 250F Factory Edition.
Ryder DiFrancesco: “I am very excited to make the transition to the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing Team for my first full professional season! I’m ready for new challenges and learning a new bike, which is the exciting part of what’s ahead together.”
Watch the official announcement video HERE!
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing to take Casey Cochran Pro in 2024
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will take Casey Cochran into the professional ranks full-time in 2024, scheduled to contest the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) onboard the FC 250.
Cochran, 17, has enjoyed an outstanding final year in amateur competition, in which he clinched the Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C class title in the 2023 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s, as well as the Supercross Futures AMA National Championship in Salt Lake City and the Moto Combine overall at RedBud.
The teenage Virginia native gained immense experience in his first pro-level appearances across the final two rounds of this year’s AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Budds Creek and the Ironman National, which will also help in setting him up for a full-time transition next year with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing.
“I’ve really enjoyed this past year working with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing and getting to know everyone, so I’m super-excited to extend what we have going on and progress into the pro ranks with such a good team behind me,” Cochran commented. “Couldn’t be more stoked for the future!”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Manager, Nathan Ramsey, welcomed Cochran to the factory program and is excited to see him progress throughout the 2024 AMA Supercross Championship and Pro Motocross Championship, leading into the SMX Finals series.
“Casey put together an amazing final year as our elite Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing amateur athlete and he absolutely hit all the marks that we put together for him to earn his first pro contract,” explained Ramsey.
“I am both happy and proud to have Casey join our pro team. He’s a very hard worker and is full of potential for a great future with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team. Now, I am looking forward to spending some time with him during the off-season as he builds into 2024.”
Progressive ECSTAR Suzuki and Ken Roczen Announce Contract Extension for 2024
Suzuki Motor USA is thrilled to announce an extension to the partnership with elite athlete Ken Roczen and HEP Motorsports. Ken Roczen and HEP have brought a new level of success and excitement to Suzuki racing in 2023, and Suzuki is pleased to be able to partner with Ken Roczen again for 2024.
In 2023, Ken Roczen and the HEP Motorsports’ Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki team delivered a consistent and successful season of racing, including an incredible win at the Indy Supercross, several podium finishes, and a tie for third place in the AMA Supercross Championship.
A Moto 2 win gave Ken Roczen second place overall at the Chicagoland Speedway
In addition, Ken Roczen gave Suzuki fans across the country a thrilling end to the season in the SuperMotocross World Championship by claiming key podium positions, taking another impressive win in the second moto at the Chicagoland Speedway, and two second place finishes in the final race at the LA Memorial Coliseum to secure second place in the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship.
“I am extremely excited to re-sign with the team,” said Ken Roczen. “We have done some amazing things so far in 2023 and I am really eager to do even better things in 2024. It has been one of the most fun and rewarding years of my career and I am happy to keep it going.”
Ken Roczen earned an impressive second place overall in the
SuperMotocross World Championship in Los Angeles
“Excited to have Roczen back on the team for 2024,” said Team Manager, Larry Brooks. “We came a long way from the beginning of the year to being one of the top competitors. Every time Ken Roczen raced, he was in contention to win. The whole team, including Ken himself, worked extremely hard and it showed in the results. When I took a step back and looked at what we’d done, I was really impressed. I am sure Ken will have continued success in 2024.”
“Everyone at Suzuki is really thrilled to be able to partner with Ken Roczen again in 2024,” said Chris Wheeler, Motorsports Manager at Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. “ Kenny has brought a new level of racing performance and excitement to Suzuki this year and we look forward to continuing that performance with Kenny in 2024!”
Ken Roczen’s podiums and race wins proved the competitive performance of the Suzuki RM-Z450
Suzuki’s RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 are poised for more competition excitement in 2024 and beyond. Suzuki is excited to continue its successful racing heritage with Ken Roczen as they compete in the 2024 SMX World Championship and look forward to seeing the continued enthusiasm and loyalty of the RM Army.
The 2024 SMX League season debuts in January 2024 at Angel Stadium for Anaheim 1.
Photos by BrownDogWilson Photography
2024 Monster Energy Supercross Tickets on Sale Today
Feld Motor Sports, Inc. announced today that tickets are on sale for all 17 rounds of the 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season, now part of the 31-event SMX World Championship. Pre-sale begins today at 10 a.m. ET for preferred customers and will run through next Monday, October 9. Tickets will then become available to the public starting on Tuesday, October 10 at 10 a.m. ET and then 10 a.m. in each subsequent time zone. Fans can sign up for preferred access or make ticket purchases online at SupercrossLIVE.com.
Announced last week, the 17-race Supercross schedule will visit sixteen different cities spread across thirteen states from California and Arizona to Alabama and Pennsylvania. New to the schedule this season are stops to Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa.
Anaheim Opener Track Map. All track maps available for download in the Assets section below.
In a strategic effort to maximize the television and streaming viewing audience, all rounds will have a prime time Central or Eastern time zone start, so all Pacific time zone races will start at 8:00 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. Eastern. A complete listing of start times can be found on the event detail pages at SupercrossLIVE.com.
2024 Monster Energy AMA Schedule (click image to view SMX World Championship schedule)
The biggest stars in the sport will be lining up at the Anaheim Opener in January as the 450SX Class once again promises to deliver one of the deepest fields in recent memory. Four past champions – Jason Anderson, Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac, and Chase Sexton will be fighting for another title while Ken Roczen (Germany), Dylan Ferrandis (France), Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Barcia, Aaron Plessinger, Malcolm Stewart, and Christian Craig, all compete for their first championship title. Not making it easy on anyone will be rookie sensation Jett Lawrence, fresh off an undefeated Pro Motocross season and SuperMotocross World Championship title.
Chase Sexton signing autographs during FanFest in Salt Lake City prior to winning his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
The first of three Triple Crown events will take place on Saturday, January 27 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif., followed by rounds 10 and 12 on Saturday, March 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind., and Saturday, March 30 at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo. The Triple Crown, three-race format is a break from the traditional one Main Event race format and has become a fan favorite since its inception in 2018.
Teams will decide later in the year which athletes will be competing in each respective 250SX Class Regional Championship, but fans can expect some epic battles as 2024 will feature the return of seasoned veterans RJ Hampshire, Jordon Smith, Austin Forkner, Max Anstie (U.K.) and Jo Shimoda (Japan). France’s Tom Vialle enters the new season with a greater familiarity of the competition and will be determined to back up his two MX2 (European) championship titles. In his second year, 250cc Class SuperMotocross World Champion Haiden Deegan will also be eager to capture his first 250SX Class Championship.
Western and Eastern 250SX Class Champions Jett and Hunter Lawrence speaking at the pre-race press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
The Western Regional 250SX Class Championship will be contested at the following rounds:
- Round 1 – Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday, January 6 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim
- Round 2 – San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday, January 13 at Oracle Park
- Round 3 – San Diego, Calif. on Saturday, January 20 at Snapdragon Stadium
- Round 4 – Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday, January 27 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim
- Round 6 – Glendale, Ariz. on Saturday, February 10 at State Farm Stadium
- Round 11 – Seattle, Wash. on Saturday, March 23 at Lumen Field
- Round 12 – St. Louis, Mo. on Saturday, March 30 at the Dome at America’s Center
- Round 16 – Denver, Colo. on Saturday, May 4 at Empower Field at Mile High
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship will be contested at the following rounds:
- Round 5 – Detroit, Mich. on Saturday, February 3 at Ford Field
- Round 7 – Arlington, Texas on Saturday, February 24 at AT&T Stadium
- Round 8 – Daytona Beach Fla. on Saturday, March 2 at Daytona International Speedway
- Round 9 – Birmingham, Ala. on Saturday, March 9 at Protective Stadium
- Round 10 – Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday, March 16 at Lucas Oil Stadium
- Round 13 – Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday, April 13 at Gillette Stadium
- Round 15 – Philadelphia, Pa. on Saturday, April 27 at Lincoln Financial Field
The first East/West Showdown will be held on Saturday, April 20 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., (Round 14) and the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Showdown will be Saturday, May 11 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah (Round 17).
Four Supercross events will also serve as the Premier rounds of qualifying for the Supercross Futures AMA National Championship. Athletes competing in the 250SX Futures Class will be awarded points towards their pro Supercross license based on their finishing positions at these Premier qualifying events.
Supercross Futures Premier Qualifying Events:
- Round 4 – Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday, January 27 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim
- Round 8 – Daytona Beach, Fla. on Saturday, March 2 at Daytona International Speedway
- Round 12 – St. Louis, Mo. on Saturday, March 30 at Dome at America’s Center
- Round 13 – Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday, April 13 at Gillette Stadium
The top four athletes from each Premier qualifying race will advance to the Supercross Futures AMA National Championship where twenty-four athletes will vie to become the 250SX Futures Class Champion. The Supercross Futures AMA National Championship will take place at Round 17 in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, May 11 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Casey Cochran in Salt Lake City prior to winning the Supercross Futures AMA National Championship. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
FanFest is currently planned for all rounds except Detroit, Mich. (Round 5). The expansive outside footprint features first and foremost, unprecedented access to the sport’s biggest stars with an up-close and intimate view of their race bikes and team rigs. As the name implies FanFest is a festival for the fans and has become a major part of the Supercross experience where fans can jump back and forth between the paddock and the stadium to also watch practice and qualifying.
Supercross continues to be one of the most athlete accessible sports in the world. Standing room only inside FanFest at the final round in Salt Lake City. Photo Credit: Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
Ticketing information for Daytona International Speedway (Round 8) in Daytona Beach, Fla. can be found at the following link: DAYTONA Supercross – Daytona International SpeedwayShare