This week in US powersports racing.
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s 250 Team Primed For 2024 Title Run
Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing to defend the 250SMX World Championship crown and launch title campaigns in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross Championships
MARIETTA, Ga. – The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team heads into the 2024 season primed for a SuperMotocross League title fight with the all-new Yamaha YZ250F and a talented eight-rider line-up. Reigning 250SMX Champion Haiden Deegan, Jordon Smith, Nate Thrasher, Stilez Robertson, Nick Romano, and new addition Enzo Lopes are eager to launch their title runs as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season approaches. Leading the campaign for the team’s amateur program in Supercross Futures is Gavin Towers.
After a stellar rookie season, Deegan is eager to return to action and add more number-one plates to his resume in 2024. The Californian enjoyed a host of career milestones in 2023 that saw him as a title contender early on. He was runner-up in both 250SX East and Pro Motocross 250MX Championships and then finished the year in style by sealing the deal on the 250SMX Championship. Not resting on his laurels, Deegan has been hard at work during the off-season and aims to take top honors aboard the all-new YZ250F.
Smith returns for his second year with the team and also looks to build on his momentum from last season. The North Carolina rider found success early, returning to the podium in his debut race with the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team in Houston. He made four more trips to the podium during the stadium season and was fourth in the 250SX East Championship. After being sidelined for most of the outdoor season, Smith earned his first moto win with the team in the 250SMX moto at the SMX Finals and ultimately finished the three-round series with a top-five finish in the points standings.
New to the team for 2023 is Lopes, who is excited to get his dream factory ride and looks to make a title run in Monster Energy AMA Supercross aboard the all-new YZ250F. He earned a career-best result in 2023, with three fourth-place finishes and a total of five top-five finishes to end the year fourth overall in the 250SX West Championship. With a massive following in Brazil cheering him on, Lopes looks to take it to the next level in 2024 and battle for top honors.
Thrasher returns for his fourth year with the team and is hungrier than ever. Despite a tough start to last season, the Tennessee rider rallied back and returned to the top step of the podium at the Arlington Supercross. He continued to fight up front and added four more podiums to his tally before he was sidelined for the rest of the year after a big crash at the Atlanta Supercross. Back to full fitness, Thrasher has his sights set on taking the crown.
Robertson also is eager to make a comeback after a roller coaster year in 2023. The Californian returned to the podium at Anaheim 2, but unfortunately, his season ended early with a broken leg at Glendale Supercross. Before being sidelined, Robertson was making a lot of progress during his debut season with the team and now looks to build on that for 2024 and battle up front.
Another one of the team’s top up-and-coming riders, Bennick returns to make his Monster Energy AMA Supercross debut and begin his first full year in the pro ranks. He turned a lot of heads last year, winning the first Supercross Futures race at Anaheim 2, and followed that up with another victory. The North Carolina rider enjoyed a stellar finish to his amateur career at the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, dominating the Open Pro Class en route to the title and was awarded the coveted Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award. Bennick also had an impressive Pro Motocross debut at RedBud, where he topped the timesheets 250MX qualifying and earned a pair of top-10 moto finishes, and at Budds Creek, he earned a career-best moto result in fourth.
Romano is also fired up for his rookie season in Monster Energy AMA Supercross. Unfortunately, that debut was delayed last season after a knee injury sidelined him for the entire year. Back to full fitness, the New Yorker is eager to get back on track and build on his strong debut season in Pro Motocross in 2022, where he too earned a career-best moto result of fourth at Unadilla.
Towers heads the team’s efforts in the amatuer ranks for 2024, racing Supercross Futures and campaigning for amateur national titles. The young rider from Pittsburgh made his debut with the team in the Fall of 2023 at the Scouting Moto Combine in advance of the Pro Motocross season finale at Ironman Raceway. Towers enjoyed a successful first outing aboard the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing YZ250F, dominating the competition with a win in both motos for the overall victory.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 team would like to thank its partners for their support: Monster Energy, Yamaha Racing, Yamaha Financial Services (YMFUS), Yamalube, GYTR, Yamaha Bicycles, bLU cRU, Thor, Parts Unlimited, Alpinestars, 100%, FMF, Dunlop, Toyota of Escondido, KYB, Rekluse, VP Racing Fuels, Cycra, Kite, Twin Air, Light Speed, ARC Levers, Mechanix Wear, Boxo Tools, CWI, D’cor Graphics, Vortex ECU, Braking, Matrix Concepts, Pro Taper, Optima Batteries, G2 Ergonomics, DID, AFAM, Mettec, and Works Connection.
Anticipation is high for the start of the second year of the SMX League – Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Pro Motocross, and the SMX Finals – and Yamaha has upped the ante with enhanced contingency support featuring over $5 million for Yamaha bLU cRU riders competing in all three series. The 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season gets underway with Anaheim 1 on January 6 at the traditional Southern California venue for the series opener at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Jensen Hendler – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing 250 Team Manager:
“It’s almost time to get rolling again at A1, and we’re really excited for the 2024 SMX season. We’ve got a great lineup with a lot of fast guys and a lot of young talent. The whole team has been working hard here at The Farm, putting in the hours, and we can’t wait to go racing!”
Haiden Deegan – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #1 and #38:
“We’ve been working hard during the off-season and trying to focus on what we can do to better ourselves from 2023. We picked out a lot of things because I won a few races, but I wasn’t consistently winning every race or almost winning every race. So there were things to work on, and we studied those, figured them out, and have been working to apply them. I’m excited for the new season! It’s been a while since we’ve raced, and I want to get back to winning.”
Jordon Smith – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #31:
“It’s been a really good off-season. We got on the new Yamaha YZ250F, tested a good bit the first two weeks, and found a setting that I really liked. Honestly, I’ve never felt more comfortable on a bike. I’ve been riding really well and feeling good. So yeah, we’re just putting in the laps now, getting ready, and can’t wait to go racing.”
Enzo Lopes – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #50:
“It’s been good working with the team and getting ready for the season. It’s still a surreal feeling to be here. It’s been my dream to be on a factory team since I was growing up in Brazil. It’s been a smooth transition, though, and I’ve been loving hanging out with the whole team. The riders have been pretty cool to me, as well as the whole staff of the team, and the bike speaks for itself with how powerful it is. I’m just looking forward to getting to the next step of my career – getting podiums, wins, and hopefully fighting for a championship. I’m really excited about it.”
Nate Thrasher – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #57:
“I think it’s going to be a good year. I’m feeling good, feeling healthy, which is a good thing. So whatever coast they decide, we’ll just be ready to go. We’ve got a lot of good things ahead of us, and we’re trying to go win the title this year.”
Daxton Bennick – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #59:
“The off-season’s going good. It’s my rookie season and first off-season, really, because last year, I was just preparing for the Futures. We’ve been putting in the work with the team, and I’m just ready to get rolling.”
Stilez Robertson – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #61:
“I’m just looking forward to a good year. We’ve already had one year down with the team and learned a lot. I’m just ready to come out swinging and put the bike where it belongs.”
Nick Romano – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #511:
“I’m definitely excited for 2024, especially after missing the entire 2023 season with my knee injury. So I’m glad to be healthy now, back on the bike, and progressing for the new season. Supercross will be new for me, and for outdoors, I did a few races in 2022, so I kind of know what to expect there, but I’m really looking to learn, be at every race, and keep building.”
Gavin Towers – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing #15:
“I’m feeling pretty good. I had a couple of weeks of supercross so far, and I’m learning each day and making progress, so I’m pretty happy with that. Our first Futures race is at Anaheim 2, and I’m feeling pretty good and just excited to get going.”
Panigale 2023 Replica: Ducati collectors’ limited edition to celebrate a record-breaking season
Ducati celebrates the conquest of the MotoGP, WorldSBK and WorldSSP titles with the creation of five special, collector’s edition Panigale series, inspired by the Desmosedici GP of Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge Martín and Marco Bezzecchi, the Panigale V4 R of Álvaro Bautista and Nicolò Bulega’s Panigale V2. The Panigale V4’s dedicated to Bagnaia and Bautista take up the yellow livery with which the two champions raced in the Misano Grand Prix and SBK Round, celebrating an iconic color in the Ducati history and thus becoming even more iconic.
The bikes were presented during the press conference anticipating “Campioni in Festa”, the event which Ducati celebrated its historic success together with enthusiasts.
2023 was an incredible year for Ducati: no motorcycle manufacturer had ever been able to prevail in the MotoGP® and WorldSBK® World Championships for two consecutive years. A dream result, also completed by the conquest of the WorldSSP title and second and third place in the MotoGP world championship standings, which came to fruition thanks to the exceptional work of the engineers, teams and riders. A triumph that Ducati wishes to celebrate with five unique motorcycles, true jewels in limited and numbered editions.
Each individual example of the series will be made unique by the rider’s original autograph placed on the tank, a signature which will then be protected with a layer of transparent varnish. The five replicas celebrate the racing numbers of the riders to whom they are dedicated: Pecco Bagnaia’s 63, Álvaro Bautista’s 19, Jorge Martín’s 89, Marco Bezzecchi’s 72 and Nicolò Bulega’s 11.
Like the racing bikes that inspire them, the Panigale 2023 Racing Replicas are offered in single-seater configuration only. Each is embellished with a billet aluminum steering plate with laser engraving of the model’s name and progressive number, and a dedicated key and animation for the dashboard at key-on. In addition, the saddle is made of special material, with the rider’s logo displayed as on the race bike.
The Panigale V4 Bagnaia 2023 World Champion Replica is inspired by the most exclusive livery of the 2024 season, the Ducati Yellow with which the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Lenovo Team raced the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP at Misano. Production is limited to 263 units.
The Panigale V4 Bautista 2023 World Champion Replica takes up the Ducati Yellow livery of the Panigale V4 R with which Álvaro raced the Misano rounds and race 2 at Jerez de la Frontera. The livery, specifically, is inspired by the one with which Bautista became WorldSBK World Champion for the second time, at Jerez. Furthermore, like the Panigale V4 R from which it takes its inspiration, is enhanced by the brushed aluminium fuel tank, carbon fiber winglets and Marchesini forged aluminium wheels in light grey. Production is limited to 219 units.
The Panigale V4 Martín 2023 Racing Replica takes up the official colors of the Desmosedici GP of the Prima Pramac team, and is rendered all the more unique by the carbon fiber front fender. Production is limited to 189 units.
The Panigale V4 Bezzecchi 2023 Racing Replica is inspired by the yellow/black livery of the Desmosedici GP of the Mooney VR46 team. Production is limited to 72 units.
These four Panigale V4s are based on the “S” model and are enhanced by various Ducati Performance components that make them even more valuable and effective on road and track. The technical equipment boasts the adoption of the nine-disc STM-EVO SBK dry clutch and the Akrapovič homologated silencer, which is 4.4 lbs lighter than the standard silencer on the Panigale V4. The Brembo braking system is enhanced by Stylema® R calipers and MCS master cylinder with remote adjustment. The adjustable footpegs are Rizoma billet aluminum. The plexiglass is a racing version.
Other technical details that characterize these special bikes are the heat shield for the rear exhaust manifolds, the alternator cover, the rear mudguard and the front brake ducts, all made of carbon fiber. Also in carbon fiber, combined with titanium, is the cover protecting the single-sided swingarm.
All Panigale V4 Replica bikes are made even closer to the racing bikes they are inspired by thanks to a series of accessories, such as the open clutch cover in carbon fiber*, the kits for removing the number plate holder and mirrors*, the racing fuel tank cap in billet aluminum* and the GPS module that allows the display on the dashboard of lap times and split times taken on the track.
The Panigale V2 Bulega 2023 World Champion Replica takes up the red/black livery of the Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP team with which Nicolò Bulega won the world title. Production is limited to 111 units.
The Panigale V2 is also enhanced with Öhlins suspension and Akrapovič racing silencers*, which increase the maximum power by 2.5% and the maximum torque by 2% and contribute to reducing the weight of the bike by 11 lbs. The Rizoma rider footpegs are adjustable and made from billet aluminum. The front and rear mudguards, chain guard, clutch cover guard, swingarm guard and shock absorber guard are in carbon fiber. Also, the Panigale V2 dedicated to Bulega can get even closer to the racing bike by fitting the number plate and mirror removal kit*, and the billet aluminum racing tank cap*.
Each motorcycle will come with a certificate of authenticity and will be delivered in a wooden packing case with dedicated graphics and a customized motorcycle cover.
All the images of the 2023 Panigale Replica bikes are available on Ducati Media House.
Availability and pricing
Client deliveries of the 2023 Panigale Race Replica’s will begin July 2024.
United States pricing will be $43,000 for the Panigale V2 Bulega 2023 World Championship Replica; $63,000 for the Panigale V4 Bezzecchi 2023 Racing Replica; $68,000 for the Panigale V4 Martin 2023 Racing Replica; $73,000 for the Panigale V4 Bagnaia 2023 World Champion Replica; $68,000 for the Panigale Bautista 2023 World Champion Replica.
Canada pricing will be $51,000 for the Panigale V2 Bulega 2023 World Championship Replica; $74,000 for the Panigale V4 Bezzecchi 2023 Racing Replica; $80,000 for the Panigale V4 Martin 2023 Racing Replica; $86,000 for the Panigale V4 Bagnaia 2023 World Champion Replica; $80,000 for the Panigale Bautista 2023 World Champion Replica.
*: Additional equipment for vehicles used exclusively on closed circuits. Use on public roads is prohibited by law.
Componentry may vary depending on specific country regulations. Please check with your dealer for the exact specifications.
Progressive AFT and Mission Foods® Announce Renewal of Expansive Partnership
Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, is pleased to announce a partnership renewal with Mission Foods® to continue its wide-ranging support of the series for a fourth-consecutive season in 2024.
Included as key features of the multifaceted partnership agreement, Mission Foods will again serve as the title sponsor for the premier Mission SuperTwins class and the associated Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, while remaining the Official Tortilla, Chip, and Salsa of Progressive AFT.
The nation’s top manufacturer of tortillas, tortilla chips, flatbreads, and other baked products, Mission Foods has been one of the most active and influential sponsors of Progressive American Flat Track since making its high-profile debut with the series in 2021. Its support has only expanded since, and it will again serve as the title sponsor for its home round, the Mission Texas Half-Mile at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, April 27.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with American Flat Track as the title sponsor of the SuperTwins class and Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge for 2024,” said Juan Gonzalez, Mission Foods Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to keep connecting with fans on race weekends, and it further exemplifies our commitment to motorsports racing.”
Mission Foods has done much to raise the profile and awareness of Progressive AFT over the years of its partnership via in-store grocery displays across the nation featuring Mission-branded athletes. That practice will not only continue but increase with the addition of displays in stores on military bases in 2024. Mission will also maintain a large presence at the track with numerous fan-facing activations.
“Mission Foods is an exceptional partner, continually elevating the American Flat Track experience both on and off the track,” said Gene Crouch, Chief Executive Officer of AMA Pro Racing. “We’re truly grateful for their energy and enthusiasm in supporting our athletes and engaging with fans. We’re excited about this renewed collaboration and appreciate their continued efforts to bring the excitement of American Flat Track to a broader audience.”
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
Progressive AFT series merchandise is available via the official merchandise store at https://aftmerch.com/.
AMA Congratulates 2023 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year Jett Lawrence
The American Motorcyclist Association offers its congratulations to 2023 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year Jett Lawrence, as well as the 2023 AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, the late Jesse Thomas.
“Many riders made great contributions to our sport this year and beyond, but Jett Lawrence and Jesse Thomas set themselves apart with their outstanding achievements and dedication to motorcycling,” AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman said. “Jett had an unbelievable run in AMA Supercross and Motocross this year, claiming several championships, making him worthy of the AMA Motorcyclist of the Year distinction. Jesse’s unrelenting love for our sport and his lifelong work to grow motorcycling in Kentucky left no doubt that he was deserving of the AMA Dud Perkins Award.”
Lawrence was a dominant presence on the track throughout the 2023 season, racing his way to the AMA Supercross 250 West, AMA Pro Motocross 450 and SuperMotocross 450 championships. Although Lawrence’s resume in 2023 is impressive on its own, the fashion in which he competed propelled him above the rest.
During his chase for the 450 Pro Motocross title, Lawrence became the only in-class rookie to record a perfect moto-win season, finishing 22-0 for the series.
For Lawrence, his standout 2023 season was the culmination of a long, arduous journey to reach the highest levels of motorcycle racing. A native of Australia, Lawrence and his family — including his brother Hunter, who also races professionally — moved to Europe during the brothers’ teenage years, where they endured economic hardship in the pursuit of racing success.
The Lawrences ultimately proved their racing prowess, moving to the United States in 2018 and earning their AMA Pro licenses in 2019 when Jett was only 16 years old. From there, Jett raced his way to a number of championships — including a pair of AMA Pro Motocross 250 Championships in 2021 and 2022 — completing his ultimate goal of racing at the upper echelon of the sport.
“What Jett Lawrence accomplished this year was extraordinary,” said AMA Board of Directors Chairman Russ Ehnes. “The combination of his AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross wins, as well as his perfect rookie season, was worthy of recognition, which is why we selected him as the 2023 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year. We’re proud to have Jett and his brother Hunter as AMA members, and the Lawrence family’s story — transitioning from Australia to Europe to the United States in search of achieving Jett and Hunter’s racing dreams — is truly compelling.”
Thomas’ lifelong commitment to the sport of motorcycling made him the perfect candidate for the AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented annually to an individual who provides the highest level of service to the AMA in any area of activity.
“He did a lot of really good work and impacted a lot of families,” Thomas’ grandson, Chase, said. “It’s really cool that [the AMA] went back and honored him because he did a lot for the riding in this area.”
Thomas established the West Kentucky Trail Riders AMA club in 1970, thus beginning a long run as a race promoter for several AMA National Enduros and Hare Scrambles. In 1987, Thomas founded the KT Riders AMA Club, which currently promotes the longest running AMA Dual Sport series in the country in the LBL 200, which takes place in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Tennessee.
For his tireless efforts as a promoter, Thomas and his family received the AMA Recreational Riding Organizer of the Year in 2019. Despite his passing on Sept. 29, Thomas’ impact is felt throughout his family as his son, Bob, and his grandsons, Chase and Dustin, have continued his work with KT Riders, now known as Thomas Brothers Promotions.
Beyond the world of promoting, Thomas also raced flat track in the late ’50s and owned a successful motorcycle dealership in Cadiz, Ky. Thomas was also a fixture in his community, helping open several county recycling sites, while serving on boards for the Trigg County Hospital, Trigg County Recreation Center, the Tennessee Valley Advisory and the U.S. Forestry Service Advisory.
SUZUKI ANNOUNCES 2024 SUPERMOTOCROSS TEAMS AND RIDERS
HEP Motorsports and BARX Ready to Attack the 2024 SMX Season
BREA, CA – December 18, 2023 – Suzuki Motor USA, LLC (Suzuki) is pleased to name its riders for the upcoming 2024 Supermotocross season. The HEP Motorsports and BARX Suzuki teams arrive back to represent Suzuki with strong returning talent along with promising new recruits. The Pipes Motorsports Group’s dual team effort will again compete in the 450-class championship. The 2024 Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki squad will field a solid lineup of five riders competing for action across both 250 and 450 classes.
For 2024, HEP Motorsports returns with two squads under the HEP canopy: Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki and Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance.
The 2024 Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki team features elite rider Ken Roczen (94) competing on the proven Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen had an extremely successful season in 2023 in his return to Suzuki; earned an emotional win at the Indy Supercross and captured several podium finishes throughout 2023. Roczen’s intelligent, technical riding style and solid performances resulted in a strong second-place finish in the 2023 Supermotocross Championship, and tied for third place in the 2023 Supercross season. Roczen was also crowned the overall winner of the MXGP class at the MX of Nations in France and capped off the season as the 2023 World Supercross Champion.
“I am excited to be back for 2024 with the Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki Team. We have built a great foundation, and I am eager to continue to try and put our Suzuki on the podium. The team and I are very motivated!” said Roczen.
Ken Roczen (94) is ready to extend his 2023 momentum into continued strong 2024 success.
HEP Motorsports’ Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance effort continues in 2024 with veteran riders, crowd favorite Kyle Chisholm (11) from Clearwater, FL, and established pro Shane McElrath (12) who hails from Canton, NC.
With off-season training continuing, Kyle Chisholm (11) brings his setup expertise to the 2024 Supermotocross World Championship.
In 2023, Chisholm brought solid competition and race bike set-up experience to the HEP team while also racing to 17th in the 2023 Supermotocross World Championship. Chisholm earned consistent finishes across the supercross and motocross segments of the season. His testing and development skills behind the scenes were a key element to the HEP team’s 2023 success. With Chisholm’s extensive background in both SX and MX, Chisholm’s behind-the-scenes work, and insights will be instrumental to the HEP team’s continued progression.
“I’m looking forward to the 2024 season with the team. This will be my second year with the team, and I am pleased with all the progress made in 2023 with the RM-Z450 and with the team as a whole. Everyone worked great together, and we are looking to build on that and be even better in 2024. The team is working extremely hard, and we have such a good starting place, I feel we are going to do great things. I am looking forward to the season and having fun and more success with the team,” stated Chisholm.
Shane McElrath (12) eagerly preps for the Supermotocross World Championship at Anaheim 1.
Alongside Chisholm, the team fields Shane McElrath who returns for 2024 and further augments the team’s 450-class effort to lead the RM Army. A two-time 250 West series championship runner-up, McElrath is anticipating making serious strides in 2024.
“I’m excited to be back with the Twisted Tea Progressive Suzuki Team for the full 2024 season, and am looking forward to continuing to grow and build off of everything learned last season. It’s a strong team, a really good group of people with a lot of experience; so I’m looking to apply their wealth of knowledge this year. I think that will do a lot for me and I’m eager to go racing. We’ll see you all in Anaheim!” said McElrath.
Pipes Motorsports Group Team Principle, Dustin Pipes echoes his riders’ enthusiasm for the upcoming season. “I am genuinely excited for the 2024 season. The team is working extremely hard in preparation for the season ahead, and we are optimistic to see how it pays off. We have a great group returning with Ken, Shane, and Kyle where we hope to build on the continuity achieved during last season. All our athletes represent the team to the highest standard, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to race with,” commented Pipes.
Respected leader Larry Brooks will continue as HEP’s team manager, and Brooks anticipates continued strong results from both squads. “We are anxious for this upcoming season and motivated for another successful year! We have been working hard this off-season to come into Anaheim 1 ready to race. It’s great to have Ken, Kyle, and Shane return for another season. We made a lot of progress in 2023. We’re looking to continue building in 2024. Ken is coming off a great off-season, winning the World Supercross Championship. Kyle and Shane both had strong off-seasons. A lot of work goes into racing. I look forward to seeing it play out come January 6th at Angel Stadium!” stated Brooks.
The 2024 HEP Motorsports team’s Suzuki RM-Z450s are ready for 2024.
Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki Team
For 2024, Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki will primarily race the sharp-handling Suzuki RM-Z250s while also fielding one rider in the 450 class with the Suzuki RM-Z450. BARX will field a team of five young competitors with diverse, progressive backgrounds in multiple SX and MX series. Each has the same desire and objective of putting BARX Suzuki on the podium in 2024.
Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki will field up-and-coming rider Preston Boespflug (128), a fierce, young competitor climbing up the SMX ranks. From the aptly named Battle Ground, WA, Boespflug carded a promising sixth place in the 250 All-Stars main event at the 2023 SMX World Championship finale. Boespflug brings his strong work ethic and a focused, competitive spirit to the BARX squad. He will gain valuable experience competing in the first round of the Supercross Futures at Anaheim 2 before moving to contest the 250 East series in 2024, his first full SMX season as a pro.
“I’m incredibly excited to start my rookie season on a solid bike. The Suzuki RM-Z250 has been great this preseason and my team has been behind me each step of the way!” exclaimed Boespflug.
Preston Boespflug (128) looks to make an impression with Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki in his first pro season.
Former national French 250-class phenom, Anthony Bourdon (945) looks to transfer his global experience to SMX success for BARX in 2024.
Another substantial addition to the 2024 BARX team is Anthony Bourdon (945), the seven-year pro and the 2020 French Elite national MX2 champion. Hailing from the surfing hotbed of Europe- Seignosse, France, Bourdon has been a solid and stylish SX2 competitor on the world stage, with a strong overall podium result at the 2023 Paris Supercross including a main event win; Bourdon joins BARX to bring his ample riding skills to SMX on the Suzuki RM-Z250.
“I am incredibly happy to race in the US riding with Suzuki. I began my career racing a Suzuki RM85, and I have great memories of the bike; so I am excited to ride again with Suzuki. Coming to the US to ride Supercross is the dream of any Supercross rider, and I am glad Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki and Myron gave me this opportunity. I had a good 2023 season, and I feel great mentally and physically. I will give my absolute best to put the yellow bike on the podium. Let’s keep training and see you at A1,” said Bourdon.
Max Miller (87) joins BARX to challenge for the 250 West series crown.
Another solid rider for the 2024 BARX squad is Max Miller (87) from Springfield, OR also competing in the 250 West series. An established pro in his fourth season, Miller brings solid SX experience to the BARX team for 2024. Returning to the BARX fold for 2024 is Alpine, CA racer Dilan Schwartz (40). Schwartz returns having earned top-15 results in the ultra-competitive class in 2023 and will ride the 250 East series.
Dilan Schwartz (40) returns to BARX Suzuki for 250 East racing in 2024.
Derek Drake (52) heads up BARX’s 450-class SMX effort for 2024.
Riding for BARX’s 2024 450-class effort, is San Luis Obispo, CA’s Derek Drake (52). Drake will race the Suzuki RM-Z450 and continue to show the incredible speed displayed during select motocross races last year. Named the 2018 AMA Horizon Award winner, and starting his fifth year as a pro, Drake earned multiple top-twelve results in the 250 West class in 2023.
“I am looking forward to the RM-Z450 this season, this will be a whole new challenge for me that I’m incredibly excited about. We also have some new personnel this year that I enjoy working with so it will be a great year!” said Drake.
Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki is ready for the 2024 season.
Also supported by Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki in the 250 class are three up-and-coming amateur riders, each with solid momentum as they approach the pro sport and gain valuable experience against the sport’s best. Nathan Abbott from Simi Valley CA, Cole Timboe from Calimesa, CA, and Leo Tucker from East Dubuque, IL join the BARX squad. With additional support from Suzuki dealer Simi Valley Cycles, these BARX amateur riders will gain solid experience throughout the 2024 Supermotocross season.
For 2024 Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki will be managed by James Coy. Coy brings a solid team management background as well as strong amateur rider development experience gained over the last decade. Coy seeks to bring BARX together as a real force in both SMX classes while continuing to develop young riders into vital competitors.
“I am thrilled about this new challenge, I eagerly anticipate contributing to the success of the Toyota Redlands BARX Suzuki team throughout the 2024 Supermotocross season,” claimed Coy.
Suzuki is excited to race with BARX in the 2024 Supermotocross World Championship and anticipates seeing the entire RM Army at the venues and tracks throughout 2024.
The 2024 Supermotocross season kicks off once more at Angel Stadium on January 6th, 2024, at Angel Stadium for Anaheim 1.
Spirit of Sturgis TT: Progressive American Flat Track Hits the Streets for a Historic Debut on August 11, 2024
AMA Pro Racing, in collaboration with Øuterkind and the City of Sturgis, is proud to announce a major new event on the 2024 Progressive American Flat Track schedule: the inaugural Spirit of Sturgis TT. This spectacle of motorcycle sport is scheduled for August 11, 2024, coinciding with the final Sunday of the 84th Annual City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, continuing the city’s legacy of motorcycle racing that dates back to 1938.
“The history and the legacy of the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally started with racing,” said Mark Carstensen, mayor of the City of Sturgis. “To host this event, Sturgis is building the bridge to the future.”
The Spirit of Sturgis TT is a culmination of the collaborative effort to combine the rich heritage and tradition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with American Flat Track’s 70+ years of national championship racing to create a modern-day racing spectacle for fans. This groundbreaking event, taking place in the vibrant heart of downtown Sturgis, will feature an innovative mix of street and dirt sections and will be free for the public to attend.
“The Spirit of Sturgis TT is not just a race; it’s a tribute to the enduring legacy of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, blending tradition with innovation,” said Gene Crouch, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. “Racing through the storied streets of Sturgis promises a spectacular new chapter in the city’s rich history in motorcycle racing, while offering an unparalleled experience for fans and competitors.”
“The inaugural Spirit of Sturgis TT race is an embodiment of our agency’s commitment to delivering an exceptional motorsports experience within the world’s most iconic motorcycle rally.” says Ben Keane, Partner, Øuterkind. “We believe the race will not only captivate the hearts of enthusiasts during this rally but will carve its own legacy to attract new audiences while becoming a sought-after part of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for years to come.”
Building on the series’ history of hybrid courses, including past events like the DAYTONA TT and Atlanta Super TT, the Spirit of Sturgis TT is set to offer an unmatched racing experience. The unique setting of racing through the heart of the world-renowned Rally promises to deliver a memorable event for both participants and spectators.
For the first time, Progressive AFT’s Mission SuperTwins and Parts Unlimited Singles presented by KICKER classes will navigate a challenging course through Sturgis’ bustling streets. The 0.5-mile circuit will include legendary Main Street and each race will start and finish at the iconic Harley-Davidson Rally Point.
In a significant expansion for Progressive AFT, the event will also feature the debut of the AFT AdventureTrackers class. This new category will introduce the latest production-based Adventure Bikes, providing the motorcycle industry with an opportunity to showcase the rapidly growing segment. The new class aligns with the City of Sturgis’ tradition of embracing the future of motorcycling and has sparked considerable interest among manufacturers, leading to rumors of high-profile entries for the event.
Full details of the AFT AdventureTrackers class will be announced in the near future as will additional information regarding viewing options for the first annual Spirit of Sturgis TT.
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
For more information on the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally visit https://www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com/.
Progressive AFT series merchandise is available via the official merchandise store at https://aftmerch.com/.
Harley-Davidson Announces Contingency Programs for 2024 Race Season
Harley-Davidson is boosting its support of racing competitors for the 2024 season with cash contingency programs totaling more than $570,000. This will be available for qualified H-D racers competing in select classes in the American Flat Track series, and the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.
The Harley-Davidson® Factory Racing Team will compete in the MotoAmerica Mission Foods King of the Baggers road racing series in 2024 with riders Kyle Wyman and James Rispoli aboard race modified Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® motorcycles powered by modified Screamin’ Eagle® Milwaukee-Eight 131 Performance Crate Engines. In addition, privateer teams racing Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the series can benefit from racing contingency and available racing parts for purchase.
Mission Foods King of the Baggers Contingency
The Mission Foods King of The Baggers series offers exciting competition between American V-Twin touring motorcycles prepared for competition and equipped with stock frames and a fairing/windscreen and saddlebags. The 2024 King of The Baggers series is expanded to 16 races over eight doubleheader weekends held in conjunction with the MotoAmerica Superbike series. The series opens on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, March 7-9. Harley-Davidson will offer a $263,000 cash contingency program for qualified Harley-Davidson racers competing in the Mission Foods King of the Baggers series, with a contingency payout from first to 10th place and a $35,000 championship bonus. Terms and conditions apply; please email [email protected] for full details, eligibility requirements and deadlines.
Mission Foods Super Hooligan Contingency
New for 2024, Harley-Davidson will offer contingency opportunities for racers competing in the Mission Foods Super Hooligan National Championship Brought To You By Roland Sands Design. The road racing series features 750cc-and-up high-bar race-prepared street bikes. Held in conjunction with the MotoAmerica Superbike series, the Super Hooligan Championship includes 10 races over five double-header weekends, beginning with two races at Daytona International Speedway March 7-9. Harley-Davidson will offer a $123,000 cash contingency program for qualified Harley-Davidson racers competing in the Mission Foods Super Hooligan series, with a contingency payout from first to 10th place and a $20,000 championship bonus. Terms and conditions apply; please email [email protected] for full details, eligibility requirements and deadlines.
Progressive American Flat Track Contingency
Harley-Davidson will offer contingency opportunities for racers competing in the premier SuperTwins class on the 16-event 2024 Progressive American Flat Track series, the most prestigious and competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing in the world. Harley-Davidson has committed $185,000 in contingency funds for qualified SuperTwins class riders. Harley-Davidson contingency will pay first to 10th place and a $20,000 championship bonus. The season opens March 7-8 with the Daytona Short Track double-header at Daytona International Speedway. Terms and conditions apply; please email [email protected] for full details, eligibility requirements and deadlines.
About Progressive American Flat Track:
Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on Progressive American Flat Track, please visit us on the web, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram and catch all the Progressive American Flat Track racing action on FOX Sports.
NBC Sports, Peacock and SMX League Announce 2024 SuperMotocross World Championship Media Schedule
31 SuperMotocross Rounds to be Presented Across Peacock, NBC, and USA Network
Peacock to Stream All Races, Qualifying and Heats Live Across Entire Series, Including 17 Exclusive Live Rounds
SuperMotocross Season Begins in Anaheim, Calif., at Angel Stadium on Sat., Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. ET Live on USA Network and Peacock
Second Annual SuperMotocross World Championship Final Presented Sat., Sept. 21, at 10 p.m. ET on Peacock with Encore Presentation Sun., Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. ET on NBC
SMX Preview Show Presented Saturday, Dec. 30, at 4 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock
15-Time AMA Champion Ricky Carmichael, Seven-Time AMA Champion James Stewart, and Leigh Diffey Headline 2024 Commentary Team
STAMFORD, CT – December 21, 2023 –(Motor Sports NewsWire) – NBC Sports, Peacock, and the SMX League announced the 2024 SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) broadcast and streaming schedule, including the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. All 31 rounds across the series, including exclusive live coverage of qualifiers, heats, Main Events and Motos will be presented on Peacock, NBC, USA Network, CNBC, and NBC Sports digital platforms.
Peacock is the home of the SuperMotocross World Championship Series in 2024, presenting comprehensive live coverage of all qualifying, heats, Main Events and Motos across both Supercross and Pro Motocross, spanning 31 rounds from January to September 2024. 17 races will livestream exclusively on Peacock. The platform will also provide on-demand replays of every race. Qualifiers and heats will be available exclusively on Peacock for every race throughout the season.
2024 marks the second year of the SuperMotocross World Championship Finals, fueled by Monster Energy which unified both disciplines of Supercross and Pro Motocross. The SMX World Championship culminates in a series-ending postseason playoff style of racing that features the best racers in the world competing for the sport’s ultimate title.
NBC Sports’ 2024 SuperMotocross World Championship coverage begins in under a month with the Monster Energy Supercross season opener from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., live on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. ET on Peacock and USA Network. An encore presentation will air the following day on Sunday, Jan. 7, on NBC at 2 p.m. ET and on Sunday, Jan. 8, on CNBC at 1 a.m. ET. CNBC will air a next-day encore for all 31 rounds across the series in 2024.
The 2024 Pro Motocross season begins with the Fox Raceway National in Pala, Calif., on Saturday, May 25, at 4 p.m. ET exclusively on Peacock.
The much-anticipated second annual SuperMotocross World Championship will culminate with two SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff rounds and the SuperMotocross World Championship Final. SMX Playoff 1 will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 3 p.m. ET on Peacock with an encore presentation on NBC at 4 p.m. ET the following day, followed by SMX Playoff 2 on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m. ET on Peacock and then at 6 p.m. ET same day delayed on USA Network.
The SuperMotocross World Championship Final will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 10 p.m. ET on Peacock, with an encore presentation on NBC at 1 p.m. ET the following day. Locations for all Playoff and Final events will be announced in January.
The 2024 SuperMotocross commentary team will consist of Leigh Diffey and Jason Weigandt as play-by-play, 15-time AMA champion Ricky Carmichael and seven-time AMA champion James Stewart as analysts, with Will Christien, former veteran racer Jason Thomas, and Katie Osborne as reporters.
Race Day Live will cover all 31 rounds of the SuperMotocross World Championship series exclusively on Peacock. Dan Hubbard and Justin Brayton will serve as hosts of the pre-race program, along with Steven “Lurch” Scott, Haley Shanley, and Osborne as reporters.
A SuperMotocross World Championship one-hour preview special airs Saturday, Dec. 30, at 4 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock, headlined by appearances from 2023 SuperMotocross 450 World Champion Jett Lawrence, who will be making his Supercross debut in the premier class, and 2023 SuperMotocross 250 World Champion Haiden Deegan. The preview show will also feature Jett’s brother Hunter, who will be starting his rookie year in the 450 class, 2022 Supercross and Pro Motocross champion Eli Tomac, 2018 Supercross champion Jason Anderson, two-time Supercross champion Cooper Webb, 2023 Monster Energy 450 Supercross Champion Chase Sexton, and veteran racers Aaron Plessinger and Justin Barcia will also be featured as they prepare for the upcoming 2024 season.
All televised Supercross and Pro Motocross coverage on NBC, USA Network and CNBC will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app via authentication, giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
Below is the 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship broadcast and streaming schedule:
Below is the 2024 Pro Motocross Championship broadcast and streaming schedule:
Below is the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final broadcast and streaming schedule:
For international viewers, The SuperMotocross Video Pass (www.supermotocross.tv) is now available in every country outside the United States, live and on-demand, in both English and Spanish, giving viewers the choice on how to follow all the racing action. SuperMotocross Video Pass subscribers can enjoy all the live 2024 racing action between January and September, plus gain access to 13 years of archival race content dating back to 2010. New for the first time ever, you can now give the gift of a 2024 Subscription to SuperMotocross Video Pass for the holidays. Visit, https://app.supermotocross.tv/gift to finish your holiday shopping today. The SuperMotocross Video Pass is currently available via the web, and in all major app stores across IOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Samsung CTV.