This week in US powersports racing.
Monster Energy Unveils Supercross Teams for 2024 Season
CORONA, Calif., Dec. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Welcome to the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross Championship! Monster Energy has today unveiled its full roster of riders for the upcoming 2024 season. This year, Monster will fuel 20 of the world’s best two-wheeled racers, across four factory teams, in both 450 and 250 class, as they battle through 17 rounds across the United States — starting with Anaheim 1 on January 6th!
“We cannot wait for the gates to drop at Anaheim 1,” said Monster Energy CMO Dan McHugh. “We’ve hand selected 20 of the best riders in the world, and we are proud to see them represent the M-Claw this season. Let’s see some podiums!”
Founded in 1999 by Bobby Regan, the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha program grew from a pure privateer effort to Yamaha’s premier support program (since 2005). Regan led the team through a storied history over the past 23 years, which included five 250 SX West championships in recent years.
Newly signed Monter Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Cooper Webb also brings his back-to-back premier 450 class SX titles in 2015 and ’16 to the team, to add to Justin Cooper’s 2021 250 WSX title aboard the YZ250F. They also boast 2023 rookie sensation Haiden Deegan (250 SuperMotocross World Champion, SX Rookie of the Year and MX Rookie of the Year), and of course, Eli Tomac, who set the precedence for excellence with his 2022 season where he won both the SX and MX championships, and led Team USA to the Motocross Des Nations title, ending an 11-year drought for the Americans.
450 Class Racers:
#3 Eli Tomac – Tomac had such an outstanding season in 2022 (SX & MX titles, MX Des Nations win for Team USA) that ESPN bestowed its Action Sports Best Male Athlete ESPY on him. Tomac was on his way to another great season in ’23 when he blew out his Achilles tendon. Back for 2024 with a supercross only contract, Tomac will look to build on his No. 2 standing in supercross all-time wins (51, behind Monster Energy’s Jeremy McGrath’s 72).
#32 Justin Cooper – Rallying back from an injury that kept him out of Monster Energy AMA Supercross for 12 of the 17 races, Cooper hit his stride outdoors, scoring the runner-up position in the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross Championship’s 250 class. Cooper added a 6th place finish in the three round SuperMotocross World Championship this past fall, and will contest the 2024 SX/MX seasons aboard the YZ450F.
#2 Cooper Webb – The two-time Monster Energy AMA Supercross champion returns to the team that gave him his start as a pro racer. Webb, 4th on the all-time 250 class supercross wins list (11), stepped up and challenged the supercross elite this past season, finishing on the podium in 3rd place in the 450 class. Webb would also add a 4th place overall finish in the inaugural three round SuperMotocross World Championship.
#38 Haiden Deegan – One of the sport’s brightest shining young stars, Deegan dominated the 2023 headlines in Monster Energy AMA Supercross (2nd 250 ESX) and AMA Pro Motocross Championship (4th 250s), as well as SuperMotocross World Championship (1st 250s). A human highlight reel aboard his YZ250F, Danger Boy Deegan is full on fierce when he lines up in the starting gate — a racer you just can’t take your eyes off.
#31 Jordon Smith – Hard work during the off season led to solid ’23 results for Smith in 250 ESX (4th) and the SuperMotocross World Championship (6th). A powerful racer at 5-11, 167 lbs., Smith is not afraid to mix it up in his pursuit of the 250-class podium.
#50 Enzo Lopes – The Brazilian speedster ran fast and confident during the 2023 250 WSX season, nailing five top-five finishes in eight rounds of racing. Since 2020 Lopes has finished no worse than 5th in the 250 class SX standings.
#57 Nate Thrasher – Nate Thrasher is a powerful racer, nailing down overall finishes of 7th, 5th and 7th in the last three years of WSX racing – despite battling various injuries. Thrasher also rung up an 8th place overall finish outdoors in 2022.
#59 Daxton Bennick – A big time Loretta Lynn’s champ in 2023, and winner of the coveted AMA Nicky Hayden Horizon Award for the nation’s top amateur racer, Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s rookie pro racer brings two Monster Energy AMA Supercross Futures 250 class wins (four podiums) to the table as he launches his pro SX/MX career in 2024.
#61 Stilez Robertson – The 2020 AMA Nicky Hayden Horizon Award winner, Robertson is in the second year of a two-year deal with Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha, and enjoyed a 3rd place podium finish last year at Anaheim 2.
#411 Nick Romano – This past season Nick Romano suffered a knee injury and was sidelined. Back, and reportedly riding fast, look for Romano to break back through in 2024.
#15 Gavin Towers – Hard charging Pro-Am racer Gavin Towers heads up Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s concerted efforts in the amateur ranks for 2024, racing Supercross Futures and campaigning for prestigious amateur national titles. Big things are expected of this young and highly talented rider from outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who made his pro debut with the team in the Fall of 2023 at the Scouting Moto Combine.
Kawasaki Motor Sales launched in 1961 with the company’s first foray into motocross racing. Since then, Kawasaki motocross racers aboard the Monster Energy green KX marque have claimed an industry best 38 250/450 class championships in both AMA supercross and motocross, along with 31 combined championships when the classes were 125/250. As of 2024, Monster Energy/Kawasaki is led by two of the world’s top 450 class racers and proven race winners – Adam Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson – aboard the KX450F.
450 Class Racers:
#9 Adam Cianciarulo – One of the most successful amateur racers in the history of the sport, “AC” rebounded from injuries to place in the 2023 top ten (9th) overall in the premier 450 SX class, and 6th by season’s end in the SuperMotocross Championship. Trademark excellent starts and early race leads are all part of the veteran racer’s arsenal of podium-gaining weapons.
#21 Jason Anderson – “El Hombre” is a fan favorite on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross circuit. The former supercross champion (2018) and New Mexico native placed 6th overall in the premier 450 class championship chase in 2023 and is looking again to help lead Monster Energy/Kawasaki in battle for the premier class podiums.
Under famed engine tuner and Pro Circuit Founder Mitch Payton — renowned for his legendary ability to coax maximum horsepower out of a 250cc motocross engine — Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teams have set the standard in both 125cc two-stroke and 250 four-stroke racing over the past 30 years, with 31 AMA Supercross and Motocross titles and six Motorcross Des Nations championships. For 2024, Payton’s team features returning stars Austin Forkner, Cameron McAdoo, both of whom spend much of 2023 on the sidelines with injuries, as did returner Seth Hammaker (11th overall in MX). New additions to the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team include Levi Kitchen, who placed 3rd overall in SX 250 West class racing, and Max Vohland, who placed 6th in 250 West.
250 Class Racers:
#64 Austin Forkner – The multi-time Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 overall podium placer (WSX 2019-20), Forkner is as fast as they come in the 250 class – provided he can remain healthy given his perpetual ‘Go for it’ approach on the track. Definitely one to keep an eye on, Forkner was the 2016 Pro Motocross 250 Rookie of the Year, proving he can get it done both indoors and outdoors for Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki race team.
#63 Cameron McAdoo – Straight out of Iowa, the former 2016 Monster Energy Cup Amateur All-Stars winner (2016) and Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 WSX podium placer (2021, 3rd) looks to put the injury gremlins behind him and rip out to a start similar to 2022 when he made the podium in the first five 250 WSX races – including a win.
#43 Seth Hammaker – Recovering from a rough preseason injury that ended his 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season, Hammaker trained hard and rallied back in time to place a respectable 11th overall in the summer AMA Pro Motocross Championship. He followed that up with two solid top ten finishes in the fall SuperMotocross World Championships (6th at zMAX Dragway, N.C., and 7th at Chicagoland Speedway).
#47 Levi Kitchen – Coming over to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki from the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha program, Kitchen is one top young racers in the 250 class, evident by his 3rd place WSX finish in 2023 and 5th place overall finish in the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross Championship. With the ’21 Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award winner as the nation’s top amateur racer, look for the Kitchen acquisition to pay instant dividends for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki.
#20 Max Vohland – The 2021 Marty Smith Rookie of the Year award winner in pro motocross, Vohland was the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Supermini champion as an amateur. Coming over to Kawasaki from KTM, Vohland placed 6th overall in 250 WSX, 7th on the 250s in AMA Pro Motocross and 7th overall in the 250 SuperMotocross World Championship standings.
250 Class Racers:
#48 Chance Hymas – With three career Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 SX Futures victories (four SX Futures podiums), the Monster Energy-backed Hymas has been a definite rising star with the powerful Team Honda HRC program. Hymas backed his supercross acumen with some eyebrow-raising AMA Pro Motocross Championship finishes, including a 5th at Thunder Valley and 6th at High Point MX in his rookie campaign outdoors.
#30 Jo Shimoda – Moving to Team Honda HRC from the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team – where he met with great success – Shimoda retains his iconic black M-claw helmet aboard Honda’s CRF250R race bike. Japan’sShimoda was the runner-up in both the 2023 AMA Pro Motocross Championship 250 class and the SuperMotocross World Championship’s 250 class.
SOURCE Monster Energy
Team Dunlop Elite 2024
2024 marks the 18th year of Team Dunlop Elite, one of history’s most iconic amateur motocross support programs. This year, two Team Dunlop Elite riders have graduated from the program onto big bikes and are on their way toward their professional racing debut as Team Dunlop Elite Alumni. These riders include 7-year member Seth Dennis and single-year member Caden Dudney. They will join the ranks of other Team Dunlop Elite alums, including Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia, Aaron Plessinger, Adam Cianciarulo, Chase Sexton, Austin Forkner, Max Vohland, Haiden Deegan and many more.
This year, Carson Wood and Cooper Langdon will join the Team Dunlop Elite 8 rider selection. Wood is quite the Supercross expert, winning the inaugural SuperMotocross Supermini All-Stars Championship and taking home two championships at the Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross in 2023. Langdon is the master of small wheels and is the next top minibike racer who took home two championships at Mammoth. They will line up with returning Elite team riders Ryder Ellis, Eidan Steinbrecher, Gavyn Welzien, Lala Turner, Beckham Smith, and Kade Nightingale.
Dunlop’s support of amateur motocross racing is beyond compare in the United States. In 2023 alone, riders chose Dunlop’s Geomax tires to win 30 titles at the Loretta Lynn’s amateur national, 81 titles at Mini O’s, 39 titles at Ponca City, 51 at Mammoth, 38 at Spring-A-Ding-Ding, 43 at Freestone and 33 titles at RCSX. These are win records that no other company can come close to.
“It’s impressive to look back and see how successful this program has been over the past 17 years!” said Rob Fox, Amateur Motocross Support Manager. “I have been with Dunlop for over ten years and worked with many Team Dunlop Elite alumni who are now racing at the pro level, proving how influential our program has been. We know all these riders represent the Dunlop brand the best way possible, on and off the track, and we are looking forward to additional success these coming years with Carson and Cooper joining Team Dunlop Elite!”
To learn more about the Team Dunlop program and the benefits of being selected or to sign up for consideration, visit the new website: www.teamdunlop.com.
To learn more about the 2024 Team Dunlop Elite riders, visit the rider profile page on Supercross Live: https://www.supercrosslive.com/teamdunlop.