Former British MX2 Champion Dylan Walsh is ready for his second season of AMA Supercross action with far better preparation than in 2022. Watch for the #79 to get amongst it at Anaheim 1!
Words: Ben Rumbold | Lead Images: Mark Lee-Sing | Pit Photo: Mark Yates
With Dylan’s ambitions in Supercross complementing REVO’s desire to reinforce the brand in the USA, the decision was made to compete in the West Coast AMA Supercross series on a KX250 in 2022 before their British Championship commitments began in March, when Dylan would continue to be the official Kawasaki representative on a KX450 in the UK.
For Supercross, as REVO boss Mark Yates explains, “The team had limited time for pre-season in 2022 for many reasons, mainly due to delivery of our crate and access restrictions for non-US citizens due to the pandemic.” Despite these issues, Dylan made a good splash in the cauldron of the 250 Supercross division, qualifying for the Main at his first attempt, winning an LCQ race, and scoring two 9ths and a 10th in three straight weekends.
It was a unique and strange challenge in 2022, with Walsh switching to the 450 on his return to the UK as well as making the cosmic leap between the West Coast AMA Supercross Series and the REVO British Motocross Championship. There’s a big difference between Anaheim’s Angel Stadium and the breezy banks of Culham in Oxfordshire!
Inevitably the results weren’t quite there on a 450, and after two rounds a mutual decision was made to stay on a 250 for the rest of the year. This early decision allowed the team to begin planning for 2023, acquiring bikes and shipping parts over, knowing that Walsh would be sticking with the black-plated bike. During a gap in the British schedule, the team hopped back across the Atlantic to race the first two rounds of the AMA Nationals, where Walsh scored enough points to earn his own National number in the USA for 2023 rather than the ”1-0-something” automatically given to notable overseas riders.
The REVO boys hooked up with the renowned Grindstone Compound, owned by Brian “Sherbie” Schehr and his wife Cari, to create a sister team, REVO Grindstone Kawasaki, a separate entity for the American races. Initially it was planned to run a second rider but ultimately they have concentrated purely on Walsh with the Schehrs managing and gathering sponsorship alongside Mark and Sam Yates who take care of the technical aspect and machine development. There is an aim to add another rider for 2024.
Mark adds that “here in the USA the sport is so big, which goes a long way towards raising good financial support due to the exposure of the sport and the series. Alongside that, product sponsors like Dunlop and Motul give full technical support along with a level of financial commitment.”
After a stirring last-to-almost-first moto at the final British round, then a Wild Card appearance at the opening WSX round in Cardiff which showed some promising speed, Dylan moved across to Murrietta, California in early November to begin preparations for his second bite at the Supercross cherry. “I’ve had two extra months to train for this, compared to eight days last year, so I feel prepared and more ready than ever. Cari handles all of my training at the track, fitness, nutrition etc, and keeps me dialled in and accountable. It’s working well! Luckily I’ve had a solid pre-season with no injuries and I’m hopeful for some solid results.” Dylan also pushed for Sam Yates to go to the USA with him this time, as the pair have worked together since his British MX2 title-winning year of 2019.
Mark is confident in the machinery. “The 2023 bike has had some changes to the cylinder head and intake boot. Our latest development is a great improvement over the 2022 bike. Dylan loves the new bike, Sam knows what he wants and can cover every aspect of the machine, and currently he’s on a strong pace to the front runners. As we all know though, there are no points for the stopwatch national!” Testing has been carried out at Grindstone’s own circuit as well as Fox Raceway Pala and Lake Elsinore.
With REVO investing in the title sponsorship of the ACU British Championship as well as the official Kawasaki UK team, they are on a serious mission to earn at least one #1 plate, if not both, by the end of the year. Dylan’s commitment to the 250 will certainly put him amongst the favourites for the British MX2 title, which he won on a Husqvarna in 2019. They have taken on Big-Wheel 85cc British Champion Billy Askew to compete in the new Rookies class of the MX2 division. And of course there is the small matter of reigning British MX1 Champion Tommy Searle returning to the green brand on which he made his name. As well as maintaining an incredible online presence in the UK, Tommy has his sights set on being the first rider for 30 years to win a fourth straight British title. He also brings his own sponsorship to the newly-named GTCI REVO Kawasaki team.
For Walsh, however, there is that tricky old calendar clash to deal with. If he is to participate on both sides of the Atlantic, he would have to go UK-USA-UK-USA within four straight weekends to take in the first two British rounds. Then rounds three and four, at Foxhill and possibly Lyng, fall on the same weekends as the two East/West combined 250cc races in the Supercross schedule. What does the team plan to do?
“We have an obligation to the British Championship of course but where the SX clashes with the REVO series, we were clear with Kawasaki that SX would be a priority. That said we have aspirations to win both MX1 and MX2 in the REVO so a decision will be made as to where we are towards the end of the indoor campaign,” says Mark.
With the ambition and determination of the REVO squad, their new partners at Grindstone, and the ever-charging on-track aggression of Walsh himself, this solid British-owned team could fly under the radar to really turn heads in 2023. British fans truly have someone to cheer for on the #79 REVO Grindstone Kawasaki. Watch for them all to ruffle some feathers at A1 and beyond this year.