Now that the year is drawing to a close, most of the teams around the world have confirmed their line-up for the 2014 season. Most fans spend the off-season speculating about who has made a positive team move for next year; so we thought that we would do just that in this piece! Of course, there are a lot of riders that have made changes that could help them better their career, but we can only put the spotlight on a select few here.
Dean Ferris to Red Bull KTM USA:
Dean Ferris was very impressive this year. So, it is no surprise that some other teams started to sniff around him. Of course everyone knows how this turned out, as the Australian is now over in California preparing for his first season with the Red Bull KTM squad. Sure, there was a bit of controversy that came with this switch, but I think it will eventually better his career. It was his dream to race in the USA; so, it was clearly the best decision for him, he would not have done it otherwise! In my opinion, the first year could be rough. But, he will figure it out soon enough, I am sure, and he will then be able to reap the rewards of racing in America.
Steven Frossard to Kawasaki Racing Team:
In recent years, Steven Frossard has had a turbulent time of it, so it was not surprising to see that he had parted ways with Monster Energy Yamaha. I desperately want Frossard to regain his form from 2011; he clearly has the potential to run up front and challenge for wins. In my opinion, the new surroundings could potentially revitalise him. Steven has not ridden for KRT before, but he was on a CLS Kawasaki when he was in MX2. So, the machine should not be too foreign to him. The Kawasaki Racing Team is mainly made up of Frenchmen, also; presumably this will make the transition easier. It seems that Frossard could thrive in this environment; it will be very interesting to see if he can rebound next year.
Shane Carless to Oakleaf Kawasaki Full-Time:
Shane Carless will be staying with the Oakleaf Kawasaki team in 2014. However, his new deal will put him in the best possible position to succeed, as it will allow him to focus solely on his racing. Carless has been working as a carpenter during the week this year, which has obviously limited the amount of riding and training that he could do mid-week. But, despite this, he has had some very good results. Shane should be even stronger next year with a full-time deal. The Oakleaf Kawasaki team has also become the official Kawasaki team in MX1, as well, which means that his bike will be one of the strongest on-track. Carless could really surprise everyone next year; he should be a lot better with this new deal.
Jordan Booker to Pendrich Kawasaki:
In my opinion, Jordan Booker made a lot of progress this year. Although he was inconsistent in the Maxxis British Championship, he spent a lot of time right around the top five, which is where he belongs, I believe. Booker has signed for the Pendrich Kawasaki team for the 2014 season, which is a great opportunity for him. The Pendrich squad are going to be the official Kawasaki team in MX2 next year. Obviously, this will help both Jordan and Bryan Mackenzie to achieve their personal goals. There are a few riders vacating the MX2 class next year, which should allow Booker to battle for some podiums; he should be one to watch.
Max Anstie to BikeIt Cosworth Yamaha:
Now that the BikeIt Cosworth Yamaha team has lost Dean Ferris, they will be putting a lot of their resources into Max Anstie and his MX2 title quest. Max has had to deal with some poor machinery in the past. But, I think that he will have no such problems with his new squad; we saw how good those Yamahas were this year! I think that being on a British squad is going to help him massively; he seems to be adapting well to his new surroundings, already. Could he be the rider to challenge Herlings in 2014? Max definitely has the speed, it just has not come together for him, in recent years.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image: Elliot Spencer