Astonishingly, 2013 is drawing to a close. With that in mind, the various news that has filtered through this week all has an impact on what will go on next year. With some shakeups to the teams and riders, as well as other things, 2014 looks set to be one for the record books. So, let’s jump in and dissect the news that has filtered through to us this week!
Signed, Sealed and Delivered:
Earlier this week, Racer X Online revealed one of the most surprising team changes this year. Christophe Pourcel has signed with the Valli Motorsports Yamaha team for 2014. However it (the deal) is for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series only. So, we won’t get to see Pourcel until the gates drop at Glen Helen in May. It is near impossible to predict how the partnership will go. But, to be honest, I would be surprised if it does not go pear-shaped at some point. Like I said in this article, there are six months to go before the AMA Motocross series starts up. So, there is a lot of time to speculate about the enigma that is Christophe Pourcel.
In recent years, Jonathan Barragan has had a turbulent time in the FIM Motocross World Championship. It was not too long ago that he was a title contender on a factory KTM. But now, he only just manages to score points. With that in mind, it is not surprising at all that he is leaving the series for a career in Enduro. Interestingly, he will not be competing in the Enduro World Championship, as his deal with Husqvarna is to compete in the Spanish MX1 Championship and the Spanish E2 Championship.
Following a lot of speculation, Valentin Teillet and the Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki team are heading Stateside! Valentin cannot compete in the MX2 class in the MXGP series next year, as he is now too old, hence why he has elected to race elsewhere. The Frenchman has always been a very technical rider; so he should be very strong in the 250SX West Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. Bud Racing will be relocating to the USA, because they are starting to sell their products in America; so it makes great sense for their business. Following the AMA Supercross series, Teillet will be competing in a few different races around the world, including a few MX1 GPs.
The LPE Kawasaki team has put together an impressive lineup for the Arenacross UK series; they have acquired the services of French duo Fabien Iziord and Gregory Aranda. Honestly, I would not be surprised to see the pair finish first and second at the end of the series, I think that they will be that strong. Both Fabien and Gregory have competed in supercross races in the USA. So, they are established in this discipline. Both guys have experience on a Kawasaki as well; they are going to very strong – mark my words.
In more Arenacross UK news, Graeme Irwin has signed up to contest the full series, also. The series is going to be stacked with talent from around the world! Personally, I don’t think that he will be a title contender, just because he does not have experience racing on tight tracks, like the ones he will encounter over the seven rounds. Despite this, he should be near the top five a lot, in my opinion. Interestingly, the Irishman will be jetting off to California in January to prepare for the Arenacross UK series, as well as the other championships that he is committed to.
Erin Bates has hung up her microphone, as she has elected to retire from the position of pit reporter at the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. Erin posted this statement on her Instagram account earlier this week:
“To all my Supercross family, friends and most loyal fans. The time has come for me announce my SX retirement. I have worked for FELD entertainment for the last nine years, and it has been nothing short of amazing. I have travelled, experienced and grown immensely. I will cherish these memories and moments with some of the world’s best athletes and epic racing for the rest of my life. I am forever grateful to all of my fans that have supported me throughout the years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you! It’s time for change to continue to grow, diversify and explore new opportunities that lie ahead. I’m beyond excited to embark on new endeavors. Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted.”
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Kev Reid