2022 Team & Rider Rosters October Updates | Kickstart
Over the last few months we’ve tracked every “Rider A to Team Z” rumor, talked with people in the pits, and waited for the final details to be sorted out ahead of the 2022 Supercross and Pro Motocross season. This year’s “free agency” period has been a long time coming, mostly due to the amount of elite riders that came to the end multi-year contracts with the factory squads, and new deals/signed extensions will keep champions like Tomac/Anderson/Plessinger/Stewart on the starting line for a few more seasons.
If you think this silly season was interesting, just wait until next year, when a number of 450 Class riders will see their current deals run out just as a handful of 250 Class stars prepare themselves for the next steps in their careers.
There will be more signings announced, either through injuries to an original roster or agreements with the smaller teams that are always the last to get their programs sorted, all the way to the first weekend in January. We’ve kept this initial list to the factory-supported squads (KTM, Husqvarna, GASGAS, Honda, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki), as well as two elite 450 Class teams that have been part of the paddock for over a decade (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM and SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts/Honda).
We’ll have a more detailed list in the next few weeks, including important details like gear sponsors, mechanic assignments, and rosters for the independent teams.
Red Bull KTM
Red Bull KTM will grow to a three-rider squad (Webb, Musquin, Plessinger) in the 450 Class for Supercross, a first for the OEM, then scale back to just two riders in the 450 Class for Pro Motocross (Webb and Plessinger). All three 450 Class riders will be aboard the latest version of the 450 SX-F Factory Edition, which should be officially debuted in the coming weeks.
Cooper Webb | 450 SX & 450 MX
The defending Supercross champion returns with a multi-year contract, which was re-upped after a successful 2019, and runs through 2022. Webb will put in his preseason prep at the 83 Compound in Florida and has tapped Michael Byrne to serve as his riding coach.
Marvin Musquin | 450 SX
After a surprisingly long negotiation process, Musquin and KTM agreed to a Supercross-only contract in 2021; it is widely considered the “beginning of the end” of the 31-year-old rider’s ten-year-plus career in the US. Musquin will remain at the Baker’s Factory.
Aaron Plessinger | 450 SX & 450 MX
Well-known but unannounced (Yamaha has confirmed his departure), Plessinger has joined the orange team with a multi-year contract and will train at the Baker’s Factory in Florida.
Maximus Volhand | 250 SX & 250 MX
A three-year contract (2022 will be year two of the deal) keeps the 250 MX Rookie of the Year at his post with Red Bull KTM. Vohland has decided to take a spot at the Baker’s Factory after spending some time in Florida this past summer.
Although there were early rumors of KTM expanding their small-bore effort, it looks as though Vohland will be the team’s only 250 Class rider in 2022.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will keep three riders in their 450 Class program, but with one new addition (Stewart). Like KTM, all three 450 Class riders will be aboard the latest version of the 450 FC Rockstar Edition, which should be officially debuted in the coming weeks.
It’s worth noting that Joshua Varize kept a practice bike from the team and has been spotted on it around SoCal, but it’s unclear what he and the team will do in 2022.
Zach Osborne | 450 SX & 450 MX
Osborne was at a crossroads during the past summer as a complex back injury put the 2020 450 MX champion on the sidelines and made him consider retirement. Fortunately, he has made recent progress with the problem and started his preseason prep in Florida, but this time at the 83 Compound.
Dean Wilson | 450 SX & 450 MX
Per conversations with the team at Hangtown, Wilson’s commitment to keeping a white bike on the track this past summer despite a battle with Epstein-Barr Virus has earned him a one-year extension with the factory squad.
Malcolm Stewart | 450 SX & 450 MX
Joining his third team in as many years brings significant changes to Stewart’s program: the two-year contract requires he race the 450 Class in Supercross and Pro Motocross and train at the Baker’s Factory in Florida.
RJ Hampshire | 250 SX & 250 MX
Hampshire’s speed and results through 2021 earned him a multi-year extension, including a possible transition to the 450 Class.
Jalek Swoll | 250 SX & 250 MX
Consistent finishes, steady progress, and a surprise 250 MX overall win netted Swoll a new two-year contract extension, a deal that begins in 2022.
Stilez Robertson | 250 SX & 250 MX
Although injuries and illness held Robertson back in his first full season as a professional, he has retained a spot on the factory team.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing
Although there were early suggestions of an expanded presence, it appears the GASGAS team will remain a three-man effort in 2022, with one 450 Class competitor and two 250 Class riders. We’ve heard there is a plan for a new GASGAS Factory Edition machine, ala KTM and Husqvarna and would put Barcia on the latest equipment, but we’ve yet to see concrete details.
Justin Barcia | 450 SX & 450 MX
The rejuvenated rider and the redeveloped team return for year two of their current contract. Although Barcia’s deal is good through 2022, he’s already made it clear that he’d like to re-up and continue racing for a few more seasons.
Michael Mosiman | 250 SX & 250 MX
Mosiman’s first season with the team was noted by good finishes and missed races. Thanks to a finalized but unannounced employment extension, he’ll be back on the red bike in 2022 and 2023.
Pierce Brown | 250 SX & 250 MX
Like Mosiman, the highs of Brown’s 2021 season overshadowed the lows and got him another contract with the factory team.
Team Honda HRC
Team Honda HRC continues its four-rider effort in 2022, with two riders in the 450 Class and two riders in the 250 Class. The Lawrence brothers will both be aboard the latest iteration of the CRF250R.
Ken Roczen | 450 SX & 450 MX
Roczen enters the last year of his current contract with Honda, a three-year deal he inked in 2019 that includes participation in SX and MX. Why mention that? There are rumors that Roczen could narrow focus only to Supercross next year, but neither the rider nor Honda have indicated much regarding this yet.
Chase Sexton | 450 SX & 450 MX
Honda will be Sexton’s home for the early years of his 450 Class career; the initial contract he signed with Team Honda HRC runs through 2023.
Jett Lawrence | 250 SX & 250 MX
Like Sexton, Lawrence will be a red rider for years come; we’re already hearing about plans for the 250 MX champ’s graduation to the big bike (2023 or 2024, depending on what happens with Roczen and Sexton).
Hunter Lawrence | 250 SX & 250 MX
The older brother will remain part of Team Honda HRC for a while longer, thanks to race wins and solid finishes through 2021.
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha will have not only the biggest roster of any team in the pit area, but arguably the most accomplished, as three defending titlists and two multi-time champions will be aboard their YZF race bikes.
Eli Tomac | 450 SX & 450 MX
The most significant move of the offseason sets the multi-time champion up for what may be a career-defining year. We hear this new contract is a one-year agreement, with the option for an extension if things go well. Considering Tomac’s motivation was more influence over the setup of the motorcycle, it’s fair to assume that Star Racing will do whatever he requests to the blue bike. Tomac will remain in Colorado for much of the offseason but will travel to Florida/California to test with the team when necessary.
Dylan Ferrandis | 450 SX & 450 MX
How much can the 450 MX champion improve in Year Two? Ferrandis will stay at Star Racing through 2022, but given his quick progression and a full-time move to Florida, an extension is likely to come soon.
Christian Craig | 250 SX & 450 MX
Craig will continue to split his time between the 250 indoors and the 450 outdoors with Star Racing in 2022. To our knowledge, he’s currently the only factory-supported rider to have this sort of deal. Craig is one of three riders in the team’s 250 Class program who hopes his 2022 results will result in a full-time 450 Class position with a factory team in 2023.
Colt Nichols | 250 SX & 250 MX
The defending 250 SX East Coast champion will continue his tenure with Star Racing in 2022. Nichols is one of three riders in the team’s 250 Class program who hopes his 2022 results will result in a full-time 450 Class position with a factory team in 2023.
Justin Cooper | 250 SX & 250 MX
The defending 250 SX West Coast champion and 250 MX runner-up will continue his tenure with Star Racing in 2022; the 2020 contract extension Cooper signed assures he’ll spend his entire 250 Class career aboard a blue bike.
Jeremy Martin | 250 SX & 250 MX
The two-time 250 MX champion remains with Star Racing through a one-year contract extension. Martin is one of three riders in the team’s 250 Class program who hopes his 2022 results will result in a full-time 450 Class position with a factory team in 2023. It sounds like he will split his time between Colorado/Florida/Minnesota/California.
Nate Thrasher | 250 SX & 250 MX
One of 2021’s breakout riders (won two of the three 250 Main Events in Atlanta), Thrasher returns for another year at Star Racing.
Levi Kitchen | 250 SX & 250 MX
The 2022 season will be the AMA Nicky Hayden Horizon Award winner’s first year as a full-time pro. An extensive contract at Star Racing will keep him on a blue bike for the next few seasons.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
Monster Energy Kawasaki sees its first big change in years with Jason Anderson joining the squad. The KX450s will be largely the same, and per our talks with people at Team Green, both Cianciarulo and Anderson will have Showa suspension on their bikes.
Adam Cianciarulo | 450 SX & 450 MX
After years of development and anticipation, something that started in the 65cc days, Cianciarulo becomes the de-facto lead rider at Monster Energy Kawasaki. AC’s current plan is to spend most of the offseason in Southern California with the team and riding coach Nick Wey.
Jason Anderson | 450 SX & 450 MX
Anderson’s move to Kawasaki is massive for a few reasons, including the differences in motorcycle (aluminum frame/Showa suspension/various parts) and the people around him (he’ll get a new mechanic/crew chief/team manager) and terms of understanding (no overseas offseason races [not really a thing right now] and proximity to Kawasaki’s HQ in California). Although it was not part of the initial announcement, we’ve heard this is a two-year agreement between rider and team.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
PC continues with its usual formula of one longtime Team Green protege, one surprisingly solid front runner, one second-year pro, and a full-blown rookie. The KX250 platform remains the same as 2021, which gives the team additional time to sort out performance and handling details (a late arrival of bikes hindered their efforts last year).
Jo Shimoda | 250 SX & 250 MX
After earning his spot at PC through an offseason tryout, Shimoda went on to be the team’s best rider in 2021. A 250 SX Main Event and podium finishes outdoors merited an extension for 2022 and beyond.
Austin Forkner | 250 SX & 250 MX
Forkner enters the last term of his current contract with Kawasaki. Per our understanding, this is a decisive year regarding the future of their working relationship and Forkner’s chances of a factory ride with Kawasaki in the 450 Class.
Seth Hammaker | 250 SX & 250 MX
Highs (a 250 SX Main Event win) and lows (much of the season was missed due to illness) were the story of Hammaker’s rookie season, but thanks to a multi-year contract, he’ll keep his spot at PC for another year.
Jett Reynolds | 250 SX & 250 MX
Team Green’s latest amateur graduate has joined the PC squad and will jump directly into the deep end of the talent pool in 2022; his pro debut will happen in SX and roll into a full summer of MX.
Cameron McAdoo | 250 SX & 250 MX
McAdoo gets aboard the PC 250 and will work closely with riding coach Nick Wey and 450 SX/MX rider Adam Cianciarulo through the offseason.
Twisted Tea/HEP Motorsports/Suzuki
HEP’s progression continues thanks in part to Twisted Tea’s extension as a title sponsor and an increase in support from Suzuki.
Brandon Hartranft | 450 SX & 450 MX
After a steep learning curve in SX, Hartranft adapted to the 450 Class, established himself as a top-15 finisher in MX, and signed on to stay with the Suzuki team for 2022.
Adam Enticknap | 450 SX, 450 MX Status Uncertain
The popular rider and friend of the HEP team will stay in his spot for another year, but we’re uncertain what the plan is; we’ve heard everything from SX only to limited 450 MX to full-time 450 MX.
Justin Bogle | 450 SX & 450 MX
Bogle’s return to Suzuki is still unconfirmed, but it’s a deal that’s been in the works for some time.
The longtime Suzuki amateur team continues to push into the pro ranks, with four young riders on their roster for Supercross and Pro Motocross.
Carson Mumford | 250 SX & 250 MX
After weighing out several team options through the summer, Mumford joined the Suzuki squad and will run the full season in the 250 Class. This will be the first time in six years that Mumford will not be aboard a Honda.
Dilan Schwartz | 250 SX & 250 MX
A solid list of MX results put Schwartz on many people’s radar and reestablished the RM-Z in the 250 Class. He’ll return to the BARX team for his sophomore season.
Preston Kilroy | 250 SX & 250 MX
A recent amateur graduate with a few 250 MX Nationals to his credit, Kilory will spend his true rookie season on a Suzuki.
Derek Drake | 250 SX & 250 MX
The young rider missed a number of races due to a lifelong heart condition, something that has required surgery to correct, but will be back on the yellow bike in 2022.
Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM*
This team will undergo numerous changes in 2022, including new personnel in key positions, including co-owner/crew chief/team trainer, a cross-country move from California to Florida, and a three-rider lineup. Details like support from an OEM and sponsors are still publicly unclear, though we’d be surprised to see any significant changes in bikes or gear.
Shane McElrath | 450 SX & 450 MX
A complicated back injury sidelined McElrath for practically all his rookie season in the 450 Class, but his potential and support within the industry helped him land a full-time ride for 2022.
Max Anstie | 450 SX & 450 MX
Anstie continues his time in the US through a new deal at the independently owned team and a move to Florida for training at the 83 Compound.
Joey Savatgy | 450 SX & 450 MX
A return to the team seemed uncertain at various times in the summer, but per our knowledge, a late contract offer will Savatgy on the team for another year.
Despite early rumors of a scale-back and shift to AX, a revamped MCR team will support three riders through the entire SX season. Details like support from an OEM and sponsors are still publicly unclear, and there’s been some back and forth about what generation CRF250R they will race in 2022 (a limited inventory and technical input, especially compared to the older style bike).
Justin Brayton | 450 SX
Brayton returns to the team for 2022, with a Supercross-only deal billed as his final full season racing the 450 Class. Don’t call it a career yet; Brayton has expressed interest in lining up for limited races or overseas events in the future, should the opportunities line up.
Vince Friese | 250 SX & 450 SX
A possible move to the 250 Class is part of MCR’s bigger 2022 plans; we heard that he would race one region on the new CRF250R, then step up to the 450 Class when the other region kicks off.
Mitchell Oldenburg | 250 SX & 450 MX
Oldenburg will change teams in 2022 but will still be on Honda equipment. Like Friese, it sounds like he will split his time between the 250 Class and 450 Class, depending on the region.