2023 AMA SX & MX Teams | Early December Update
As exciting as this offseason has been, with big news but limited moves, it might seem like a holding pattern compared to what lies ahead. Yes, it’s rare to see multi-time champions sign Supercross-only renewals while the next generation of stars eagerly wait for their move toward the top, all as the sport stares down two very different paths and new OEMs eye their entry into the market. But what will these extensions, looming promotions, and budding rivalries look like a year from now, when even bigger decisions have to be made?
Here’s a rundown of how we expect the pit area to look at rounds of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship, Pro Motocross Championship, and SuperMotocross World Championship in 2023.
Red Bull KTM
2. Cooper Webb | 450 SX
7. Aaron Plessinger | 450 SX & 450 MX
25. Marvin Musquin | 450 SX
34. Maximus Volhand | 250 SX & 250 MX
128. Tom Vialle | 250 SX & 250 MX
Red Bull KTM has a lot going on between its youthful, growing 250 Class program and experienced, championship-contending 450 Class effort. All five riders will be aboard updated SX-F bikes in 2023, “Factory Editions” that have been adapted to address last year’s handling issues.
Cooper Webb will continue on orange through a newly signed, interestingly phrased one-year deal. June’s press release explained that the agreement “extends through the 2023 race season” and that “Webb’s extended contract also includes the option to head outdoors for the AMA Pro Motocross Championship,” so it looks, for now, to be Supercross-only. A return to Aldon Baker’s facility and program was critical to the renewal (KTM’s requirement), which Webb got back on late in the summer.
Aaron Plessinger is back for year two with KTM and is the factory team’s only 450 Class rider committed to the full 31-race calendar (17 SX/11 MX/3 SMX). Renewal discussions will happen sometime in 2023, but KTM and AP will have plenty of opportunities to develop the motorcycle and get results before making the decision.
A Main Event win (the only one for Red Bull KTM in the premier division) showed that Marvin Musquin isn’t ready for retirement yet, so the rider and team have agreed to stay on the Supercross-only plan. Some things will be new for Musquin next year, including a switch to O’Neal Racing gear and Kyle DeFoe’s appointment to mechanic after Frankie Latham took on a new role within the organization.
Max Vohland returns for the third and final year of his initial contract with the factory team. Supercross has been a challenge for the teenager, as crashes and injuries have limited his gate drops, but a consistent uptick in results through Pro Motocross showed that he’s finding his place in the pack.
Tom Vialle has been moved to the American division of Red Bull KTM, an international effort that will help the two-time MX2 world champion get the most from his time on the small-bore bike through Supercross and Pro Motocross. The French rider learned the basics of SX with the team in Southern California and has since been integrated into the Baker’s Factory in Florida.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
27. Malcolm Stewart | 450 SX & 450 MX
28. Christian Craig | 450 SX & 450 MX
24. RJ Hampshire | 250 SX & 250 MX
38. Jalek Swoll | 250 SX & 250 MX
Talon Hawkins | SX Futures & 250 MX
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing getting a new 450 Class rider is the most obvious thing about its 2023 lineup, but that hasn’t been the only change to the black-and-white team. There are also new rider-mechanic pairings, promotions to more prominent roles for longtime technicians, and revamped “Rockstar Edition” FC motorcycles for everyone.
Malcolm Stewart goes into the second year of the original agreement with Husqvarna, which includes a training regimen at the Baker’s Factory and status as a full-time SX-MX competitor in the 450 Class. Expect to hear rumors about a re-up intensify in the spring.
Christian Craig had two options for 2023: stay with Star Racing for a 250 SX title defense/450 MX summer gig or go to the 450 Class through a two-year deal at Husqvarna. He went with the latter, which included a spot at the Baker’s Factory and a head-to-toe, family-wide gear deal with Fox Racing.
RJ Hampshire was one of the more outspoken critics of the 2022 Husqvarna but was one of the few to get to the top of the podium. That all balanced out with a contract extension to stay in the 250 Class.
Jalek Swoll returns to his locker in the factory rig for year four as a professional and year two of 2021’s renewed contract. He and Hampshire will compete on opposite coasts during Supercross.
The team will guide Talon Hawkins through the final steps of his A-Class amateur rank with the Supercross Futures program and promote him to professional status when ready, preferably for the start of Pro Motocross.
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing
51. Justin Barcia | 450 SX & 450 MX
31. Michael Mosiman | 250 SX & 250 MX
33. Pierce Brown | 250 SX & 250 MX
Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GASGAS Factory Racing retains its three-man roster for a third straight year. The riders will have new bikes, as GASGAS will receive the chassis-engine updates KTM-Husqvarna had last year through “Factory Editions.”
Going to GASGAS added a few more years to Justin Barcia’s career, and he’s said he sees himself staying with the group to the end. Their current arrangement runs through 2023, and a re-up looks more likely than retirement.
Michael Mosiman and Pierce Brown return as the 250 Class contenders; both have been on factory equipment for KTM-Husqvarna-GASGAS throughout their pro careers, more than five years.
Team Honda HRC
23. Chase Sexton | 450 SX & 450 MX
45. Colt Nichols | 450 SX
1E & 18. Jett Lawrence | 250 SX & 450 MX
96. Hunter Lawrence | 250 SX & 250 MX
Team Honda HRC and Ken Roczen breaking up amid renewal negations was the most significant offseason moment, as it marked the end of a six-year relationship (Honda is said to have offered a bonus-heavy deal for AMA SX-only, no WSX allowed). Because plans for Jett Lawrence to jump to the 450 Class for Pro Motocross were already established, Honda hired Colt Nichols for the seventeen-round Supercross season.
2023 will be the last part of Chase Sexton’s original contract with Team Honda HRC. If they stay together or split up will be a big topic in the year, negotiations that will be influenced by long-term plans and outside offers.
Colt Nichols’ 2022 had some dark moments, but things like broken arms, a denied title defense, and a brief time with a canceled team got outshined by his new role as a factory Honda rider. He’ll wear O’Neal Racing gear, Bell Helmets lid, 100% goggles, and Alpinestars boots during his rookie run in the 450 Class.
Jett Lawrence is about to go through the next part of a detailed, lengthy deal with Honda. He’ll race the 250 in Supercross (defending the 1E plate or going after a 1W,) step up to the 450 in Pro Motocross, and be on the big red bike through 2025.
Hunter Lawrence’s new contract with Honda, signed this past spring, is for two years. It goes through 2024 and will take the older brother to the end of his 250 Class eligibility.
Chance Hymas will participate in the Supercross Futures program and is expected to be in the 250 Class at the start of Pro Motocross.
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha
1. Eli Tomac | 450 SX
14. Dylan Ferrandis | 450 SX & 450 MX
32. Justin Cooper | 450 SX (TBD) & 250 MX
29. Nate Thrasher | 250 SX & 250 MX
43. Levi Kitchen | 250 SX & 250 MX
54. Nick Romano | 250 SX & 250 MX
40. Stilez Robertson | 250 SX & 250 MX
58. Jordon Smith | 250 SX & 250 MX
88. Guillem Farres | 250 MX
Haiden Deegan | SX Futures & 250 MX
Daxton Bennick | SX Futures & 250 MX
With the defending champion, a new YZ450F, additions to the 250 roster, more riders than any other team, and a pair of amateur prodigies, Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha continues to build.
Yamaha confirmed that Eli Tomac would defend his Supercross title a week after it was awarded. Supercross 2023 is all ET has committed to doing, but we’ve heard team sponsors hope they can entice the multi-time champion into more, either through a few more years of SX-only or the unlikely full pull of SX/MX/SMX.
A one-year contract extension for Dylan Ferrandis was part of the May press release, stretching the rider-team pairing into year seven. Ferrandis will compete in Supercross, Pro Motocross, and SuperMotocross.
Justin Cooper is in a unique position, as he is no longer eligible to race the 250 Class in Supercross but is not ready to commit to the 450 Class. Instead, the rider and team have indicated they could line up at select rounds of Supercross on the big bike before setting their sights on the 250 title in Pro Motocross.
Longtime Star Racing riders Nate Thrasher, Nick Romano, and Levi Kitchen return through multi-year deals, while Jordon Smith and Stilez Robertson, reputable names capable of podium results, have been tacked on to the 250 Class program.
It sounds like Guillem Farres, a Spanish teenager who did a handful of races with Star Racing in 2022, will be coming to the US for the next two years. If he will do Supercross in 2023 is unclearly, but he was spotted on the practice track during the Yamaha intro.
Haiden Deegan and Daxton Bennick have earned the necessary points to get a pro card for Supercross, yet are expected to do some time in the Supercross Futures before lining up in the 250 Class.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
9. Adam Cianciarulo | 450 SX & 450 MX
21. Jason Anderson | 450 SX & 450 MX
Nothing new at Monster Energy Kawasaki going into 2023, as Adam Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson return to an unchanged KX450 while Broc Tickle remains in his role as development rider. Finishing well in the newly formed SuperMotocross Championship is a clearly stated goal for the company.
How solid is the bond between Adam Cianciarulo and Kawasaki? Even though AC missed most of 2022 with knee and arm injuries, the company offered the rider another two years in the factory rig.
Jason Anderson’s first contract with Kawasaki will run out in 2023 but given their successful first year together and championship expectations of the next, a renewal is expected.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
30. Jo Shimoda | 250 SX & 250 MX
55. Austin Forkner | 250 SX & 250 MX
35. Seth Hammaker | 250 SX & 250 MX
124. Jett Reynolds | 250 SX & 250 MX
48. Cameron McAdoo | 250 SX & 250 MX
Ryder DiFrancesco | SX Futures & 250 MX
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s plan for 2023 is the same as 2022, with the five riders in the 250 Class and an amateur stepping up when ready. However, there is one difference, and it is significant: an all-new KX250.
Wins and podiums have made Jo Shimoda and Cameron McAdoo two of PC’s biggest assets, bonds that have been strengthened by their rapport with the team and a training program led by Nick Wey. Expect them to hold spots on the team for the rest of their small-bore eligibility.
Austin Forkner is another guy in an interesting situation, one that even he can’t fully explain. From what we’ve gathered, he’s set to race 250 SX and 250 MX for PC, but a 450 MX ride and move to the factory truck may be a performance-incentive option.
Strong results and a commitment to Team Green will keep Seth Hammaker on PC for another few years.
Although Jett Reynolds has yet to turn a competitive lap as a pro, his spot is safe for 2023.
Ryder DiFrancesco will defend his championship in Supercross Futures and be in the 250 Class at the start of Pro Motocross.
Twisted Tea/Progressive/HEP Motorsports/Suzuki
37. Brandon Hartranft | 450 SX & 450 MX
94. Ken Roczen | TBD
722. Adam Enticknap | 450 SX
50. Marshal Weltin | 250 SX & 250 WSX
85. Dilan Schwartz | 250 SX & 250 WSX
HEP Motorsports’ plans for 2023 are ambitions, as they’re eyeing an expansion into the 250 Class, a presence in AMA SX/MX/SMX and FIM WSX, and the possible addition of a race winner-title contender. Partners like Progressive Insurance and Suzuki see the vision, too, and have allotted more funds to the project.
Brandon Hartranft is in for his third year in the 450 Class. Last we heard, the plan for Big Sexy is to do Pro Motocross, not WSX, when they run at the same time next summer.
Adam Enticknap plays an important part at HEP, as his personality draws people and sponsors to the pit area. We’ve been told he’ll have a place on the team, either rider or partner, for as long as he’d like.
A summertime job has turned into something more for Marshal Weltin, and he’ll represent the team in the 250 Class for AMA SX and WSX.
Dilan Schwartz will ride the other RM-Z250 through AMA SX and WSX. Restrictions on alcohol advertisements mean that Schwartz, a teenager, cannot have Twisted Tea logos on his bike and gear.
An encouraging week of test rides and an attractive paycheck from Suzuki have reportedly convinced Ken Roczen to return to the RM-Z for 2023. HEP’s schedule gives Roczen options, as he can do the AMA SX-MX like usual or line up for WSX later in the year. Final confirmation on this should come in the next few weeks.
52. Carson Mumford | 250 SX & 250 MX
53. Derek Drake | 250 SX & 250 MX
59. Robbie Wageman | 250 SX & 250 MX
BARX Suzuki will follow the 250 West Coast region in Supercross and the Pro Motocross tour in 2023 with three riders (two returning, one new) on RM-Z250s.
Carson Mumford has a spot on the team, but a severe wrist injury in late November will keep him from lining up at the start of Supercross. It’s uncertain if the team will get a replacement rider.
Derek Drake stayed busy during the offseason racing WSX with MDK Motorsports and is back on the yellow bike for the 2023 AMA SX-MX.
BARX picked up Robbie Wageman during the downtime. The switch from Team Solitaire to BARX is a significant change, but he’ll race the usual SX events and be on somewhat familiar equipment (he’s put in lots of laps on Suzuki bikes).
39. Vince Friese | 250 SX
49. Mitchell Oldenburg | 250 SX
MotoConcepts has changed its outlook for 2023 and has decided to focus on 250 West SX with two riders and then WSX with the necessary four.
Vince Friese has been with MCR for most of his career and excelled with the 250-450 approach in 2022. However, his place may be in question because some technical supporters are displeased with what happened before-during-after Moto Three of the WSX finale and purportedly want to distance themselves from the rider.
Mitchell Oldenburg has done a lot of Supercross laps in 2022, as year one with MCR put him on the starting line for 450 SX, 250 SX, and WSX. Racing from January to November for 250 West SX and WSX will make 2023 seem just as busy.
Phoenix Racing Honda
285. Coty Schock | 250 SX & 450 MX
Kyle Peters | 250 SX
67. Cullin Park | 250 SX & 450 MX
62. Jace Owen | 250 SX
222. Caden Braswell | 250 SX & 250 MX
The East Coast-based Honda-backed team will continue on its AX-250 East SX-MX path.
A severe knee injury sidelined Coty Schock for all of 2022, so the upcoming 250 East SX-450 MX run will be his first proper season with the team.
Kyle Peters is two rounds into another Arenacross title defense. Getting back to the front of the class is the goal for Peters, as his career was jeopardized by a broken back earlier this year.
Cullin Park’s plan for 2023 is the same as it was in 2022: 250 East SX and 450 MX.
After a brief stint with CLUBMX, Jace Owen has returned to Phoenix Racing Honda and will race 250 East SX.
Amateur breakout Caden Braswell has earned the points necessary to get a pro card and aims to race 250 East SX and 250 MX in 2023.
Fire Power Honda
15. Dean Wilson | 450 SX
63. Max Anstie | 250 SX
Wilson Todd | 250 SX
The US division of Yarrive Konsky’s operation will take on AMA SX as Fire Power Honda with one rider in the 450 Class and two in the 250 Class. The three will also race WSX as Honda Genuine Honda Racing.
Dean Wilson will only race Supercross in the final years of his career, a decision that will save his knees from the abuse of outdoor MX. That said, it’s uncertain how much longer Wilson wants to go, as 2023 is the expected end, but a new team and program could keep him around a little longer.
Moving down to the 250 Class has raised Max Anstie’s personal goals. The experienced rider expects to fight for wins, podiums, and possibly titles in 250 West Coast SX and WSX.
Wilson Todd will gain much-needed Supercross experience in the AMA series, skills he’ll use in WSX and Australian SX.
Team Tedder/Monster Energy/Mountain Motorsports/KTM
46. Justin Hill | 450 SX
751. Josh Hill | 450 SX
Family project Team Tedder will have Josh and Justin Hill riding their black KTMs in 2023.
Justin Hill returns to racing after a few years of odd jobs, including time as a cop. He will ride the full seventeen-round 450 SX series. He’ll wear the complete Fasthouse kit, including pieces from Bell Helmets and VonZipper.
Select rounds of 450 SX are part of Josh Hill’s 2023 calendar, which includes free ride filming, international races, time on e-bikes, and a connection to CDR Yamaha.
6. Jeremy Martin | 250 SX & 250 MX
36. Garrett Marchbanks | 250 SX, 250 or 450 MX
56. Enzo Lopes | 250 SX
69. Phil Nicoletti | 250 SX & 450 MX
The addition of Jeremy Martin, the return of three solid riders, and familiarity with the SX-MX season will take ClubMX a few steps closer to being a championship-contending team.
Jeremy Martin has been on the team bike for a while but decided healing an injury and getting used to their YZ250F would be better than gate drops. He’ll do 250 SX and 250 MX, expecting to win both.
Garrett Marchbanks will continue to race Supercross in the 250 Class, as the rider feels he has unfinished business in the division but could step up to the 450 Class when Pro Motocross comes around.
Enzo Lopes is undoubtedly Brazil’s biggest Supercross star, and he should get even bigger in 2023 by racing 250 SX in the US and returning home to headline the national series.
Phil Nicoletti will be on the YZ250F for 250 SX and the YZ450F for 450 MX, a best-of-both-worlds plan for the spirited, outspoken rider.
57. Chris Blose | 250 SX
84. Mitchell Harrison | 250 SX
93. Jerry Robin | 250 SX
AJE Motorsports will bring three familiar riders and new sponsors along for its annual run with the 250 West Coast SX tour.
Chris Blose said that 2022 would be his last year as a professional racer, but good results at international events have brought on second thoughts. He’s still included in the team’s roster on social media.
Mitchell Harrison is back with the team and has been putting in practice laps at tracks in Southern California.
Jerry Robin won’t have as much to worry about in 2023, as AJE Motorsports will handle details like bikes, transportation, mechanics, and parts for him.
86. Josiah Natzke | 250 SX
508. Hunter Yoder | 250 SX
68. Cade Clason | 450 SX
219. Chase Marquier | 450 SX
Canada’s Partzilla PR-MX returns the US and will field four riders through Supercross, with two in the 450 Class and two in the 250 Class (one for the West Region, one for the East Region).
Josiah Natzke joined PR-MX midway through 2022 and will do 250 SX and Canadian MX with them in 2023.
Hunter Yoder has relocated to South Carolina to ride for PR-MX and learn the Kawasaki KX250. He and Natzke lined up for an Arenacross in Georgia.
Cade Clason comes back for another go with PR-MX; they did Supercross together in 2021.
Support from the team will be huge for journeyman racer Chase Marquier as he takes on the full 450 SX schedule.
Heartbeat Hot Sauce Co./Team Solitaire/Yamaha
76. Dominique Thury | 250 SX
83. Cole Thompson | 250 SX
Team Solitaire will have a different look and two new riders when they follow 250 West Coast SX. Heartbeat Hot Sauce Co., a Canadian brand making small batches of spicy condiments and snacks, has signed a multi-year contract to be the title sponsor.
Dominique Thury’s time in the United States continues with a cross-country to California. The YZ250F will be familiar in some ways and different in others than the blue bike he rode for ClubMX.
Cole Thompson is another guy that’s ridden the small-bore Yamaha a lot in the last year, including time on his own bikes in 250 SX and Canadian MX, the Serco machine in Australian SX, and soon, with Team Solitaire.
MADD Parts Kawasaki
47. Fredrik Noren | 450 SX
73. John Short | 450 SX
282. Theodore Pauli | 450 SX
Theodore Pauli’s MADD Parts Kawasaki team is another independent effort set to make gains in 2023, with support from Kawasaki, equipment through Jonesboro Cycle & ATV, and two new riders that can make Main Events.
Fredrik Noren rode KTMs for most of 2022, first as a privateer and then as part of BBMX, then did WSX on a Suzuki for PMG Racing. The green bike will be somewhat familiar, though, because Noren raced the KX450 in 2021.
John Short has bounced back between the 250 and 450 Classes in Supercross for the past few years, almost always on Honda equipment (there was a 250 season with BARX Suzuki).
41. Derek Kelley | 250 SX
42. Joshua Varize | 250 SX
Committing to 250 West SX and Pro Motocross paid off for AEO Powersports, because their riders showed considerable improvement as the year went on and will be ready for another go.
Derek Kelley gets everything he can out of a 250. He did WSX on an RM-Z250 with PMG, but was back at work with AEO on a 250 SX-F soon after.
Joshua Varize, an unplanned addition to the team in 2022, cemented his spot for another year through top-15 finishes in Supercross and Pro Motocross.