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In just a few short weeks, the worlds best riders make their return to Monster Energy Supercross to kick off the 2022 season. This season is shaping up to be yet another exciting installment of this championship that never seems to disappoint. January 8th in Anaheim, California, the starting gate is going to look quite a bit different this year compared to the past. Here’s all of the offseason (“silly season”) moves around the sport.
Without a doubt the biggest move by far this offseason was that of Eli Tomac. After three motocross titles and one supercross title at Kawasaki, the former champ now takes the number 3 plate to Yamaha. A move that did not surprise very many people as it was rumored throughout the entire motocross season that he would be on the move at the conclusion of the season. He will be joining Dylan Ferrandis at Yamaha who is coming off of a 450 title in the Lucas Oil Pro motocross season. While Tomac raced well last season, it definitely was not the title defense he was hoping to have. Maybe this move to Yamaha will be just what he needs to get back that number 1 plate.
For Kawasaki, with the departure of Eli Tomac, came the arrival of another former supercross champion in “El Hombre” Jason Anderson. Anyone who watched Jason Anderson win that title in 2018 will tell you that he just has not looked the same since. He got injured very early into his title defense in 2019, suffering an injury that took him out for the majority of that season. Change was definitely something that Anderson felt was needed in his career. Just last season he announced he would no longer be with long-time trainer Aldon Baker. And now adding this change could lead to another year for Jason Anderson like 2018.
That left Husqvarna with an open spot on their team, and in steps fan favorite Malcolm Stewart. Known for his lighting fast speed through the whoops, Malcolm Stewart joins Rockstar Husqvarna departing from Monster Energy Yamaha. This move is solid for Mookie and many people around the sport see this move as a great fit for both parties. Mookie also looks to be “The Guy” for Husqvarna this season with the departure of Jason Anderson as well as the retirement of 2020 450 motocross champion, Zach Osborne.
The last big move was another Yamaha departure. This time was Aaron Plessinger to KTM. This move comes at a great time for Plessinger. He had many moments last season where he was running up at the front of the pack. The confidence level has got to be pretty high based off of that. Combine that with the fact that he probably saw the turnaround of Cooper Webb’s career after his move from Yamaha to KTM. Cooper Webb made the same move a few short years ago and so far it has turned into two supercross titles.
2022 is shaping up to be such an exciting year. And that was just the 450 class. Colt Nichols and Justin Cooper have titles to defend in the 250 class. Not the easiest task when you have guys like Jett Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence, Jo Shimoda, Austin Forkner, Seth Hammaker, RJ Hampshire, and many more coming after that number 1 plate. Cooper Webb will have his hands full as well trying to hold on to his number 1 plate in the 450 class. January 8th can’t come soon enough.