2019 Monster Energy Supercross 450 Class Preview
The 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season is stacked as ever. Several riders from rookies to veterans fill the factory team rosters heading into Anaheim 1 on January 5. Here’s a preview of the factory teams: Monster Energy Kawasaki, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing, Team Honda HRC, and JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
Eli Tomac dominated the Monster Energy Cup back in October by winning all three main events and enters the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season as one of the favorites to win his first premier class championship indoors. Tomac has stood atop the podium in several main events in the past two seasons, but injuries and inconsistency have held him back in the point standings.
Tomac’s new teammate will be Joey Savatgy, who spent the last few seasons racing for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team in the 250 class. Despite not winning a title in Supercross or outdoors on the smaller bike, Savatgy signed a one-year contract for the 2019 season and finished third overall at the Monster Energy Cup in his first race with the team.
Jason Anderson is the reigning Monster Energy Supercross champion and looks to defend his number-one plate in 2019. Last season, Anderson displayed his ability to be a fast, well-rounded, consistent rider who will likely be in the fight until the end.
Zach Osborne will miss the opening rounds of the championship due to a collarbone injury. He was the most dominant 250 class rider in 2017 and suffered a season-ending injury at Thunder Valley (round 3 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series) last summer. Osborne won two 250 Eastern Regional Supercross championships in 2017 and 2018, and will move up to the premier class in 2019.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Marvin Musquin won the season opener last year and will continue his career under the orange tent. Musquin’s program and training regimen sees very little changes for 2019 as he looks to keep his “American dream” alive and be the first French rider to win a premier class AMA Supercross championship.
Musquin’s new stablemate for 2019 is Cooper Webb. The two-time 250 Western Regional Supercross champion has had a tough transition into the premiere class and hasn’t been able to contend for race wins since his rookie year in 2017. After two years of little success on the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing team, Webb hopes to improve his results on the orange bike.
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing
After a few years of injuries and dismal results, Justin Barcia found himself a privateer coming into the 2018 Supercross season. However, in the weeks leading up to the Anaheim 1 opener last year, Davi Millsaps suffered a fractured left elbow and a serious head injury, so Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing brought Barcia on to fill in. Millsaps announced his retirement weeks later, and Barcia was given Millsaps’ spot and finished the season with the team. Pleased with his results, Yamaha extended Barcia’s contract for the 2019 and 2020 race seasons.
Coming off a successful 2018 season, winning both the 250 Western Regional Supercross championship and the 250 Pro Motocross championship, Aaron Plessinger signed a multi-year deal with the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing team.
There are no rider changes for Team Honda HRC in 2019. Coming off a string of bad arm injuries, Ken Roczen looks to get back to his winning ways this season, both indoors and out.
In the 2018 Supercross season, Cole Seely looked to be at the peak of his career with a strong showing every weekend. Unfortunately, he sustained fractures to his sacrum and the left and right sides of his pelvis at the Tampa Supercross (about halfway through the season). Out indefinitely, he hasn't raced since, but he has been back on the bike for a few months now.
JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing
Chad Reed was officially signed to the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team to fill in for Weston Peick, who suffered a severe facial injury at the Paris Supercross in the off-season. After racing the final round of the Pro Motocross season last summer at Ironman Raceway, Reed has been riding the RM-Z450 since, and raced in Europe and Australia during the off-season.
2017 250 Western Regional Supercross Champion Justin Hill is another one of the few 450 rookies to be signed to a factory team for the 2019 season. Hill made appearances on the RM-Z450 last year for the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team on the East Coast rounds, but he will now be racing in the premier class full-time in 2019.