The champagne is barely dry and already off-season moves are being discussed and Moto fans everywhere slowly succumb into withdrawals.
As Ken Roczen and Jeremy Martin bask in the glory of a Motocross Championship, riders and teams are hard at work finding the best approach to dethrone the champions. They get a test run in October at the Monster Cup and then open the throttle come January when the 2015 Supercross season starts in Anaheim.
There's a reason the Supercross/Motocross off-season is called the Silly Season. It could also be called the crazy season. Lots of changes are expected and a few prove to be real head-scratchers, others "Holy Crap" worthy, and some totally false just based on rumor - all adding up to a very Silly Season in Moto world.
So what have we heard so far?
There is a real possibility that four-time defending Supercross champion Ryan Villopoto leaves American racing and heads across the pond to Europe and try his talents in the Motocross World Championship series. Apparently he's already bought a house near Lommel, Belgium so if true it'd be a real shocker if he's lined up at the gate for A1. Arguably the finest racer on the track today, his departure, if it happens, opens the door a bit more for the other riders much as it did for Motocross which he did not compete in because of an ailing knee.
Have we seen the last of Ryan Villopoto?
There's little doubt that a healthy Villopoto, and let's face it a bum-kneed Villopoto, would have seriously challenged the field this season in Motocross. Instead the championship went down to the wire between two teammates on the Red Bull KTM team. Ryan Dungey placed runner-up to the rookie Roczen, as he did in Supercross to Villopoto so he's sure to tweak his game in the next four months. Dungey last won a Supercross championship in 2010, before Villopoto's streak started and last won Motocross in 2012. He was runner-up last year in Motocross to Villopoto as well.
Dungey might not pair up with Roczen next season as the Motocross champ is widely expected to leave the factory KTM team for the RCH Suzuki team. Dungey coincidentally has three titles with Suzuki. With Roczen's departure on the Red Bull KTM team that opens the door for possibly Dean Wilson.
Is the Ken Roczen/Ryan Dungey KTM team breaking up?
Cole Seely, who narrowly missed out on a 250 West Supercross Championship this year to Jason Anderson and finished eighth for the Motocross season, announced this week he's stepping up to the 450s for 2015. Seely will remain with Factory Honda and joins Trey Canard's team.
Speaking of Canard, his off-season changes were made during the second break of Motocross. Whatever he did on his bike, which he said made him more comfortable and instantly boosted his confidence, worked as he won four of the last five Motos of the season. A healthy Canard come January should contend for the title.
Trey Canard already made his off-season changes. He'll make a run at the title in 2015
Missing this season from both Supercross and Motocross was Davi Millsaps. A knee injury sidelined him from the Supercross season and reports indicated he was ready to return to racing after a few Rounds in Motocross but his presence behind the gate never materialized. Earlier this month, he explained his absence resulted from a nagging foot injury that never healed. He also announced a release from his contract with KTM and he's expected to sign with Kawasaki for 2015. Millsaps proved to be a competitor for much of the 2013 Supercross season to Villopoto but that's the last time he's raced. It should be interesting to see how he addresses all the time off.
Expect Ryan Dungey to end his runner-up status
Perhaps the biggest question is the future of James Stewart. In the Supercross season he made a strong push to catch Villopoto only to bow out at the end. Then in Motocross he was a mere six points back from the second-place Dungey after sweeping High Point then the news of his failed drug test at Seattle Supercross hit during the first break in June. He was not the same rider thereafter and did not compete in the final four rounds.
Stewart said the failed drug test was a result of prescribed medication to treat a long term condition. He was provisionally suspended by the FIM but was allowed to race in Motocross which is operated under different oversight and management than Supercross. If health was indeed a factor limiting his time in Motocross his next fight is reinstatement in time for Supercross.
Is James Stewart's future in doubt?
Weston Peick who enjoyed a solid first year on a factory ride looks to be headed to Joe Gibbs Racing where he'll team with Justin Barcia. Arnaud Tonus, an MX2 rider in the World Championship series taking a shot in American racing, has signed with Pro Circuit Kawasaki and might be welcoming Tyler Bowers as a teammate.
Weston Peick gets another factory ride albeit with another team
The Rockstar Energy KTM team featuring Millsaps (then replaced by Ryan Sipes), Anderson and Joey Savatgy for Motocross and which MotoSport sponsored last year and this year, is switching to Husqvarna. Anderson stays but gets Martin Davalos and Zach Osborne as teammates.
Much of the news and rumors should be finalized by Monster Cup until then - Get out and ride!