IRVINE, Calif. — official release — An era is ending; for the first time since 2010, there will be a new king in Monster Energy Supercross next year.
Ryan Villopoto, who stormed to four-consecutive Monster Energy Supercross championships, two Pro Motocross championships and numerous race wins in both divisions of the premier class, will embark a new challenge in 2015 — one that has never been done.
Villopoto will join the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in Europe to compete in the FIM Motocross World Championship beginning in March. Villopoto will become the first rider to leave behind a Supercross title defense to compete for a world championship and plans to bring Kawasaki their first world championship in the premier class. The worldwide series will host 18 rounds on four continents in 2015.
Joining Villopoto is former MX2 World Champion and Kawasaki veteran Tyla Rattray in the MXGP class. Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team will welcome back Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis and American Thomas Covington to compete for the MX2 World Championship and will be joined by the reigning 2014 MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier, as he will run the No.1 plate on his KX™ 250F.
“I am ready for the final chapter of my career, and in my final year of racing I am looking to accomplish something no one else has achieved,” Villopoto said. “I’ve never been one to look at the record books so when an opportunity like this comes around, to race against the best in the world and represent the U.S.A., I have to see it through. It will be a major change of pace, but I am extremely excited about the opportunity and also to be joined by a former champion like Tyla. He knows what is needed to succeed on the world championship stage and I know I can learn a lot from him.”
“Ryan Villopoto is a truly global motocross star; for fans around the world to see him race on their home tracks will indeed be a privilege,” Steve Guttridge, Racing Manager for Kawasaki Motors Europe, commented. “After such dominance in Supercross it is refreshing and characteristically brave to see Ryan take on the world’s best MXGP riders and set his sights on supremacy in this class as well.”
“For 2015, we are very excited to welcome Ryan Villopoto and Tyla Rattray into the Kawasaki Racing Team,” team owner Thierry Chizat Suzzoni added. “It’s a fantastic challenge for the team and we are aware that the 2015 championship organized by Youthsteam is going to be very demanding, but our team is very enthusiastic and has ended this season on a high at the Motocross of Nations so we are going to actively prepare with the goal of taking up this challenge. I would like to thank Kawasaki, Monster Energy and all our partners for helping us to make this project become a reality.”
With Villopoto leaving the U.S., Davi Millsaps and Will Hahn will lead Kawasaki’s Supercross effort for 2015. Read more here.