The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season is here and I couldn’t be more excited to see what happens this year in both the 450 and 250 classes. I love this sport and it seems to be growing every year, but this year we seem to have more talented riders without the support they deserve. Dean Wilson, Malcolm Stewart, Jake Weimer and James Stewart have all been left without permanent rides heading into the 2017 season. It is possible that throughout the year some teams pick up these riders, but as of now their 2017 season is uncertain.
Dean Wilson enters Anaheim on a privateer Yamaha and plans on riding the first 5 rounds. These 5 rounds will give Dean a chance to prove that he can remain healthy and put in some good results on sub-par equipment. He has been injury prone since entering the 450 class in 2015 and has only finished five races. If Dean gets through all 17 rounds healthy and races to his potential, there must be some teams calling once 2018 comes rolling around. Just stay healthy Dean. Stay healthy.
Jake Weimer has been picked up to ride at least the first 4 rounds by JGR Suzuki. He will be a fill in rider for Justin Barcia who is out with a wrist injury, so will have 4 rounds to prove to other teams to give him another look. However, did he not already prove that to the teams with getting 10th overall last season in supercross? You would think so, but this is the situation that he has found himself in. With the amount of injuries in this sport he might be another fill-in for a different team by the time this 4-race deal ends.
Malcolm Stewart is maybe the biggest mystery of these riders. How can the 2016 250 SX East Champion be without a ride? He is highly skilled in supercross and is a big guy that would probably excel even more on the bigger 450. Was he asking for too much money, only to find himself left with nothing? Was opting out of racing the outdoors last year a mistake? Are some teams passing on Mookie because of past difficulties with the Stewart family? Or are there just too many deserving riders and not enough rides? Any or all of these could be true. Regardless, Mookie won’t be racing A1, and that’s a shame. Stay tuned to see what he does this season.
Malcolm’s older brother, James Stewart, will also not be at A1. There has been a lot of talk that this could be the end of Stewart. Will we ever see him line up again? I just don’t know; things aren’t looking good as of now. It would be a shame to see one of the fastest riders in our sport go out like this. 50 career SX wins and he just slowly disappears from the sport? Whether he wants to be out there or not, there still aren’t enough rides for any of these guys.
I don’t think anybody could pinpoint what the problem is exactly. As a fan, I just want to see guys like Wilson and Mookie out there every weekend. We keep hearing about how great Supercross is doing, so we know that people and organizations are making money off of this sport. Some of that money needs to go down to the riders and teams so that we can see the best out there every year. Maybe there are just too many great riders always moving up from the 250 class and less and less riders retiring from the sport. If that is the case, our sport needs to change something to account for the limited rides so that we don’t see this as a reoccurring theme every year.
Photo from Racer X Online