The AMA Pro Motocross Championship series kicks off in Pala, California, this weekend, with KTM’s Cooper Webb returning from injury and likely to headline racing in the 450cc class.
Despite a concussion at the Nashville Supercross (April 29) that was expected to keep him side-lined for the first few rounds of the AMA Pro Motocross Championships, it has been confirmed that Webb will be lining up this weekend at the MX season opener.
Webb provided an update on May 4, stating in an Instagram video a neurologist recommended him about six-to-eight weeks fully off his dirt bike, but he has since been given the all-clear by the medical professionals.
Webb joins fellow KTM stars Aaron Plessinger, in the 450 class, and Tom Vialle and Max Vohland in the 250 Class.
Marking the second stage of the inaugural SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX), which combines both the recently-completed AMA Supercross Championships and 11-round Pro Motocross Championships before the SMX post-season, all four KTM riders will be tuned up and ready to race at Pala.
Two-time premier class Supercross champion and former 250MX champion Webb makes his anticipated return to Pro Motocross riding at this weekend’s opening round, having sat out the series last year.
The 27-year-old was in contention for a third career 450SX crown when a crash in Nashville ended his indoor campaign prematurely, however, he has been given a clean bill of health by doctors and is excited for the challenge ahead.
“I’m extremely excited to be lining up for the Pro Motocross series,” said Webb.
“I didn’t compete outdoors last year, so this will be my first time racing it since 2021. I’m super grateful for the team and I to be able to do it together and get back behind the gate.
“After my crash in Nashville, I’ve been able to take some time off and get fully healthy, cleared, and ready to go. I’m looking forward to getting back behind the gate!”
Meanwhile, Caden Braswell will line up alongside Michael Mosiman in the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas Factory Racing Team this weekend.
Braswell was the 2022 Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award recipient following the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, where he won the 250 Pro Sport overall as part of the GasGas amateur program last year.
The 19-year-old from Shalimar, Florida, gained experience at the professional level during the 2023 AMA Supercross Championship, earning a season-best main event result of 10th at Atlanta in the 250SX East category. Now, he will turn his attention to the outdoors.
Young Australian Jett Lawrence (Factory Honda) begins his challenge to the 450 motocross class this weekend and that prospect is much anticipated by many observers in the sport.
Undefeated in the 250cc class at this Pala circuit in 2020, 2021 and 2022, it will be fascinating to see if he can repeat that now on a bigger bike.
Of course, to do that, Lawrence (and all the other riders too), is going to have to battle past just-crowned AMA Supercross Champion Chase Sexton.
What about fellow Honda men Dean Wilson (Scotland) and Max Anstie (Britain), or Husqvarna riders Malcolm Stewart and Christian Craig, or Kawasaki pair Adam Cianciarulo and Jason Anderson?
We’ll find out Monday morning (NZ time).
Photo courtesy AMA
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