Glen Helen GP: Who’s Coming?
None of the American factory MX race teams have committed to race the upcoming Grand Prix of the United States, which will be held at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, May 30. But, then again, none of the teams we’ve spoken to have completely ruled it out, either.KTM, however, made an official statement today that the company is endorsing the race and is also applauding the five-year contract signed by promoters Youthstream and Glen Helen to host a round of the World Championships.”We consider this is a very positive move and one that we completely support,” said KTM Sportmotorcycle’s CEO Stefan Pierer. “This is a great opportunity for us to show the quality of our factory team and our racing bikes in the USA, which is a very important and growing market for us. We will go to the U.S. with our World Champions and our World Championship bikes, including our new KTM 350 SX-F that MX1 World Champion Tony Cairoli has chosen to defend his title.”KTM will send six of its GP riders to Glen Helen next month, including defending MX1 Champion Tony Cairoli and defending MX2 Champion Marvin Musquin. Factory KTM racers Max Nagl, last weekend’s opening-round winner in Bulgaria, Rui Goncalves, Shaun Simpson and Jeffrey Herlings.KTM also announced that AMA racers Mike Alessi and Great Britain’s Tommy Searle will compete in the GP.As far as some of the other American factory teams, the ones we’ve spoken too have yet committed to next month’s GP at Glen Helen. Earlier this week, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team manager Roger DeCoster, who could field Supercross points leader Ryan Dungey, and Austin Stroupe at Glen Helen, told us, “It’s a little early to say, but we have no plans right now. It really doesn’t make sense for us to do it with tight budgets and chances for injury. That is a factor.”DeCoster did say that he will support the European Suzuki teams, “just like they have done for us when we go to Europe,” he said.It is not yet known if Honda Red Bull factory riders Davi Millsaps and Andrew Short will compete, either. “Right now we have no plans [to race the GP],” said Honda Red Bull team manager Erik Kehoe. “But we’re thinking about it; we haven’t made any decisions but we’re still looking at our options.”And a source close to the Monster Energy Kawasaki factory team says that they have not yet made a final decision, as well, but the chances are slim that they’ll let Ryan Villopoto or Chad Reed race, saying it’s just too risky, considering the Glen Helen GP is sandwiched between the first two rounds of the AMA Motocross Championships.They will, however, support the Kawasaki GP teams that travel to California.Yamaha does not have an official factory team but does support many major teams in the U.S., such as the two-rider San Manuel Yamaha team. It is not yet known what plan Yamaha has concerning the GP.