It’s been and up and down off-season for everyone on the Kawasaki off-road squad. The team was on the brink of dissolve following the 2012 Las Vegas EnduroCross finale, but fans and racers alike were thrilled to hear that Big Green scraped together enough funds to resurrect the team. But for off-road icon Destry Abbott, the much-celebrated announcement was followed by another down when he was dropped from the roster.
Yes, Destry is still racing in 2013 and yes, he is still on a Kawasaki, but the veteran racer has spent the past few weeks piecing together his own privateer ride to contest the GEICO AMA EnduroCross series.
“In February the team told me they couldn’t do anything,” Abbott said. “I was kind of left out to dry to find my own sponsors by that point so that sucked. It’s a long story, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m excited to have new sponsors on board.”
The Pro Circuit Kawasaki team currently in place for the 2013 season consists of Justin Soule and Taylor Robert, but Abbott explains he has nothing to do with the team. “I’m with Monster Energy still, and Kawasaki does give me some support, but I don’t get paid anymore. I’m full privateer now. I’ll be in my van and driving around and pitting out of my own van.
“That’s just the industry right now,” Abbott said. “It’s all a lot tighter. [Kawasaki] had to cut back and I was one of those guys. But that’s all right. I don’t hold a grudge. They did what they needed to.”
After 16 years with Kawasaki, Abbott admits it is bittersweet to be on his own, but is looking on the bright side of his newfound independence. “The drag is definitely the money part, but the other aspects are good. I’m with FMF, there are a lot of great companies, like Fasst Company – the Flexx bars – that I’ve wanted to ride for for a long time. When you’re with a factory team, you do whatever the factory team wants. But now I can make my own decisions and run the stuff I want to run. It’s nice from that aspect.”