Morning Espresso: Vurb’s 2024 Team Previews: Factory Liqui Moly Beta Race Team

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Welcome to the offseason and our new ongoing “Team Previews” column. Every week from now until the Monster Energy Supercross season starts in January we will be profiling a big team in the sport. We’ll go through the changes that have been made, analyze results, and give each team a grade on all of their offseason moves. This week we have the Factory Liqui Moly Beta Race Team and you will find the full schedule below.

The Biggest Question Mark: Will Beta’s first Supercross season be measured as a success?

Who’s In:
#45 Colt Nichols – 450SX/Some 450MX
#67 Benny Bloss – 450SX/Some 450MX

Who’s Out:
This is Beta’s inaugural season in Monster Energy Supercross.

Last Season’s Supercross Results:
Colt Nichols – 14th (450SX)
Benny Bloss – 19th (450SX)

Last Season’s Motocross Results:
Colt Nichols – 35th Overall (450MX)
Benny Bloss – Did Not Race.

Best 2023 SX Finish:
Colt Nichols – 4th (450SX/Nashville)
Benny Bloss – 8th (450SX/East Rutherford)

Best 2023 MX Finish:
Colt Nichols – 10th Overall (450MX/Washougal)
Benny Bloss – Did Not Race.

Offseason Grade: A

The Rundown:
From the outside looking in, it seems as though this sport is truly the healthiest that it’s ever been. We’ll have two new OEMs joining the paddock with Beta and Triumph! It’s been since the 1970s that the sport has had so many bike options to choose from. Beta has brought on two very capable riders in Benny Bloss and Colt Nichols for their first year. Both Bloss and Nichols are experienced racers who have seen just about everything in their nine professional seasons. They’ve ridden factory bikes, their own bikes out of their vans, had success, had difficulties finding themselves, and both have had some bad injuries over the years. Now they find themselves as factory riders once again on a new program.

How will the Beta bike perform? Only time will tell, but looking at Benny and Colt, they both look very comfortable on the bike. Let’s face it, it’s almost 2024, this isn’t like Cannondale coming into the sport. These engineers have been building 450s and they know what they’re doing to build a competitive bike. 

Hiring Bloss and Nichols was a very strategic decision for the brand as well. Both riders know how to test very well. Just last year, Nichols found himself as a fill-in rider at HRC Honda and a big part of his role last offseason included testing when Trey Canard was out with an injury. Beta was very smart for adding these two riders as they’re both very consistent and fast when they’re healthy. 

Benny is coming into 2024 with everything he’s been looking for the past couple of seasons. In past interviews he’s mentioned that if he doesn’t get a factory ride then he might end up quitting the sport and getting a real job. The former Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award winner put together a great season with the Rock River Yamaha team before crashing out of Nashville, a week after his best finish of the season in East Rutherford. He hasn’t seen a gate drop since late April, but he has been riding a ton since being back on the bike. He’ll be ready to go in Anaheim on his factory ride..

Nichols hasn’t taken much time off either. He raced a few nationals with help from the Madd Parts Kawasaki Team to get more points for the SMX Playoffs. He had his best ride at the Los Angeles finale with a fifth overall. Then he raced the World Supercross Championship in the offseason as well. He’s continued racing and getting gate drops, that’s going to lead to a nice start of the season for him.

For the 2024 season Beta will race all of supercross and some outdoor rounds to set themselves up nicely for the playoffs. It should be a great year for the first year program and everything will be a “first” for them. Consistency and good results will be the goal for both Benny and Colt. They can truly build a nice base in 2024 to set the mark for this program for many years to come.

2024 Rider Projections:
Colt Nichols –
A contender for the top ten on any given night. He’ll have his flashes of brilliance here and there.

Benny Bloss – Benny will be inside of the top 15 all season long and towards the end he’ll start to throw in a top ten here and there. 

Thanks for reading my series of team previews for the coming season. If you’d like to talk about these or any of the other stories that I’ve written you can email me at [email protected] You can also reach me on Twitter/Instagram: @troydogvurb.

2024 Team Preview Schedule:

10/13 – Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull /  GASGAS Factory Race Team

10/20 – Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki

10/27 – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

11/5 – HRC Honda

11/12 – Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing

11/18 – AEO Powersports KTM

11/21 – Partzilla PRMX

11/27 – Heartbeat Hot Sauce/Team Solitaire

11/28 – Rock River Yamaha

12/4 – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

12/6 – Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha

12/13 – HBI Racing Kawasaki

12/15 – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

12/20 – HEP Motorsports

12/26 – Liqui Moly Beta Racing

12/27 – Madd Parts Kawasaki

12/29 – Triumph Racing

1220 – MotoConcepts Racing

12/31 – Firepower Honda

1 /3 – Phoenix Racing Honda

1/ 5- Bar-X Suzuki

Main image: Beta

Written by Troy Dog

Faster than Slaw Dog. Editor-in-Chief

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