Morning Espresso: Vurb’s 2024 Team Previews: Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki

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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 Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team and you will find the full schedule below.

The Biggest Question Mark: Can the Pro Circuit team stay healthy and break their championship curse?

Who’s In:

#20 – Maximus Vohland – 250SX/MX
#43 – Seth Hammaker– 250SX/MX
#47- Levi Kitchen – 250SX/MX
#63 – Cameron McAdoo – 250SX/MX
#64 – Austin Forkner – 250SX/MX

Who’s Out:

#30 – Jo Shimoda
#34 – Ryder DiFrancesco
#41 – Carson Mumford
#99 – Jett Reynolds

Last Season’s Supercross Results:
Vohland – 6th 250SX West
Hammaker– Did Not Race (Injured)
Kitchen- 3rd 250SX West
McAdoo – 7th 250SX West
Forkner – 38th 250SX West

Last Season’s Motocross Results:
Vohland – 7th 250MX
Hammaker– 11th 250MX
Kitchen- 5th 250MX
McAdoo – Did Not Race (Injured)
Forkner – 17th 250MX

Best 2023 SX Finish:
Vohland – 4th (East Rutherford)
Hammaker– Did Not Race (Injured)
Kitchen- 1st (Anaheim 2)
McAdoo – 3rd (Anaheim 1, San Diego, Oakland, Seattle)
Forkner – Did Not Race (Injured)

Best 2023 MX Finish:
Vohland – 5th Overall (Unadilla)
Hammaker– 5th Overall (Southwick)
Kitchen- 2nd (Unadilla, RedBud)
McAdoo – Did Not Race (Injured)
Forkner – 4th (Budds Creek)

Offseason Grade:  B

The Rundown:
The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team made some much needed changes for 2024. However, it wasn’t the full rebuild that maybe should have happened. Losing Jo Shimoda to HRC Honda, who was their podium and championship contender, was a huge blow. To help combat this loss the team brought on Levi Kitchen from Star Racing and Max Vohland from Red Bull KTM. These two riders are still on an upward trajectory of progression and both will be the riders to beat in 24. Kitchen and Vohland are both in their early 20s, have had similar starts to their careers, and are both right at the perfect spot for a team change. The Pro Circuit team hasn’t won a title since Adam Cianciarulo’s 2019 Pro Motocross Championship and they expect these two riders to help change that. Come supercross in ’24 it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either of them be the class of the field.

The thing that both Vohland and Kitchen have struggled with is consistency, which happens easily in the 250 class. The good news is that they have the speed to get on the podium and Levi has shown that he can win. Kitchen has also commented on the fact that he knows that he has the speed to win and that he’s going to work hard this offseason on coming through the pack to win when he doesn’t get a holeshot. Expect these two riders at the front of the pack no matter which 250SX region that they are scheduled to race. 

On the other side of the team we have three riders, who are often injured, but have the speed to win. Cameron McAdoo, Austin Forkner, and Seth Hammaker have all been winners in the past, yet injuries seem to prevent them from truly accomplishing their potential. Pro Circuit knows what each of these riders are capable of. The team is holding onto them knowing that if they put all of the pieces together that any of them could put together a championship for the team. 

It’s also important to note that towards the end of the outdoor season the PC bikes were looking improved. They were getting the starts over the Star and HRC bikes and running up towards the podium on a more consistent basis. Obviously that has a lot to do with the rider on the bike as well, however you could just tell that the riders were feeling more comfortable with the changes that were made to the bike. 

With Jett and Hunter Lawrence going to the 450 class full-time the 250 class is looking for new champions. The class actually goes deeper than that. Only one past champion is racing the 250 class now and that is ClubMX’s Jeremy Martin. This Pro Circuit team knows that they have the talent to get the job done, they just need everything to fall into place now with the right results, NO injuries, and consistency.  

2024 Rider Projections:

Vohland – Maximus has the speed and potential to become a championship contender in the sport. Look for him to keep progressing into a weekly top five and podium guy, while minimizing those inconsistent races.

Hammaker– Staying healthy will be the biggest issue again for Hammaker, but when he’s racing he’ll be a top five and podium contender at most of the races.

Kitchen- A fresh start will progress Levi into a title contender indoors and out.

McAdoo – McAdoo needs to stay healthy and race every race in 2024. He’s been a title contender in the past, but this year he needs to rack up the results and the rest will fall into place.

Forkner – Austin has race winning speed. That’s why he still has this ride despite being hurt the majority of the last two years. His results rely on his ability to stay healthy and if he can do that he will prove to everyone again that he’s still a premier rider in the sport. 

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

11/3 – HRC Honda

11/7 – Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing

11/10 – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

11/14 – HEP Motorsports

11/17 – Team Solitaire

11/21 – AEO Powersports KTM

11/24 – Rock River Yamaha

11/28 – Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing

12/1 – Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha

12/5 – Partzilla PRMX 

12/8 – HBI Racing Kawasaki

12/12 – Monster Energy Triumph Racing

12/15 – Madd Parts Kawasaki

12/19 – Liqui Moly Beta Racing

12/22 – MotoConcepts Racing

12/29 – Firepower Honda

1 /3 – Phoenix Racing Honda

1/ 5- Bar-X Suzuki

Main image: Kawasaki

Written by Troy Dog

Faster than Slaw Dog. Editor-in-Chief

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