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 RedBull KTM Factory Racing and you will find the full schedule below.
#2 Cooper Webb – 450SX plus an option to race 450MX
#7 Aaron Plessinger – 450SX and 450MX
#25 Marvin Musquin – 450SX
#34 Max Vohland – 250SX and 250MX
#128 Tom Vialle – 250SX and 250MX
#5 Ryan Dungey
Last season’s Supercross Results:
Cooper Webb -7th 450SX
Aaron Plessinger- 19th 450SX
Marvin Musquin- 4th 450SX
Max Vohland – 77th 250SX East
Last Season’s Motocross Results:
Cooper Webb – Did not race.
Aaron Plessinger- 7th 450MX
Marvin Musquin- 27th 250MX (Only raced Pala)
Max Vohland- 6th 250MX
Offseason Grade: B+
Red Bull KTM has the same roster heading into 2023 that it did in 2022 with the addition of MX2 World Champion Tom Vialle. I have many questions regarding the team riders and what to expect from them this season. The team is full of veterans in the 450 class. Marvin Musquin, Cooper Webb, and Aaron Plessinger all have what it takes to get on the podium or score a win or two. My worries are about these riders vibing with the bike, which was a big hurdle last season on the new model. In my opinion I do believe that at some point in the season the team will figure the bike out. KTM has some of the smartest minds in the industry working for them, so if any team will figure it out quickly, it’ll be them. Musquin was close to retiring last year. He took a Supercross only deal and I wondered that maybe this would be the last we would see of him. However, Marv was the top finishing KTM rider last season in Supercross and he even scored a win, which was the team’s only win of 2022. With that in mind I do believe that Marv will in fact do more of the same this season.
What Cooper Webb are we going to get? Cooper took the summer off to get back to the roots and ended up riding a lot of local stuff as well as some woods riding. Coop was all over the map just riding a dirtbike and having fun again. How will that translate into the season? Do we see the Webb that won two Monster Energy Supercross titles? HOT TAKE ALERT: I truly believe that Webb will be a title contender by the end of the season. If he can stay healthy, I do believe he’s in a good spot in his life for another run at some titles.
Now what about Plessinger? After a really good year on his Star Yamaha in 2021, it seemed like switching over to the KTM team and training at the Baker’s Factory would put Plessinger on that next level. I was thinking maybe he would get the main event win or two this past season and be upfront in the standings when the outdoors came around. Plessinger missed 10 rounds of Supercross due to injuries, came back outdoors as a top ten guy, but we didn’t see a bump in results until after RedBud. He had two overall podiums at Southwick and Ironman. With another year of experience of working with the team, and the goals set on the table, do we see the AP we thought we would see in 2022 come around this season? I do believe that Plessinger‘s deal is up at the end of the season, so yes that will give him the extra motivation to have a career year barring any injuries. When Plessinger is feeling it he can truly race with anybody and once we start heading east in Supercross that’ll be his moment to shine.
Vohland is another question mark I have. When KTM signed him out of amateurs to a three-year deal with no pressure it seemed like a no brainer. Now, here we are in year three of his contract. He’s definitely been better and earned national number 34 for 2022. Is this the year that Max starts to get wins and perhaps battle for a championship? It’s possible, but at the same time getting on the podium at more rounds than not will help his stock rise too. Max will be a gamer this year.
The new addition to the team is Tom Vialle. The two-time MX2 World Champion from France signed a two year deal with the team. His signing is truly a great move. If he can make it through Supercross healthy he will be an immediate threat to the 250MX title next summer. He will be in the mix for American championships for many years to come in my opinion.
It is important to add that an offer was presented to Ryan Dungey to race Supercross for the Austrian brand this season, but Dungey has decided to retire for good. Although it would’ve been cool to see Dungey under the lights of Supercross again, it’s time for him to focus on the next step of his life and raising his young family. Thanks for coming back and racing outdoors Ryan!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.
Team Preview Schedule:
10/27 – Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/ GASGAS Factory Race Team
12/01 – Red Bull KTM
12/7 – Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki
12/14 – H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki
12/21 – Muc-Off FXR ClubMX Yamaha
12/28- Bar X Suzuki
1/3 – Team Solitaire