Who's Getting the Ride?
With Monster Energy Kawasaki needing to put someone on the now-vacated bike of Ryan Villopoto, the guessing game of who it is now begins. It’s sad that the body is barely warm and we’re already wondering who is the new guy but that’s the way it goes. I hear that it should be announced next week and from what I gather in talking to people, here are the front-runners for the ride.
Nick Wey- Wey’s got a Rockstar Energy Drink deal which obviously wouldn’t work with the Monster Team but he’s willing to do something about that in order to get RV’s ride. Wey’s team is doing two, maybe three, outdoor races and it’s surprising to me that he would want to get ready for a grueling summer but apparently, he is. The pluses for Wey would be consistent finishes and a “fit” with the team as all the guys know him and like him. I still don’t see this happening though.
Weston Peick- Weston’s been in contact with the Kawasaki guys as he doesn’t have a ride for the summer and of course wants to show what he can do on superior equipment. Weston’s putting in some great finishes lately on the Yamaha and he’d do well on the bike but I don’t think he’s got the speed and the resume that Kawasaki wants. Maybe, but unlikely.
Tommy Hahn- This has been mentioned by more than a few people but as reported by PMT a while ago, Tommy’s going to fill in at factory Honda for the summer on Trey Canard’s bike. So while he would be good (former national winner), he’s out.
Kyle Regal- Regal’s been in touch and wants on the bike badly. He doesn’t have anything planned for the summer and that’s a shame. Regal’s an easily top ten guy or and top five when everything goes right. Regal would be an awesome fit for sure and really, for a guy that doesn’t have a team or anything as of right now, Regal’s easily the best pick. If it was me, I’d go with Regal.
Tyla Rattray- Rattray’s got a ride with the Pro Circuit and considering Dean Wilson’s tenuous shoulder injury (we hear he’s going to need surgery and will miss part or all of the nationals), I don’t think that PC owner Mitch Payton lets his 2nd or 3rd best chance at a title (depending on where you put Blake Baggett) go up to the 450 class. But I hear that Kawasaki is wanting this to happen, I know that Rattray and his agent (Jimmy Button) are pushing for this to happen and I also know that all PC riders are under contracts from Kawasaki, not Pro Circuit. So they could just push this through no matter what Payton says but do you really want to upset the guy that’s delivered so much for your team? Stay tuned on this situation.
Broc Tickle- This to me makes a lot of sense because Tickle is on the 450 already and Pro Circuit doesn’t have a 450 team. It’s a lot of extra work and effort for the PC guys to put Broc out there this summer and really, they’re a 250 team so why not bump Broc up to the factory team and then that burden is off their shoulders. It makes so much sense that it probably won’t happen. That’s the way these things work sometimes. Tickle’s not going to win but then again, none of the above guys save for Rattray are.