Loretta Lynns Graduates Set for Pro Debut at Unadilla
Just one week removed from the single-biggest motocross event in the world at the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship from Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Tennessee, 10 riders will make their official graduation from the amateur ranks to the pro level at the Circle K Unadilla National, Round 10 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
Seven riders will join an already stacked 250 Class field, while three riders will embark on their professional journey in 450 Class. Fittingly, each will take his first shot at the sport's highest level from American motocross' most storied venue.
Leading the way in the 250 Class are four full factory riders that each enjoyed success in their final appearance at Loretta Lynn's. GEICO Honda will bring up three riders itself, with Japanese rider Jo Shimoda, Australian Jett Lawrence, and California native Carson Mumford. All three riders were in the thick of the hunt for the AMA National Championship in both 250 Pro Sport and Open Pro Sport. They'll line up alongside the current GEICO Honda roster of RJ Hampshire and Chase Sexton, which will help fill out a team hampered by the injury to Hunter Lawrence, Jett's brother, and the recent suspension of Christian Craig. Each of the new faces has the talent to make an immediate impact.
At Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, newly crowned AMA Horizon Award winner Jalek Swoll will join Michael Mosiman and Jordan Bailey, while Thomas Covington continues to recover from illness. Swoll, a native of Florida, earned the AMA National Championship in Open Pro Sport with 1-3-1 moto finishes, and will look to make his presence felt immediately in the 250 Class.
In addition to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship's newest factory riders, Carter Halpain will become the newest addition to the factory supported Cycle Trader/Rock River Yamaha squad. Halpain has patiently waited for his chance to show his mettle, and following a solid week at Loretta's in both Open Pro Sport and 250 Pro Sport, the Texan will fill out a roster than already includes Brandon Hartranft, Jacob Hayes, and Yusuke Watanabe.
Rounding out the lineup of new 250 Class riders is Pennsylvania native Vincent Luhovey and North Carolina native Hayden Hefner.
Three riders will make the jump straight into the championship's most high profile division at Unadilla, going bar-to-bar against the biggest names in motocross. New Jersey native Ricci Randanella was in the hunt for the AMA National Championship in the College (18-24) division at Loretta's, where he was joined by each of his fellow new 450 Class members, Cory Carsten, also from New Jersey, and Logan Leitzel, of Pennsylvania.
Collectively, these 10 riders represent the fresh faces of American motocross, set to usher in the sport's newest era of talent on the sport's biggest and most historic stage.
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