While much of the Geico Honda team was out at Milestone practicing for the AMA Outdoor Nationals, their offices were busy sending out a press release. Malcolm Stewart the 2016 250 East Supercross champion will not be racing the AMA Outdoor Nationals. He will instead put his focus on preparing to race in the 450 class. Malcolm is one of a handful of racers planning to move up to the 450 class in 2017. It is unconfirmed if he will remain a Geico Honda rider like Justin Bogle when he moves up.
“Now that I have won my first 250 SX championship, I know firsthand just how much work it takes to become a champion,” says Stewart. “So as I move full time to the 450 class for 2017 I know it will take twice as much work and preparation. Not riding the outdoors this year will leave me plenty of time to prepare for my 450 SX and MX pro debut. Thanks to everyone at GEICO Honda and my family for helping me win this 250 SX Championship!”
Absent in this press release is Jimmy Decotis. The AMA Outdoor National team will feature Christian Craig, RJ Hampshire, Jordon Smith and newcomer Tristan Charboneau. Tristian is a two-time AMA Amateur National Motocross Champion at Loretta Lynn’s and will make his professional debut in the 250MX class at Hangtown. He is not new to Geico Honda, having raced as part of the Amsoil Honda amateur team since 2014. The Amsoil Honda team is the amateur team for Geico Honda. “I’ve been working really hard to try to get here and riding is going really well,” says Charboneau, who will wear the #403. “I’ve only known for sure about this for the last few days, but my trainer has had me training for the last two months for this because I knew there was a chance. The work has been a huge confidence booster. I can do two 30-minute motos now no problem, and it has helped a lot mentally, too. When I do my motos at the practice track, I’m trying to track down the pro guys and sometimes I’m even passing them. I think [Team Manager] Mike LaRocco saw something in me when I was riding with other pros at the practice track. I’m really, really excited about this opportunity.” says Tristian.
Tristian Charboneau works with team trainer John Wessling alongside several other GEICO Honda pro riders, as well as personal riding coach Jay Whipple. Tristan’s teammate on the Amsoil Honda ameteur team, Chase Sexton, is still preparing for his professional debut and is planning to race a few AMA Outdoor Nationals in the season. Chase has been riding under the tutelage of Christian Craig. Justin Bogle will remain as the 450 rider on the team. Last year then Geico Honda 450 rider, Eli Tomac won the first two rounds of the Nationals at Hangtown and Glen Helen.