From the ashes of the JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team comes a new Suzuki-backed squad for the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series—the Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki Racing team. It is an entirely new effort, with no carry over from last year’s Suzuki Factory Racing Team and just one rider each from the H.E.P. Motorsports and Twisted Tea satellite Suzuki teams.Last year, Fredrik Norén and Joey Savatgy flew the Suzuki RM-Z450 flag in the premier Supercross class. Unfortunately, Savatgy was injured before the season started. Jimmy Decotis stepped in to replace Savatagy as Norén’s teammate. Decotis’ ride only lasted two races, with him qualifying for the main at Anaheim 1 and St. Louis. Broc Tickle stepped in, though injuries hampered him. Tickle managed a P6 finish at the SLC7 finale, and was in P20 for the overall standings. Norén struggled, scoring points in just four rounds and never finishing better than P19 on his way to P27 in the final standings. It was not a good year for the Suzuki factory team.
H.E.P. Motorsports lined up Kyle Cunningham, Ryan Breece, and Adam Enticknap at the 2020 A1. Cunningham and Breece qualified for most of the Mains, with Enticknap making five Main events. Cunningham’s best round was a P14 at SLC1, with Breece nabbing a P14 at Arlington. The pair finished next to each other in the final standings, with Cunningham in P21 right behind Tickle, and ahead of Breece in P22. Enticknap finished the season in P25.Of the three, Enticknap is making the jump to the Twisted Tea/H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki Racing team. Enticknap, a rider popular on social media and sporting “seven-deuce-deuce” on his number plate, is joined by 450SX rookies Brandon Hartranft and Max Anstie. Hartranft ran in the 250SX West class last year, finishing P4 overall with two podiums along the way on his Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM 250 SX-F. Anstie was a P9 overall finisher in the AMA National Motocross Championship aboard a Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450, taking a podium in the second moto at Loretta Lynn’s II. Anstie’s previous experience is supercross is the 250SX class in 2010, 2012, and 2013.Although not a team likely to threaten to win a championship, Anstie and Hartranft are rookies with speed on their résumés. It’s not a stretch to expect both in every Main in 2021, with podium challenges a possibility in the right situations. Since his first 450SX Main in 2013, Enticknap’s best finish has been a P15 at Houston in 2019.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.