The preseason riding session also marked the first time the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing trio of Aaron Plessinger, Ryan Dungey, and Antonio Cairoli took to the track together. Dungey’s anticipated return to competition after his retirement in 2017 has been one of the biggest stories of the two-week transition from Monster Energy Supercross to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Likewise, Cairoli’s long-awaited U.S. debut has the industry buzzing about the prospects of what one of Europe’s most decorated racers can do against the star-studded Pro Motocross contingent at the opening two rounds of the summer.
It was also a welcome sight to see several riders make their return from extended layoffs, whether it was recovery from injury or a much-needed break to return to full health. Plessinger’s recovery from a broken arm has him eager to rekindle the speed he showed last season, while Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen appears healthy and motivated after a brief sabbatical from competition that dated back to March. In the 250 Class, a slew of riders were back on track, including the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki duo of Seth Hammaker and Cameron McAdoo, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Stilez Robertson, Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Levi Kitchen, and reigning Rookie of the Year Max Vohland aboard his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine.