We received a surprise email this morning from the Team Honda HRC MX2 team as they prepare for the upcoming 2017 MXGP of Lombardia. Although it’s common for their press officer to send out a pre-race rundown, we didn’t expect to see the inclusion of a new rider for the next two rounds of the 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship. Anthony Rodriguez, a rider born in Venezuela that now lives at Millsaps Training Facility and races the 250 class during the Supercross season, will join the factory squad effective this weekend.
The placement of Rodriguez comes at a critical time for the team, as their original rider Chihiro Notsuka is still recovering from serious back injuries he sustained earlier in the year. Rodriguez will race alongside Michele Cervellin aboard the works CRF250RW at this weekend’s race and the 2017 MXGP of Portugal one week later. Per a post on Instagram, Rodriguez has already made the trip to Europe and begun work with the race team.
Rodriguez raced the 250 East Coast portion of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series as a privateer aboard a Yamaha YZ250F. He posted multiple top-ten Main Event finishes and ended the season ranked ninth overall in the championship.
The full press release from the team, including statements from Rodriguez and HRC General Manager Roger Harvey, are posted below…
MXGP of Lombardia
MX2 2017 Round 11
New face for HRC MX2
As the season reaches its halfway point, the FIM world championship heads back to a ‘home’ race for the team in Ottobiano. Joining Michele Cervellin this weekend, is Venezuelan-born Anthony Rodriguez who will be filling in for the injured Chihiro Notsuka on the CRF250RW.
Ottobiano is a new track on the calendar located in Northern Italy. The track is sand based and is part of a much larger motorsports facility which hosts everything from go-karting through to freestyle MX. Michele Cervellin had success here recently when he took third overall in the MX2 class of the Italian National motocross championships. After lacerating his arm in Russia, the Italian has been focused on getting fit again for his second home round of the year.
Fresh from his AMA Supercross success in the States as a privateer, 22-year-old Anthony Rodriguez will be racing for HRC in Ottobiano and Agueda on the CRF250RW. Rodriguez moved to the States when he was 13 to chase his dream of racing professional motocross but this will be the first time he has raced in the MXGP series and in Europe.
I am just so happy to have been given this opportunity to race for HRC in the MXGP series. I have been in Europe over the last few weeks settling into it and I love the bike and the team are professional and easy to work with. I can’t wait to see what the future holds heading into my first round this weekend. I am so excited. – Anthony Rodriguez
We are really looking forward to Ottobiano as not only is this a ‘home’ race for the team but we also have Anthony Rodriguez onboard with us for the next two rounds. He has been racing in America but is new to the MXGP championship. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.
Michele had some rotten luck in Russia lacerating his arm and being forced to sit out the second race. He has been focused on getting stronger for his second home round. He has raced in the Italian championships here recently and had a good result so we will be expecting him to perform well here. –