News 9 Jul 2024

Has Masterpool earned a seat at Pro Circuit Kawasaki for 2025?

A second career moto win, and another overall podium has Masterpool in a strong position.

For the second time this season, Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki fill-in Ty Masterpool claimed a 250MX moto victory as he narrowly held off Haiden Deegan to win moto one at RedBud. Though the 1-5 result for Masterpool didn’t garner another overall win, the question continues to burn of whether he’s done enough to earn a ride with the program for 2025.

The conundrum comes from the fact that Pro Circuit Kawasaki is already rumored to be full for 2025, and even perhaps too full. Team riders Cameron McAdoo and Seth Hammaker have already been confirmed from team owner Mitch Payton that they will be back for 2025. Levi Kitchen is in the middle of a two-year deal so he will be back as well. And while he did just have brain surgery, it’s highly likely long-time team rider Austin Forkner will also be back next year.

Image: Octopi Media.

Pro Circuit Kawasaki traditionally runs four riders, but ever since Jo Shimoda was added as a fifth rider following the 2020 season, the team has been consistently putting five bikes under the tent to start the year. So, that fifth bike could be Masterpool’s, right?

Well the big rumor of the 250 class right now is that Muc-Off ClubMX Yamaha’s Garrett Marchbanks has signed a deal to return to Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 2025. Marchbanks started his career with the team and nearly won a race this year in 250SX West as he battled early in the year for a championship.

Forkner seems to be the only rider not officially signed then for 2025 in the five seats, but Payton has suggested a few times this year that the team for 2025 is full. That also means current rider Max Vohland, who is still rehabbing from a dislocated hip, is likely out.

As McAdoo, Hammaker, Forkner, and Vohland are all on the sidelines, Masterpool got the call to fill-in for the summer. He joined the only healthy team rider Levi Kitchen and has learned fast. Kitchen has not won a moto or an overall, while Masterpool has won two motos and an overall through six rounds.

He’s the only rider winning for the brand at the moment, and it’s creating an interesting conundrum for the team moving forward. When asked after the race if 2025 was on the table, Masterpool gave a short answer and smiled.

“It’s all up in the air,” said Masterpool. “We’ll see!”

Image: Octopi Media.

This is the sixth year Masterpool has raced professionally, and his performance this year has been nothing short of impressive. Throughout his career, Masterpool has shown flashes of this performance with strong rides at places like RedBud before. And just last year, after he jumped up to a 450 after the first round of AMA Pro Motocross, he was quick to battle guys like Cooper Webb and Adam Cianciarulo for podium positions at Thunder Valley which was just his second race ever on a 450.

He’s always had speed, but injuries and illnesses hampered the early part of his career a lot. Having debuted with a factory team in Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing, Masterpool never really got to 100% with the program and also struggled getting to grips with supercross. He actually never raced Monster Energy Supercross with the team, and only did so as a privateer in his third year as a professional.

The knock on him has always been that supercross is a problem area for him, which is a fair criticism as he’s only made five 250SX main events in his career. While racing a 450 this season, he did make four 450SX main events, and had a best finish of 16th. The difference in results for Masterpool indoors versus outdoors is noticeable, and it’s part of why he hasn’t got an opportunity like this before.

But when he started winning, it changed everything. It’s not just that he’s winning, he’s doing so with still very limited time on a Pro Circuit 250 and while having prepared to race a 450 quite literally all the way up until the gates dropped at Fox Raceway to start the season. His adaptation to the program, and back to racing a 250 again, has been remarkable.

Image: Octopi Media.

“I thought it would be easier going back down to a 250 but honestly, I feel like my stamina is a lot better on the 450,” said Masterpool. “Just kind of letting the bike do the work and being a little more aggressive on it. But the biggest thing is just getting used to it. It’s really hard on those opening laps whenever there’s so much stuff going on and it’s just all muscle memory. I’m just feeling better and better on the bike.”

Nothing is decided at this point on 2025 and it seems the door is not completely shut to stay with Pro Circuit Kawasaki, even if they have five riders already locked down. Each time Masterpool goes out there and battles for a podium or win, he adds more reasons to the list for the team to keep him.

Right now, he’s P6 in the standings, just 25 points behind teammate Levi Kitchen in fifth. His recent performance has pushed him closer to the top five and he’s already P13 in SMX standings having just six races under his belt on a 250. The relationship between him and the team continues to grow, and the decision will likely be coming in the near future.