Team exit strengthens speculated move to Penrite Honda Racing next season.
Luke Clout has confirmed he will depart CDR Yamaha Monster Energy ahead of the 2020 season, strengthening speculation that he’ll join Penrite Honda Racing with an opportunity to contest the opening rounds of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship next year.
Clout, who finished second in the Australian Supercross Championship after a difficult night at the Monster Energy AUS-X Open Melbourne on Saturday, has been in public over the last two rounds that he’ll race at least the opening six rounds of the American series.
Following his seventh overall placing inside Marvel Stadium, the New South Welshman elaborated on his 2020 plans, indicating the opportunity to race overseas was key in luring him away from the powerhouse CDR squad after what has been his most successful campaign in the premier class.
It was revealed in October that Penrite Honda Racing will expand to the US in 2020, understood to be bringing an Australian rider over for the first portion of the 250SX West championship.
Clout has been widely-linked to the role, which is understood to see him return to Australia for the MX Nationals aboard a CRF450R alongside Brett Metcalfe, while it’s tipped Kyle Webster will join the outfit in the MX2 category.
“It’s kind of sad to say, but this will definitely be my last ride for CDR tonight,” Clout revealed to MotoOnline.com.au. “I just want to take the time to thank everyone that’s involved – Yamaha, CDR, Dacka, and just everyone in the team – I really appreciate everything they’ve done. They’ve helped me out tremendously and I’m really thankful for what they’ve done.
“I want everyone to know that from the bottom of my heart – they’ve kind of mentored me in who I am today. But, I’m moving on and I’m going to something that I think is the best fit for me because there are opportunities for me to head back to the US.”
The popular SX1 contender entered Melbourne’s season-finale with a one-point lead in the championship and went onto set the fastest time in qualifying and claim Superpole, however a series of unfortunate events in the triple crown main events denied him the chance of challenging Justin Brayton (Penrite Honda Racing) for the crown.
“I’m happy with how the year went, and I was stoked with how today went,” Clout continued. “I felt like when the track was at its best, I was probably the best rider out here. Those three races, just whatever I did, it seemed to go wrong.
“I had about four or five riders fall on me, I had a guy stall when I had the hole-shot in front of me – it was just chaos. It was just not my championship to win – we started off great today with qualifying fastest and Superpole. My speed is there, I just need to finish it off in the end.”