Rumored on Twitter and message boards and confirmed yesterday by Cycle News, veteran rider Davi Millsaps may miss the opening round of the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross season and his return to action in general is currently up in the air following an apparent knee injury while testing.
With his Rockstar Energy Racing team switching from Suzuki to KTM for the 2014 season, Millsaps has been hard at work acclimating to the bike since August when he returned to riding following reconstructive knee surgery this past summer. The report indicates the current injury is to Millsap’s other, non-surgically repaired knee.
“I washed out in a corner and my leg got caught with the bike,” Millsaps told Cycle News. “As the bike kept flipping, it twisted my knee. We’re still in the early stages right now. I’ve had an MRI on it, but I have to go back in and get another one. As of right now, we’re not sure what’s going on and what’s going to happen.”
Millsaps was the breakout rider of the 2013 season by establishing himself as the biggest challenger to Ryan Villopoto’s dominance. After taking a dramatic victory at the season opener, Millsaps maintained possession of the championship lead in the 450SX Class for half the season before ultimately being overtaken by Villopoto at Daytona. Millsaps maintained the runner-up spot in the title fight for the second consecutive year and completed his most impressive season to date in seven years of premier class competition.
In May, Millsaps announced he would undergo major surgery to repair a knee that had been giving him problems for several years and had become a continual problem in regards to his long-term health and performance. That knee ultimately played a factor in Millsaps’ midseason drop last season that cost him the points lead and title. The surgery forced the Georgia native out of competition for the AMA Pro Motocross Championship but provided him with the best opportunity to complete the entire 2014 season and beyond at full health.
The Rockstar Energy Racing KTM squad has already done its due diligence to ensure that a bike is on the line in January and has already prepared longtime veteran Ivan Tedesco to fill in for Millsaps if need be. Tedesco, a two-time 250SX Class Champion, has not competed in a Supercross race since suffering a season-ending injury at Dodger Stadium in January 2012. Tedesco was unable to secure a ride last season and sat out all of 2013.
As for Millsaps, while the immediate future remains unclear, his uncertainty for the start of the season serves as a blow to what has been shaping up to be arguably the fiercest championship battle in Monster Energy Supercross history.
The SPEED Blog will keep you posted as this story continues to develop.