Round 3 of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross series raced into Petco Park in downtown San Diego last weekend, drawing the second largest attendance at the venue since it’s inaugural race in 2015. This round played host to some of the most intense racing of the season so far in both 450SX and 250SX Classes, resulting in the closest points battle between the top-eight riders in 450SX Class history through three rounds with a mere seven points separating them heading into Round 4.

While Round 3 was certainly special for riders like Michael Mosiman and Chase Sexton who each captured their first race wins in their respective classes, it was significant for another particular reason: It was the series’ Military Appreciation Race. Monster Energy Supercross paid tribute to our nation’s military and its service members on the television broadcast and devoted time in the race’s opening ceremonies to honor both veterans and active service members. Race teams and riders were also invited to deck out their bikes with graphics that recognize those members of our military.

Opening ceremonies for Round 3 and Military Appreciation Night at Petco Park in San Diego.Opening ceremonies for Round 3 and Military Appreciation Night at Petco Park in San Diego.

One race team especially looks forward to Military Appreciation Night each year. Team Solitaire/Nuclear Blast Yamaha out of Phoenix, Arizona consistently goes all out with spectacular military-themed graphics displayed across their race bikes.     

Team Solitaire/Nuclear Blast Yamaha 250SX Class rider Robbie Wageman’s bike decaled in limited-edition military appreciation kit for Round 3 in San Diego.

This year’s limited-edition design was inspired the by the United States Army Rangers—in particular, the 75th Ranger Regiment. The 75th Ranger Regiment carries on the legacy as one the nation’s premier special operations forces, operating in denied areas while always being combat ready and prepared to fight our country’s adversaries. In response to the September 11th attacks in 2001, our nation called upon the 75th Ranger Regiment as one of the first units to respond to the War on Terror. This print is dedicated to Rangers of all eras who have gone “Into the Breach,” especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

This print portrays a Ranger Fire Team, with their distinctive equipment and Military Working Dog during a raid in the Global War on Terror. Above, A ranger fire team prepares to pull security as a pilot of 160th special operations aviation regiment (SOAR) drops into a live combat zone.

Team Solitaire currently employs four members of the U.S. military—three veterans across Army and Marine Corps divisions and one active-duty U.S. Air Force member—making this annual appreciation race hit close to home. Army veterans Eric Angelski and Colin Burgh are each mechanics on the team for 250SX Class riders, Robbie Wageman, number 69 and Ryan Surratt, number 58. Ken Weckwerth, Marine Corps veteran, is the team’s transport driver and Cullen Boswell, active-duty Air Force, works as the team’s digital content creator. 

  Pictured one the left, Army veteran Colin Burgh, wrenching the number 58 race bike and on the right, Army veteran Eric Angelski, wrenching the number 69 bike.

There is no doubt that Team Solitaire/Nuclear Blast Yamaha is a fan-favorite in the pits and the effort they put into this special race each year speaks to why. The team can be found on social media @teamsolitairesx.