By Aaron Waldron
One of the biggest surprises of the offseason (as voted by our audience in a January 8 poll) was the move of newly-crowned 2WD and 4WD world champion Ryan Maifield from Team Orion and MKS to Hobbywing and ProTek RC. Maifield made his first appearance with Hobbywing power at the CRCRC Midwest Off-Road Championships (read about that here), where he scored the runner-up spot in both 2WD and 4WD, and then competed with the new electronics again at the Reedy Race on his way to a fourth-place finish.
Unlike fellow world champ Ty Tessmann, who was confirmed as an official member of the Hobbywing team on January 4 (you can read that here), the company never issued a formal press release about Maifield’s signing - because it was never an official deal.
“I was seeing what was out there, and Team Orion let me check out some other possibilities,” said Maifield in a text message this morning, “but I’ve decided to stay with them. They were super cool through this deal, so I wanted to stick with them.”
When I asked about the change in a Facebook message about the same time this morning, Team Orion founder Philippe Neidhart said, “In fact he never left. People like rumors, so we did not comment. The reality is now officially announced.”
With winking-face and flexed-muscle emojis, Neidhart said, “Ryan knows why he won the Worlds. HMX is a big part of the success.”
Photo: Team Orion