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Moto Numerology: Freddie Noren is the New Two Two.

By Fowlers Facts

No pressure, Freddie, Chad Reed will be watching you in 2024. Swedish transplant Fredrik Noren earned #22 in 2024, which he will run on his Kawasaki KX450 in Supercross and Pro Motocross. Although Reed used it on six different brands of motorcycles, it’s a digit that hasn’t changed riders in over a generation.

Fredrik Noren, 2023
Fredrik Noren in front of his #22 Kawasaki.

Reed debuted #22 in Oct. 2002 at the US Open of Supercross, when two strokes still won championships, Facebook didn’t exist, little Freddie Noren was literally little (he was 10!) and riders were only just starting to discover the power of building their own brands.

Chad Reed at Southwick, 2004.
Chad Reed at Southwick, 2004. Reed finished 2-2. Photo: Simon Cudby

From 2002-2020, Reed built his entire identity around #22. In 365 premier class SX/MX starts, he deviated from it only when forced by rule. In 2009 and 2010 he had to run the #1 plate as the defending Supercross and Pro Motocross champion.

Riders who wore #22 in Pro Motocross and Supercross

Chart is in order of most wins with #22 and includes data back to 1980. If you know of a #22 from the 1970s, hit us up on Twitter (@fowlersfacts)

Chad Reed 3 337 6,941 21 50 156 18 86
Jean Michel Bayle 0 23 637 28 8 18 7 12
Ryan Hughes 0 25 601 24 5 9 3 11
Danny Chandler 0 14 388 28 3 7 5 11
Robbie Reynard 0 13 358 28 2 3 4 9
Rick Johnson 0 18 408 23 2 5 4 8
Tallon Vohland 0 9 144 16 0 1 0 1
Tyson Vohland 0 15 177 12 0 0 0 0
Ty Davis 0 30 396 13 0 2 0 0
Tommy Watts 0 7 137 20 0 0 0 0
Tim Ferry 1 36 695 19 0 7 0 2
Stephane Roncada 0 13 335 26 0 7 1 7
Rick Burgett 0 14 275 20 0 2 2 6
Larry Wosick 0 5 67 13 0 0 0 0
Jeff Hicks 0 34 525 15 0 0 0 0
Grant Langston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Erik Kehoe 0 21 339 16 0 1 1 2
Buddy Antunez 0 43 640 15 0 6 0 1
Brian Myerscough 0 12 176 15 0 0 0 2
Grand Total 4 703 13,984 20 74 249 46 168
Ricky Johnson 1982
Ricky Johnson wore #22 in 1982 and (almost) won the 250 Pro MX title. For more photos like this, find David Dewhurst’s book in the We Went Fast Shop.

That longevity is how we will remember Reed, a future hall of famer who lined up for more Supercross main events than anyone in the sport’s history. So it’s fitting that, after 21 years, the number transfers to a rider whose own career in America has sneakily been built on lining up every weekend.

Noren has the most premier class Pro Motocross starts among active racers (120) and ranks 6th all-time. If Freddie finishes all 11 Pro Motocross rounds in 2024, he would end the year with 131 starts and move to 4th all-time behind John Dowd (143), Mike Larocco (139), and Kyle Lewis (136). If Noren races full MX seasons through 2024, he will be just one race behind Dowd, the New England legend.

Most All-time 450 Pro Motocross Starts

mx 250/450 1 John Dowd 143
mx 250/450 2 Kyle Lewis 135
mx 250/450 2 Mike Larocco 135
mx 250/450 4 Nick Wey 124
mx 250/450 5 Jason Thomas 123
mx 250/450 6 Freddie Noren 120
mx 250/450 7 Ben Lamay 118
mx 250/450 7 Kevin Windham 118
mx 250/450 9 Michael Byrne 111
mx 250/450 9 Tim Ferry 111
Tim Ferry, 1997
In 1997, Tim Ferry took #22 to the 125SX East championship (without winning a single race)

Now 31, Noren first showed up in America in 2011, where he finished 26th overall in Pro Motocross. For four years, he raced only AMA Pro Motocross, finishing each season on financial fumes and returning to Sweden to work a day job and save enough money to do it all over again the next summer.

He’s shown up to races with no mechanic, empty pockets and healing bones, but he kept showing up and in 2023 he completed the best season of his career: 21st in Supercross, 8th in Pro Motocross, and 11th in the SuperMotocross World Championships.

Season highlights include 7th at the RedBud National and a career best 11th at the East Rutherford, NJ Supercross.

Noren didn’t finish top 10 overall in points in 2023 (he was 19th overall) so he is only renting #22 for a season.

Fredrik Noren, 2023
Fredrik Noren getting used to his new digits.

In 2024, the Bubba Pauli-owned Kawasaki team has enough support to run the entire 31 round SuperMotocross World Championship schedule. In 2023, Noren had to jump from MADDParts to Twisted Tea HEP Motorsports Suzuki for Pro Motocross and he continued with HEP for SMX.

I’m excited to have the #22 under the tent this year. We all know 80% of fans will think Reed is back and well that’s a big selling point to sponsors!

Freddie is hands down one of the nicest guys is the pits. I don’t think anyone has anything bad to say about him other than the fact, he’s too nice!

It’s an honor to have such a well grounded Swedish rider not only riding for our team but to be a great friend as well.

– Bubba Pauli

This is a milestone to celebrate for career privateer Theodore “Bubba” Pauli, who finished 35th overall in his pro debut, the 2012 Steel City National. Since 2018, he’s operated his own team and has amassed an impressive resume that he’s still building as a racer and rider.

Bubba Pauli 2012
Theodore “Bubba” Pauli at the 2012 Steel City National (33-30). Photo: The Privateer Story
  • 258 entries in Supercross and Pro Motocross
  • 220 Top 40 SX qualifying spots.
  • 40 main event starts with 3 top 10’s and 30 top 20’s
  • 17 heat race direct transfers
  • 1 LCQ win (A1 2023, Noren)
  • Best finish: 7th. Logan Karnow, 2021 Round 16 (250SX East)
  • Colt Nichols finished 9th overall in the 2023 SMX Championships for MADD Parts Kawasaki. He was just two points out of 7th.
Fredrik Noren in 2023.
Fredrik Noren ran #47 in 2023 while racing for Kawasaki during the Supercross season.

The Legacy of #22

Noren is the third consecutive foreign born rider to run #22. Before the Australian Reed locked it up for over two decades, South Africa’s Grant Langston earned it for the 2002 season. But fans won’t recall Langston ever running #22 because he didn’t use it. Instead, he switched back to #111, which he ran in 2001 where he finished 4th in 125SX West and a heart-breaking second overall in the 125 Pro Motocross Championship.

“Yes, I was given number 22,” Langston admitted in a text message. “I think maybe because I was a little salty at the end of ‘01 and finishing second, the last thing I wanted was to have a bunch of twos on my bike. So I chose to stick with 111.”

The same thing happened to #22 in 2000. Tallon Vohland, father of Maximus, earned it for 2000 but chose to stick with his familiar 711. But the year didn’t go his way and he earned it again for 2001. This time he chose to run it.

“Worst marketing move I ever made,” he said. “Everybody knew me with 711.”

Jean-Michel Bayle at the 1990 Anaheim Supercross
Jean-Michel Bayle at the 1990 Anaheim Supercross

In 1990, France’s Jean-Michel Bayle ran #22 and came within seven points of winning the Supercross championship. Nine years later, Stephane Roncada ran the number to 11th in 125SX East Supercross (3 podiums in 3 starts) and 6th in 125 Pro Motocross.

Hat tip to Racer X’s Davey Coombs for mentioning the late Robert Harris of Windsor, NY. Harris ran #22 in 1975 and has a special place in motocross history by being one of the few riders to have competed in the 1972 Road Atlanta Motocross and the 1972 Super Bowl of Motocross in Los Angeles. Those, of course, are recognized as the first ever AMA Pro Motocross and Supercross events.

Robert Harris #22
Robert Harris ran #22 at the 1975 Battle of New Orleans Pro Motocross at Motocross West. Photo: Racer X Archives

If you love moto numerology “Fourplay: The Analytics of Number Four in Motocross” is a must read.

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Rick Burgett, 1980
That’s Rick “The Lumberjack” Burgett at the 1980 Lakewood Pro Motocross. Photo: David Lack