My theory is this. Since RV2 really wants to retire, he will opt to go race in the less competitive MXGP euro series and save his body and mind a ton of stress.
He has 1 year left on his Monster / Kawi deal so he has to compete, so he is choosing to go race in Europe. Plus if he wins a Euro championship he still gets some sort of bonus I would assume and he will also get a pretty cool new mark on his resume.
I think any level of MX is abusive on ones body so my theory could be way off but I would say that there is no way that Kawasaki would rather have him in Europe than in the US.
It wont be a cakewalk for RV like some may think. If Cairoli is healthy, he will again be one to beat. Plus Paulin showed his speed in the MXoN and the GPs this year. And don't forget it's an 18 race season. A 16 race supercross season is not as demanding as the GPs so it will be tough on RV.
Ya rv pulling out a year early ruined it for me. I like reed, but he is super close to being only a manager/owner. Cant stand js7 but he was fast. Love js7 and reed bar to bar. K-roq and barcia will be watched for sure. But millsaps is gonna kill it this year. All my money is on 18. As long as there is no injuries.