The stars are starting to align ahead of this year’s Motocross of Nations – the “Olympic Games of motocross” – set for Teutschenthal, near Leipzig in Germany, over the weekend of September 29-30.
Team Japan heading to Germany will be Yohei Kojima (Suzuki), Makoto Ogata (HRC) and Toshiki Tomita (TE Sport).
Although Team USA has not been named yet, sources close to BikesportNZ.com firmly believe it will be Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki), Ryan Dungey (KTM) and Eli Tomac (Honda).
The French Motorcycling Federation has announced the team that will represent France will be Gautier Paulin (Kawasaki), to race in MX1, Jordi Tixier (KTM) in MX2, and Christophe Charlier (Yamaha) will represent his country in the Open class.
The fact that former MX2 world champion Marvin Musquin (his butt patch pictured above) has not been selected has been something of a talking point – he rode with great effectiveness for France in Italy in 2009 – but these sorts of things often happen come MXoN time, when the selectors march to a different drum or when budgets or political considerations have an impact.
Look to the mysterious so-called “development squad” that represented New Zealand in France in 2011, one that did not include Cody Cooper, despite the fact that he was one of New Zealand’s top riders and had actually been called up to fill in for the factory Suzuki squad in Europe just weeks earlier.
Look to the no-show by Team USA in 2001, international travel suddenly very unpopular with the Americans after the terrorist attacks on New York.
Traditional favourites America didn’t send a team in 2004 either, citing “huge costs and lack of industry support” for them to front up.
However, in the coming weeks, we will see teams announced for the 2013 edition of the great event and, while we may not all agree with the riders selected, the event will nonetheless be another riveting clash of countries and clash of cultures.
Will Germany select the same threesome who won the event in Belgium last year? It will be fantastic, of course, to see the ‘home town’ riders of Max Nagl, Ken Roczen and Marcus Schiffer with numbers 1, 2 and 3 on their bikes.
Team Australia is likely to comprise Chad Reed, Brett Metcalfe and MX2 world championship campaigner Dean Ferris, while the Dutch will surely turn to the remarkable Jeffery Herlings, the defending MX2 world champion and 2013 series leader, with MX2 world championship campaigner Glenn Coldenhoff to back him up. It’s anyone’s guess as to who might be the third Dutchman.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com