Most of the big names will be lining up at the 18th and final round of the Motocross World Championships at California’s Glen Helen circuit this weekend.
Apart from Germany’s Ken Roczen and United States riders Ryan Dungey and Ryan Villopoto, dozens of the sport’s elite riders will be on show at the USGP.
Roczen is skipping the event as he recovers from long-awaited remedial surgery on his injured back and Dungey, despite being the dominant rider in the US this season as he won another MX1 crown, won’t be racing at the USGP or at the Motocross of Nations because he “needs a break”.
Villopoto had originally planned to make the Glen Helen USGP the last of his career. That, instead, got bumped a couple of months when he injured his back in April and then later announced his early retirement.
Injuries mean Australia’s Chad Reed, Belgium’s Kevin Strijbos, Dutchman Jeffery Herlings and French rider Steven Frossard won’t be there, but New Zealanders Ben Townley and Cody Cooper will be welcome additions to the start-line at Glen Helen.
Frenchman Romain Febvre will arrive at the USGP as the new MXGP World Champion, a title he amazingly wrapped up as a ‘450cc rookie’ with two rounds to spare.
The 23-year-old Febvre (pictured above) came on strong the second half of the season and will possibly be the hottest rider on the Glen Helen circuit.
There will be a number of Americans competing at the USGP, including, of course, all of the big names of the MXGP and MX2 World Championship classes.
KTM rider Shaun Simpson has also been riding well in recent months, winning two of the last three GPs and, as a key member of Great Britain’s Motocross of Nations team, he’ll be keen to use the USGP to keep sharp.
Some of the American riders who have committed to the USGP include Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson. He will be pitting alongside his French team-mate Christophe Pourcel.
It will be Davi Millsaps‘ return to racing again at the USGP. Not only will this be his first race since his unexpected departure from the US factory Kawasaki team earlier this year, but it will also be his debut on his new BTOSports.com KTM team.
US Red Bull KTM’s Scottish rider and UK MXoN team rider Dean Wilson is also scheduled to compete.
Jeremy Martin, Justin Barcia and Cooper Webb are the designated trio to be Team USA for the MXoN and will use the USGP to gauge how they might fare against the European riders in France a week later.
Webb will be making his professional big-bike debut at Glen Helen.
French rider Marvin Musquin will also make his 450-class debut at the USGP, but KTM hasn’t said if he’ll be on a 350 or a 450 – Musquin is too old to compete in the MX2 division which has an age limit of 23.
© Main photo by Ray Archer
© Crowd photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
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