It may be the team with the most wins in the history of this prestigious competition and always ranked one of the favourites to win it, but it seems the COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed another victim and, as for many of the world’s elite teams and world-championship winning individual riders from other countries, the Motocross of Nations (MXoN) is just not worth the risk to rider health and safety.
The Americans have not won this event now for eight straight seasons (the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic) and so the Team USA brand has lost some of its lustre from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, but still their appearance is considered a major draw-card.
The naming of the USA team had been expected last month, but was delayed, and the official announcement finally came this week – the American Motorcyclist Association confirming it will not participate in the 2021 Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) Motocross of Nations, at Mantova, Italy.
According to their press release: “Ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts and ever-changing travel restrictions presented logistical challenges that contributed to the US team’s decision.
“A number of issues have contributed to the logistical difficulty of attending the 2021 Motocross of Nations, on both an individual and team level, and these have been exacerbated greatly by current and expected COVID-19 mitigation efforts surrounding the event,” said AMA director of racing Mike Pelletier.
“Due to the sizeable financial risk faced by all the team stakeholders, and the unknowns in play here, we came to the unanimous conclusion that suspending our participation was the responsible decision.
“The AMA takes great pride in our efforts to compete in the Motocross of Nations each year, and we hope to return to the Motocross of Nations in 2022,” Pelletier added. “As we look forward to competing again in 2022, it’s our goal to bring back the Chamberlain Trophy to the US once again.”
The FIM-sanctioned Motocross of Nations is a world championship team event featuring three-rider national teams. They compete for a combined score, which determines the overall championship-winning country.
The US team is the record-holder for FIM Motocross of Nations overall team victories, with 22 overall wins.
Most of those wins took place under the guidance of Belgian five-time Motocross World Champion and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Roger DeCoster, although the Americans haven’t won the event since it was staged at St Jean d’Angely, in France, in 2011.
Of the eight times the event has been staged since 2011, Team France has been the most dominant nation, winning the MXoN overall in Latvia in 2014, in France in 2015, in Italy in 2016, in England in 2017 and in the United States in 2018.
The Netherlands won the MXoN the last time it was staged, at Assen, in The Netherlands, in 2019.
There will be no teams at this year’s MXoN from New Zealand or Australia.
© Photos by Andy McGechan, BikesportNZ
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2021 Motocross of Nations teams so far entered:
Netherlands: Jeffrey Herlings, de Wolf or Van De Moosdijk, Glenn Coldenhoff
Belgium: Jeremy Van Horebeek, Liam Everts, Brent Van Doninck
France: Marvin Musquin, Tom Vialle, Mathys Boisramé
Italy: Antonio Cairoli, Alessandro Lupino, Mattia Guadagnini
Denmark: Thomas Kjær Olsen, Mikkel Haarup, Bastian Bøgh Damm
Ireland: Jason Meara, Jake Sheridan, Stuart Edmonds
South Africa: David Goosen, Camden McLellan, Tristan Purdon
Finland: Miro Sihvonen, Emil Weckman, Jere Haavisto
Spain: José Antonio Butrón, Yago Martínez, Ander Valentín
Switzerland: Arnaud Tonus, Mike Gwerder, Valentin Guillod
Iceland: Eythor Reynisson, Eidur Orri Pallmarsson, Alexander Adam
Sweden: Alvin Ostlund, Isak Gifting, Anton Gole
Austria: Lukas Neurauter, Michael Sandner, Rene Hofer
Canada: Dylan Wright, Jacob Piccolo, Tyler Medaglia
Lithuania: Arminas Jasikonis, Dovydas Karka, Erlandas Mackonis
Venezuela: Carlos Badiali, Lorenzo Locurcio, Raimundo Trasolini
Poland: Jakub Barczewski, Tomasz Wysocki, Gabriel Chetnicki
Puerto Rico: Coty Schock, Ty Masterpool, Ryan Sipes