FIM Motocross of Nations back to America after 20 year absence
A thrilled Budds Creek Motocross Park
is getting ready to host the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations, which will represent the 61st edition of the event and currently has 35 teams entered. This weekend’s race will be a special one, as it will mark the Motocross of Nations’ comeback to America – the winningest country at the event and also the reigning Champion - after an absence of 20 years. The last American edition of the event was held at Unadilla Valley in 1987.
Team USA look forward to defending the title of Motocross of Nations winner with their eighteenth strike. The American squad will enjoy the full support of their home crowd, who will give an extra motivation to Ricky Carmichael, at his last participation in the event, Ryan Villopoto, who debuted last year, and Tim Ferry. A similar situation to Carmichael’s one happened last year, when Stefan Everts raced his last Motocross of Nations; the Belgian won all his heats, but his team eventually finished second on the podium.
The Belgians have a score to settle with the Americans, who beat them last year; this year’s squad features two Motocross of Nations "freshers", in the shape of Ken De Dycker and Jeremy Van Horebeek, with MX1 World Champion Steve Ramon completing the team. The trio will surely have some local fans at Budds, but a lot of Belgians will watch the event live in the cinema Kinepolis, at Hasselt, in a special broadcasting of the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations. At Matterley Basin
, Belgium was the most successful team under an individual point of view, with Ramon and Everts having won the Open and MX1 classes respectively, while American Villopoto had won the MX2.
New Zealand, who finished third last year, has not forgotten Josh Coppins’ shoulder injury from the FIM Motocross World Championship racing; the Kiwi will be replaced by Daryl Hurley, who will race alongside countrymen Cody Cooper and Ben Townley. The latter has finally completed a full season in the AMA Racing, winning one Supercross Title, and has definitely gained the respect of many American colleagues and fans.
It was a bitter Motocross of Nations for the Italians last year, who missed the podium by just two points. With Antonio Cairoli, who dominated the World MX2 class this season, and David Philippaerts confirmed in the squad, the third rider will be Davide Guarneri, who won his maiden GP this year at Namur. Except for Everts, Cairoli was the only heat winner last year, when he beat his opponents in the heat mixing MX2 and Open class machines.
The Frenchmen will attend the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations with a very young team; after Christophe Pourcel and David Vuillemin’s injuries, the squad underwent a few modifications. Nicolas Aubin, winner of his first GP this year at Loket, when he beat Cairoli, and Pierre-Alexandre Renet will make their first appearance in the event, using a bit of Sebastien Pourcel’s experience, as the latter completes the team.
Great Britain is the second winningest country after USA, with a total of 16 wins at the Motocross of Nations, and has a strong team at the gate this year. Billy Mackenzie, Tommy Searle and James Noble will battle it out for the Chamberlain Trophy, exploiting all the potential of Mackenzie and Searle’s factory bikes and Noble’s experience.
South Africa will be another strong team, with Grant Langston, Gareth Swanepoel and Wyatt Avis, while Australia will see experienced AMA riders Chad Reed, Andrew McFarlane and Michael Byrne.
Among the total of 35 teams participating in the event, there are a few taking part in the event for the first time, such as Iceland, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ecuador.
Budds Creek and Maryland
Budds Creek Motocross Park is one of the best tracks in Maryland, actually the home track of the Mid Atlantic Motocross Association. It is located in the forest of Southern Maryland , and has played host to two US Grand Prix’s in the past; Budds is currently a regular venue in the AMA National calendar, but the track has changed a lot compared to what it used to be. For the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations the circuit will be 1500 metre long, with a loamy soil; the soil used to be hard pack, but 50 trucks of woodchips and other material have been added to make the ground softer. The layout is basically the same, but several obstacles have been added, making the course more challenging.
Maryland saw its first travellers back in 1634, when 140 adventurers first landed on the beautiful Chesapeake shore. Maryland has a rural past, but the popularity of technology is currently increasing, making the economy very healthy. In the area of Budds Creek, which is very well known for Motorsports and for its nature, Leonardtown, which is Maryland’s oldest incorporated town, offers unique places to shop and dine, most of which are concentrated around the main square. Along the scenic byways surrounding Budds Creek, people can see a glimpse of Amish buggies on the way to the market, and motorists are actually warned by characteristic signs placed on the highways; Amish farms are recognizable by their windmills and lack of electric lines.
The event's schedule
Saturday, September 22:
- Free Practice MX1 at 10:00 am EDT (4:00 pm WAST) (World Clock)
- Free practice MX2 at 11:00 am EDT (5:00 pm WAST)
- Free Practice Open at 12:00 am EDT (6:00 pm WAST)
- Qualifying Heat MX1 at 2:30 pm EDT (8:30 pm WAST)
- Qualifying Heat MX2 at 3:30 pm EDT (9:30 pm WAST)
- Qualifying Heat Open at 4:30 pm EDT (10:30 pm WAST)
Sunday, September 23:
- Warm-up B-Final at 8:40 am EDT (2:40 pm WAST)
- Warm-up MXoN Group 1 at 9:10 am EDT (3:10 pm WAST)
- Warm-up MXoN Group 2 at 9:40 am EDT (3:40 pm WAST)
- B-Final at 11:00 am EDT (5:00 pm WAST)
- MXoN Race 1 at 1:00 pm EDT (7:00 pm WAST)
- MXoN Race 2 at 2:40 pm EDT (8:40 pm WAST)
- MXoN Race 3 at 4:20 pm EDT (10:20 pm WAST)