Can the 2010 US Grand Prix of Motocross be as big as a Motocross of Nations?
Maybe. It’s possible. Could be. And we’ll find out …
Will the top racers in the American supercross and motocross series race?
Remember though, there is only one race every year that pits the best from each country against each other, with the racers competing as ‘teams’ and ‘countries’, not as individuals. And that is the Motocross of Nations. There is only ONE Motocross of Nations – and this year it happens to be in the USA, at the Thunder Valley MX Park in Lakewood / Denver, Colorado, September 23 & 24.
But this year’s US MX GP at Glen Helen Raceway could be something special. It’s about the individual racers rather than the teams.
Motocross is always changing, always evolving. It has never stayed the same, nor will it stay the same. Although invented and popularized first in Europe, in the last four decades there has been an ebb and flow between the quality and popularity of the racing between the European continent, and the North American continent.
Why could this year’s suddenly announced US GP of MX be special? A number of reasons, but the one that could put it over the top would be if the top US series racers will race. Racers like James Stewart, Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto, Christophe Pourcel, Jake Weimer, Trey Canard, Justin Barcia, Andrew Short, Davi Millsaps, Mike Alessi, Tyla Rattray, Tommy Searle, and others.
Again, there is no race quite like the Motocross of Nations. One of a kind. Historic. Bragging rights for an entire year. It’s like the Olympics of Motocross. Each country sends it’s top three racers for the Motocross of Nations. National pride. But some teams, realistically, before the starting gate even drops, have no chance of winning.
But with the US MX GP, you have racers competing as individuals. And as I mentioned, motocross and supercross are always changing, always evolving. None of us can stop that, and it will continue to change even when all of us are long gone!
There has not been a USGP of Motocross in any form since the 90’s. And the sport has changed both here in the USA, and in Europe. Many changes. Changes in teams, changes in tracks, changes in promoters and organizers, changes in machinery, changes in rules, changes in riders (well, except maybe Kevin Windham : ) and more.
Whether or not top American series racers compete in the US MX GP is still to be determined. There are many pros and cons to it, and I’m sure riders, teams, sponsors and management are discussing those pros and cons right now to determine whether or not to compete.
Along with the top level American series racers listed above, you have top level racers competing in the World Motocross Championships that deserve attention as well. The level of racing in the GPs has been elevated compared to what it was just five or six year ago.
Remember at last year’s MX of Nations, Italian Antonio ‘Tony’ Cairoli won the first race, Frenchman Gautier Paulin won the second race, and American Ryan Dungey won the third race.
In the MX1 class for GPs, or what we call 450 class in America, these four names that seem to have separated themselves as ones to watch in 2010, although as I write this the series is only two events old (Bulgarian and Italian Grands Prix).
- Tony Cairoli is the defending World Champion in MX1. He has also won two World Championships in MX2. He is from Italy. He rides the new KTM 350. Fast. He will ride with the number 222 on his KTM. Not only is he fast, but incredibly charismatic and a great guy.
- Max Nagl rides for KTM as well. He’ll be number 2, but riding the KTM 450. Max is from Germany, and has really developed into one of the top GP riders in the world.
- Clement Desalle is from Belgium. He races for the Teka Suzuki World Motocross team. He’ll be riding with the number 25. He came on late last year to win races, and is now one of the best in the world in MX1.
- David Philippaerts won the 2008 World Motocross Championship. He seems very on-form this season, and rides strong until the end of each race. He is also from Italy, and will be racing the number 19 Yamaha.
In the MX2 class, which we call Lites or 250’s here in the USA, these racers deserve your attention at the very least:
- Marvin Musquin is from France, will ride with the number 1 plate on his KTM, and is the defending MX2 World MX Champion. He’s also coming to race for KTM full time in the USA, both supercross and motocross, starting in 2011.
- Ken Roczen is from Germany. He rides for Suzuki on the number 94. Hard to believe he is only 15 years old! Very mature, very smart, and very, very fast. Fun to watch on the bike too.
- Jeffrey Herlings. Wow. He is 15 years old too. A few months younger than Ken Roczen. Jeffrey is from Holland (his racer profile will be up soon), and will be racing on the number 111 KTM. You can’t help but like this kid. He’s very well spoken, always has a smile on his face. Simply a nice guy. And he’s incredibly fast on that 111 bike. (And I think he’s looking forward to meeting Amanda again : )
Now, what if the top racers from the American series compete against these top racers from the World GP Championships? As individuals? That’s where in one way, the race would be ‘bigger’ than a Motocross of Nations, because instead of America having just it’s three top racers, there could be ten!
Regardless, you’ll love the GP environment, and the show these riders will put on. It’s really three days of activity if you like – starting Friday afternoon as the riders come to the track. On Saturday, there is racing! Qualifying races for both MX2 (250 Lites) and MX1 (450 class). All the racers have to race on Saturday in the Qualifying! And then of course Sunday, you’ll see four GP motos as those top racers battle in our country towards who will be crowned ‘Motocross World Champion’ at the end of the series in September.
Tickets are available at the Glen Helen website http://www.glenhelen.com as well as participating local Yamaha dealers.