Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac and Jeremy Martin will fly the flag for Team USA at the Motocross of Nations in Latvia, in September.
The American Motorcyclist Association has announced its selection of riders who will compete for Team USA at the FIM Motocross of Nations in Kegums, Latvia, September 27-28. The 2014 team will consist of Red Bull KTM‘s Ryan Dungey, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac and Yamalube/STAR Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin.
The FIM Motocross of Nations format features national teams competing for a combined score to determine the overall championship-winning country. The event emerged in post-war Europe in 1947 and has run uninterrupted since that time. Competition in the FIM Motocross of Nations includes riders in the MX1 class, which features 450cc bikes; the MX2 class, which includes 250cc motorcycles; or the Open class. Team USA last won the FIM Motocross of Nations in 2011 when the event was held in Saint D’Angely, France. The United States is the all-time leader in FIM Motocross of Nations overall team victories with 22. Great Britain is second with 16.
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer and Red Bull KTM Team Manager Roger DeCoster will once again manage the team as it seeks win the prestigious event, billed as “The Olympics of Motocross,” for the first time since 2011. Team USA finished second at the 2013 event and third in 2012.
“If you look at the way Ryan, Eli and Jeremy are riding at the moment, we should be back in the hunt for a victory,” said DeCoster, who competed in numerous FIM Motocross of Nations in the 1960s and ’70s. “The track we will be racing at suits our style, and all the riders are talented and on good equipment. Also, all of these riders want to be here, and compete for their country. That’s what we want in a team.”
Dungey, who will race in the MX1 class, will make his sixth visit to the Motocross of Nations as a member of Team USA, and he says he is ready to win back the title for America.
“It always feels good to represent the United States,” said Dungey, who is currently second in points for the Lucas Oil AMA 450cc Pro Motocross Championship. “To be picked to represent your country is a real honor. The last two years we have been short of that top step on the podium, and we all want to be back on that top step, to show the world what America can do. With myself, Eli and Jeremy, we’re all riding well and we’re all in strong physical condition to get that job done.”
Tomac, who has returned from an early season injury to log an overall win and several top-three moto finishes in the five Lucas Oil rounds he has contested thus far, said he is thrilled to be on the 2014 Motocross of Nations team.
“It’s an honor to be chosen for the U.S. team at the Motocross of Nations this year,” said Tomac, who will compete in the Open class. “Last year’s Motocross of Nations was a great experience, being my first time, but leaving with second place left a sour taste in our mouths. It’s a new year, a new track and a new country. I believe our team will be more than prepared to battle for the win!”
Martin, who currently leads the points race for the 2014 Lucas Oil AMA 250cc Pro Motocross Championship, will be a rookie at the Motocross of Nations.
“It’s a really cool feeling, but I don’t know what to think because I never thought I would be in this position,” said Martin, who will compete in the MX2 class. “The best memory I have of the Motocross of Nations is as a fan when it came to Budds Creek and Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto and Tim Ferry were on the team and rode real well together as a team. I’m looking forward to riding on a team like that. Ryan [Dungey] and I already train together, and I raced against Eli last year. He’s a good guy and has a good family. I just hope to go out there and do the best I can and bring it home for USA.”
AMA Director of Supercross and AMA Pro Racing Relations Kevin Crowther said that the 2014 team is prepared for world-championship competition in Latvia.
“The Motocross of Nations is a team effort, not just from the perspective of the riders, but from the perspective of their teams, sponsors and the entire industry,” Crowther said. “These riders represent the best of the best in America right now, and with the talented and dedicated support team behind them, which includes AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Roger DeCoster and crew such as the Asterisk medical team, we are fully prepared to bring back the FIM Motocross of Nations world championship to the United States.”