The following is from Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH, regarding the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders who will represent their respective countries at the 2017 MXoN (Motocross of Nations) in Matterley Basin, Great Britain:
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will have no fewer than eight riders competing at the 2017 FIM Motocross of Nations, which takes place at Matterley Basin, Great Britain this coming weekend.
Gautier Paulin and Christophe Charlier will race for Team France, Zach Osborne and Thomas Covington will represent Team USA while Max Anstie with Dean Wilson will form an important pairing for Team Great Britain. Further strengthening the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team’s presence will be Thomas Kjer-Olsen and Max Nagl, who represent Denmark and Germany respectively.
Held at the iconic Matterley Basin track in the south of England on September 30 and October 1, the 2017 MXoN will host riders from 29 different nations. The most highly anticipated event in the annual motocross calendar, the 2017 MXoN will see Husqvarna-mounted riders battle for victory in all three major classes MXGP, MX2 and Open.
Leading Team France’s efforts in the MXGP class will be Gautier Paulin. Following a stellar season in which the Frenchman secured third in the 2017 MXGP World Championship standings, Gautier will be looking to defend Team France’s 2016 MXoN title.
“It feels amazing to be carrying the #1 plate into the biggest event of the year,” Paulin said. “We have a very strong team for the Nations this year, and we are more than ready to defend our title with Team France. Christophe [Charlier] has spent some time testing the FC 250, and I think he’s going to be strong in the MX2 class. As for me, I’ve had a solid season and I will be more than happy to wrap it up with a strong result at the Nations. We’ve worked really hard with the team during the season, and we now have a bike that suits my style perfectly. I feel very comfortable racing my FC 450 in every condition, I’m really looking forward to racing the MXoN on it.”
Set to compete for Team France alongside Paulin in the 2017 MXoN will be Christophe Charlier, with the Frenchman racing his FC 250 machine in the MX2 class. Charlier will be returning to motocross competition after a strong first year competing in the EnduroGP World Championship.
“I’m really happy to be racing the Nations with the French team,” Charlier said. “I got the call right after our victory at the International Six Days Enduro, and that made me very happy. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks testing on the FC 250 machine. I also did some training with Gautier [Paulin], and Max [Anstie] and my lap times were pretty similar to them. Everything has been going in the right direction for me, and I can’t wait for the MXoN weekend in the UK. Team France have a good team and I think we can win again this year. The most important thing would be to get good starts and then put in some fast and consistent laps. We will all do our best but as for me, it’d be like a dream coming true to win the ISDE and the MXoN in the same season.”
Enjoying a hugely successful season in the US, that saw him claim both the 250SX East Region Championship and the 250MX Championship, Zach Osborne will lead Team USA’s efforts at the MXoN, competing in the MX2 class. Looking to continue his strong run of form aboard his FC 250 machine, Osborne is focused on challenging for the MX2 class victory.
“It’s been a big honor to race the Nations with Team USA,” Osborne said. “It definitely is something that I’m very happy about. I spent four and a half years living in England and pretty close to the Matterley Basin track, and I feel it’s a place close to my heart. I definitely feel like we will be a second fan favorite to the home team. I believe it’s very possible for our team to get the overall win this year. We have an enthusiastic and strong group of riders. We are all very excited and will try to do our best to be there for the Red, White, and Blue. I really can’t wait for the MXoN weekend.”
Set to race for Team USA alongside Osborne will be Thomas Covington. Wrapping up a solid Motocross World Championship season by securing the MX2 class victory at the season finale in France, Covington will be making a switch to the FC 450 machine and the Open class for the 2017 MXoN.
“To be able to represent the USA at the Motocross of Nations is for me the opportunity of a lifetime,” Covington said. “I’m really honored to have been chosen to race for my country. The Matterley Basin track is one of my favorites, and I’m feeling very confident there. I really can’t wait for the race weekend in the UK. I will be riding the FC 450, and this is also going to be a new experience for me. I’ve been training on the big bike for a while, and I feel very comfortable on it. I think it suits my riding style a lot, and I can push for some good results. I can’t wait to race it alongside the best riders in the world.”
Following an impressive second half of the Motocross World Championship, Max Anstie is looking forward to the 2017 MXoN on his home soil. Remaining aboard his FC 450 machine, Anstie will be Team Great Britain’s representative in the MXGP class.
“I’ve been waiting for the Motocross of Nations for a long, long time,” Anstie said. “It’s such a special race and this year the atmosphere is going to be better than ever. It’s just amazing to be heading to my home MXoN as the top British rider in MXGP class. This year we have a very strong team with Dean [Wilson], Tommy [Searle] and myself so anything is possible. I can’t wait to catch up with friends and the local fans in Matterley Basin. I’ve been doing some training to better prepare for this event and I’m feeling familiar with the conditions we might face at the track. If everything goes well, I think with the British team we have a good chance to claim a spot on the final podium and this is our main goal.”
Racing on European soil for the first time this season will be US Supercross and Motocross racer Dean Wilson. Representing Team Great Britain alongside Anstie, Dean Wilson will contest the Open class aboard his FC 450 machine.
“It’s not often that the Motocross of Nations comes to your home country so this event means a lot to me,” Wilson said. “The conditions will be tough but it’s the same for everyone. As long as you get into a good position you’ll be fine. Team Great Britain is very strong and we’ll have support from the local fans. Max [Anstie] is riding really well at the moment, and I’m feeling great too. I’m fully fit and healthy and I’m happy on my bike. I truly believe we can finish on the podium. We just need to ride our best without any drama. The goal for me is to win my class, which I think is achievable. I just need to keep my head clear and ride to the best of my ability.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s rookie sensation Thomas Kjer-Olsen will race for Team Denmark at the 2017 MXoN. Securing a strong third in the MX2 class of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship, the young Dane will be a strong contender for victory in the MX2 class of the MXoN.
“I’m looking forward to the Motocross of Nations,” Kjer-Olsen said. “I’ve raced at Matterley Basin a couple of times so I know the track quite well. Racing is always good at this track and this makes it even more interesting for us. I’ve had a great first season in MX2 and I’m really excited to represent my country at the Nations. Hopefully I can wrap up the season on a high and then get back to work. A good result in MX2 will also give me some added motivation to keep on working hard. I’m really happy with my bike and my team at the moment and my goal is to come back even stronger for the 2018 season.”
Highly-experienced Max Nagl will race in the MXGP category for Germany, with the event offering the perfect opportunity for the German to wrap up his season on a high note in the United Kingdom.
“The Motocross of Nations will be the last race for 2017 and I really want to wrap up the season with a positive result,” Nagl said. “I really like the Matterley Basin track and I’m hoping for some good weather during the weekend. Team Germany have the same team as last year and we know each other really well. I’m just hoping for some better luck this time around. The track is nice and I like it. I’m not sure if they’ll make lots of changes for the event but either way I’m looking forward to the event. My focus is to try and get the best starts possible and then push hard for the best result I can.”
Enjoying a very strong presence at this year’s Motocross of Nations, Husqvarna Motorcycles will have a total of 16 riders entered into the 2017 edition of the prestigious event in the United Kingdom.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing – MXoN 2017 Line-Up
#1 Gautier Paulin – Husqvarna FC 450 – Team France
#2 Christophe Charlier – Husqvarna FC 250 – Team France
#8 Zach Osborne – Husqvarna FC 250 – Team USA
#9 Thomas Covington – Husqvarna FC 450 – Team USA
#19 Max Anstie – Husqvarna FC 450 – Team Great Britain
#21 Dean Wilson – Husqvarna FC 450 – Team Great Britain
#41 Thomas Kjer-Olsen – Husqvarna FC 250 – Team Denmark
#64 Max Nagl – Husqvarna FC 450 – Team Germany