As first reported on by Racer X’s Mitch Kendra, the Team USA entry for the 2021 Motocross Des Nations is officially dead. This large in part due to new COVID-related travel restrictions put in place across Europe, and was the direction things were going in recent weeks. Now it is official. This will also be the first time the United States will outright miss the event since 2004. That event was won by Team Belgium in France.
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AMA Press Release
AMA Director of Racing Mike Pelletier was the man giving the official word of the red white and blue’s opt-out.
“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. 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 U.S. once again.”
A major disappointment to be sure, but this is a somewhat reasonable move for the AMA. The event in and of itself is a money pit, as neither teams nor riders are paid to go. Had the team been set to go, the lineup would have been Justin Barcia and Chase Sexton on 450s, with R.J. Hampshire on a 250, per Steve Matthes. That team could have won, especially with riders like Tim Gajser, Romain Febvre, and Dylan Ferrandis already out, which stings.
There is good news for the United States if you believe in rumor and innuendo. The event is set to be held here next year, and could potentially be held once again at RedBud. The chance to avenge the lackluster 2018 run should entice a slew of riders to want in. Another good omen: The last time the USA skipped Des Nations, they won it the next year.
For now, however, the winningest nation in the history of this prestigious event will remain on the sidelines. It will also be interesting to see if this year’s Des Nations even happens at all. A large amount of the appeal is in the United States mixing it up with the MXGP riders. MXGP seems to avoid running GPs in the United States like the plague as of late, so it almost never happens.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
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