For the first time since 2010, and just the fourth time ever, the United States will host this weekend’s Motocross of Nations. The world-famous RedBud track, home to Lucas Oil Pro Motocross every Fourth of July weekend, is the host, and many of the top Pro Motocross and Monster Energy Supercross riders will join some of the world’s finest from MXGP and MXGP2 to compete.
The action kicks off today with practice and qualifying, before tomorrow’s B-Final and three main event races to determine the 2018 MXoN champion. Here’s what we’ll be following along with during motocross’ answer to the Olympic Games:
Will France earn its fifth straight MXoN title?
Gautier Paulin is the only remaining rider from last year’s French squad, which took its fourth MXoN title in four years at Matterley Basin last year. Paulin’s 2017 teammates, Christophe Charlier and Romain Febvre, have been replaced by Dylan Ferrandis and Jordi Tixier. Marvin Musquin’s omission from the squad remains a curious one, as he was one of the top riders in both American series this year, and finished second and first in the Pro Motocross event at RedBud this year to take the overall win.
Can the United States bounce back from a disappointing 2017?
Cole Seely, Zach Osborne, and Thomas Covington could only muster ninth for Team USA in last year’s MXoN, leading to a complete overhaul this year. Pro Motocross 450 champ Eli Tomac, dual Supercross and Pro Motocross 250 title winner Aaron Plessinger, and Justin Barcia are about the best combination of riders the American squad could possibly ask for, and on a track that they’re all familiar with, they’ll shoot to bounce back from America’s worst MXoN finish since 1975 in Czechoslovakia.
How much fun will we have watching Team Puerto Rico?
Assembled as a charitable endeavor to help the island in its continued recovery from Hurricane Maria, Team Puerto Rico is a blast from motocross’ past. Kevin Windham, Ryan Sipes, and Travis Pastrana are all getting back on their bikes for the weekend to give the old guard a team to root for. Even though the original plans to run all two-strokes (and with Ronnie Mac on the team, no less) fell through, it’ll still be plenty of fun to watch some of American motocross’ biggest personalities back in action.