Still fighting some jet lag back home in America and trying to process a nutty Motocross of Nations where it seemed anything and everything could go wrong for every team there outside of Canada, who scored its best result in over a decade. My home nation's tenth place finish was at a MXoN that was considered wacky and weird, which if you think about it sort of fits my Canada's MXoN efforts over the years. I hope this isn’t just a one year thing!
There weren’t any of the front running teams that could say they sent their best team, outside of perhaps Great Britain. Speaking of the Union Jack, I’m sure Max Anstie would like a do-over as he struggled big time in Italy and, looking back, the decision to leave Wilson off kind of bit them. But, yeah, hindsight is 20/20 as they say.
Belgium, France, USA, Australia all had riders that were hurt or didn’t want to go in the case of Eli Tomac and Ryan Dungey. Italy’s team selection left some with an eyebrow raised. The Russian team had an issue with getting Tonkov there and so on.
Per Racer X, France’s winning total of twenty-nine was the highest point total since the format of dropping only one score came into effect and I completely understand. Outside of Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli, who out of the “contenders" had an MXoN that they were stoked on? Not even Roman Febvre, who won the first moto in a great ride, would say his moto three ride was what he wanted. His fourth place was hard fought after a bad start. I guess Jason Anderson could say he was stoked on his MXoN, except he probably doesn’t remember the moto after getting landed on after the finish. It was that kind of day, folks.
Team USA is getting some flack from the online monkeys about “blowing it" after Cooper Webb crashed with a lap and a half to go, and with Team USA holding a two point lead, but to me, without one rider, it’s a case of USA almost pulling off a Hail Mary-type of win with all that went wrong for the red, white and blue. It would have been amazing if they had won but, as it is, its now five years and counting for USA’s winless streak. It’s the longest USA has ever gone without winning in years they sent a team.
It hasn’t been one particular reason why USA has lost either; they’ve been outridden (Lommel and Germany), they’ve had some bad luck with injuries and crashes (Latvia and this year) and they’ve ridden great but France rode better (last year) so it’s not like you can find one flaw. I’d love to see the top riders step up and go (although I support Eli Tomac’s reasoning for not going this year) and I’d like to see manager Roger DeCoster start thinking of putting 450 riders on a 250 like we’ve seen other countries do.
It’s got to be frustrating for the USA to accept that they’re just like other countries now where they have to have “the breaks" to go their way to win this race. It’s never really been like that. I will say this; in all my MXoN’s I’ve never seen a losing team look as sad or feel as bad as USA riders like Cooper Webb, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac. When they don’t win, it’s like an anvil has fallen on their heads. Other countries shrug and look for the after-party, but the USA guys? This losing is killing them.
Maybe the Vice guys will get in trouble for this, maybe they won’t, but it’s simply ridiculous in my opinion for Youthstream and Glen Helen to announce that they won’t be holding the MXoN there in 2017. After all there was a press release out August 7th that the race was confirmed for Southern California and the track was selling tickets. For YS and GH to announce they are pulling the race a month and a half after that big press release due to poor attendance at the USGP’s there, I say what did you think was going to happen?
You have held three USGP’s there with poor attendance from the USA fans, did you think this fourth one earlier this month was going to be gangbusters? Besides, the difference between a USGP with one American star and an MXoN with the world’s best riders is huge. Basically I’d bet Glen Helen balked at the idea because they didn’t think they could make money after losing their shirts at the USGP’s and Youthstream did nothing to move off whatever “their number" was for the rights to hold an MXDN.
All I know is that there are some pissed off American fans who had probably planned trips after seeing an actual PR and the USA riders and teams who have to go to this race are probably wondering when they could get a break here with their expenses at going to this race. There’s so much head-shaking going on by me at this announcement at both sides I may have to see a chiropractor.
Before I go, I want to congratulate the boys here at MX Vice for winning some sort of award for having a great website at the MXGP award ceremony on Saturday night. It’s well deserved as they cover the MXGP series inside and out, they rule the Twitter game (although in this guys opinion they could back down on the blow-by-blow Tweets from a British Championship race, but that’s just me) at the GP’s and, even though Lewis Phillips doesn’t appear to like talking, they do an awesome job. Well done gents, have yourselves a spot of tea on me! Was Pulpmx the runner up? No?
Words: Steve Matthes | Image: ConwayMX