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With the Motocross of Nations just a couple of days away now, this seems like an ideal time to distribute a unique preview that includes random statistics from the historic event. Would you have matched up one of these numbers with a different fact? Let us know on social media (motocrossvice on Twitter).
0 is for Home Turf: The Motocross of Nations, the greatest event that this sport has to offer, has been held on American soil three times. There was Unadilla in 1987, then Budds Creek in 2007 and Thunder Valley in 2010. Team USA have actually never lost on home turf and actually tend to decimate the competition when they have that advantage.
1 is for Gautier Paulin: Gautier Paulin will run the number one plate for the third time at the Motocross of Nations and lead the defending champions, Team France, into action. A lot of eyes are going to be on Paulin at RedBud, as he is coming off of a very disappointing term in the FIM Motocross World Championship and has faced backlash from fans across the globe.
2 is for Eli Tomac: It is rather surprising that Eli Tomac has represented the United States twice in his career. Tomac made his debut in Teutschenthal five years ago and then raced at Kegums twelve months later. The Latvian edition of the Motocross of Nations was the last time that he competed. Although he has made two trips and had two losses, he has also shown mind-blowing speed each time.
3 is for Jeffrey Herlings: Jeffrey Herlings has competed at the Motocross of Nations five times and finished ten motos, but only won three of those. There was one win in Belgium, another in Italy and then he reached the chequered flag first once in Great Britain. It is actually quite surprising that he has not swept both races at an Motocross of Nations yet. Could it happen at RedBud?
4 is for Dylan Ferrandis: Dylan Ferrandis has achieved a lot in his career thus far, but he has also spent a lot of time on the sidelines with injuries. It is hardly surprising, bearing that in mind, that RedBud will mark the first time in four years that he has competed at the Motocross of Nations. Ferrandis last took part when the race took place in Latvia. Team France won on that weekend.
5 is for Team France: Considering just how dominant Team France have been at the last four events, it is a bit difficult to believe that they have only won the Motocross of Nations five times. France are actually the only nation who have won the race five times and, if they raise their total to six at RedBud, they will be just one triumph away from matching Sweden in the record books!
6 is for Justin Barcia: RedBud will mark the fourth time that Justin Barcia has hit the track at the Motocross of Nations. Barcia has never actually won with Team USA, who are facing a drought of six years, but he has impressed as an individual and had an average finish of sixth across the six motos that he took part in. Now it should be obvious why he is alongside the number six.
7 is for Team Sweden: Team Sweden are fourth on the all-time wins list with seven triumphs to their name. Their position is safe for another year too, as mentioned previously, because it is not possible for another country to match their total this weekend. The last time that Team Sweden tasted victory at the Motocross of Nations was more than forty years ago, but they will not return to the top this weekend.
8 is for Tommy Searle: Tommy Searle has received grief from fans, after being named as the lead rider for Team Great Britain, but he has enjoyed so much success at the event in the past. Searle has actually secured the best result for Britain eight times in his career. That is quite the achievement! Would anyone really be shocked if he managed to do it again at RedBud this weekend?
9 is for Hunter Lawrence: Hunter Lawrence finished ninth in the FIM Motocross World Championship, after missing five rounds with injury, but has been focussed on the Motocross of Nations for a while now. GEICO Honda are ready to welcome Lawrence onto their team with open arms, meaning he will have much better machinery and an opportunity to impress everyone on American soil.
10 is for Motocross of Nations Winners: Ten of the riders who will compete at the Motocross of Nations (Gautier Paulin, Dylan Ferrandis, Romain Febvre, Clement Desalle, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Kevin Windham, Travis Pastrana, Ken Roczen and Max Nagl) know what it feels like to stand atop the Motocross of Nations podium. It is inevitable that a new name will be added to that list within a couple of days.
11 is for Team Denmark: Team Denmark ended eleventh at the Motocross of Nations, so are clearly a force to be reckoned with, but will not be travelling to RedBud due to budget issues. The greatest disappointment in all of that is that Thomas Kjer Olsen will not out on track, so there will be a legitimate MX2 contender on the couch in Europe.
12 is for Jordi Tixier: Jordi Tixier has represented Team France at the Motocross of Nations just once in his career, as he lined up at Teutschenthal five years ago. Tixier finished twelfth in both motos on that day, so that should explain why he is in this spot. It is unlikely that he is going to match those finishes this weekend, as he is behind the eight ball.
13 is for Kevin Windham: Kevin Windham is set to race the 2018 Motocross of Nations, which is a sentence that most did not expect to hear at the start of the season. It has been thirteen years since he last competed at the Motocross of Nations, which was at Ernee in 2005. Team USA won on that day and Kevin Windham recorded a third and a fifth in his two motos.
14 is for Stefan Everts: Stefan Everts is the winningest rider in the history of the Motocross of the Nations, as an individual anyway, as he won eleven motos in his time. Fourteen years have been and gone now since he last led Team Belgium to victory, unbelievably. Everts managed it in the bottomless sand of Lierop in 2004.
15 is for Gautier Paulin: Gautier Paulin has not received too much support from the public in the last month or so, but his record at the Motocross of Nations speaks for itself. Paulin has contested eighteen motos for Team France in his career and finished inside of the top eight in fifteen of those. Consistency is a significant strength at this particular event.
16 is for Great Britain: Great Britain have claimed the win at the Motocross of Nations sixteen times (1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1994). There has obviously been quite a drought since their last win and it seems that another triumph may a long way off, much to the dismay of British readers.
17 is for Puerto Rico: Team Puerto Rico ended fourteenth at the Motocross of Nations last year, thanks to some respectable results from Darian Sanayei and Justin Starling, but will the nation be able to improve on that at RedBud? Who knows what Travis Pastrana, Ryan Sipes and Kevin Windham will manage to do when the gates drop on Saturday afternoon.
18 is for Tanel Leok: Tanel Leok is Motocross of Nations royalty now. It is tough to comprehend, but RedBud will make eighteenth year in a row that he has represented Team Estonia at the prestigious race. Somehow he has been healthy enough to compete each year, a trait that most struggle to master, and has had a career that has covered such a significant period.
19 is for Antonio Cairoli: Antonio Cairoli will run the number nineteen at RedBud this weekend but will not be at his best whilst representing Team Italy. Cairoli was left battered and bruised after a crash at the Grand Prix of Italy last weekend. There are no broken bones, which is a positive point to consider, but his back is making it hard to simply sit down.
20 is for Team France: Team France claimed the overall victory at the previous edition of the Motocross of Nations, Matterley Basin, with a final score of twenty points. It is extremely likely that a country will end with less points than that this weekend. It is actually worth bearing in mind that Team USA won with eight measly points at Budds Creek in 2007.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX