Bench Racing Ammo: 2006 Motocross of Nations

July 4, 2006 7:18am

RC loves the Motocross of Nations

photo: Steve "TFS" Bruhn

It’s that time of year again. The Red Bud National is in the books; American’s are celebrating their independence; and talks of the 2006 AMA Team USA Motocross des Nation’s team are well underway. So while we’re on a two-week break from the Toyota AMA Motocross Series, let’s preview the 60th running of the heralded Motocross des Nations which will take place September 23rd and 24th at the Matterley Basin circuit in England.

First off, we already know what 2/3 of Team USA should be—Carmichael and Stewart—but who will the third rider be? Will it be current 250F point’s leader Mike Alessi; the recent hotshoe Ryan Villopoto; or another nominees such as Davi Millsaps, Nick Wey, Kevin Windham or Tommy Hahn? If you want to be a part of the selection process, go over to to vote on these eight nominees.

Judging by his Team USA butt patch, James is really looking forward to his first Motocross of Nations in September

photo: Carl Stone

The members of AMA Team USA, presented by Loretta Lynn's, will then be announced during the 2006 AMA Air Nautiques Amateur Motocross National Championships, scheduled for July 31 – August 5 at Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

Coming off of a win last year with RC, Windham, and Ivan Tedesco, it’ll definitely be interesting to see if Team USA can retain their title with at least one new team member.

They will surely face some of their toughest competition from the Belgium team, led by their renowned team leader Stefan Everts, who is currently undefeated in the MX1 class of the 2006 World MX Championships. He is 9-for-9 in the series, and he will most likely be joined by Suzuki’s Kevin Strijbos and Steve Ramon, who are sitting second and fourth behind Everts in the MX1 class. They look to avenge last year’s third-place finish.

The French team looks to be shaping us a much different team from the 2005 squad, which finished runner-up. Sebastien Tortelli and Mickael Pichon are both on the sidelines, and David Vuillemin is no longer a factory rider, but he is still putting in some impressive outdoor motocross rides. The favorite in France now looks to be the young Christophe Pourcel, who is the current MX2 point’s leader. He will most likely be joined by Vuillemin, and possibly his brother Sebastien Pourcel, or maybe old-schooler Yves DeMaria, Pascal Leuret.

Team Italy will probably field current MX3 point’s leader Cristian Beggi, as well as David Philippaerts and Antonio Cairoli, who are currently second and third in MX2.

Last year’s fourth-place finisher, New Zealand, will also be a threat to win with Ben Townley and Josh Coppins leading the team, and maybe Darryl Hurley in the third spot.

Will young RV be the third member of Team USA?

photo: Steve "TFS" Bruhn

And it’ll be interesting to see if Australia will throw their hat in the ring to try and regain international notoriety in world motocross. I would definitely feel safe betting on an all-Yamaha-mounted Australian team such as Chad Reed, Andrew McFarlane, and Brett Metcalfe, or maybe even Reed’s cousin, Craig Anderson, who is competing for the Australian National MX title back home.

One thing is for sure: The way things look across the board, AMA Team USA will be heavily favored if #4 and #7 team up.