Motorcycling Australia has today announced the team that will represent Australia at the 2007 Motocross of Nations to be held in the United States in September.
The event that will take place in Budds Creek on 22-23 September will feature a strong Aussie line-up, consisting of Michael Byrne, Andrew McFarlane and Chad Reed, as well as Team Manager Gary Benn.
All three of the chosen riders currently ride in America, and with previous experience at the Budds Creek track, Australia is sure to be one of the top teams in contention for outright honours.
Brett Metcalfe and Daniel Reardon have been named as the reserve riders for the team, and having formed part of the 2006 team that competed in England, will add valuable back-up if needed.
Speaking of the team selection, Team Manager Gary Benn noted that it is possibly one of the best line-ups for a Motocross of Nations that Australia has named in years, and admitted that he has high hopes of a podium finish.
“Seeing that it is in America, and given that it is those three guys riding, you would think that if we don’t finish on the podium we must have had some sort of a mishap,” he said.
“That would be the only thing I could think of that would stop us being on the podium - as long as we don’t have any bad luck, or any breakage or crashes, I can’t see why we wouldn’t finish on the podium.”
Benn revealed that the whole team will be catching up in the week prior to the event at Chad Reed’s property in Florida, and said that the riders had a fairly strong bond which was likely to benefit the team.
“They are all going to Chad’s place in Florida for the week before, so I will get over there on the Tuesday morning and we will have that as time leading up before the event as a week spent together,” he said.
“I know that they are in different teams, but I guess it’s sort of natural that any Aussies who are in another country, and have the same interest, and same job, always have a sort of a bond anyway.
“You wouldn’t say that they’re the best of mates, but there is always that factor that at the end of the day they are all Aussies, and I know that they get on very well.”
Benn also revealed that Metcalfe was not considered for selection in the team due to an injury at the time of selection.
“When the team was picked, Brett was injured, and although at the moment he is riding really well, the reason why he was made a reserve was due to the fact that he was coming back from injury when the team had to be picked.”
Speaking of his selection from his home in America, McFarlane admitted to being ecstatic with the news, and said that it meant a lot for him to be able to represent his country.
“I think for any Aussie, you have the dream to one day wear the green and gold in whatever sport. Whether that’s for Motocross or in the Olympics or any sport, it’s definitely something special and always something I have wanted to do,” he said.
“I like to wear the green and gold gear, and I love representing my country event though I haven’t been home for a long time.
“I’ve worked hard all my career, and to be chosen and be thought of as one of the best riders in Australia means a lot to me.”
McFarlane added that he believes the 2007 Australian Team to be exceptionally strong, and hopes that with the right preparation, a top-five finish can occur.
“I think it has been a long time coming for us to all get together,” he said.
“There are a lot of positive things with the line up and it is something that I am really excited about.
“We will just prepare ourselves as best as we possibly can - I think it is really possible for us to get a top-five finish, and that’s what we’re aiming for.”