When France announced a team of Gautier Paulin, Romain Febvre, and Dylan Ferrandis for the 2017 Motocross of Nations, many penciled them in as favorites to claim the Chamberlain Trophy for a fourth consecutive year.
Since that time, Ferrandis sustained a broken wrist at Budds Creek and reserve rider Benoit Paturel suffered internal injuries while training and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Today, The French Federation (FFM) announced that Christophe Charlier would represent the team in MX2.
The decision to choose Charlier is a bit of a surprise. The 2009 EMX Champion moved to World Enduro following the 2016 season after two years in the MXGP Class. While the transition to enduro has been smooth—Charlier helped France claim the 2017 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) title last week—Charlier hasn’t been focused on motocross in a full year.
So why Charlier? Marvin Musquin announced earlier this year that he would not race the event to in order to clean up his knee injury suffered earlier this year. And its been reported that the FFM doesn’t have great relationships with past world champions Jordi Tixier and Christophe Pourcel.
Charlier has represented Team France before, in 2013 aboard a 450F when the team finished fifth overall.