In one of the bizarre episodes in motocross history, it is announced on this day in 2002 that the FIM Motocross of Nations, set to take place in one week at Competition Park in San Jacinto, California. The race had been awarded by the rights-holder Dorna to a little known promotions group and to a race track that didn't actually exist yet, on the Soboba Indians' land. It would have been only the second time ever that the race was held in the U.S. Rumors of the race not actually happening were going on for weeks as the event drew nearer and little advertising or progress had taken place. It was the Soboba leaders themselves who finally locked the gate on the facility after their frustration with the whole organization reached its zenith. The race would be rescheduled for the following month in Spain, though Team USA would pass on the chance to participate. And in the ashes of the Competition Park fiasco, a "World Cup" race was pulled together within a week for all of the fans and riders who had planned on attending the MXoN.
In one of the most dominant performances ever, Team USA's Steve Lamson becomes the first and only 125cc rider to ever win a moto at the Motocross of Nations when he wins the first 125/500 moto at the '96 race in Jerez, Spain.
Lamson, the two-time AMA 125 National Champion, redeemed himself from a poor showing the previous year in Slovakia by running down his teammate Jeff Emig, who was riding the big Kawasaki KX500 for the first time in his life.
Lamson would go 1-1 in his 125cc motos, and the third member of Team USA, Jeremy McGrath, would absolutely dominate the 250cc class. The Americans led their respective classes in all six motos, effectively a perfect score.
It should be mentioned that the track, purpose-built in the infield of the Jerez road racing circuit, had several big jumps that played into the hands of three of America's best supercross riders at a time when the FIM frowned on double- and triple-jumps.
Here is the beat-down, albeit in Spanish: