MX GP: 65th Motocross of Nations at Saint Jean d’Angely (France)
The 65th Motocross of Nations will take place this weekend at Saint Jean d‘Angely (France)
No less than 36 national teams will enter this prestigious event organized on one of the traditional circuits of the FIM Motocross World Championships, including Team USA, winner of the event last year in Lakewood (Colorado). 2011 World Supercross and US Motocross Champion Ryan Villopoto will be leading the American team, and will lead a strong field of Kawasaki riders for this last outdoor event of the season.
For more a decade the Motocross of Nations has been the most important Motocross event on the planet, thanks to the investment of all the national federations which send a team to represent their country in this race for national teams. Kawasaki, at the forefront of the sport all over the world, will be extremely well represented at the Nations, as twenty five riders – representing 25% of the entrants – from seventeen countries will ride a Kawasaki KX.
Winner of this race in 2006, 2007 and 2008, Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki USA) is back in the US team and will celebrate his double titles, alongside promising Blake Baggett (Kawasaki Pro Circuit) and Ryan Dungey. All of them will make their debut at the French track, though the American team already won the 2000 Motocross of Nations at Saint Jean d’Angely with legendary Ricky Carmichael as captain; winners of 21 Motocross of Nations, including the last six editions, team USA is favourite for the event but will have some strong opposition.
With Christophe Pourcel (Kawasaki CLS) back at the Nations alongside Marvin Musquin and Gautier Paulin, Team France is considered as their main opponent and will be supported by an enthusiast home crowd. Team Great Britain will line up US 250 champion Dean Wilson (Kawasaki Pro Circuit) and Tommy Searle (Kawasaki CLS), with Tommy riding in the MX1 class one month after a brilliant debut on the KX450 at Hawkstone Park. Italian Davide Guarneri (Bud Kawasaki), Spaniard Jonathan Barragan (Kawasaki KRT) and South African Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki Pro Circuit) are all members of some of the strongest teams; Brazil will line up three Kawasaki riders, while Kawasaki Heavy Industries has two of his factory riders involved in the Japanese team.
The World Championship contenders will be hosted by their usual teams, while several Kawasaki structures will give strong support to their famous guests. Team KRT will play host to Ryan Villopoto, Hiroaki Arai and Takaya Mihara alongside Jonathan Barragan, while Team CLS will welcome Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson, Tyla Rattray under their awning. South America will invade Team Bud, with three Brazilians – Marcello and Eduardo Ferreira de Lima and Antonio Balbi – riders and Tommy Weeck from Puerto Rico.
With at least one of their riders part of the winning team in nineteen of the last thirty editions of the Nations, including an historic triple win in 2008 with Ryan Villopoto, James Stewart and Tim Ferry, Kawasaki is pleased to be so well represented in the event and will support all his riders in their hunt for a 20th win.