Motorcycling Australia (MA) has announced the team that will represent Australia at the 2009 Motocross of Nations (MXoN) to be held in Franciacorta, Italy on 4 October 2009.
Australia’s line up will be spearheaded by Chad Reed in the MX1 class, while Michael Byrne will ride in the MX2 class and Brett Metcalfe with line up in the MX3 class.
Australian Team – 2009 Motocross of Nations:
MX1: Chad Reed
MX2: Michael Byrne
First Reserve: Daniel Reardon
Second Reserve: Jay Marmont
MX3: Brett Metcalfe
First Reserve: Matt Moss
Australian Team Manager Gary Benn said that selecting the Australian line up was certainly not an easy task, despite the obvious strength of Australia’s best riders.
“It’s always a hard thing to select a team from a pool of riders don’t regularly race one another,” Benn said.
“But these three are very much the in-form riders at the moment, and I’m confident we’ve chosen the right guys to do the job.”
The selection of the Australian team for the upcoming MXoN also represents a significant step – and potentially fantastic opportunity – for two recently crowned Australian Motocross Champions in Jay Marmont and Matt Moss.
The 2009 Australian Motocross Championship concluded at the beginning of August, where both Marmont and Moss captured the Pro Open and Pro Lites class respectively, and Benn is confident in their ability to step up should they be required.
“Obviously barring injury our top three selected riders will be out there representing Australia, but these guys have certainly earned their place on the team,” Benn said.
Reed will enter the 2009 MXoN in scintillating form after finishing a close second in the AMA/World Supercross Championship earlier this year behind the USA’s James Stewart, and having now attained a strong lead in the 450 class in the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
“Last year Chad hadn’t raced in the MX outdoor season and was also on his new Suzuki bike, whereas this year he’s racing a full season of outdoors and should be much better prepared,” Benn continued.
Byrne and Metcalfe are also presently contesting the AMA Motocross Championship, with Byrne currently sitting in fifth place in the 450 class, while Metcalfe is third in the 250 class.
With a new man-made track in place for the 2009 MXoN event, all riders will start from scratch and Benn is confident this will prove to be an advantage for the Australian trio.
“On paper I feel this team should be able to easily run top-three, but we thought the same last year.”
“This time around conditions will be the same for everyone, and our guys will certainly have a point to prove to show everybody how strong they are.
“At this stage they’re all injury-free and performing well, so hopefully we head to Italy in just as good shape and get on that podium,” Benn concluded.
The 2008 MXoN was claimed by the USA, represented by James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto and Tim Ferry, and Australia will be looking to better their sixth place finish when the 2009 event rolls around in Italy on 4 October.