The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced the members of AMA Team USA for the 2010 Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations.
Ryan Dungey, Andrew Short and Trey Canard will race against the world on 25-26 September when Team USA goes for its 21st Motocross of Nations victory at Thunder Valley in Colorado.
“These riders are fresh, fast and each is riding at the top of his game right now,” said AMA director of racing Joe Bromley. “They have been racing all summer in the world’s most competitive national championship series, the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships, and all three are ready to face the best of the rest.
“We are honored that they are representing the United States and the AMA at this prestigious event on American soil.”
Perennial AMA Team USA Manager and Motorcycle Hall of Famer Roger DeCoster added that he’s confident this year’s selection will emerge victorious in the event.
“These riders train really hard, they’ve had good seasons and I think they will work good together as a team,” DeCoster said. “I’m happy with our team, and I hope our other American riders will come out and support the team, considering it is in their own country.
“It’s centrally located. Denver is an easy airport to get in and out of, and it’s a good track with great views for spectators. The fans should come out, and we should have a successful event. Hopefully, we can win it.”
Team captain Dungey, who rides for Rockstar Makita Suzuki, will race the MX1 class, which features 450cc four-stroke machinery. GEICO Powersports Honda rider Canard will compete in the MX2 class, which features 250cc four-stroke motorcycles. Honda Red Bull Racing’s Short will race the MX3 class, the open class.
Dungey returns to AMA Team USA after a successful rookie debut in 2009 in Franciacorta, Italy, when he led the team to the title with a win in the event’s final moto.
The reigning champion of the 2010 AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, has been dominating the premier 450 class in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships this summer, and had a seven-race win streak through round eight of the 12-round series.
“I had an unbelievable experience last year in Italy,” Dungey said. “Being a part of AMA Team USA is really an honor, you can count me in any time they call my name. This year is going to be another special one since we will be defending our home turf.
“Thunder Valley is a good layout for this type of event. The track is good and has elevation changes, big jumps and all that. It is just outside of Denver and close to a big airport, which I’m sure the international riders will appreciate. I think we’re in for a really big turnout.”
Dungey added that he has high expectations for his AMA Team USA teammates.
“They selected a good team, and I am honored to be captain with Trey and Andrew,” Dungey said. “Trey’s been winning and Andrew has been getting starts and leading early, which is huge at a race with this format. I like our chances in keeping the Cup here in the United States.”
This will be Canard’s first time on AMA Team USA. Canard had a three-race win streak in the 250 class in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships through eight rounds. Canard has been one of the series’ hottest riders this summer, taking four of the last six motos and climbing from fourth to second in the championship points race behind France’s Christophe Pourcel.
“Growing up and reading about the Motocross of Nations in the magazines, I’ve always thought this would be an awesome experience,” Canard said. “I was at the event in 2007 when Timmy Ferry, Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto were on the team, and seeing those guys win then was really cool. I’m looking forward to being part of the team, and I’m really thankful for the opportunity.
“We have some good guys on the team,” Canard added. “Andrew and Ryan have had great years, and I’m looking forward to working with them. I’ve never done anything like this, racing for a team championship, and I’m looking forward to it. You’re racing first of all for your country and second for your teammates.”
This also will be the first time representing AMA Team USA for Short, who was second in 450 class point standings behind Dungey through eight rounds of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships. Short is a native of Colorado and will experience a rarity for Motocross of Nations riders in an opportunity to race the MXoN in front of his hometown crowd.
“It is an incredible honor to be chosen to represent AMA Team USA at the Motocross of Nations this year,” Short said. “To be given this opportunity is something I have dreamt about since I was a little kid, and for it to become a reality is amazing. For the Motocross of Nations to be held in my home state of Colorado is just icing on the cake!”
DeCoster said that he has some clear advice for the rookies on the team.
“All of these riders have good personalities that will let them get along just fine, not try to impress anybody too much and do something stupid,” DeCoster said.
“When you race in this event, the fact that you represent your country, a lot of people are going to come up to them and remind them about the history of the team and all the wins and how important it is to keep the thing going. It puts the pressure on, so the main thing for them is to ride within their abilities.”
DeCoster added that the team will benefit from the experience Dungey gained in 2009.
“Last year, with Ryan, I felt that he was riding to become one of the main guys in Italy, and I think his performance gave him the confidence to come back this year and start strong,” DeCoster said. “I know that this event is important to him, and he will be doing everything he can to put the team in a winning position.”
The Motocross of Nations is one of the most high-profile motorsport events in the world. It features teams competing by nationality for a combined score to determine the overall championship-winning team. The event emerged in post-war Europe in 1947 and has run uninterrupted since that time.
The United States is the all-time leader in Motocross of Nations overall victories with 20. Great Britain is second with 16.
The United States is the reigning champion of the Motocross of Nations, winning over Italy and Belgium in 2009.