After last year’s defeat in the sands of Lommel, Team USA is determined to take back the Chamberlain Cup that they have possessed for so many years. The three-man team of Eli Tomac (MX2), Justin Barcia (MX3), and Ryan Dungey (MX1) was announced just before the start of the Utah National, but the real first look took place yesterday at Lake Elsinore during press day. It was the first time that we were able to see the patriotic gear and graphics made for the event, and we must say that each company outdid themselves. The red, white, and blue colors look sharp on Tomac’s GEICO Honda CRF250R and Barcia’s Team Honda Muscle Milk CRF450R, and the painted helmets have an extreme attention to detail.
But looking great will not get them the win alone. The team will square off against many of the top racers in the world, many they only see at the MXoN, on a track that is unfamiliar and on bikes made to meet the FIM requirements. This year’s race will take place in Teutschenthal, Germany, a hard-packed circuit that many say will suit the American’s style. One thing they will not have is the rabid support of the German crowd, who will be cheering on Ken Roczen, Marcus Schiffer, and Max Nagl as they defend their title on home soil.The European press have run wild with the momentum from last year’s win, and the public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic has created a massive battle between Team USA and the rest of the world. Surprisingly enough, this does not faze the American racers, who have simply batted off the talk and looked at the challenge ahead.
This will be Ryan Dungey’s fifth go at the Motocross of Nations, and the team captain has adapted to the event quite well. He is able to push aside the distractions from the throngs of fans, foreign press, and slightly different bike when he takes to the starting line, and his focus has earned him three wins. Last year’s defeat weighed heavily on Dungey for many reasons, some of which he took personally. “It bothered me for a while, but I have gotten over it. You’ve ridden dirt bikes your whole life, and it looks bad when you are on a KTM and so are they (the Europeans), and they are winning and I am way off of the pace. It was one of those things that you’ve won before and on any other track you’d feel like you’d have more for these guys. I never quit seeing myself winning (last year), and I wanted to win so bad that I started forcing it. It was a weekend where nothing went right for a lot of us. The motivation is to go back and win.”
All eyes were cast on Justin Barcia at last year’s Motocross of Nations, and numerous issues plagued his run. No USA rider showed disappointment in the defeat as much as Barcia, and he made it clear that he would like redemption in 2013. Numerous questions regarding the motivation that comes from a loss were thrown at all three, but it Barcia got his point across when he replied back to one, “I just want to win.” It was all that needed to be said.
Eli Tomac will be the rookie for this year’s efforts, but his sly, persistent grin during the press conference dissolved any pressure that he may be feeling. Many project his biggest opponent to be Ken Roczen, the rider he battled with and bested for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 Championship with all summer. “I think that this since this year’s track is not as unique, it will be better for me as a rookie.”
Keep the Patriotic spirit alive with a 2013 MXoN Team USA wallpaper…