After weeks of debate and speculation, the lineup for Team USA at the 2017 Motocross of Nations has been confirmed and announced. As expected, Zach Osborne will fill the MX2 (250cc) class role with Cole Seely and Thomas Covington in the MXGP-Open (450cc) spots. The roster was debuted at the 2017 Unadilla MX round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
Osborne has long shared his ambitions to ride the Motocross of Nations for the USA (he rode in the past for Puerto Rico, an amendment to a rule since the territory is part of the USA) and will serve as the team captain. The Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider claimed the 250 East Coast SX championship earlier this year and is the current leader in the 250 MX National championship. Determining the other two riders for the team was clearly an issue in recent weeks as past riders Eli Tomac, Blake Baggett, Jason Anderson, and Cooper Webb all turned down the offer for various issues. All of this has helped Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely rise to the top of the list; he is fifth in the 450 MX National champion and is the highest ranking available American in the class. Thomas Covington’s inclusion comes as a bit of a surprise, but logistically makes sense, as he competes in the European-based MXGP championship with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing and is ranked sixth in the MX2 championship.
Team USA is the most victorious team in the history of the event with twenty-two wins, but has not touched the Chamberlain Trophy since 2011 in St. Jean d’Angely, France. During the last running of the MXON at Matterley Basin in 2006, Team USA was victorious with a lineup that featured Ryan Villopoto, Ivan Tedesco, and James Stewart.
The 2017 Motocross of Nations takes place September 29th-October 1st at Matterley Basin in England. The event’s official website is www.mxon17.com.