Defending champions Team France have announced their roster of riders for the 2018 Motocross of Nations at RedBud Track N Trail. The team will once again have Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin in the MXGP spot and have Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre in the Open spot, while Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis makes his return to the team after a three-year absence.
The decision to field Paulin and Febvre in the two 450 class spots has drawn some controversy, as it means Red Bull KTM rider Marvin Musquin has again been left off of the team, despite his interest in representing Team France at a track that he is very familiar with. From the outside looking in, Musquin and the French federation have a history of issues when it comes to the MXON. In 2015 Musquin helped the team take the overall win at Ernee, but in 2016 the team left him out of the final line up for undisclosed reasons, a decision that Musquin responded to with a brief statement. The French team had issues finding three racers in 2017, as Musquin bowed out of the selection process in 2017 due to a torn meniscus in his knee that required surgery in the offseason and other potential riders were unable to compete, so they tapped offroad racer Christophe Charlier for the MX2 spot. Musquin has not yet released a public statement on his exclusion from the 2018 line roster.
France’s recent record at the Motocross of Nations is very impressive and they have hoisted the Chamberlain Trophy four consecutive times with wins in 2014 in Latvia, in 2015 in France, in 2016 in Italy, and in 2017 in England. Paulin is the only team member to be a part of all four victories, while Febvre has been a member of the team for three wins (2015, 2016, 2017) and Ferrandis one time (2014).