We’ve kept an eye on the Team Puerto Rico entry for the 2018 Motocross of Nations for the last few weeks. On the same day that it was confirmed Eli Tomac, Justin Barcia, and Aaron Plessinger would represent Team USA at the event, Travis Pastrana announced that he would join Ryan Sipes and Ronnie Mac to race for Team Puerto Rico aboard two-stroke motorcycles at the international event in order to raise money for the struggling island. Almost all of Puerto Rico was severely impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017 and many citizens are still without stable electricity and reside in damaged homes, an issue the trio stated was the reason for their desire to race. To help the island Pastrana, Mac, and Sipes pledged to help those in need by way of donations from the money made in merchandise sales.
For years American riders have used this loophole at the Motocross of Nations, as Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and anyone with an American passport is theoretically allowed to compete under the Puerto Rican flag. Although Pastrana’s return to the MXON is incredible, especially because Pastrana helped take Team USA to the win in 2000, his participation was overshadowed by Ronnie Mac’s involvement. Questions about Mac’s eligibility were raised almost instantly as Mac is a character, not a real person, and it many figured there was no way the FIM and Youthstream-MXGP would allow him to compete in his standard attire.
It’s been less than two weeks since the team was announced and in that time, two very important things have happened. First is the decision to pull Mac from the team. Steve Matthes of PulpMX first stated this was a possibility and in the resulting days, it came out that those in charge of the event were not pleased with the antics of Mac in the past and did not want the same to occur at the MXON. As a result, it sounds like Kevin Windham will instead race in place of Mac but on a Honda CRF450R. Pastrana released a statement via Instagram that confirmed Mac’s removal from the team and that another rider will be added in his place, but it has since been deleted from his page (a user of Vital MX has screenshots).
Despite the issue, Team Puerto Rico has stated they have raised over $15,000 in four days, money that will be donated to the island, through the website ronsontop.com. Want to help the cause? Buy a shirt or hat, no matter who winds up on the track.