Team USA and Assen

Posted on June 19, 2019

Seems the old Team USA shouldn’t go to the MXoN has cropped up again in the American media. I just don’t get it. No other World media, not in Australia, not in Japan, not in New Zealand or so many other countries make such a fuss as the American media. Now I don’t want to be bashing the media in America, but I heard today that leading US media guy Steve Matthes, who has pushed for years that Team USA shouldn’t go to the MXoN, or that Roger DeCoster shouldn’t be team manager, or that Youthstream are bad for the sport. I like Steve, but sometimes he just doesn’t get it.

This event isn't about Team USA, and it hasn't been for a number of years. The event has grown to the point that the event is bigger than all the team, including Team France who own it at the moment. Since around 2011 this race has turned into an event that nobody wants to miss, bigger crowds, bigger promotion. Be it Maggiora in 2016, or Redbud in 2018, the MXoN has never been so exciting, or dramatic. And it isn't like that because of Team USA, but a number of teams pushing harder than ever.

There is a thing called tradition Steve, and the sports history has Team USA in the MXoN since the 1970s, long before you were working in the paddock, back when Team USA didn’t have a chance to win. 

I could name probably 30 American riders who would want to go to the event and don't agree with you at all, and I also have no doubt even if the AMA said they are not sending a team, sponsors like FMF would come in and those riders who do want to go, and would be supported enough that they don’t need to take a cent out of their own pocket, to race for their country. They would do it like its been done since the 1940s and ride for pride.

I know as a proud Australian I would jump at the chance to represent my country in any shape and form, or even the country where I have lived for 25 years, The Netherlands. Pride of place, pride of birthplace should be something we stand for, be it the indigenous people of countries like America, South Africa, Australia or any other country that has a long history and culture.

To stand under your national flag, or the flag or the country you call home is something we should all be proud of.

Motocross riders make millions of dollars, they make those millions of dollars because of the spectators who turn up at MXoN and buy products, be it bikes, clothing or anything that helps those companies support a guy like Eli Tomac, or Justin Barcia, or Cooper Webb. I am pretty sure all three of these guys would want to be in Assen and try and correct the last 10 or so years when Team USA struggled to compete against the countries like France and Holland.

No doubt, it is going to be tough this year, because Assen isn’t just any old sand track. There is nothing like it in the World, and we all know how tough Lommel is for the American based riders, well Assen will be even more difficult. They won’t win it, and that is probably the first time I have said that with 100% conviction. They have zero chance, but hey, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South African and so many of the other nations coming from afar will also have no chance.

Maybe Jeffrey Herlings, or Dean Ferris, or so many others shouldn't turn up at an AMA National for a one off race at their own cost and race. Or maybe they should, because they want to and the motocross fans win. Just like they do at the MXoN now for 70 years.

So come on Steve Matthes, how about putting aside your negative attitude to this event and support it. If you don’t support it, then don’t be a hypocrite and turn up asking for a media pass to watching it, or make money from covering it. If you come you are welcome, but if you stick to your opinion and respect your opinion, you stay home.