U.S. Lineup for 2019 FIM Motocross of Nations Announced
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and MX Sports Pro Racing officially announced the three-rider lineup for the United States at the 2019 FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN), which will be held September 28-29 from TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands.
Prior to the start of the Circle K Unadilla National, AMA Pro Racing's Mike Pelletier, U.S. team manager Roger DeCoster, and assistant manager Christina Denney revealed that Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammates Jason Anderson and Zach Osborne would be joined by Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing's Justin Cooper in the country's quest for a record 23rd victory at the world's biggest professional motocross race. The U.S. is the winningest nation in MXoN history, but is in the midst of a seven-year winless drought.
“The task is serious,” said DeCoster. “We’re racing in European sand, a real sand box. But these guys are going to put in 100-percent effort. We're going to go over and put in a lot of testing. It's going to be very tough, but we hope to be competitive.”
Anderson will serve as the proverbial team captain, competing in the premier MXGP division. It is the second time Anderson will represent the U.S., where he's in search of unfinished business. During his debut appearance in 2016 the veteran rider took a moto win, only to have his day come to a frightening end after he was landed on by another rider mere feet past the finish line. Anderson currently sits fourth in the 450 Class standings, with three overall podium finishes this summer.
"We’re going to go over a little early and try to get prepared for this race," said Anderson. "And for me, I’m always down to do this race and rip it up out there."
Osborne also earned his second selection to the team, last representing the U.S. on the heels of his championship-winning 2017 season. Osborne enjoyed a strong MXoN debut, where he finished second in the MX2 division. This year he'll compete aboard a 450cc machine in the Open class. Osborne currently sits fifth in the 450 Class standings and has enjoyed a stellar rookie season, highlighted by five podium finishes and a moto win.
“This is at the top of my list," said Osborne. “I hope to go over there and tear it up and bring home the [Chamberlain] Cup. I think we have three guys who really want to be there and are enthusiastic about the event, and that’s half the battle. We’re going to go over and try to dial in our bikes and try to get used to that European sand.”
Cooper will make his MXoN debut in Assen competing in the MX2 division. While he's yet to experience everything that comes with this illustrious event, the third-year rider has shown that no stage is too big for him. While the ability to learn from his experience teammates will be valuable, so will his breakout 2019 season. Cooper currently sits third in the 250 Class standings, highlighted by his first career victory and seven podium efforts.
“It’s an honor to represent my country. Let’s go get it," said Cooper.
The Assen TT Circuit is unique in that it's a man-made motocross track within the famed road racing circuit, composed entirely of the deep sand that the Netherlands is most known for. The U.S. last emerged triumphant at the MXoN in 2011, when the lineup of Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, and Blake Baggett took the country's 22nd victory in France. Team France is the defending MXoN champion, currently in the midst of a five-year win streak.