PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The United States will be represented by three of its fastest motocross racers when the Fédération Internationale de Motocylisme Motocross of Nations returns to American soil Oct. 6-7 at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich.
The 2018 U.S. Motocross of Nations team includes 2018 AMA Supercross West 250SX Class champion Aaron Plessinger and AMA Supercross 450SX Class competitors Eli Tomac and Justin Barcia.
Pictured, left to right, AMA Supercross Manager Mike Pelletier, Aaron Plessinger, team manager and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Roger DeCoster, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac. Photo by Jeff Kardas
"America has wanted the Motocross of Nations to be at RedBud MX for a very long time," AMA Supercross Manager Mike Pelletier said. "That wait is finally over, and we have a team of riders this year that can put the United States on the top step of the podium in front of a home crowd. Eli, Aaron and Justin are incredibly talented and accomplished racers, and I look forward to watching them take on the world together this October."
It will be Plessinger's first time competing as a member of the U.S. Motocross of Nations team. He will race in the event's MX2 Class.
"Being selected to race for my country is something I have dreamed about ever since I started riding," Plessinger said. "I'm so excited to get to represent the United States. With the event being held at RedBud MX, it couldn't have been a more perfect year. If you know me, you know representing the red white and blue is part of my lifestyle. I can't wait to see all the fans and hopefully make the Chamberlin Trophy stay here in the United States."
For Tomac, 2018 will be his third time competing in this event. Tomac was a member of the 2013 and 2014 U.S. Motocross of Nations Teams. He will race in the event's MXGP Class.
"Having the opportunity to race in the Motocross of Nations and represent my country in front of the world stage is a feeling like no other," Tomac said. "This year, with it being at RedBud, it's going to be next level for the entire event. Fans will be going absolutely bonkers. Myself, Justin and Aaron will be ready for the battle, and it's a track that suits our riding styles. I have a really good feeling this is the year United States will get the Chamberlain Trophy back."
Barcia is no stranger to representing his country on one of motocross' biggest stages. 2018 will be the fourth time Barcia has been a member of the U.S. Motocross of Nations team. He will race in the event's Open Class.
"I'm honored and so excited to be representing the United States at the Motocross of Nations," Barcia said. "I have had great results in the past at the event. I'm even more amped that the race is at RedBud. It's my favorite track on the schedule, and now they're hosting the Motocross of Nations. I know it's going to be a fantastic opportunity for the team to get that overall win we have been looking for."
AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Roger DeCoster once again will manage the team as it seeks to secure the world championship. He manages the Red Bull/KTM AMA Motocross and Supercross teams and was a part of six victorious FIM Motocross of Nations teams in the 1960s and 1970s.
"I am very happy that everyone on this team committed without reservation to represent the United States in the Motocross of Nations," he said. "Eli has been on fire in the nationals. Barcia raced to one of his very best finishes at RedBud MX just six weeks ago. Plessinger has shown consistency and the ability to comeback from a bad start when needed. I feel we have a good and realistic chance to win. I trust that also the RedBud MX fans can do something extra to motivate the team to win the trophy back. Let's go win!"
The U.S. team has won the Motocross of Nations 22 times, remaining the all-time leader in FIM Motocross of Nations overall team victories and claiming all of those wins under the direction of DeCoster.
The last time the U.S. Team won the Motocross of Nations was 2011. The 2017 team placed ninth.
The FIM Motocross of Nations is one of the most high-profile motorsport events in the world. It features national teams competing for a combined score to determine the overall championship-winning country. The event emerged in post-war Europe in 1947 and has run uninterrupted since that time.