CYCLENEWS.COM | The FIM Motocross World Championship will make its one and only stop on U.S. soil for its season finale at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California, September 19-20, and we’re getting a better idea as to who will be lining up behind the starting gate.
There will be a number of Americans competing, including, of course, all of the biggies of the MXGP and MX2 World Championship classes, including factory Yamaha’s Romaine Febvre. Febvre, the 23-year-old Frenchman who seemingly came out of nowhere (but actually out of the MX2 class), already clinched the 2015 MXGP (450cc) title, which he accomplished at the last round in the Dutch sand of The Netherlands. Febvre, on the Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube YZ450F, came on strong the second half of the season and will be coming into the Glen Helen round—assuming all goes well with him at the second-to-last MXGP in Mexico on September 12-13—as the hottest rider on the circuit. KTM rider Shaun Simpson has also been riding well as of late, winning two of the last three GPs.
Some of the American riders who have already committed to the USGP include Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson. He will be pitting alongside his teammate Christophe Pourcel, who will also be supporting the red, white and blue colors (representing France, of course). Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne and Martin Davalos will also suit up.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant will be there and is expected to do well on his home track (which he usually does).
Davi Millsaps will return to racing again at the USGP. Not only will this be his first race since his unexpected departure from the U.S. factory Kawasaki team earlier this year, but it will also be his debut on his new BTOSports.com KTM team.
Red Bull KTM’s Dean Wilson is scheduled to compete, as is Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb.
Webb is using the USGP as a tune up for the Motocross of Nations that takes place the following week in France, and he’ll be making his professional big-bike debut at Glen Helen. His MXoN teammates, Jeremy Martin and Justin Barcia, are expected to compete as well, with 250cc National Champion Martin racing MX2 and Barcia joining Webb in MXGP.
Recently crowned AMA 450 Motocross National Champion Ryan Dungey announced recently that he won’t be competing at the USGP (nor the Motocross of Nations), simply saying that he needs a break from racing after winning championships in both Supercross (17 rounds) and motocross (12 rounds). His Red Bull KTM teammates, Marvin Musquin, Justin Hill and, as mentioned, Dean Wilson, however, will be there. Musquin will make his 450-class debut at the MXGP, but KTM hasn’t said if he’ll be on a 350 or a 450. (Musquin is too old to compete in the MX2 division which has an age limit of 23.)
Dungey won’t be the only superstar skipping the USGP; Germany’s Ken Roczen won’t be competing, either. He too is taking a well-deserved break but mainly to rest up and heal his bad back, which he received corrective surgery on this week. And, of course, there will be no Ryan Villopoto, who had originally planned to make the Glen Helen MXGP the last of his career. That, instead, got bumped up a few months when he injured his back in April and then later announced his early retirement.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Shane McElrath have announced their plans to race Glen Helen, as well. Rival team Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki has not officially announced who or what their plans are quite yet.
The Glen Helen USGP will most likely determine who will win the 2015 MX2 World Championship. With two rounds to go, it’s way too close to call between Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM’s Paul Jonass. Gajser currently leads Jonass by just a few points, and Monster Energy DBT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie isn’t far back in third. Anstie is on fire as of late, winning eight of the last 10 motos run in the MX2 division and sits only 44 points behind with four motos left to go. It’s a good chance that any number of American riders can play a spoiler in this championship.
The event will feature two full days of on-track action, with practice and qualifying races on Saturday, September 19, setting the gate for final motos on Sunday, September 20.