America has been named the motocross capital of the world once again. Team USA reclaimed the Chamberlain Trophy, which the U.S. last won in 2011, when riders Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper, led by team manager Roger DeCoster, triumphed at the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme’s Motocross of Nations at Red Bud Track ’N’ Trail in Buchanan, Michigan, on Sept. 25.
“This Motocross of Nations was a perfect demonstration of the success that comes from having the right people — motivated and talented people — in the right positions, from our team coordinators to the riders themselves to our team manager,” Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO said. “Congratulations to all who contributed to this effort, and particularly Eli, Chase and Justin, who rode exceptionally well and demonstrated the utmost professionalism while representing America.”
Tomac, Sexton and Cooper defeated teams from 31 countries and two FIM Continental Unions en route to the historic win.
The FIM Motocross of Nations features teams of riders in three classifications: MXGP, MX2 and Open. Racing takes place in three motos. One includes MXGP and MX2 riders; one includes MX2 and Open riders; and one includes MXGP and Open riders. Each team’s rider is scored based on where they finished in the combined motos. Those scores are tallied to determine the winning team.
Tomac finished 1-6 in the MXGP class. Sexton finished 2-3 in the Open class. And Cooper finished 9-4 in the MX2 class. Cooper’s result, the best in the MX2 class, earned him the individual championship in that event.
“When we’re on top of that podium, there is nothing like it,” Tomac, Team USA captain said. “The whole motocross community comes together for this event. I’ve been on the top of the podium before, but this takes the cake. I will never forget that moment. It will stay with me forever.”
The Motocross of Nations teams are selected by the national federations affiliated with the FIM in each participating country. In the U.S., that’s the American Motorcyclist Association. AMA Director of Racing Mike Pelletier runs the AMA effort to select, organize, support and help fund the team.
“The cooperation this year was off the charts,” Pelletier said. “Of course, the riders’ teams themselves, which included Star Yamaha and Team Honda, were behind this effort 100 percent. We also had help from industry partners, such as Feld Entertainment, Alpinestars and Monster Energy, as well as other individuals and groups such as Paul Perebijnos, who organized a golf fundraiser, FMF, who produced fundraising t-shirts, and the family of the late Tom White, who held a fundraiser at Tom’s Early Years of Motocross Museum. The AMA can’t thank these partners enough for supporting this championship-winning campaign.”
Dingman added that the U.S. effort would not be the same without its most important volunteer: AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Roger DeCoster.
“Roger gives his all to this event,” Dingman said. “His experience and leadership help in ways that can’t be quantified. We appreciate his work and the support of his employer, KTM North America, which allows Roger to be a part of this effort every year. It’s an honor to have the support of so many stakeholders at this event. All year these teams and companies compete against one another on the track and through their support of individual riders. Here, we are one team, Team USA, and I’m proud to say, today we are definitively the best motocross team in the world.”