October 6-7, 2018
Buchanan, Michigan USA
GATES open 10:00am until 12:00am.
Track area midway open 2:00pm to 7:00pm; track infield will be open for at least a portion of this time.
GATES open 9am until 12:00am.
Track area midway open 12:00pm to 7:00pm; track infield will be open for at least a portion of this time.
2018 MXoN Team Introductions at 5pm from the podium/skybox located at the starting line.
Paddock will be open from 2pm – 7pm for paddock pass holders.
There will be an entertainment program at the night track/camping area Friday and Saturday, when no official track activities are scheduled. Please check back or watch our social media – @redbudmx, RedBud Motocross – for announcements!
GATES open 7am until 4pm. GATES CLOSED FROM 4PM UNTIL 7PM – or later if needed – FOR EXIT TRAFFIC! No entry during these times.
Gates reopen 7pm until 12am.
Track area open 8am until 7pm.
Paddock open from 8am – 7pm for paddock pass holders.
See track schedule below.
GATES open at 7:00am.
Track area open at 8:00am.
Results tallied; podium celebration on the starting line.
See track schedule below.
For decades the Unites States has been the standard bearer for the sport of motocross. While the list of homegrown talent is chock full of the most legendary names in the history of off-road motorcycle racing, the U.S. has also served as the proving ground for the most gifted international talent, where the likes of Jean-Michel Bayle, Grant Langston, and Chad Reed, just to name a few, have left a lasting impact to inspire future generations. As a result, any rider born outside of the U.S. with aspirations of becoming the best in the world knew they needed to make the journey to America if there was any hope of making that dream a reality.
The most indicative sign of America’s dominance in the sport has been at the annual Monster Energy Motocross of Nations. Since 1947, the world’s single-biggest professional motocross race has continuously provided the lone stage for the most elite global talent to go head-to-head, representing their respective country in the ultimate battle of national pride. Despite not winning for the first time at the MXoN until 1981, the U.S. has since amassed the most Chamberlain Trophy triumphs of all time with 22 victories.
While Team USA has won 60% of the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations across the past four decades, it is currently in the midst of its most prevalent dry spell. The stars and stripes last took home the Chamberlain Trophy in 2011, and has been mired in disappointment for the last six years, resulting in the longest drought since that maiden victory 37 years ago. To make matters worse, the team suffered through arguably its worst MXoN performance ever last season, finishing ninth. Prior to that, Team USA was a virtual lock to finish on the podium, and discussions were almost always centered around which teams had the potential to outclass the Americans.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cause of Team USA’s recent window of futility, but given the increasingly demanding nature of the racing season in the U.S. it has been progressively more difficult to count on the commitment of the top American riders to compete at the MXoN. These days, riders are in race mode from December to October, contesting a total of 17 Monster Energy Supercross races in 18 weeks before transitioning into 12 grueling rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship over the course of 15 weeks. Even when the sport’s two most prominent championships conclude, the MXoN and annual Monster Energy Cup loom in October. All this means riders are on the road more than ever before, and the amount of time they spend on their motorcycles has reached unprecedented levels. When you factor in the inevitable fatigue associated with these two elements, it’s not shocking to see injuries pop up and often times derail an entire season. Fortunately for U.S. fans, the stars have realigned for the 2018 season and there’s a renewed sense of hope that this year’s team can get the home team back on track, and it couldn’t come at a more opportune time.
The last time the U.S. lineup for the MXoN consisted of the reigning 450 Class Champion, reigning 250 Class Champion, and second-highest finishing 450 Class rider was in 2010 when Ryan Dungey, Trey Canard, and Andrew Short led Team USA to victory. Coincidentally enough, the MXoN that season was hosted on U.S. soil for just the third time in history at Thunder Valley Motocross Park. Eight years later, the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations is making its return to the States, and for the first time since that fateful afternoon in Colorado, the Team USA lineup consists of the three best-finishing riders from the motocross season.
To say that the pressure is on this all Monster Energy team of back-to-back 450 Class Champion Eli Tomac, newly crowned 250 Class Champion Aaron Plessinger, and a resurgent Justin Barcia is an understatement. Over the course of this six-year winless streak for Team USA, the strength of talent in MXGP has elevated to the point where one can no longer definitively state that riders competing in the U.S. are the best in the world. As a result, the depth of the MXoN field has also reached an all-time high. Defending winners France have won the Chamberlain Trophy for four straight years, an achievement that was virtually unconceivable just a few years ago, and they’ll be in search of five in a row at legendary RedBud MX. The racing world is no longer intimidated by Team USA, and it’s up to Tomac, Plessinger, and Barcia to bring the host nation back to prominence.
Emotions aside, Team USA is the statistical favorite to win this year’s MXoN as there is little argument that Team Manager Roger DeCoster is fielding the best team available. Additionally, there is destined to be a bit of a home-track advantage with the support of the crowd and the familiarity of RedBud, a venue that all three riders have won at. Given everything surrounding this team, this year’s event, and the U.S. drought, the level of expectation for this trio to succeed is higher than it’s been in some time. However, given the previous MXoN experience of Tomac and Barcia, and the carefree attitude of Plessinger, this is a team more than capable of stepping up.
It goes without saying that Team France is poised to be the Americans’ fiercest challenger. With four-straight wins, the lineup of Gautier Paulin, along with Monster Energy riders Dylan Ferrandis and Romain Febvre have earned the attention they’re being given. Paulin is one of the most experienced riders at the MXoN, while Febvre has performed exceptionally well in his previous visits. Ferrandis’ experience racing in the U.S. for the past two seasons could make him their most valuable asset.
The Belgian squad has long been one of the most consistent teams at the MXoN, and they were the last country to win prior to France’s current streak. Veterans Jeremy van Horbeek and Clement Desalle will anchor this all Monster Energy lineup, while young upstart Jago Geerts will make his MXoN debut. Last season was a rare year in which the Belgians missed the podium, and they’ll be motivated to get back into contention this season.
While they seemingly always fly under the radar, the team from Great Britain will almost certainly factor into the battle for the Chamberlain Trophy. Max Anstie enjoyed the race of his life last season and surely enjoys the big stage of the MXoN, while Monster Energy rider Tommy Searle will make an incredible 11th appearance at the event. The British squad will welcome a new addition in up-and-coming Monster Energy rider Ben Watson, who has shown considerable promise this season.
Building off its best effort as a nation one year ago, The Netherlands has to be considered the wild card team aimed at spoiling the party for the likes of the U.S., France, and beyond. The team is led by newly crowned World Champion Jeffrey Herlings, who rivals Tomac as the proverbial fastest rider on the planet. Herlings has been in a class of his own all season and that confidence is destined to rub off on Glenn Coldenhoff and a promising Calvin Vlaanderen, who will make his MXoN debut.
While the list of contenders is perhaps the strongest we’ve ever seen at the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations, it’s hard not to think that this is the Americans’ race to lose. There is simply too much talent, and perhaps even more emotion invested into the Team USA effort for 2018. It’s been an extremely humbling six years for a country that has made a name for itself by dominating the MXoN, but this year’s lineup boasts the talent and the accolades that everyone has been asking for. The U.S. is without a doubt putting its best foot forward as a host country. All that’s left is for the gate to drop and watch it all unfold.