Nine U.S. riders finished with the best team score to bring home the world championship for America at the 2014 Fédération Internationale de Motocylisme Jr. Motocross World Championship in Lierneux, Belgium.
The event, held Aug. 9-10, included racers from 33 countries competing at the technical and rocky Pleine Longs Sarts track. The U.S. team had a combined score of 21 points based on the best finishes of their riders in the 65cc, 85cc and 125cc classes. Germany was second with 23 points and France was third with 29 points.
The best-finishing U.S. riders in each class were Orange Brigade/FMF/KTM rider Alex Frye, from Huntingtown, Md., with a finish of 11th place in the 13-17 year old 125cc class; San Diego, Calif., KTM Orange Brigade rider Conner Mullennix, from San Diego, Calif., with a seventh-place finish in the 11-14 year old 85cc class; and KTM Orange Brigade rider Jeremy Ryan, from Santa Nella, Calif., with third in the 10-12 year old 65 cc class.
"While the FIM Jr. Motocross World Championship is also an individual event, with riders competing for world titles in each class, the primary goal for the nine U.S. riders was to bring home the team title," said AMA Motocross Manager Kip Bigelow.
Along with Ryan in the 65cc class were Hubert’s Lemonade Kawasaki Team Green rider Jett Reynolds from Bakersfield, Calif., and KTM Orange Brigade rider Carter Biese from Appleton, Wis. Reynolds finished fourth and Biese finished fifth.
Racing in the 85cc class with Mullennix were Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider Garrett Marchbanks from Coalville, Utah, finishing 16th, and Brock Papi from McMurray, Pa., finishing 40th. Papi had earlier qualified second and ran as high as fourth in the second moto.
In the highly competitive 125cc class alongside of Frye was Yamaha bLU cRU, supported by the Yamaha of Europe/Kemea Team, rider Jon Ames from Riverside, Calif., and KTM Orange Brigade rider Challen Tennant from Willis, Texas. Ames finished 16th overall and Tennant finished 19th overall.
"Although only the best placing rider in each class is used for the overall team score, every rider on the team was essential to bringing home the gold," Bigelow said. "Due to the rain, mud and extreme track conditions, a team effort was very important. From the day we arrived in Belgium nearly a week in advance of the race, to the checkered flag of the final moto of race day, the team spirit and dedication was never more evident and important. The riders, their families and the team sponsors made this successful effort possible."
"The logistics to put something of this magnitude together couldn’t possibly be done by one person," Bigelow added. "With the help of U.S. Team Manager James Coy, who is KTM North America’s FMF Orange Brigade KTM Lites team manager, Cernic’s Racing Jeff Cernic, and fifth-year attendee and team Logistics Coordinator Helen Mosiman, we simply could not have made this happen."