Opening ceremonies for the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National kicked off with a major announcement from Mike Pelletier, director of racing at the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and MX Sports Pro Racing, as the three-rider lineup for the U.S. team at the 2022 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) was revealed with Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper, Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton and Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Eli Tomac. The annual spectacle, affectionately referred to as the “Olympics of Motocross,” will commence on home soil on Sept. 24-25 from Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX, a cornerstone venue of American motocross. It will signify the U.S.’s first participation at the MXoN since the 2019 event.
Tomac and Sexton have been this season’s primary championship combatants in the 450 Class and will headline the U.S. squad in the MXGP and MX Open classes respectively. It will be Tomac’s fourth appearance representing the host nation and he’ll look to leverage his experience from 2013, 2014 and 2018 as the proverbial team captain. As one of the most decorated competitors in the history of the sport, Tomac will look to achieve the one accomplishment still missing from his rèsumè, a win at the Motocross of Nations. He’ll bring added momentum from a victory at the RedBud National in July. Tomac will wear No. 101.
It is the first team selection for Sexton, who is in the midst of a breakout season in the premier division as the current point leader with three victories and overall podium finishes in all nine rounds thus far. His unparalleled consistency this summer could be a defining factor in the team’s quest for victory. He earned his best-ever RedBud result in July with a runner-up finish at the National. Sexton will wear No. 103.
The U.S.’s anticipated return to the MXoN will see the most successful country in the history of the event seek a record 23rd victory. They will once again be overseen by “The Man” Roger DeCoster, who will continue his tenure as U.S. team manager. After a dominant stretch that saw the U.S. win the Chamberlain Trophy for seven consecutive years from 2005 to 2011, it has endured through a winless streak that has spanned eight years. Coincidentally, the numbers the U.S. riders will carry for the 2022 MXoN are the same that the lineup of Ricky Carmichael, Ivan Tedesco and Kevin Windham wore during the 2005 event, when the U.S. last started its dominant streak of victories.