MXoN 2010: French and Italian Team Selections 2

With the countdown on to the 2010 Motocross of Nations at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, CO, things are getting interesting in the team selections. Right now, the French are looking particularly strong. Below is their team announcement.

The French Team Ready for the U.S. Trip

Six weeks prior the 2010 Motocross of Nations, the French Motorcycling Federation revealed the names of the riders who will represent France on September 25th-26th in Thunder Valley (Colorado). Reigning MX2 World Champion Marvin Musquin (KTM), double US Supercross Champion in the ‘Lites’ class Christophe Pourcel (Kawasaki) and Xavier Boog (Kawasaki) ‘rookie’ in the 2010 MX1 World Championship will represent France during the 64th edition of the MXON.

The French Federation had a long list of potential members, thanks to the strong level of the Motocross riders who are involved at the highest level in the World and US Championships. Marvin Musquin, leader of the MX2 series, Christophe Pourcel leader of the ‘Lites’ US Motocross series and Xavier Boog the best French representative in the main class will wear the ‘blue, white and red’ jersey.

As usual Marvin Musquin will be involved in the MX2 class aboard his factory KTM, while Xavier Boog will enter the Open class on his 450 Kawasaki. It’s also a 450 Kawasaki that Christophe Pourcel will ride for the Nations, a first racing experience for him in the MX1 class; former World Champion and then US Supercross Champion on a 250, Christophe regularly train on a 450 and will be back among his former GP rivals fort this event.

“Last year it was a great experience to ride for the first time this event, and I’m delighted to be part again of the French team. This event is unique, and gives us an opportunity to be all together racing for the same goal; last year was great, and I’m sure that we’ll have again a very good relationship with Xavier and Christophe. I met him in Glen Helen, we are a strong team and we will go to Denver for another podium result” said Marvin who won twice the MX2 class last year in Italy. Xavier will be the rookie in the team, as he never raced the Nations. “I was selected once for the European Motocross of Nations, but never for the ‘real’ Nations and a dream came true. I’m happy that the French Federation keeps me in the team despite my knee injury in Lommel; it’s going better every day and I will be back racing in Brazil. The Nations is such a big event that I will be the first one to inform the manager if I didn’t feel ready to go there, but at the moment I’ve a strong motivation to be back at my best level.” Marvin and Xavier never raced alongside Christophe Pourcel, but the third member is highly motivated for the MXON. “When Olivier Robert the French manager came to the US and spoke with me about the Nations, he didn’t need to convince me as I wanted to do this race. I’m strongly motivated to be back in the French team and happy to race the MX1 class” explained Christophe who knows perfectly the track of Thunder Valley, and will lead his teammates there.

For Olivier Robert, the French trainer, the goal will be to get at least a podium as they often did in the past. “I’m delighted to see Christophe back in the French team, four years after Matterley Basin in 2006. He is stronger than ever, and his teammates show during the Grand Prix how fast they are. For sure Xavier had an injury last week, but he will do several races and we’ll see if he is back to his best level. All the riders must be in perfect shape for this event, and hopefully we have some other top riders who could replace any of them in case of problem. We just need to finalize everything early due to the fact that the event will be organized in the US; we must announce the final team at least on Friday 24th of September, but of course the riders will fly there earlier to be ready for the event” revealed Olivier who did already nine MXON as French trainer and enjoyed the podium six times so far.

The French team

Marvin Musquin (250 KTM Red Bull Factory) MX2 rider: 20 years old, 2009 MX2 World Champion and leader of the 2010 MX2 series. Won thirteen MX2 Grand Prix. Member of the 2009 French Team, second in Franciacorta (Italy)

Christophe Pourcel (450 Kawasaki Pro Circuit) MX1 rider: 21 years old, 2006 MX2 World Champion, 2009-2010 US Supercross ‘lites’ Champion on the East Coast, leader of the US Motocross ‘lites’ series. Won four MX2 Grand Prix MX2. Member of the 2006 French Team, fifth in Matterley Basin (Great Britain)

Xavier Boog (450 Kawasaki KRT) Open class rider: 22 years old, 2010 MX1 French Champion and currently seventh of the MX1 World Championship. Won one MX3 Grand Prix. Never race the MX of Nations.

Where things get a little weird, however, is with the announcement that the Italian team wouldn't include MX1 Points Leader Antonio Cairoli, and the other obvious choice, David Phillipaerts, due to a disagreement with the the Italian Motorcycle Federation (FMI) over logo representation on the jersey for the manufacturers. Check the joint statement from KTM and Yamaha below.

Yamaha and KTM Positions on Italian Rider Selection for MX of Nations

Yamaha Motor Europe and KTM Sport Motorcycles were disappointed to learn of the press release on Saturday 7th August by the Italian Motorcycle Federation (FMI) revealing that Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross Team’s David Philippaerts and Red Bull KTM’s Tony Cairoli have been unable to be considered for the final selection for the Italian team due to certain conditions to represent their country in the 2010 Motocross of Nations at Thunder Valley in Colorado on September 26th.

After discussions with the Italian Federation, in which Yamaha Motor Europe and KTM Sport Motorcycles were willing and fully open for negotiation regarding representation on the official Italian team jersey, we were disappointed to learn that 2008 MX1-GP World Champion Philippaerts and reigning MX1-GP World Champion Cairoli (presently 3rd and 1st in the 2010 standings respectively) were eliminated from the final short-list. We would like to clarify that both riders are available but the condition of the FMI that there will be no space allowed at all for the manufacturer or its sponsors on the front of jersey is not acceptable to both Yamaha and KTM. The FMI was only prepared to open two tiny spaces on the sleeve of each jersey and despite several efforts from Yamaha and KTM a compromise for a frontal space was not reached. Yamaha and KTM had already accepted for the FMI to decide the base colour and to add their own sponsors on the jersey, if not in conflict with existing team partners.

Discussions of this nature are not unusual for the Motocross of Nations with many riders, teams, brands and companies represented by the three best riders from each country around the globe coming together under one umbrella. For virtually all other teams a compromise as proposed by Yamaha and KTM is considered very much acceptable for all parties involved. Other countries allow the riders to use their regular GP clothing without or virtually without any modification.

Manufacturers and title sponsors/partners finance a whole season of international and national racing activities up to and including the Motocross of Nations; this includes staff, infrastructure, technical support and development, all at considerable cost. In our opinion visible manufacturer and sponsor branding is a necessary requirement to allow top athletes to continue to represent their teams and importantly shine and bring positive attention for their respective nationalities at the very highest level.

Yamaha and KTM sincerely regret that both riders will seemingly not be able to enter the Motocross of Nations for Italy in 2010, which we regard as a fantastic event for motocross followers all around the world and prestigious for all participants. Yamaha and KTM remain open to a solution so that fans of motocross and the Italian team in an era when the country is proving to be strong in the discipline will not be deprived.

Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. and KTM Sport Motorcycles

Now, we're still waiting on the U.S. team announcement...and you can probably expect some movement there soon.


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