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Team USA and Kawasaki - Opinion





While the press release today from Kawasaki US wasn’t a surprise and pretty much everyone in the sport knew it was coming, it is a little sad that a major company like Kawasaki can’t support their riders in a race that is the most watched motocross race in the World. I get they want their riders ready for the 2020 AMA supercross championship, so you have to respect that.

It is a pity we won't see the AMA 450 and 250 champions in action, but it isn't the first time Team USA haven't sent their champions and it won't be the last. Just as long as Team USA compete, then I think the fans will be happy enough. It isn't like we will be missing the best 450 and 250 riders in the World, because it's been shown time and time again over the last decade that those riders are now in Europe, racing the MXGP and MX2 championships.

In saying that, I don’t think it is a bad thing, as the B team which is being thrown around, Zach Osborne, Jason Anderson and Justin Cooper seem to be very committed to coming to Europe early and putting the effort in needed to win this event, and believe me, I think the B team have more chance of winning than what could have been.

Eli Tomac on his day is one of the fastest riders in the World, and he was the standout for Team USA last year, and his performances in 2013 and 2014 at the event proved he is more than capable of helping Team USA to a victory, but he isn’t Ricky Johnson, David Bailey, Ryan Villopoto, Ricky Carmichael or Ryan Dungey when it comes to going 1-1 for his country. His MXoN finishes of 2-16-3-6-4-5 isn’t really something to get excited about, and I felt in the deep sand of Assen he would struggle big time. We read it often in the American media how he cracks under pressure, and there is no bigger pressure than MXoN. 

Jason Anderson showed how to deal with pressure by winning a moto at MXoN in 2016 at Maggiora, and with a broken foot. He didn't crack under the pressure of a fast coming Jeffrey Herlings, just reeled his laps off and kept looking forward. Sign him up for a lot of Team USA performances in my eyes. Backing up Anderson and Osborne will be Austria and the KTM/Husqvarna outfit and we know they always give 100% at this event. 

With Osborne, Anderson and Cooper, I am not sure they will struggle, and I really put this team in with a big chance of shocking the World, just as Team USA did in 1981 in Lommel. One thing is for sure, its good to see Husqvarna and Yamaha supporting this race, and like KTM they are ready to race the biggest motocross race in the World.

Whatever happens, when the team is official on Saturday at Unadilla this weekend, the MXoN will go on, Team USA will once again compete, and the whole Kawasaki press release will be forgotten. And that is how it should be. KTM have the attitude of Ready to Race, and I guess Kawasaki US just aren’t really ready when it comes to MXoN.

I am just glad Team Honda USA and Roger De Coster didn't have the same attitude in 1981, otherwise Team USA and the MXoN might have a completely different history together. And that would have been a tragedy.



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