Jonathan McCready: America on home soil with Tomac was going to be big competition for France but with Marvin Musqin in the team and used to racing Red Bud and the Americans, it seemed France would be neck and neck with the USA for the win. But, seemingly out of nowhere, Musquin has not been picked to race by the French Federation!
Musquin is currently locked in a battle with Tomac for the 450 title so his speed and form is not a question mark, it also makes things easier logistically with not having to ship bikes over as they have the might of KTM USA behind them. It is a truly stunning decision by the FFM.
Word is Musquin doesn’t have a great relationship with the Federation but surely the governing body would want him in the team since it improves their chances of winnning?
Gautier Paulin has been the team leader for a number of years so maybe they didn’t want to lose their captain and perhaps feel he is the glue that binds the team together but Paulin is under big pressure now to perform as Romain Febvre appeared to be the third logical choice based on current form, along with Musquin and Ferrandis.
Paulin of course has the talent to do the business as does Febvre and Ferrandis but it feels there is now extra pressure on the team to win after not picking Musquin who many feel was a shoe-in for the event.
Can they still win it? Of course, but they haven’t made things any easier on themselves.
Andy McKinstry: I have to say I am very surprised and didn’t see this coming! In my opinion Marvin Musquin should have been selected and probably ahead of Paulin as oppose to Febvre.
In America this year, Musquin has been running with Tomac and beating Barcia/Baggett pretty much every week so for me he should have been the first 450cc rider on the sheet. The last few MXGP rounds haven’t went well for Paulin at all which is rather worrying although he’s a very good rider so no doubt he’ll hit good form again and will be motivated for the Nations but to see him selected ahead of Musquin is somewhat of a surprise.
Had the Nations been taking place outside America I could have understood it a little more but all the tracks are all pretty similar in USA and Musquin is used too riding them every week.
On the other hand, I am pleased that Romain Febvre is selected, I had a feeling the team would be Ferrandis, Musquin and Paulin with the ex World Champion not selected but I feel he deserves to go so I am happy for him to get the nod.
In my opinion Ferrandis, Musquin and Febvre would have been the best team to send and give them the best chances of winning so this does give the USA a bit of advantage in that respect.
However, France have won against the odds before so don’t be too surprised to see them doing it again but it will be harder for them this year being in America’s back garden.