Cooper Webb and Red Bull KTM eager for 2021 Motocross of Nations ‘shot’

The 2021 FIM Motocross of Nations could count on reigning 450 SX Champion Cooper Webb as part of Team USA for the return of the flagship event in Italy on September 26th after the 25-year-old spoke of his eagerness to make a third appearance at the annual race.

Although the most decorated participant in the history of the competition is not yet confirmed for the ’21 edition, long-term Team Manager and KTM North America Motorsports Director Roger De Coster believe he can count on his own rider to lead the charge. 

“Hopefully everything turns out good, by the time September comes it has all gone to plan,” the Belgian commented on the eve of the 2011 AMA Pro National Championship. “Cooper has already said he wants to go, and I sure hope we can find two other good guys that want to.”

Webb’s last turnout in the ‘stars and stripes’ ended emotionally with his mistake at Maggiora in 2016 one of the contributing factors that cost Team USA the chance of a first triumph since 2011. The KTM man insists he is ready for another attempt. “It’s something I want to get back to,” he admitted. “I’ve been able to do it twice now and was on the podium both years but haven’t been able to get the win. I definitely want to race against the Europeans and see where we line-up. They are extremely fast and the Nations is a crazy race in terms of the fans, the pressure and the atmosphere. I would definitely like to experience it again.”

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The 2020 ‘MXoN’ was cancelled due to the limitations of the pandemic and the 2021 fixture is currently (and awkwardly)scheduled between the eleventh and twelfth Grands Prix of the twice-delayed MXGP series. Strangely for a spectacle that has seen 60,000 crowds in past editions it will take place at the compact Mantova circuit. It is unclear how manufacturers will feel about their factory riders committing to the Nations midway through the world championship. For the Americans the agenda is a little kinder than usual, coming just two weeks after their twelfth and final date of the national motocross contest. 

As for Webb’s Red Bull KTM teammate, Marvin Musquin, the veteran’s uneasy relationship with the French Federation and erratic selection for the three-man squad means he remains uncommitted, despite his admiration for the Nations. “It’s such a unique race and event and it gave me one of the best memories of my career back in 2015 and being able to win it in France,” he said.

“It’s amazing event but there are many questions of whether it will happen or not and when,” he added, hinting at the instability of international travel and fluctuating border controls. “There are a couple of good French riders as we know, and I’ve had some history with the French team when they didn’t pick me and then wanted me to race at the last minute. So, it’s very difficult but to be honest we need to prepare for that race as soon as possible if they want me.”

France is the most successful country in recent years with five victories in a row from 2014 and up to 2019 when the Netherlands ruled for the first time in the eight-decade history of the team race.

Article: Adam Wheeler

Image: Align media