Talking point: 2020 Motocross Des Nations – what now?
Andy McKinstry: It’s already been confirmed that due to the Coronavirus outbreak, there will be five rounds of the MXGP World Championship after the Motocross Des Nations this year. With Tony Alessi also stating that the AMA Supercross season will finish in October, it means they will also run after the MXoN. I see that as being really bad news for the event this year.
So, what’s it mean for the Motocross Des Nations? Whilst I still expect the event to run it’s going to be a difficult one. As far as America goes with a Supercross title still to play for you can expect the top American’s to turn down the event. Whilst the likes of Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson love the event and will want to ride it, will Husqvarna in America even allow them too? Supercross is the priority in America for the teams and manufactures. I wouldn’t be surprised to see no team America at the Nations this year in Ernee. Hopefully even if they don’t send a fully strengthen team they find a way to be there.
In terms of MXGP, whilst I still see most the top GP riders contesting the event (if there countries have a shot at winning), you have to wonder just how much they’ll risk, especially if the MXGP and MX2 World Championships are still wide open. You also have to think about someone like Tim Gajser, yes, it’s great to represent your country but no disrespect to Slovenia but they’ve no chance of winning the event. With a possible MXGP title at stake for someone like Gajser, is it worth the risk of racing the Des Nations?
The Aussie’s have already confirmed they are considering not sending a team this year. No doubt there will be plenty of news regarding the event closer to the time but as things are right now, it’s not looking too good for the event.
Jonathan McCready: The 2020 MXoN at Ernee scheduled for the 29th of the September is now in quite the predicament. With the re-scheduled MXGP world championship already taking place after the event it was already on somewhat new and potentially shaky territory. But with the news the supercross series is hoping to run their remaining seven races in the Sept/ October period, it means that any rider racing there won’t be able to race the event and it was hard enough to get the US-based guys there when they had no racing.
But this time it is completely understandable. No-one is going to not race a supercross event to do the MXoN, and are leading GP riders in contention for a world title really going to be prepared to give it their all anyway and risk losing the world championship? What would a rider like Tim Gajser really gain from it if he and Herlings are duelling for a world crown? Slovenia aren’t going to win the Nations. That’s in addition to Australia, who with their top riders selected, had strong shot at a podium if not a win, already potentially not going.
It is even going to make the US motocross series a risky championship for the likes of Tomac and Roczen who are only three points apart in the supercross championship and after years, injury or mistakes, both looked ready to finally get their hands on America’s most coveted dirt bike prize. They won’t want to risk a big crash on the US motocross series to be what loses them a more prestigious title they have worked so hard far.
Looking at the bigger picture, with rumours prior to the Coronavirus that InFront are looking to extend the MXGP series into October and perhaps beyond like MotoGP have, and the increasing desire from Feld to make supercross more global, could supercross racing in October or November become the norm along with MXGP racing around the same period? 2020 might just be an accidental look into the future of the two premier series in the sport, MXGP and supercross, and their new schedules. Where that would leave the MXoN remains to be seen.