News 19 Aug 2011

RV ready for MXoN in France, but who will run #1 for Team USA?

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto wants to run that number one plate on the MX1 bike for Team USA at MXoN.

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto wants to run that number one plate on the MX1 bike for Team USA at MXoN.

This year’s Motocross of Nations at Saint Jean d’Angely in France will mark Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto’s first appearance in the iconic event on a 450cc aboard the 2012 model KX450F.

Villopoto, who currently leads the 450 Class of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship and earlier this year wrapped up the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, title, is confident that Team USA has what it takes to win on 18 September.

“It will be good. It’s always a lot of fun to go over there,” Villopoto said. “I’m looking forward to it. We’ll just see how this plays out – who’s racing what. We always have a target, the Americans always do. I’ve already raced it three times. I’m ready for it.”

While Blake Baggett has been confirmed as the team’s MX2 rider on the 250F, Team USA is yet to decide who will ride MX1 – and the number one plate that goes with it – for the U.S. team between Villopoto and Ryan Dungey.

Villopoto may be the current points leader in the AMA outdoors, but Dungey was part of the U.S. team that earned the number one plate for Team USA via victory in Colorado.

The pair is separated by just eight points in the AMA Pro Motocross series with three rounds remaining, but Villopoto believes the MX1 ride usually goes to whoever leads the 450 Class title in America at the time of the team’s selection.

“They don’t know how they’re going to decide yet,” he explained. “I thought it’s always been just points leaders… In years past it’s always been obviously points leader coming in and normally the points leader is the guy that’s better than most.

“This year we are closer. It’s a close race for sure. But it’s always been, from what I can remember – I don’t know if there’s an actual rule about it – but it’s always been the so-called points leader at the time of the announcement, I’m pretty sure.”

Some are suggesting the team waits to see who wins the AMA motocross title this year, which wraps up in California a week before the MXoN event.

“That’s another [thing to] talk about if they just make the decision now or make it off of that,” Villopoto added. “I don’t know what they’re going to do.”