might seem glorious, but in truth,
American dominance ruined the
MXDN. There was no drama and
no intrigue—but lots of anti-Americanism. Worse yet, after we finally lost in 1994, the interest from
American riders dropped to almost
nil. Think about it: if you couldn’t get
them enthused when winning was a
sure thing, it was going to be even
harder to get them to go if there
was a chance of losing. But, we
scraped together teams and made
appearances—winning only twice
from 1994 to 2000.
We skipped the event in 2001
because our nation was stricken
by grief and fear following the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
No one wanted to fly to a foreign
country a few weeks later. We didn’t
race the 2002 MXDN, but we didn’t
skip it—it skipped us. For some
dubious reason, the FIM awarded
the 2002 Motocross des Nations to a
track that didn’t exist and was
located on sovereign Indian land. As
predicted, the Competition Park race
was canceled at the last minute by
the tribal elders. A couple months
later, the FIM scraped together a
poorly attended, make-up MXDN in
Italy. Surprise! The Italians garnered
their first and only Motocross des
Nations win ever.
WE SHOWED UP AGAIN
IN 2003 TO RACE ON
ON A MAN-MADE
TRACK AT ZOLDER
(SHADES OF MILLER
We showed up again in 2003 to
race on a dead-flat road-race circuit on a man-made track at Zolder
(shades of Miller Motorsport Park).
Let’s blame it on that constantly
revived crackpot promoter idea
about how to make motocross
mainstream—while killing its essence
at the same time. The idea that the
racetrack isn’t as important as paved
pits is an insular view that is enemy
number one of the sport as we know
and love it.
Then we skipped it again in 2004.
Why? Let’s blame it on the AMA.
Why is it that everything that goes
wrong comes as a surprise to the
AMA? Don’t they ever plan ahead?
Eli Tomac ( 8) and Ken Roczen ( 2)
picked up right where they left off at
the end of the AMA 250 Nationals.
The only thing that could have made
their epic tussle better would have
been the addition of the injured