The AMA has announced the U.S. riders who will contest the 87th International Six Days Enduro and the team will be led by KTM's Kurt Caselli.
Led by the World Trophy Team of Russell Bobbitt, Mike Brown, Caselli, Robert Garrison, Charlie Mullins and Taylor Robert, a contingent of 31 U.S. riders will face the best off-road racers from other countries in Saxony, Germany, September 24-29.
"The ISDE represents the pinnacle of world off-road competition, and winning this prestigious event has long been an American dream," said AMA Off-Road Manager Chuck Weir. "For 2012, we have taken our program to an entirely new level, and we're going to Germany with one goal in mind: making that dream a reality and standing on the top of the box this September."
This year's ISDE effort is managed by Antti Kallonen, who guides KTM North America's off-road racing teams in U.S.-based series.
"I'm very excited about this year's Trophy Team," said Kallonen, whose own professional racing career included competition in the FIM Motocross World Championship. "We were able to assemble a very fast team. We have a few new riders on the team and they have proved their speed in our national series. And with manufacturers on board, all the riders have full support behind them, so they can focus only on racing. This year's Six Days will have some of the stiffest competition we have seen in years, but with our team, we have good chance to be on top."
Caselli will captain the World Trophy Team. He will race a KTM in Germany; Garrison will compete on a Kawasaki; Bobbitt will race a KTM; Robert will ride a Kawasaki; and Brown and Mullins will race KTMs.
The World Trophy Team is one of three premier teams that represent the United States at the ISDE. The others are the Junior Trophy Team, which fields four riders younger than 23 years old, and the Women's World Cup Team, which fields three female riders. In addition, several club team members represent the United States at the event.
The U.S. Junior Trophy Team will include Steward Baylor; Travis Coy; Andrew DeLong; and Thad Duvall.
"Our Junior Trophy Team is made from pure speed," Kallonen said. "The riders selected are among the top riders in the country, and even though they are new to the Six Days, I expect them to do well and be on top. We have a good support program for our Junior Team riders to guide them so, again, the riders can focus on racing." â€¨
The U.S. Women's Cup Team will include Rachel Gutish; Mandi Mastin; and Sarah Whitmore.
"I'm really excited about the Women's team this year," Mastin said. "I think it is a great combination of youth, experience and speed. All three of us women, Rachael, Sarah and myself, are diverse riders with different qualities that we will bring to the team, which I feel will help us tremendously in competing for the Women's World Cup."
The U.S. ISDE team has also designated a Senior Club Team of veterans from the club team members. This year, the Senior Club Team will include Billy Burns; Jeff Fredette.; and Ron Schmelzl.
Riders at the ISDE compete in one of three displacement classes: the E1 class, which features 100cc to 125cc two-stroke and 175cc to 250cc four-stroke motorcycles; the E2 class, which features 175cc to 250cc two-stroke and 290cc to 450cc four-stroke motorcycles; and the E3 class, which features 290cc to 500cc two-stroke and 475cc to 650cc four-stroke motorcycles.
While the Trophy Team, the Women's World Cup Team and the Junior Trophy Team are a critical piece of the U.S. effort, they are a small number of the U.S. riders who make the trek to the annual event.
"Our expectations for Germany are strong," said the AMA's Weir. "We have talented riders on every level - on the club teams as well as the Trophy Teams. U.S. off-road racing fans and riders will have a lot to be excited about this September."
Club teams this year include the Wellard Team (Jordan Brandt, Johnny Barber and Fred Hoess); GoFasters.com (Nick Canny, Zach Klamfoth and John Maier); the Boise Ridge Riders (Devan Bolin, Reid Brown and Derek Steahly); the Tony Agonis team (Nicholas Hamill, Michael Jolly and Joshua Knight); and the Missouri Mudders (Scott Bright, Brian Storrie and Chris Storrie).
The Senior Club Team of Burns, Fredette and Schmelzle will compete as Team JAFMAR.
Weir also thanked longtime World Trophy Team Captain Destry Abbott, who is not on the team this year, for his many years representing the United States at Six Days.
"With Destry paring back his competitive schedule, we'll miss him in the competition in 2012," Weir said. "However, I'm pleased to report that Destry remains very much a part of the U.S. ISDE effort. Destry will go to Germany as our pre-rider and will provide invaluable intelligence to our riders this year.”
The AMA's ISDE effort would be impossible without the support of various companies. In addition to riders' individual manufacturer and product sponsors, direct team sponsors include Arai, Spectro, Motion Pro, Wellard and Worldwide Materials Handling.
America's motorcyclists can help support the U.S. ISDE team by buying an official U.S. ISDE T-shirt. All proceeds support the effort to transport the riders, bikes and crew to and from Germany. To buy a shirt, and to get more information about the U.S. ISDE effort, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/racing/internationalcompetition/isde.