The AMA has selected some of the fastest youth motocross racers in the country to compete at the 2014 FIM Jr. Motocross World Championship, scheduled for August 9-10 in Bastogne, Belgium.
Three riders have been selected for each class - 65cc, 85cc and 125cc - to attempt to retain the World Championship that the U.S. team won last year in the Czech Republic. It was the U.S. team's third title, following championships in 2011 in Italy and 2010 in France. In 2012 in Bulgaria, the U.S. team finished third.
"We've been working hard to assemble a strong team to represent U.S. motocross in Belgium this summer," said AMA Motocross Manager Kip Bigelow. "Success at this event is a major accomplishment for these young riders, and it gives them incomparable experience as they prepare to launch their professional racing careers. We sincerely appreciate the level at which the riders, their families and the industry support this effort."
This year's 10- to 12-year-old 65cc class team members include Jeremy Ryan from Santa Nella, Calif., and Carter Biese from Appleton, Wis. Both Ryan and Biese compete on KTM Orange Brigade machines. Also racing in this class will be Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider Jett Reynolds from Bakersfield, Calif.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green rider Garrett Marchbanks from Coalville, Utah, and KTM Orange Brigade team members Conner Mullennix from Santee, Calif., and Brock Papi from McMurray, Pa., will represent the United States in the 11- to 14-year-old 85cc ranks. Mullennix is rejoining the team for the second time in hopes of improving on his 2012 fourth-place finish in the 65cc class in Bulgaria.
"I was so honored to be chosen as a rider for the U.S. team for the FIM Jr. Motocross World Championship," Marchbanks said. "It will be an awesome experience to race against kids from other countries. We hope to bring home the gold!"
In the 13- to 17-year-old 125cc class, FMF Orange Brigade Factory Service KTM team riders Michael Mosiman from Sebastopol, Calif., and Alexander Frye from Huntingtown, Md., will lead the U.S. charge alongside Yamaha-mounted rider Cole Barbieri from Ukiah, Calif. Both Frye and Barbieri are returning to the team for the second time.
"It is an honor to be selected to represent the United States at the 2014 FIM Jr. Motocross World Championship," Frye said. "I cannot thank the AMA and Kip Bigelow enough for this opportunity to compete against the fastest amateur motocross champions in the world. There are many new faces on the team this year and a few experienced members. We have already begun training to bring home another world championship."
Mosiman is representing the United States for the third time. In 2013, he competed in the 85cc class, laying down the fastest lap time in qualifying,
"I am excited and honored to be a part of the U.S. team in Belgium later this year," Mosiman said. "I demonstrated I had the speed last year, but bike problems and bad luck in the racing held me back from achieving my full potential. The cool part about the Jr. World Championship is that it's a team event. With our strong team, I am confident we can bring home the championship and the glory that comes with it."
KTM North America's FMF Orange Brigade KTM Lites Team Manager James Coy will serve as the manager for the U.S. team's FIM Jr. World Championship effort. Coy has worked as a factory mechanic for professional riders such as Travis Pastrana and Ivan Tedesco, and he will surely be instrumental in the success of the team.
"I am very excited to be part of the U.S. team for the FIM Jr. Motocross World Championship," Coy said. "It is an honor to help these amazing young riders as they race for the prestigious task of representing the United States on a global level in Belgium. Everyone involved will be going there with the intention of demonstrating that the United States has the best amateur riders in the world. I also expect that we will accomplish the task of winning this celebrated event and continue to show the world what they can expect of the next generation of American riders."
The team support crew also includes Jeff Cernic and Josh Mosiman, brother of team rider Michael Mosiman. Cernic, owner of Cernic's Racing and longtime amateur motocross supporter, has an abundance of success on his resume, including supporting Travis Pastrana in his amateur motocross racing days. Mosiman is owner of Super Sketch apparel and a racer himself. He brings four years of experience with the U.S. team, both as a racer and a member of the support crew.
The AMA's Bigelow, also an FIM team jury delegate, said that the team is looking forward to re-creating the success it experienced in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
"This is the fifth year the AMA has put in the effort to bring a team overseas, and with the depth of our team I expect a strong showing," Bigelow said. "While in the past American riders have won individual titles, such as Ryan Villopoto in Italy in 2003, Blake Wharton in Bulgaria in 2007, Eli Tomac in New Zealand in 2009, Jake Pinhancos in France in 2010, Joey Savatgy in Italy in 2011, and most recently Aiden Tijero in Czech Republic in 2013, our primary goal is to bring home the overall team championship.
"Without question, our amateur motocross program in America produces some of the best young racers in the world," Bigelow added. "I'm proud to be a part of this program and to be able to help provide the riders and the families with this exceptional experience."