The AMA has assembled a team of the best youth motocross racers in the world to represent the United States at the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) Junior Motocross Championships in Cingoli, Italy, on Aug. 13-14. The U.S. team will defend the World Championship it won last year in France.
Gabriel Jairala from San Antonio, Texas, and Derek Drake from San Luis Obispo, Calif., will compete in the 65cc class riding KTM 65s. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green riders Mark Worth from Queen Creek, Ariz., and Chase Bell from Cairo, Ga., will race 85cc bikes. In the 125cc class, the United States will be represented by Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider Joey Savatgy from Thomasville, Ga., and Yamaha amateur support rider Chris Alldredge from Powell Butte, Ore.
Kawasaki Team Green Motocross Supervisor Ryan Holiday will coordinate the U.S. team's efforts as team manager.
In addition to the official team riders, other American riders will participate in the event, as well. Those riders include Josh and Michael Mosiman from Sebastopol, Calif. Josh will race in the 125cc class and Michael will compete in the 85cc class.
"Last year was the first time the United States fielded a complete team for this event, and it was an unbelievable experience for these youngsters and their families," said AMA Motocross Manager Kip Bigelow.
Bigelow noted that while American riders have won individual World Championships in youth motocross -- Ryan Villopoto in Italy in 2003, Blake Wharton in Bulgaria in 2007 and Eli Tomac in New Zealand in 2009 -- 2010 was the first year the team brought home the overall team title.
"Of course, Jake Pinhancos, from Massachusetts, won an overall last year, and that was a masterful accomplishment, but standing on the podium with 'The Star-Spangled Banner' playing, realizing that the United States had just fielded the best youth amateur motocross team in the world and beat out 33 other countries present, was an experience like no other," Bigelow said. "I had no doubt in my mind that we would find the support to defend our title this year. Thanks to backing from the AMA and FIM North America, this will be another fantastic adventure for these riders and their families."
Returning to the world event in the 125cc class for the U.S. team is last years' class runner-up, Joey Savatgy. Savatgy says he has some unfinished business to attend to as he nearly won an individual World Championship in 2010.
"Last year was incredible," Savatgy said. "It was sick to be part of the winning team. I got to hang out with some pretty cool people last year and I'm hoping to see them again this year. Racing against the top competitors in the world really opened my eyes to the level of talent that is out there. I am looking forward to working with the other members of the U.S. Junior Team to defend our gold metal this year in Italy."
As a team manager, Holiday brings a long list of championships earned under the Monster Energy Team Green tent and will surely be instrumental in the success of the team.
"The opportunity to help some of our top amateur riders represent the United States is very exciting," Holiday said. "I've always been a big fan of international motocross and the Motocross of Nations, so being part of this will be a lot of fun. Our team is strong and hopefully we can establish a winning tradition for the U.S. Junior Motocross Team at this event."
The AMA will hold a fund-raising auction in July for the team. Look for details on the AMA website, AmericanMotorcyclist.com, in the near future. If you would like to donate to the U.S. Junior World Motocross effort, contact Kip Bigelow at firstname.lastname@example.org.