Following discussions between the ACU and team manager Neil Prince, the 2014 Motocross of Nations British team has been announced. Controversially they have selected Shaun Simpson, Tommy Searle and Dean Wilson to represent Great Britain in Latvia on September 28.
Shaun Simpson will take on the MXGP class, Tommy Searle drops into MX2 and Dean Wilson will be on a 450 in MX3.
The ACU and Neil Prince believe these riders will be able to challenge USA, Belgium, Germany, France, Holland and other top nations at the highly anticipated event next month.
Dean Wilson said: “I’m very happy to be part of Team GB, it feels good just to be healthy again and slowly getting back to my form. MX des Nations is my favourite event of the year and I missed the last two years with injury, so I’m really chuffed to be back on it!
“We have a solid team so I think we can put it on the box! I would have rather raced the 250 but due to shipping costs it just wasn’t feasible so I will be on a 450 in the MX3 class running the #18… can’t wait!!”
The Team announcement hasn’t been without some controversy. Steve Dixon, Team boss at Bike It Yamaha Cosworth vented his disappointment at the handling of the selection. He took to social media to claim that Max Anstie was told on Sunday he was in the team on either 250 or 450, only to find out by text message after the story had broken on the Web that Max had been left out.
“Well I must I say it was nice for Max to be told by Princey he was in the team on Sunday 250 or 450 and then to find out by txt after it was on the internet that he wasn’t!. Then I quit being manager because they would not support bringing Wilson over!! So whilst the riders are good that are going there are strange reasons!! we told Prince we were testing at the British and were waiting on a part to be made. Yes the bike has been pushed back but that is development of a new bike, but having been on the podium more than any other British rider this year and having won the hardest and most demanding gp of the year on Bike and rider I think we deserve some credit. I like and respect all 3 riders and wish them luck but its typical ACU again. Take an injured rider put him in a class he’s not riding and then take another rider and put him on a class he is not riding and not take Britain’s only winner!! The race is in end of September!!” – Steve Dixon
Max has given his full support to the team on Twitter, saying: “disappointed not to be representing at #MXoN but I know #TEAMGB @shaunsimpson24 @tommysearle100 @DeanWilson15 are gonna get us on the box
disappointed not to be representing at #MXoN but I know #TEAMGB @shaunsimpson24 @tommysearle100 @DeanWilson15 are gonna get us on the box
– Max Anstie (@MaxAnstie) August 13, 2014
Marc De Reuver has offered his support to Max and apparently thinks the decision to leave him out of Team GB is “#strange”.
Love or hate @MaxAnstie but this boi deserve to ride the MX2 class for his country at the #mxon in Latvia if you ask me… #strange
– Marc de Reuver (@MarcDeReuver) August 12, 2014
The USA team looks strong even without Ryan Villopoto – they have selected three in-form racers: Ryan Dungey, which will surprise some that he’s made himself available, Eli Tomac – who’s been impressing in the US Outdoors 450 class and 250 class top dog Jeremy Martin.
Team GB’s last MXdN victory came 20 years ago and the three riders that got the job done in 1994 were Kurt Nicholl, Rob Herring and Paul Malin.
Can Tommy Searle, Shaun Simpson and Dean Wilson get on the podium or perhaps even take victory this year? Is this the correct Team GB in your opinion or should Max be in? If so, who would be dropped? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.
Update: August 12, 17:30
Official press release
The ACU Motocross Department are delighted to announce the team for this year’s Motocross of Nations, which is being held at Kegums in Latvia on the 27th and 28th September. Team Manager Neil Prince has enlisted the services of Shaun Simpson, Tommy Searle and Dean Wilson to represent Team GB at the 2014 event. With a strong group of riders to select from, Prince has had some tough decisions to make in recent weeks.
The newly crowned MX1 British Champion Shaun Simpson who currently sits fifth in the World MXGP Championship will be leading the team in the MX1 class. Simpson has been in great form this season and will be pushing for a strong result at Kegums.
Tommy Searle will be taking full advantage of there being no age limit for the MX2 class at the MXON and will line up on aboard a Monster Energy CLS Kawasaki 250f against Italy’s Tony Cairoli and USA’s Jeremy Martin in the MX2 class. Tommy’s previous experience in the MX2 class where he has finished runner up in the World MX2 Championship in 2007, 2008, and 2012 will prove vital to the team.
Returning to the Team GB squad is Dean Wilson who will be riding in the Open class aboard a Kawasaki 450f with the help and support of KRT. Wilson who has missed the last two MXON events due to injury will return following a strong season in the AMA Championship, Wilson is in good form going into the event.
Speaking about the team selection Team Manager Neil Prince said “Realistically the final choice was between four riders and I am sure everyone connected can see that. Sometimes it is necessary to take a chance to try and gain a podium position as we did when we last won at Roggenberg. We all know that Max (Anstie) has the speed but equally his current machines reliability is questionable and whilst I understand the bike is still under development we have to make sure we get five good race results in Latvia. With Dean Wilson having access to full KRT machinery the decision was easier to make. As expected, Max has been a true professional when he was told and I respect him tremendously for that.”
ACU MXC Chairman expanded by saying, “The MXC entrusted Neil with the job of selecting the final team and obviously we stand by his decision. He has kept us informed along the way of his thought process and when you have four equally talented riders picking three is always going to be difficult. With the support of Kawasaki and Steve Gutteridge, I am convinced we have a realistic podium opportunity with Dean and the speed of Shaun and Tommy at GP level has already been proven.”
The Team GB Squad will be hoping to make the podium at this year’s event after just missing out in recent seasons, and with such a strong line up the team must have a strong chance.