Even before there were official AMA named MXDN teams, American riders were joining forces to race the Motocross des Nations in the name of their country. But, in 1972 Team USA became official—and for the first seven years (1972 to 1978) Team USA held its own, finishing second overall in 1974 and again in 1977. The big names during that first seven year span were Jim Pomeroy (four times), Tony DiStefano (four times), (Brad Lackey (three times), Kent Howerton (three times) and Jimmy Weinert (two times).

Brad Lackey led Team USA in 1972 because he and Jim Pomeroy were based in Europe, while Jimmy Weinert and Gary Jones came over from the AMA Nationals.

Tony DiStefano raced on four Motocross des Nations teams including two that shocked the Euros when the fledgling American team finished second overall in 1974 and 1977.

Then there were two embarrassing years where the AMA had no interest in fielding a team and the USA was not at the MXDN in 1979 or 1980. That is when MXA stepped in and began selling MXDN T-shirts to finance the 1981 team, but the fund raising hit a snag when none of the major American stars agreed to go (and we mean none of them). Finally, MXA approached Honda team manager Roger DeCoster and asked him if he would send an all-Honda team of Chuck Sun, Danny LaPorte, Johnny O’Mara, Donnie Hansen to the 1981 MXDN—and the rest is history as Team USA won the MXDN for the first time. The AMA still wasn’t interested for 1982 and MXA told DeCoster that he could send his 1982 team of Danny Chandler, Jim Gibson, Johnny O’Mara and David Bailey. They won again and the AMA suddenly took notice and agreed to help with the team in 1983.

In 1981, with money raised from MXA selling Motocross des Nations T-shirts, Roger DeCoster agreed to send Team Honda to represent the USA. The winning riders were Johnny O’Mara, and Chuck Sun (top row) and Danny LaPorte and Donnie Hansen (bottom row),

Because of Honda’s willingness to send their riders in 1981, they were asked to do the same thing in 1982 as a reward for supporting Team USA when no one else would. David Bailey, Johnny O’Mara, Danny Chandler and Jim Gibson won in 1982. 

David Bailey would race on Team USA for five straight winning years—from 1982 to 1986.

If Bailey’s five MXDN wins were impressive, Jeff Ward (1) would win seven times (1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990).

Team USA won 13 times in a row from 1981 to 1993 and then, surprisingly, didn’t win again until 2000 when Ryan Hughes, Travis Pastrana and Ricky Carmichael won in France. However, following the World Trade Center attack in 2001 and travel restrictions lingering from 9-11-01, Team USA did not field a team for 2001 or 2002. In 1983, Ryan Hughes, Ricky Carmichael and Tim Ferry finished second in Zolder, Belgium, behind the home team of Stefan Everts, Joel Smets and Steve Ramon.

Once there were three major post season competitions for national teams. The Motocross des Nations (500cc), Trophee des Nations (250cc) and Coupe des Nations (125cc)

As shocking as it sounds, in 2004 the AMA plead poverty, the factory riders weren’t interested and the teams felt that the cost were getting out of hand. The result? No Team USA in 2004.

Ricky Carmichael first joined Team USA in 1998 and would anchor the team six times. He won three times and had to sit out three years in his MXDN prime in 2001, 2002 and 2004.

Ryan Dungey raced the MXDN from 2009 to 2014—winning in 2009, 2010 and 2011, while finishing third in 2012, second in 2013 and third in 2014.

The 2011 team of Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto and Blake Baggett were the last winning American team until 2022.

Team USA has raced the MXDN 43 three times. They won 23 of them, which is over 50% of the events they entered. They also podiumed 34 times, which is 80% of the races they raced. And, of course they lost some to faster competition, crashes and mechanical failures—like when Cole Seely’s rear shock went flat in 2017. 

In 2005 the riders felt embarassed by what had happened in 2004 and with the guidance of Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey, Team USA ripped off seven straight victories from 2005 to 2011. And then the drought return from 2012 to 2019 (and because of Covid-19 and travel restriction there was no American team in 2020 or 2021). Which catches us up to this weekend at Red Bud, where Team USA won for the 23rd time.

podium 2022 Red Bud Motocross Des NationsEli Tomac, Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton share the 2022 MXDN podium with Team France (left) and Team Australia (right).


1972…7…Brad Lackey, Jim Pomeroy, Jimmy Weinert, Gary Jones
1973…4…Jim Pomeroy, Mike Hartwig, John DeSoto
1974…2…Brad Lackey, Jim Pomeroy, Jimmy Weinert, Tony DiStefano
1975…9…Brad Lackey, Jim Pomeroy, Kent Howerton, Tony DiStefano
1976…5…Bob Hannah, Rex Staten, Kent Howerton, Tony DiStefano
1977…2…Steve Stackable, Gary Semics, Kent Howerton, Tony DiStefano
1978…4…Bob Hannah, Chuck Sun, Rick Burgett, Tommy Croft
1979…no team
1980…no team
1981…1…Chuck Sun, Danny LaPorte, Johnny O’Mara, Donnie Hansen
1982…1…Danny Chandler, Jim Gibson, Johnny O’Mara, David Bailey
1983…1…Broc Glover, Jeff Ward, Marc Barnett, David Bailey
1984…1…David Bailey, Johnny O’Mara, Jeff Ward, Ricky Johnson
1985…1…Ron Lechien, Jeff Ward, David Bailey
1986…1…Johnny O’Mara, Ricky Johnson, David Bailey
1987…1…Bob Hannah, Ricky Johnson, Jeff Ward
1988…1…Jeff Ward, Ricky Johnson, Ron Lechien
1989…1…Mike Kiedrowski, Jeff Stanton, Jeff Ward
1990…1…Damon Bradshaw, Jeff Stanton, Jeff Ward
1991…1…Mike Kiedrowski, Damon Bradshaw, Jeff Stanton
1992…1…Jeff Emig, Mike LaRocco, Billy Liles
1993…1…Jeff Emig, Jeremy McGrath, Mike Kiedrowski
1994…2…Jeff Emig, Mike Kiedrowski, Mike LaRocco
1995…2…Steve Lamson, Jeff Emig, Ryan Hughes
1996…1…Steve Lamson, Jeremy McGrath, Jeff Emig
1997…8…John Dowd, Jeff Emig, Steve Lamson
1998…5…John Dowd, Doug Henry, Ricky Carmichael
1999…4…Mike LaRocco, Kevin Windham, Ricky Carmichael
2000…1…Ryan Hughes, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana
2001…no team (September 11)
2002…no team (Comp Park cancellation—downsized race held two months later in Italy)
2003…2…Ricky Carmichael. Ryan Hughes, Tim Ferry
2004…no team
2005…1…Ricky Carmichael, Kevin Windham,Ivan Tedesco
2006…1…James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Ivan Tedesco
2007…1…Ricky Carmichael / Ryan Villopoto / Tim Ferry
2008…1…James Stewart, Ryan Villopoto, Tim Ferry
2009…1…Ivan Tedesco, Ryan Dungey, Jake Weimer
2010…1…Trey Canard, Ryan Dungey, Andrew Short
2011…1…Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey, Blake Baggett
2012…3…Ryan Dungey, Blake Baggett, Justin Barcia
2013…2…Eli Tomac, Ryan Dungey, Justin Barcia
2014…3…Eli Tomac, Ryan Dungey, Jeremy Martin
2015…2…Jeremy Martin, Cooper Webb, Jason Anderson
2016…3…Alex Martin, Cooper Webb, Jason Anderson
2017…3…Zach Osborne, Cole Seely, Thomas Covington
2018…5…Eli Tomac, Aaron Plessinger, Justin Barcia
2019…6…Zach Osborne, Justin Cooper, Jason Anderson
2020…no team (Canceled Covid-19)
2021…no team (Canceled Covid-19)
2022…1… Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton, Justin Cooper

You might also like

Comments are closed.