As we sit one week removed from the 2016 Motocross Of Nations (MXoN for short) team USA is once again left to ask themselves…What happened? The team of riders featuring Cooper Webb and Jason Anderson in the MX1 class, and Alex Martin riding in the MX2 class, seemed to have the odds stacked against them from the start by drawing the 15th gate position into the Saturday qualifiers. Through pure grit and determination team USA fought to qualify for the A main on Sunday. However, the effort would cost Factory Husqvarna rider Jason Anderson a broken left metatarsal bone in his left foot.
Sunday was perhaps one of the wackiest MXoN A mains that we have ever seen. Team USA entered the event Sunday poised to end the five year winless drought in what seemed to be Cinderella fashion. Jason Anderson would pull a holeshot and lead the whole second moto. However in one of the most bizarre events in MXoN history, Anderson was landed on by a lapped rider while celebrating his win as he crossed the finish line. The crash was a scary one. Anderson seemed to be instantly knocked unconscious as he fell to the ground off of his motorcycle.
As any fan of the sport knows, this unfortunate event eventually would be the main cause that would lead to the loss for team USA. MXoN is a unique event for our sport. It is as close to the olympics that our sport will ever get. The main spectacle of the event is that riders from all over the world are featured, and compete against each other to claim bragging rights for their countries. This spectacle however is also the sports downfall. When you put these riders from other countries that do not have the racing experience that the pros that race MXGP, and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. This vast difference in experience in the field not only makes it dramatic but also dangerous.
Knowing this, Jason Anderson should have never rolled the finish line jump. It is hard to place all of the blame on the Japanese rider that landed on him from behind. Personally I place the blame at 30% Anderson and 70% lapped rider. I will end on this note: If Anderson would have celebrated the win by whipping over the finish line, perhaps the MXoN would have been different this year…