The American Motorcyclist Association has selected some of the fastest youth motocross racers in the country to compete at the 2013 FIM Junior Motocross World Championships Aug. 10-11 in Jinin, Czech Republic.
Multiple riders have been selected for each class -- 65cc, 85cc and 125cc -- to attempt to regain the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme world title that the U.S. team relinquished last year in Bulgaria, where it finished third after winning the title in 2010 in France and 2011 in Italy.
This year's 10- to 12-year-old 65cc class racers are Max Miller from Springfield, Ore.; Aiden Tijero from Danville, Calif.; and Ty Masterpool out of Paradise, Texas. All three riders will compete aboard KTM
Orange Brigade machines.
Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki rider Sean Cantrell from Newbury Park, Calif.; Bonamigo Suzuki-mounted Michael Mosiman from Seabastopol, Calif.; Rock River Racing star Chase Sexton from La Moille, Ill.; and KTM Orange Brigade rider Mitchel Falk from Carlsbad, Calif., will represent the United States in the 11- to 14-year-old 85cc ranks. Mosiman is racing for the team for the second time, hoping to improve on his top-10 finish in Italy in 2011.
In the 13- to 17-year-old 125cc class is Jarek Balkovic from Camp Hill, Pa., on his Cernics Racing Yamaha
. Alongside Balkovic, and also on Yamahas, are Rock River Racing riders Cole Barbieri from Ukiah, Calif., and Tristan Charboneau from Tenino, Wash. Alexander Frye from Huntington, Md., will compete on an Orange Brigade KTM machine. Returning for his second time is Josh Mosiman from Seabastopol, Calif., aboard his Bonamigo Suzuki. Mosiman's outstanding performance in 2010 propelled the team to a World Championship in France.
Two-time AMA Amateur National Motocross Champion Frye says he is ready for the challenge.
"I am very honored to be a part of Team USA this year," Frye said. "I cannot thank the AMA and [AMA Motocross Manager] Kip Bigelow enough for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is a brand-new experience for me, so I am excited to see how well we will work together as a team. To be selected out of hundreds of kids to represent the United States is like a dream come true. I'm very thankful and blessed to be awarded this opportunity."
Chase Sexton, 2011 85cc 9-11 AMA Amateur National Motocross champion, will lead the 85cc class in hopes of recapturing the World Team title.
"To be selected for the Junior Motocross World Championship is a huge honor," Sexton said. "To get to go race with kids in my class from different countries is awesome. I have been training hard and I feel ready for the heat and track conditions, and ready to bring home gold for the United States!"
KTM North America's Amateur Motocross Support Coordinator Mike Sleeter will serve as co-team manager and organize the team's efforts. Sleeter, a racer himself who also won a title at the 2012 AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships, brings years of amateur and professional racing experience and will be instrumental in the success of the team.
"It's an honor to be able to work with top American amateur riders and families to accomplish their goals of becoming the next MX/SX star," Sleeter said. "I believe with the track record of riders who have attended the FIM Junior Motocross World Championships, it speaks volumes on the caliber of riders that attend this event. Being selected for this event leads me to believe that these select riders are well on their way to being the next superstars of the sport. We have a very strong team this year, and I look forward to the challenge and task of bringing back the title to the United States."
The team will also have on board the services of Jeff Cernic as co-manager. Cernic is owner of Cernic's Racing and longtime amateur motocross supporter. He has an abundance of success on his resume, including supporting Travis Pastrana in his amateur motocross racing days.
The AMA's Bigelow, who also serves as the FIM Team Jury Delegate, said that the team is looking forward to re-creating the success it experienced in 2010 and 2011 and would like to look past last year's podium finish.
"This is the fourth year the AMA has put in the effort to bring a team overseas for this event, 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 and most recently 2013 Supercross Rookie of the Year Joey Savatgy in Italy in 2012 -- our primary goal is to bring home the Team World Championship for the United States. Without question, our amateur motocross program in America produces some of the best young racers in the world. I'm extremely proud to be a part of this program that provides the riders and the families with this exceptional experience."
The riders will keep fans informed with daily updates on the team's Facebook page and Twitter accounts. Those on location during the weekend will upload photos throughout the week on their Instagram account as well.
If you would like to support the Junior World Motocross U.S. team, you can do so by buying a team t-shirt, available on the AMA website at www.americanmotorcyclist.com