During the post-race press conference following the 2017 Washougal MX, round nine of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Eli Tomac was asked if he would participate on behalf of Team USA at the 2017 Motocross of Nations. In response, Tomac said that he will opt out of racing the international event at Matterley Basin. This has been a widely discussed topic in the sport for the past few weeks, as the American team has taken a hit due to injuries, and the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider’s decision is another blow.

This is not the first time that Tomac has turned down the invitation, as he cited a lengthy race schedule as the reason in 2016 (Monster Energy Supercross Series, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, two rounds of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship, Monster Energy Cup).

Tomac represented the United States at the Motocross of Nations twice before, first as the MX2 rider in 2013 and the Open rider in 2014. He suffered from crashes at both events but displayed incredible speed with come from behind rides.

We spoke with Roger DeCoster at the 2017 Spring Creek MX about the race and at the time it was clear that he felt Tomac would not line up. Although nothing has been announced, popular opinion in the pit area is the team should be made up by Zach Osborne in the 250/MX2 division alongside Jason Anderson in 450/MXGP and perhaps Cooper Webb in the 450/MX3 slot. The team will likely be announced at the 2017 Unadilla MX, the next round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.