The American Motorcyclist Association has announced the U.S. Trophy Team that will take on the world at the 2008 International Six Days Enduro in Serres, Greece.
For the 83rd ISDE, the following riders will contest the World Trophy Team Championship for Team USA : Destry Abbott, Kurt Caselli, Ricky Dietrich, Jimmy Jarrett, Nathan Kanney and Nathan Woods.
"We are extremely honored to have riders of this caliber representing the United States at the ISDE," said AMA Off-Road Racing Director Chuck Weir. "Thanks to new selection procedures this year, we're able to name our Trophy Team much earlier than in the past. This not only allows us to field our best riders, but it gives everyone involved an opportunity to be as prepared as possible to represent the United States at this storied international event."
One veteran on Team USA this year will be the 35-year-old Abbott, who is contesting the AMA FMF Racing National Hare & Hound Series for Monster Energy Kawasaki. The four-time AMA National Hare & Hound Champion is a two-time ISDE Gold Medalist and will be representing the United States on the Trophy Team for the fourth time. It will be his fifth time competing in the event.
"The team is very prepared this year. All six of us are committed and see this as a true team effort. We want to do what's best for the team and we're going to do whatever it takes," said Abbott, who is planning to ride a Kawasaki KX450.
Jimmy Jarrett, 31, also brings several years of experience to the team. Jarrett races off-road events for Team FMF Suzuki. This will be the Ohioan's fifth year representing the United States on the Trophy Team.
"It's really cool for riders of different teams here in the U.S. to come together for this event," said Jarrett, who is planning to ride a Suzuki RM250 in the ISDE. "It doesn't matter what kind of bike you're riding or who you race for here. When we go to the ISDE, we're all riding for one team, one goal."
On the other end of the ISDE-experience spectrum is the team's ISDE rookie, Nathan Woods. The 30-year-old races off-road for Team FMF Suzuki and competes in the AMA Endurocross series.
"I'm really looking forward to the ISDE format. I'm looking at it like a great trail ride with a race in between it all. Then going to a different country, riding different terrain and meeting different people, it's going to be awesome," said Woods, who expects to ride a fuel-injected RMZ450 at the ISDE. "We have a great chance this year. We have the talent. We have the drive. We're not going to get second place. Our goal is to win."
Probably the most decorated rider returning to the team is Caselli. The 24-year-old, who races off-road events for Red Bull KTM, led the ISDE overall during a significant portion of last year's event in La Serena , Chile , and ultimately won the E3 class. In 2006, Caselli also was a member of the championship Junior Trophy Team. This will be Caselli's second time representing the United States on the Trophy Team.
Ricky Dietrich, 20, joined Caselli on the championship 2006 Junior Trophy Team and currently races off-road events for Monster Energy Kawasaki. This will be Dietrich's first time representing the United States on the Trophy Team and his second time at the ISDE.
Nathan Kanney, 25, is currently contesting the AMA Grand National Cross Country series for Red Bull KTM. Kanney is an experienced ISDE and World Enduro Championship rider.
The Trophy Team is one of three premier teams that represent the United States at the ISDE. The Trophy Team features six riders who compete in all three displacement classes that contest the ISDE: the E1 class, which features 100cc to 125cc two-stroke and 175cc to 250cc four-stroke motorcycles; the E2 class, which features 175cc to 250cc two-stroke and 290cc to 450cc four-stroke motorcycles; and the E3 class, which features 290cc to 500cc two-stroke and 475cc to 650cc four-stroke motorcycles.
The other premier teams are the Junior Trophy Team, which fields four riders younger than 23 years old, competing in a minimum of two classes, and the Women's Trophy Team, which fields three riders.
While the Trophy Team, the Junior Trophy Team and the Women's Trophy Team are a critical part of the U.S. effort at the ISDE, they are only a small part of the entire U.S. contingent that makes the trek to the annual event. Dozens of club teams, to be partially determined this year by qualifier events on May 3 and 4 in New Lisbon, N.J., and May 31 and June 1 in Idaho City, Idaho, will also represent the United States at the 2008 ISDE.
While the riders are clearly the most important part of the ISDE program, it wouldn't happen without a solid group of dedicated sponsors. Some of the companies who are making Team USA a possibility in 2008 are: Arai Helmets, Spectro Lubricants, Kenda Tires, Bob Lamphere's Beaverton Honda Yamaha, MSR/Tucker Rocky and Mountain Glass.
Everyone can help support Team USA and look good while doing it by buying an official Team USA ISDE T-Shirt. All the proceeds help get the riders, bikes and crew to Greece (and back). To buy a shirt, just visit www.AMADirectlink.com, click on Gift Shop, then select Apparel.