A captivated audience of fans from 10 different countries will visit The Dirt Track at Charlotte for this weekend's high-octane Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas, the East Coast's only world championship motocross showdown among the best riders from the United States and Europe.

Here's a breakdown of notable news items heading into the Sept. 2-3 event:

  • WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THE BALANCE: There's a great chance of the MXGP and MX2 world championships being decided this weekend at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Slovenian Tim Gajser looks to clinch his first MXGP crown in his rookie season, but he'll have to fend off Italian Tony Cairoli to do so. Gajser enters the weekend with a comfortable 65-point lead over his closest rival. Jeffrey Herlings has dominated much of the MX2 season, and the Dutch rider has his focus squarely set on two celebrations while at Charlotte: a Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas win and the MX2 championship trophy. Herlings will have a 76-point advantage over Switzerland's Jeremy Seewer when the gate drops on the first of two motos.
  • AMERICA VS EUROPE: Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac - one of the United States' biggest stars on two wheels - headlines a highly skilled roster of American MXGP riders which also includes JGRMX Yamaha standout Justin Barcia. Tomac and Barcia will have their work cut out for them when they take on the first-of-its-kind SuperCourse built by accomplished track designer Justin Barclay, but at the very least they'll be playing the equivalent of a home game. On the MX2 side, Morehead City, North Carolina, native Cooper Webb will join fellow American Thomas Covington in defending U.S. soil against European competitors like Herlings and Seewer.
  • GLOBAL AUDIENCE, GLOBAL FIELD: Dirt-bike enthusiasts from 10 different countries will converge on The Dirt Track at Charlotte over the weekend to witness the wheel-to-wheel, aerobatic excitement of riders from 18 different countries fighting for MXGP glory. While taking in the thrilling sights, sounds and smells that will come from the hulking, one-mile SuperCourse, the international crowd will also get to see a Harley-Davidson smoke show and a Monster Energy FMX stunt exhibition.

  • NEW BIKES: Russian Team HRC rider Evgeny Bobryshev will debut the 2017 Honda bike during the Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas. Yamaha's 2017 challenger will also be put through its paces over the weekend, with legendary rider and Charlotte, North Carolina, native Damon "The Beast from the East" Bradshaw squeezing the throttle on the new bike during Ride Day on Sunday.

  • KICKOFFS: 2006 Bank of America 500 pole winner Scott Riggs, who also claimed the 1986 North Carolina AMA title, was the first man to test the MXGP course on Tuesday. Fellow North Carolinian Webb will take part in a ceremonial gate drop event with JGRMX team boss Coy Gibbs on Thursday at 1 p.m.

Single-day tickets start at $30 plus tax for Friday and $49 plus tax for Saturday. Call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online to buy tickets and paddock passes.

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