The 2012 Motocross of Nations is coming the weekend of September 29 and 30 in Lommel, Belgium. Here is a look back at last year’s event in France …
Team USA has won the 2011 Motocross of Nations here in St. Jean d’Angely, France. With the win in this 65th edition of the MX of Nations, Team USA riders Ryan Dungey, Blake Baggett, and Ryan Villopoto, along with team manger Roger De Coster, take home the coveted Chamberlain Trophy.
Team France finished second, with team members Christophe Pourcel, Marvin Musquin, and Gautier Paulin. Australia finished third with Reed, Metcalfe and Moss.
The French fans turned out in huge numbers, and were very enthusiastic for their riders. The track was very difficult, with lots of steep climbs and lots of stones underneath the top soil. Combine the stones with some rain at times, which made the track slick, many riders had vision and goggle problems during the day.
Champagne time for USA, France, and Australia at the 2011 Motocross of Nations in France!
Marvin Musquin and Gautier Paulin of Team France wave to the enthusiastic home crowd
Race 1: MX1 and MX2
Race 1 was MX1 and MX2 classes combined. MX1 World Motocross Champion Tony Cairoli of Italy was involved in a first turn crash. At the same time, Australian Chad Reed emerged with the lead, and took the green and gold colors of Australia to the moto win. Meanwhile, Cairoli eventually would go out of the race with another problem. Ryan Dungey of the USA was second for a while, with MX2 World MX Champion Ken Roczen in third.
There was a heavy rain shower in the middle of this race, and Ken Roczen must like riding in the rain and mud – because his lap times improved dramatically, and even on the 250cc machine, he passed Ryan Dungey. The finish saw Chad Reed first, Ken Roczen second, and Ryan Dungey third. Team USA’s Blake Baggett had a tough time with the rain, the track, and then riding with no goggles.
Race 2: MX2 and Open
The home crowd of France had much to cheer about with Gautier Paulin getting the holeshot. Midway thru the first lap Gautier was passed by Jeffrey Herlings of the Netherlands, who is riding the KTM 350 as an ‘Open’ rider. Eventually Gautier would repass Herlings for the lead. Meanwhile, Ken Roczen would settle into third, another great ride as the top 250cc rider (MX2).
Meanwhile, Villopoto and Roczen would battle almost the entire moto, putting on a great show for the crowd. They passed and repassed each other, with Villopoto eventually coming out on top. The French crowd went crazy with their racer Gautier Paulin winning this race. Herlings second, Villopoto third, Roczen fourth.
Race 3: MX1 and Open
Russia ace Evgeny Bobryshev led coming out of the first corner. Ryan Villopoto of USA second, teammate Ryan Dungey third. Villopoto moves past as they start the second lap. A few minutes later, Villopoto falls over in a corner, and Bobryshev retakes first place. Villopoto remounted quickly, retaining second place, and Dungey in third. France’s Christophe Pourcel in fourth, with his teammate Gautier Paulin in seventh. First race winner Aussie Chad Reed has a fall 10 minutes into the race, and drops from sixth to ninth. France has a problem now – Pourcel falls down, and loses positions.
Bad news. World MX1 Champion Tony Cairoli is out of the race – he started the race, but pulled off after a few minutes with pain in his hand. X-rays later show the bad news – Tony has two bone fractures in his hand.
Up front, Villopoto continued his strong ride, same for Bobryshev in second. Ryan Dungey third. As the rain starts coming down, America is now holding the top two positions – Villopoto and Dungey. Tyla Rattray of South Africa has moved to third, with Bobryshev fourth.
Although Villopoto had a big lead over teammate Dungey in second, he slowed up at the finish line and they crossed it together. Villopoto gets first, Dungey second, Tyla Rattray third, Tommy Searle of Great Britain fourth.
And USA, thru all the drama, strategy, ups and downs of what is “Nations”, takes the victory once again by the strong third moto performance of Villopoto and Dungey.
Ryan Dungey, “It’s amazing. It came down to the last race. In 2009 and 2010 it came down to the last races. I want to remember to ‘never give up’ and that’s what I told Ryan (Villopoto) and Blake. When the rain started coming down in the first moto, it was tough. Chad started pulling away and I started making mistakes. The bike gets heavy when its covered with mud.”
Blake Baggett, “Definitely my ‘Saturday’ was better than my ‘Sunday’. I did the best I could and tried to ride it out. The first moto was super muddy, and up one of the hills I lost all my momentum and front flipped up a hill. Then I lost my goggles. In the second moto I was following Ryan Villopoto and when he would pass a rider I would pass just a bit later. Then I made a mistake. I must say this is probably the toughest track I have ever ridden on.”
Ryan Villopoto, “We’ve never had it quite this tough coming into the final moto. We (in year’s past) knew that a 1/2 finish in the final moto would do it. We also knew that if we rode like we do in the States, we’d do fine. It was tough for us, but we were able to get it done, and it feels great. It’s been a hell of a year for me. We’ll do what we need to do in the off-season and try to come back next year strong, and then come back to the Motocross of Nations again.”
Roger De Coster, “The guys worked together really well. We finally had good starts in that last race. The main thing is never give up. It worked out again. I want to say thanks to all the fans – all the people stayed even after the race. It was a really good feeling. I also want to say thanks to the organization of the club here at Saint Jean d’Angely.”
The Open Class individual winner is Ryan Villopoto. Ken Roczen is the MX2 Class individual winner. In the MX1 Class the individual winner was Ryan Dungey. Jeffrey Herlings won the ‘Ricky Carmichael’ award as the best young rider at the event.
Here are other links of Supercross.com’s coverage of the 2011 Motocross of Nations in France:
- Saturday’s Qualifying Races and photos – USA dominates!
- Friday – photos tell the story!
- Facebook Fan Page of Supercross.com
- Follow Supercross.com on Twitter
Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen battled in Race 1
The crowd in France was massive, and super enthusiastic
Overall results 2011 Motocross of Nations:
- USA – 26 points
- France – 39
- Australia – 44
- Great Britain – 46
- Belgium – 54
- South Africa – 56
- Germany – 68
- Spain – 68
- The Netherlands – 81
- Estonia – 86
- Portugal – 98
- Switzerland – 108
- Japan – 115
- Czech Republic – 117
- Russia – 123
- Italy – 125
- Finland – 130
- Denmark – 132
- Ireland – 136
- Austria – 143
Congratulations to Team USA on their victory, and France, for putting on such a great event.