Wow what a weekend!
Let’s start from the beginning of the weekend. I arrived at the track on Thursday around 4 o’clock. My team was still setting everything up, and Jill and I did a lap around the amazing paddock area. That night we ate with the whole team (Claudio, all the mechanics, photographers of the team, etc) in our team tent. The wife of Claudio, Ornella, made some good pasta and we had a really nice dinner together.
Before we had our great sponsor Red Bull, we used to have dinners like this every weekend – with the team. But now with the great Red Bull hospitality area, we usually eat there during the GPs. So it was nice to be able to have our old team dinners in the team tent again, and remember how it used to be.
The paddock on Friday was already full of people. And I had to do a lot of photo shoots, interviews, and autograph signing sessions. We also had a great go-kart event with all riders that evening! Every rider and a journalist could ride for his country – The Red Bull Kart of Nations! : )
I was together with journalist and friend, Enzo Tempestini. I won the kart race, but Enzo had some bad luck and we finished second overall. The overall win did go to Germany!
The free practice on Saturday went well, my feeling with the track was really good, and I had the fastest time. In my Qualification Heat I had a really good start – I think it one of my best starts of this season. I passed Josh Coppins, Chad Reed and Clement Desalle and took the lead. In the end Clement came closer, but I could keep the lead till the end, and I won the MX1 Qualification Heat. David and Davide (my Italian team-mates) also did good in their heats, and Italy would finish 1st overall on Saturday’s qualifications! That was already a good beginning to start with for Sunday!
On Saturday night we had the FIM Off Road awards int the paddock area, with the public on hand. I got my FIM Award for my 2009 MX1 World Motocross Championship title.
Sunday: The first heat – I took the hole-shot! I jumped out of the first corner in first position. Chad Reed passed me that first lap, but I passed him back and we stayed close together the rest of the race. I felt his pressure until the last lap, but I was doing my laps well, and didn’t make any big mistakes. We were both pushing the limit, … and I won that first moto! The crowd was going crazy, they were amazing!!!
The second heat – David Philippaerts didn’t have such a good start, and he had to fight back towards the front, he fought very hard, even passed Ivan Tedesco for second place on the very last corner! Davide Guarneri had some bad luck when Michael Byrne hit him on a jump and he could not finish the race.
The third heat – I was prepared for a 40 minute battle, maybe even a battle for the win. I was so ready for it, … I have been looking forward to this race for a year! I was ready to give everything for my fans, and everything for Italy! But my battle didn’t last longer than a few seconds.
I don’t really remember exactly what happened, … but I had a good start again, but from the right & the left of me bikes and riders hit me and I made a BIG crash. They hit me several times and it felt like my body was flying in the air.
Then I tried to get up to my bike again, but I was feeling so dizzy. Then I saw my bike – I knew it was over – my bike was destroyed – it was not ride-able.
I felt so much pain, in my neck, shoulder and ankle, but through that pain I feel the disappointment of letting down all the fans and my country. I saw my crash later on photographs, and finally on videotape. I think I can be happy that nothing serious happened in that crash for sure!!
Definitely a weekend with up’s and down’s for Team Italy, and that is racing. But one thing for sure .. we will be there again next year!!
Grazie Mille to all the people cheering for us this weekend. I have never seen such a amazing crowd as last weekend! Thanks to my team mates David and Davide, all three of us gave more than 100%! Thanks to the Italian federation. Thanks to the amazing organization of this Red Bull Motocross of Nations! Thanks to my Fan Club, Thanks to Red Bull, Thanks to my sponsors, Thanks to Yamaha Red Bull De Carli!
See you next year!
Click here to see Tony’s Rider Profile on Supercross.com, (and we will be updating it soon with photos of the Motocross of Nations : )