Team USA won the Fox Motocross of Nations, held at the Ernee circuit in France, today. Ricky Carmichael was in a class of his own, going 1-1 on the day. Teammates Kevin Windham and Ivan Tedesco also showed great speed, with the Honda-mounted Windham going 3-5 and the Kawasaki-mounted Tedesco going 6-17.
Second went to France followed by Belgium.
The highlight of the weekend was the complete dominance put forth by the Suzuki-mounted Carmichael. In both motos, “RC” got out in front early and pretty much ran away.
“I wanted my two teammates to have the same sensation that I had in France in 2000 when I won the Nations for the first time,” Carmichael said. “It was a good day. Everyone was talking about me but there were two other guys on this team that rose to the occasion. We race so much at home and it is almost overkill but the factories invest a lot of money and they don’t care about this race, they just want success in 250 Supercross. We come here for pride and because we want to and that is why it is so sweet to win. The fans were great. I have been on the upside and the downside of fans in my career and it was nice to feel wanted.”
In the first moto, Carmichael established a four-second lead right off the bat that he extended to 20 seconds before purposefully slowing down towards the end. Second in the moto went to New Zealand’s Josh Coppins, with Mickael Pichon taking third. They were followed home by Tanel Leok, Stefan Everts, Tedesco (the first MX2 rider), Sebastien Tortelli, Marc De Reuver, Steve Ramon and Billy Mackenzie, in that order.
In the second moto, it was New Zealand’s Ben Townley who took the checkered flag in first place. He was followed across the finish line by David Vuillemin, Steve Ramon, David Philippaerts and Windham. Windham held the lead early in the race but fell and tweaked his bike.
The final moto of the day saw Carmichael, once again, jump out to a quick lead, but this time Townley ran similar lap times until RC pulled away in the second half of the race. Carmichael eventually won the moto by a five-second margin.
Team France had a mixed day, with Tortelli looking very strong early until a crash dropped him off the pace. He went 7-29.
Pichon showed great heart, going 3-5 on the day. The two-time World Champion pushed Windham in the final moto until a final-lap crash dropped him to fifth.
For many, the biggest disappointment of the day was the performance by nine-time World Champion Everts. The winningest GP rider of all time probably had his worst Motocross of Nations ever after posting 5-9 results. His Belgian teammates rode brilliantly, though, with Ramon finishing as the best MX2 rider with 3-9 moto results, and their MX3 rider Kevin Strijbos going 6-8.
Team New Zealand finished in fourth place and looked very strong, with Townley finishing second in the overall results behind Carmichael. Townley finished off the day going 1-2, while Josh Coppins was third overall with 2-4 results. Their third rider, Cody Cooper, went 23-23.