The Chamberlain trophy was hoisted for a record 19th time by the three-man USA squad at the 62nd Motocross of Nations at a cloudy but buoyant Donington Park in England. For the second time in three years this historic and prestigious race was entertained by the UK and with typically grey and drizzly weather 60,000 spectators flocked to the MotoGP venue to witness the gathering of the world’s best off-road racers.
AMA Champion James Stewart (below) was unable to complete a perfect season in his last outing for Kawasaki. Competing in the MX1 class he battled with MX1 World Champion David Philippaerts in the formative stages of the first moto before easing away to a dominant victory. After acing the outdoor series with a 100% record he could not extend the run on European soil when a mistake while holding another remarkable lead in the second outing for the MX1 category saw him crash and lose positions to descend outside of the top 20 before he was able to re-fire the KX450F.
The win instead went to France’s Sebastien Pourcel a racer with whom Stewart had grappled earlier in the sprint and who was the recipient of some choice words from the American entourage when the checkered flag had fallen for his aggressive riding. Pourcel’s achievement was part of a decent day for France who were second on the podium for the second year in succession, ahead of Belgium.
Lites champion Ryan Villopoto (below) rode to 10th in his first charge after being torpedoed on the opening lap and the buttress of a pile-up but then escaped without incident to win the second MX2 race and the class for the third year in a row. Tim Ferry was the third member of the team and earned the top slot in the MX Open division.
Team USA triumphed by just five points in a meeting that Stewart described as a “struggle” and Villopoto also hinted at the difficulty by stating “it was like we had a target on our backs.” Great Britain were unable to appease a boisterous partisan crowd by losing third place overall to Belgium with just four laps of the final moto to run. Billy Mackenzie’s fall from 4th to 11th allowed the Flemish fleet to sip yet more Nations champagne.
2008 MOTOCROSS DES NATIONS RESULTS
MX1 Overall Result
1. Sebastien Pourcel, FRA, Kawasaki, 2. Ken de Dycker, BEL, Suzuki, 3. Julien Bill, SUI, Honda ,4. Josh Coppins, NZL, Yamaha, 5. Jonathan Barragan, ESP, KTM
MX2 Overall Result
1. Ryan Villopoto, USA, Kawasaki, 2. Tommy Searle, GBR, KTM, 3. Manuel Monni, ITA, Yamaha, 4. Brett Metcalfe, AUS, Suzuki, 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek, BEL, KTM
MX Open Overall Result
1. Tim Ferry, USA, Kawasaki, 2. Steve Ramon, BEL, Suzuki, 3. Nicolas Aubin, FRA, Yamaha, 4. Alex Salvini, ITA, Suzuki, 5. Cody Cooper, NZL, Suzuki
Final Motocross of Nations classification 1. USA, 2. France, 3. Belgium, 4. Great Britain, 5. Italy