Team Belgium celebrates on the podium after winning this year’s Motocross of Nations in Germany. Photography by Steve Cox.
The 67th running of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations saw its third different winner in three years with Team Belgium finishing out the day on the top step of the podium at the Teutschenthal Circuit in Germany, September 29. Team USA finished second, followed by Team Italy.
Italy’s Antonio Cairoli had the most success on the day when it comes to individual results. The 2013 MX1 World Champion won both the MX1+MX2 and MX1+Open motos, while Germany’s Ken Roczen topped the MX2+Open moto. Cairoli also claimed the MX1-class overall victory, as did Roczen in the MX2 class. It was Roczen’s fourth-straight overall class-win at the Motocross des Nations.
Although American Justin Barcia claimed the Open-class win (but with 4-11 overall results), he was clearly disappointed that his US team did not reclaim the Chamberlain Trophy, since it was his second trip to the ‘Nations without a win. This was the first time since 2003 and 2004 that Team USA has not won the MX des Nations two times in a row, but in ’04, the US did not send team.
American Eli Tomac looked fast all day and was fighting to get around Roczen for second place in the first MX2 moto when he went down very hard and ended up finishing 16th. He came back to finish second to Roczen in the second MX2 moto for fourth overall. His 16th-place finish was the team’s allotted throwaway moto. The fall, however, most likely cost the team the overall victory.
Ryan Dungey did not look particularly sharp all day. He didn’t get a great start in the first moto but he did slowly work his way up, but got passed by Tomac along the way before Tomac fell, to finish sixth overall.
In his second race, the MX1+Open moto, Dungey slipped backwards after getting off to a good start. He finished seventh overall in the moto for fifth overall in class behind Cairoli (Italy), Tommy Searle (UK), Ken de Dycker (Belgium) and Gautier Paulin (France).
When all was said and done, Team Belgium – De Dycker, Clement Desalle and Jeremy Van Horebeek – claimed the Chamberlain Trophy for the first time since 2004 with the lowest score of the day at 27 points. Team USA took second with 30 points, followed by Team Italy – Cairoli, Alessandro Lupino and David Philippaerts – with 33 points.
Team Australia – Dean Ferris, Brett Metcalfe and Todd Waters – ended up fourth overall after going into the day as the top qualifier.
France, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Estonia claimed the top 10 positions in that order.
“For sure it’s nice to win the Motocross of Nations,” said De Dycker. “It was a rough track. It was very hard and I made a few mistakes.”
Dungey said, “Second place is pretty respectable but for us it was important to win. Eli and Justin rode awesome today and I gave it all I had, even though I wasn’t riding to the level I’m capable of. It was a very tough track for us. The European tracks are a little different to what we are used to.”
For the double-moto Cairoli, the team podium finish was special for the Italian. “It was our goal to finish on the podium but there are so many good teams,” he said. “My dream was to finish on the podium and this is the first time in the eight years I have been riding for Italy that we made it. It was like a victory for us. My own goal was to win both my races and the MX1 class and I managed that.”
“I didn’t get a good start in the first moto, I spun off the line and I think my dirt was a little dry,” Tomac said of his day. “I thought it was going to work, but it didn’t. I went through the pack a little bit, and was in third place at one point before I made a really big mistake that sent me flying over the bars. I was flying through the air without my motorcycle, which was a little scary, but I was lucky to get up, be healthy, get back to the bike and finish it out. In the second moto I had a big battle with Roczen. He got the start, and to me, whoever got the start was going to win, because we were so close with a big battle all the way through. I did get shuffled back a few times with lappers, which was what hurt me the most.The fans were really behind him, but he rode a great race. It’s been a really cool experience, and although we are disappointed not to win, hopefully I can come back, and we know we’ve got to put together all five motos for the result.”
“The weekend was good,” Barcia said. “I struggled a little and I have much respect to Team Belgium and Italy, as the tracks here are extremely tough and a lot more challenging than back at home. I know we said that last year in the sand, but these guys ride some gnarly stuff. We wanted to win bad, but these guys just outrode us this year.
“I got a decent start in the first race, but I rode a bit tight and struggled with some stuff, although I ended up fourth,” Barcia added. “In the second race, I fell on the start and had to fight my way back from the back of the pack, which was some frustrating racing. I didn’t ride very well all weekend, but there’re a lot of cool fans here. We are disappointed to finish second, but it’s been another good experience. I love racing with these guys, it’s awesome. The European… tracks are way gnarlier than back at home. I wish our tracks got like that; we can’t find anything like that in the US to ride with it being so choppy and gnarly. Hopefully one day I can maybe come back and race the GPs after hopefully winning some US Championships. No excuses for the race, though, we got beaten, but there’s nothing more in my heart I want than to win every race. I always want to win, and that’s my goal, so I did give it 100%.”
RESULTS – 2013 Motocross of Nations – Teutschenthal, Germany
6. United Kingdom
15. Czech Republic