The Motocross of Nations is an annual international event showcasing the best 3 riders from the most competitive countries in the world. It is the Olympics of Motocross. If ever there is a time to be patriotic it would be this weekend, by a longshot, over 4th of July.
Team ‘Merica is led by the gold standard of the world Ryan Dungey. He is in his 3rd consecutive year as captain and has already won 3 Chamberlain trophies. Blake Baggett returns for his 2nd year as the MX2 rider and has a fresh AMA Motocross Championship to fuel him, while Justin “Bam-Bam” Barcia gets the 3rd spot.
The race takes place this weekend (Sept. 29th & 30th) in the deep sands of Lommel, Belgium. This is a border region between Belgium and the Netherlands, giving riders from those 2 countries a home advantage. The race is a team race, with overall scores coming from all 3 riders, in 3 separate motos.
Dutch sensation, Jeffrey Herlings, is the new World MX2 champion and considered the greatest sand rider on the planet. The German team will feature 18 year old Ken Roczen, who just completed his first and successful full year in America. Roczen has had tremendous showings, himself, in the last 2 Nations events. Both Roczen and Herlings are big on talent but short on teammates, although Germany’s Max Nagl qualified very well today. Italy also has MX1 multi-champion, Antonio Cairoli carrying their flag.
France, however, is always a strong favorite to push US, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. The French team is led by Gautier Palin, former MX2 World Champion Marvin Musquin, and Xavier Boog. Australia’s top 2 riders, Chad Reed and Brett Metcalfe are both injured, as well as GB’s Dean Wilson taking them very much out of contention.
A funny tidbit about the race is that Puerto Rico is allowed a team. Since they are a province of the U.S. they usually select a few pros every year from the U.S., which are, first of all not Puerto Rican, and secondly willing to go represent Puerto Rico. “Top” Jimmy Albertson is usually the go-to-guy here, but mid-week reports have him out with an injury.
In MX1 qualifying, Italy’s Antonio Cairoli was fastest, with USA’s Ryan Dungey in 6th. MX2 went to Germany’s Ken Roczen with Blake Baggett (USA) in 3rd, and MX3 was taken by Jeffrey Herlings with Justin Barcia (USA) 6th.
To watch the race live or see live scoring, check out www.mx-life.tv, covering the race over in Belgium.
The race will be shown on delayed broadcast on CBS Sports, Sunday Sept. 30th @ 10pm Eastern.