What Really Happened: MXDN 2012
Third is good but there is only one winner until 2013
What Really Happened: Monster Energy Motocross of Nations, Lommel Belgium
Typos: Scott Hoffman, Photos: Kardyphoto.com
What really happened in Lommel? Some wish it was like a Vegas trip, what happened in Lommel Stays in Lommel. The blatant fact is Team USA (Ryan Dungey, Blake Baggett, and Justin Barcia) got their butts kicks. Yes third overall iscommendable, yet on the track it was not a good weekend for our boyz. Some could argue it was the track and the Euro racers, such as go-fasters Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings, had the home court advantage. Yes and no. The Lommel track is like no other, but motocross is motocross and everyone had to race the same track. And don’t forget that this disadvantage did not stifle our 1981 team. Same facility, same advantages and disadvantages, and Team USA won their first Tropee des Nations that year. Team USA would also go on to win the first Motocosss of Nations in neighboring Bielstein, West Germany.
Others on the garbled banter internet boards put up fists and uttered remarks that it was the team that lost the race and if the team was different and guys like Ryan Villopoto would have been healthy and James Stewart did not crash all of the time and, and, and, if, if . . . The cards were dealt and 2012 was not our year, which marked the first time Team USA lost the race since 2004. It happens and the old saying goes, you can’t win them all.
The fact is both Cairoli and Herlings were on their game in Lommel and there was a good chance they would have beat RV, JS, Dungey if they all showed up with their A game. The Lommel deep sand is unique track and you can’t triple double your way out of a track like this, you have to be one with the soil and know how it works through each and every turn and jump. Now if the race would have been at a different venue, it may have changed the outcome of the race, and not zapped some of the confidence out of our riders. But the race was at Lommel and next year it will be at a different track and in 2015 it will in the USA at Glen Helen. The advantage changes each and every year and it’s nearly impossible to find a world-class facility that nobody has ever raced at. If the track was world class than there would be a major race there. Some also argue that the worst moto score should not be tossed out because there are a total of six moto finishes on the day and three different classes. In Lommel, if that would have taken place, Team Germany would still have won the title.
Yet to defend Team USA, it was not a great day for our team. Slight mistakes and a few issues were enough to give the field that extra advantage. Justin Barcia rode very well but an early race collision with another rider damaged his front wheel and by the end of the race his spokes were gone and his wheel locked up. Bam Bam redeemed himself in his second race by nailing down the only podium moto finish of the day for Team USA with a third. The current AMA American SX and National Champion Ryan Dungey struggled a little and a few minor crashes cost him valuable points. The deep sand was also not kind to 250cc-mounted Blake Baggett. He put his heart into the race, but in the end logged in 14-6 moto finishes in the combined field. Cairoli and Herlings were riding so fast in both races they actually lapped Baggett in both motos. Imagine finishing a strong sixth and still getting lapped, that is how fast they were going. With his tip over, Ryan Dungey finished two minutes behind Cairoli and Herlings in the final moto, Barcia was 57 seconds behind.
Team Germany took their first MXDN win ever, which earned them the coveted Chamberlain Trophy. KTM’s Ken Roczen and Max Nagl lead their team to victory in front of a packed house of chainsaws-a-blazing, horns-a-piping, and a screaming crowd of Germans.
In a week or so from now, all eyes will be on the Monster Cup and a week after that fans will be counting the days for A1 and the kickoff to the 2013 Supercross season. Bringing up Supercross, some keep saying if Cairoli and Herlings are so good let’s invite them to race the first Supercross of the year and see them squirm around on our playground. There is a chance we might see Herlings one day, but Cairoli, like the great Stefan Everts, knows where his advantage is, and for them both it was and is motocross. Everts did ride a little American Supercross early in his career and did fairly well. Cairoli wanted to try SX a few years back, but was hurt before he was able to come over and train in the States for a possible go at SX. Herlings is young and ultra cocky and if he has the talent for SX, we may see him racing SX in a few years.
With 2012 behind us, we can count the days before Team USA gets the chance to re-capture the title as the fastest nation in the world.
Race 1 – MX1/MX2
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:26.888;
2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:21.182;
3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +0:28.933;
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:38.741;
5. Ken Roczen(GER, KTM), +0:40.180;
6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:05.036;
7. Ryan Dungey(USA, KTM), +1:11.286;
8. Tommy Searle(GBR, Kawasaki), +1:38.040;
9. Marc de Reuver (NED, Kawasaki), +1:42.851;
10. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:44.824;
11. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), +1:59.621;
12. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +2:00.412;
13. Martin Barr (IRL, Suzuki), +2:20.617;
14. Blake Baggett(USA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
Race 2 – MX2/Open
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:41.619;
2. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:58.141;
3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +1:00.358;
4. Ken Roczen(GER, KTM), +1:48.464;
5. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +2:27.689;
6. Blake Baggett(USA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
7. Marcus Schiffer (GER, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
8. Todd Waters (AUS, Suzuki), -1 lap(s);
9. Max Anstie(GBR, Honda), -1 lap(s);
10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s);
Race 3 – MX1/Open
1 Antonio Cairoli (ITA) 35:00.015
2 Jeffrey Herlings (NED) + 3.037
3 Justin Barcia (USA) + 57.786
4 Tanel Leok (EST) + 1:23.257
5 Ken de Dijcker (BEL) + 1:29.784
6 Maximilian Nagl (GER) + 1:37.774
7 Clement Desalle (BEL) + 1:49.089
8 Gautier Paulin (FRA) + 1:56.647
9 Ryan Dungey(USA) + 2:00.599
10 Rui Goncalves (POR) + 2:08.575
1. Germany – 25pts
2. Belgium – 29pts
3. United States – 39pts
4. Netherlands – 44pts
5. Italy – 45pts
6. France – 47pts
7. Estonia – 56pts
8. Great Britain – 56pts
9. Portugal – 80pts
10. Australia – 83pts
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