The 2009 running of the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations went off without a hitch this past weekend in Franciacorta, Italy, and for the 20th time in the history of the event, Team USA took home the win and the illustrious Chamberlain Trophy!
Labeled by many as the “B Team” prior to the event, Ryan Dungey, Ivan Tedesco, and Jake Weimer proved their critics wrong, as they showed the motocross world just exactly what teamwork and determination are all about. Starting the event with an unlucky draw and resulting 33rd gate pick during Saturday’s three qualifying motos, Team USA rallied to finish the MX1, MX2, and MX3 heats with 5-8-5 moto finishes—good for sixth overall (lowest moto score dropped). The Italians, with 1-1-10 results, qualified in the number one spot, with the French and Belgium teams close in tow. Though not exactly where one would typically expect to find a US squad after qualifying, the team remained positive that they’d fair much better on Sunday with the sixth overall gate pick for each of the three MXoN motos.
In Moto 1 (MX1 + MX2), Antonio Cairoli of the Italian team and Aussie team rider Chad Reed jumped out front to scrap for the early lead, with Cairoli eventually taking the win. Behind them, Dungey battled his way into the third position midway through the moto, but his chances of catching the leaders at that point was slim, so he settled into a comfortable pace to ride out the moto in a podium position. Behind the top three, Dungey’s teammate Weimer charged his way from well outside the top-10 to finish the moto in a very impressive eighth spot. Team USA’s 3-8 (11 points) moto scores left them with a narrow lead ahead of the Italian’s heading into Moto 2.
Moto 2 (MX2 + MX3) was Tedesco’s first opportunity to show what he’s got against the world’s best, and he did so by kicking off the race with a solid second-place start from the far outside. Ivan rode smooth and steady aboard his Red Bull Honda in the second spot for much of the moto, but a massive case of arm-pump slowed him down a bit late in the race, allowing Italy’s David Philippaerts to take over the position. Behind Tedesco, teammate Weimer was having a rough go at it during his second and last MXoN moto, as he fell not one, but twice en route to a 25th-place finish. Keeping in mind that each team will drop their lowest moto score at the end of the day, Team USA entered the final moto of the day sitting in the second spot (eliminating Weimer’s score), just three points behind the French team.
The final moto of the 2009 Motocross of Nations (MX1 + MX3) hit the track with several teams still very much in the running for the Nations title, but it was Team USA, with Dungey at the helm, that came out on top. Winning the moto in runaway fashion, Dungey not only helped propel the US to their fifth-straight (20th total) Motocross of Nations championship, he also collected the MX1 overall win! Also helping the cause in the final moto, Tedesco overcame a seemingly blatant take out move by Italian rider Philippaerts to charge back up to the seventh spot, which proved more than enough to secure the team win.
Congratulations to Team USA for another incredible MXoN performance!
In 2010, the Red Bull Motocross of Nations returns to the United States, where Team USA will look to continue their win streak.
2009 Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations Results:
1. USA (22)
2. France (30)
3. Belgium (39)
4. Germany (55)
5. Great Britain (55)
6. Italy (59)
7. Australia (73)
8. Estonia (78)
9. South Africa (84)
10. Switzerland (88)