Another picture-perfect day greeted riders and fans as they gathered at the beautiful Thunder Valley Motocross facility in Lakewood, Colorado on Sunday for the 2010 running of the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations. Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s provided epic racing conditions as the planet’s best motocross racers battled for world supremacy and the coveted Chamberlain Trophy.
Fans from all corners of the globe came out in droves to support their home nations in Colorado, only the third time that the MXoN has taken place on U.S. soil in the event’s 63-year history. After three grueling motos of racing action, Team USA’s Ryan Dungey, Trey Canard, and Andrew Short took home top honors - the sixth-straight MXoN win for the American team. Behind the U.S., Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy rounded out the top five.
Motocross of Nations Race 1 (MX1 + MX2):
As the number one seed from Saturday’s qualifying races, Team USA was granted the first and 21st gate pick selections, and opted to give their MX2 pilot, Trey Canard, his choice of starting positions for the event’s opening moto. When the gates dropped, however, Canard tangled with Puerto Rico’s Zack Osborne and the two went down before reaching turn number one.
Grabbing the holeshot ahead of the early mayhem, Spain’s Jonathan Barragan hoped to check out early aboard his Kawasaki, but Team USA’s Ryan Dungey had an agenda of his own and quickly made a pass for the lead midway through lap number two. Behind Dungey, Red Bull KTM’s Antonio Cairoli also put a pass on Barragan during the second go-around and immediately set his sites on Dungey out front.
Despite a valiant effort to reel in the recently-crowned AMA Pro Motocross Champion as the two stretched a comfortable gap over the rest of the field, Cairoli was unable to match the speed of Dungey and began fading during the final 10 minutes of the moto. Smooth, confident, and seemingly untouchable, Dungey continued getting stronger as the race wore on, motoring to a very impressive win in front of the ecstatic home-country fans.
With Cairoli comfortably in second, the battle for third was left for Australia’s Brett Metcalfe and Spain’s Barragan, with the Aussie safely securing the position by the wave of the checkers. France’s Gautier Paulin finished in the fifth spot, and Germany’s Ken Roczen put in an incredible ride aboard his Red Bull-backed Suzuki to finish as the number one MX2 rider in the sixth-place overall position.
After a near disastrous start, Team USA’s Canard charged all the way back up to the 12th overall position, helping to give the Americans a comfortable points lead as they entered race number two.
Motocross of Nations Race 2 (MX2 + Open):
Just as he did in yesterday’s Open qualifying heat, Honda Red Bull Racing/Team USA’s Andrew Short rocketed out of the gate to grab a massive holeshot to begin race two, with teammate Canard buried mid-pack early on.
Leading the field around the first two laps, Team USA’s fate was put in major jeopardy when Short was first passed by Roczen for the lead, and then just a few turns later, New Zealand’s Ben Townley threw down an aggressive pass that would knock Short to the ground. After slowly gathering himself, Short remounted his factory Red Bull Honda in the 30th position.
Clearly on a mission, Red Bull-backed Townley put a pass on Roczen to take over the lead on lap five, and then steadily pulled away for a convincing win. Behind the leaders, all eyes were on Team USA’s Canard and Short to see how many points they could salvage by the end of the moto.
With Germany’s Roczen and Max Nagl finishing in third and fifth, respectively, the Americans would clearly have their work cut out for them in the third and final moto of the event, as Canard and Short could only salvage seventh and thirteenth-place finishes by the time they crossed the finish line.
Heading into the final moto, Germany sat atop the leader board, with Team USA and Belgium still within reasonable striking distances.
Motocross of Nations Race 3 (MX1 + Open):
With the 2010 MXoN title up for grabs, the gates dropped for the final race of the day, and Team USA’s holeshot artist Short once again grabbed the early lead. Behind the likeable Red Bull Honda rider, teammate Dungey pulled into second just a few turns in, and the Team USA duo immediately began stretching out a healthy lead.
With the Germans having problems early on, the MXoN title was left for the Americans and Belgians to battle over, as Belgium’s Clement Desalle and Steve Ramon moved into the top-five early in the race.
Dungey eventually put a pass on Short for the lead on lap four, and New Zealand’s Townley would also begin closing the gap on the now second-place rider. Reportedly banged up from his race two crash, Shorty gave way to Townley on lap six, but the Kiwi’s time in the second spot would be short lived, as he went down just two laps later.
Never to be challenged again, Dungey and Short put an exclamation mark on the U.S. victory as they pulled away from the rest of the field en route to Team USA’s sixth consecutive MXoN championship!
Motocross of Nations Final Classification
4. Great Britain
8. New Zealand
10. Puerto Rico