MXoN Moto 1 Race Report



A light drizzle mid-morning transformed the already hardpacked Donington circuit into an ice-skating rink, making for a very difficult opening moto at the 2008 Red Bull Motocross of Nations. Overcast skies provided the backdrop of the opening moto MX1/MX2 moto, which is 30 minutes plus two laps in length. Team USA’s MX2 entry, Ryan Villopoto, got the first gate choice, but it was 2008 MX1 World Champion David Philippaerts pulling the holeshot on his Monster Energy Yamaha 450. As the pack sorted itself out during the first half lap, Team USA’s Stewart and Villopoto ran comfortably in fourth and fifth, but before the field could compete a full lap, last year’s dominator, Villopoto, crashed, and crossed the finish line in 24th place, setting the stage for one of the most epic motos in recent history.

  • David Philippaerts (10) got the holeshot in the first moto
  • David Philippaerts led a few laps early in the race
  • Stewart gets into the lead
  • Villopoto sets his sights on Chad Reed
  • Sebastien Pourcel finished second overall
  • Villopoto fought his way up to 10th
  • James Stewart got the Moto 1 win
With Italy’s Philippaerts out front, Stewart made quick work of Estonia’s Tanel Leok and Spain’s Jonathan Barragan to get into second, and closed up to Philippaerts’ rear fender. An early bobble by Stewart then gave the Italian some breathing room, but it didn’t last long for the number-one to reel in the MX1 champ, and after some dicing back and forth for a few turns, Stewart secured the lead, yanked on his Oakely roll-offs, and set his sights ahead.

Meanwhile, the man on the move was France’s Sebastien Pourcel, who made his way to fourth behind Stewart, Philippaerts and Barragan on lap four. Two laps later, Pourcel found a way around both Barragan and Philippaerts, and it soon appeared that Pourcel could potentially reel in Stewart, who appeared to be riding very cautiously on the slick course. Villopoto was diligently working his way through the pack, and was up to 15th behind Australia’s Chad Reed.

At the twenty-five minute mark, Stewart had stretched his lead to over 15 seconds, and Villopoto managed to get around Chad, which momentarily put the U.S. into a tie with France. It wouldn’t last long, though, as RV closed in and passed France’s MX2 pilot Anthony Boissiere, giving the Americans the overall lead. At the checkered flag, it was Stewart coming across first, followed by Pourcel, Philippaerts, Barragan and Switzerland’s Julien Bill. Villopoto closed right up the rear fender of KTM’s Tommy Searle, who was the first MX2 bike on the track, but was unable to make the pass.

As the riders head to the start area for the MX2/Open moto, it has begun to rain again, which will ensure a slick track for the 2:38 p.m. start.

MX1/MX2 results
1. James Stewart (Kaw) USA
2. Sebastien Pourcel (Kaw) FRA
3. David Philippaerts (Yam) ITA
4. Jonathan Barragan (KTM) ESP
5. Julien Bill (Hon) SUI
6. Billy Mackenzie (Kaw) GBR
7. Josh Coppins (Yam) NZL
8. Ken de Dycker (Suz) BEL
9. Tommy Searle (KTM) GBR
10.Ryan Villopoto (Kaw) USA

Team standings:
USA – 11 points
France – 13 points
Great Britain 15 pints
Italy – 17 points
Spain – 19 points
Switzerlands – 23 points
Belgium – 24 points
Australia – 29 points