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Motocross des Nations Race Report

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They were labeled the “B Team” by many, even worse by some others, but ultimately the key word in that title is “Team”, and as a team, Team USA won the Motocross des Nations in Italy for the 20th time in history, extending the record held by the USA, and for the fifth time in a row since the USA returned to the event in 2005.

With James Stewart opting out of the event, and Ryan Villopoto, Mike Alessi and Josh Grant getting injured, the choice was made to move Ryan Dungey up early – one race early, more or less – and get him on a 450 at the Motocross des Nations. Dungey would’ve been picked either way, but it’s likely, had any of those other racers been healthy, that he would’ve been picked in the MX2 class.

Then there was Jake Weimer. Weimer likely wouldn’t have been picked if Dungey was picked in the MX2 class, so he was the second pick for that class as well.

As for Ivan Tedesco, he was a two-time veteran of the MXdN, and the other two needed that sort of experience.

Thus, the term “B Team” was coined. At first it was an honor, comparing them to the team of Mike LaRocco, Jeff Emig and Billy Liles in 1992 (they won), but eventually it turned into a bit of an insult, as fans began speaking of the team as the C team or even D team.

But when the time came, they delivered, just like their namesakes, the 1992 team that won in Australia.

Moto 1 (MX1/MX2)

The decision was made by a couple of teams to put their MX1 riders on the inside of the gate, while the tradition has been to put the MX2 riders there. After Australia’s Chad Reed took the inside gate, so did Dungey. This left both Brett Metcalfe and Jake Weimer on the outside, when many of their MX2-class rivals, such as France’s Marvin Musquin, Great Britain’s Tommy Searle, and Italy’s Davide Guarneri, were lined up to the inside.

  • Antonio Cairoli (13) got a rippin' holeshot to start the first MXdN moto.
  • Cairoli led Chad Reed for the whole moto, taking the opening win.
  • Chad Reed finished second in the opening moto.
  • Ryan Dungey rode strong for third in the opening moto.
  • Clement DeSalle came from behind for fourth in the moto, despite a fall.
  • Marvin Musquin was the top MX2 rider in the opener with a fifth place.
  • Tommy Searle was the second MX2 rider in seventh overall, behind Josh Coppins in sixth.
  • Jake Weimer was the third MX2 rider, in eighth, although he started from the outside, unlike the riders who beat him.
Italy’s Antonio Cairoli got the holeshot from the outside with an insane jump out of the hole, and he had Reed right on his tail, but Reed seemed to be able to gain on Cairoli at will, but couldn’t do anything with him when he got close.

Meanwhile, behind those two, Spain’s Jonathan Barragan was busy trying to hold of Dungey for third, which only lasted about three and a half laps, but by the time Dungey got into the position, the Cairoli/Reed freight train was long gone. At that point the top three were set, although Belgium’s Clement DeSalle would come up eventually to grab a distant fourth, and then the first of the MX2 riders, world champ from France Marvin Musquin, came in fifth in front of New Zealand’s Josh Coppins, the second MX2 rider Searle, and then Team USA’s Jake Weimer, who started well outside the top 10 and was gaining pretty quickly on Searle and Musquin at the finish, starting from the outside, unlike those two.

After one moto, Team USA led with 11 points, fully six clear of Italy in second, with Cairoli’s one point and his teammate Guarneri’s 16.

Moto 1 Results:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA)
2. Chad Reed (AUS)
3. Ryan Dungey (USA)
4. Clement DeSalle (BEL)
5. Marvin Musquin (FRA)
6. Josh Coppins (NZL)
7. Tommy Searle (GBR)
8. Jake Weimer (USA)
9. Gareth Swanepoel (RSA)
10. Ken Roczen (GER)
11. Billy Mackenzie (GBR)
12. Jonathan Barragan (ESP)
13. Tyla Rattray (RSA)
14. Steven Frossard (FRA)
15. Joel Roelants (BEL)
16. Davide Guarneri (ITA)
17. Brett Metcalfe (AUS)
18. Antti Pyrhonen (FIN)
19. Rui Goncalves (POR)
20. Andreas Hultman (SWE)


Moto 2 (MX2/MX3)

French MX3 rider Gautier Paulin got the holeshot in the second moto, but Tedesco was hot on his heels after starting from the outside, just like he did during the qualifying race on Saturday. Next came New Zealand’s Scott Columb, Estonia’s Tanel Leok, Guarneri, Australia’s Michael Byrne, Musquin, Australia’s Brett Metcalfe, Belgium’s Joel Roelants, and Weimer.

  • Gautier Paulin led the second moto from start to finish.
  • Ivan Tedesco (3) chased Paulin for most of the moto but couldn't quite reel him in.
  • David Philippaerts (15) passed Tedesco (3) in the turn before this on the last lap. Tedesco could've gotten dirty with him, but didn't.
  • Tanel Leok was fourth in the moto.
  • Once again, Marvin Musquin was the top MX2 rider, finishing fifth in the moto.
  • This is where it went pear-shaped for Italy and Australia, as Davide Guarneri (14) and Michael Byrne (bike behind) got tangled in the air on the second lap and both DNF'd.
  • Despite literally being carted off after knocking himself out, Byrne started the final moto (but didn't last long, understandably).
  • Paulin celebrates his second-moto victory, and the fact that France took over the lead on paper.
On the second lap, while Byrne was trying to pass Guarneri, they two hit in the air and Byrne went down in a heap. Was was apparently knocked out in the accident and DNF’d the race, along with Guarneri. Only one lap later, while trying to pass for seventh, Weimer went down as well, then went down a second time later in the race, eventually finishing 25th. Also, Searle went down on the opening lap and came around in basically last, eventually finishing 17th.

But Tedesco held down the fort in second while Paulin started pulling away a bit. Late in the race, with massive arm-pump, Italy’s David Philippaerts passed Tedesco for second in the third-to-last corner, much to the delight of the partisan crowd. Paulin took the win over Philippaerts, Tedesco, Leok, Musquin, Germany’s Max Nagl, Belgium’s Steve Ramon, Germany’s Ken Roczen, Metcalfe, and South Africa’s Tyla Rattray.

After the moto, and after eliminating each team’s worst result so far, France was ahead by three points with 11 over the USA’s 14 (eliminating Weimer’s score), Italy on 18, Belgium on 22, Australia on 27 (dropping Byrne’s score), and Britain on 31. For the USA to win, they needed to pick up four or more points on France while not losing more than four to Italy.

Moto 2 Results:
1. Gautier Paulin (FRA)
2. David Philippaerts (ITA)
3. Ivan Tedesco (USA)
4. Tanel Leok (EST)
5. Marvin Musquin (FRA)
6. Max Nagl (GER)
7. Steve Ramon (BEL)
8. Ken Roczen (GER)
9. Brett Metcalfe (AUS)
10. Tyla Rattray (RSA)
11. Joel Roelants (BEL)
12. Scott Columb (NZL)
13. Shaun Simpson (GBR)
14. Arnaud Thomas (SUI)
15. Carlos Campano (ESP)
16. Antonio Balbi Jr. (BRA)
17. Tommy Searle (GBR)
18. Harri Kullas (FIN)
19. Matiss Karro (LAT)
20. Jeffrey Herlings (NED)
25. Jake Weimer (USA)

Moto 3 (MX1/MX3)

  • Spaniard Jonathan Barragan (19) took the holeshot in the final moto, eventually finishing fourth.
  • Dungey eventually worked his way into the lead and took off with the victory.
  • Steve Ramon gave chase to Dungey but ultimately was forced to settle for second.
  • David Philippaerts took out Tedesco on his way to third in the moto.
  • Despite a horrid first moto, France's Steven Frossard pulled through for a top five in the final moto.
  • Josh Coppins was sixth in the final moto.
  • Ivan Tedesco (3) recovered well after the takeout and fought his way back up to seventh.
  • Team Australia cheers on Chad Reed as he comes back through the pack after his first-turn fall. He caught all the way up to ninth.
Barragan got a flyer of a start in the MX1/MX3 moto, but Dungey, again starting from the inside, was hot on his heels. Down on the start straightaway before the first turn was Italy’s Cairoli, who tangled with Pyrhonnen, and down in the first turn was Reed. Going down later on the first lap was France’s Paulin. With Dungey running second and Tedesco running at the tail end of the top five, it looked like game over for the rest of the field – until Philippaerts came knocking again.

In the same turn as the previous moto where Philippaerts snuck by Tedesco, the Italian absolutely drilled Tedesco, knocking him down. However, Tedesco kept the bike running and was back up in 13th, and with Cairoli out of the race, Philippaerts wasn’t fighting for a possible Italian win anymore.

Despite the dirty tactics, and being dead tired from running a moto just previous to moto three, Tedesco began moving forward again, and eventually found his way up to seventh. Dungey, on the other hand, fought his way, carefully, by Barragan and took over the lead. He pulled away with seeming ease and took home the moto win, the MX1 overall win (in his first-ever outdoor race on a 450), and the Team USA win, along with his teammate’s Jake Weimer and Ivan Tedesco.

France was sourly disappointed with second overall on the day, and team members repeated the idea that Team USA wasn’t very good this year.

However, they were good enough to win.
  • Dungey celebrates as his teammate Tedesco rides up.
  • Team USA celebrates on the podium.
  • After it was clear the U.S. was going to win, the partisan crowd was noticeably less enthusiastic.

Moto 3 Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (USA)
2. Steve Ramon (BEL)
3. David Philippaerts (ITA)
4. Jonathan Barragan (ESP)
5. Steven Frossard (FRA)
6. Josh Coppins (NZL)
7. Ivan Tedesco (USA)
8. Max Nagl (GER)
9. Chad Reed (AUS)
10. Shaun Simpson (GBR)
11. Tanel Leok (EST)
12. Julien Bill (SUI)
13. Aigar Leok (EST)
14. Billy Mackenzie (GBR)
15. Luis Correia (POR)
16. Harri Kullas (FIN)
17. Andreas Hultman (SWE)
18. Gregory Wicht (SUI)
19. Antonio Balbi Jr. (BRA)
20. Mike Kras (NED)

2009 Motocross des Nations Final 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)
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