But oddly, moto wins didn't come from either of these teams. Italy's Tony Cairoli went 1-1 in his two motos, including the win in a much-anticipated third-moto showdown with Holland's Jeffrey Herlings. But Herlings lived up to his "sand master" hype, winning the second moto by over a minute. In his only match up with Cairoli, he started 28th while Cairoli led early, but he then reeled the MX1 World Champion in from way, way back to challenge for the lead. Cairoli hung on to win the moto. Unfortunately for both riders, their teammates weren't strong enough to allow them to contend for the team win.
The bottomless sand of Lommel, Belgium definitely served as the equalizer for Team USA. Moto one was a rough one with Blake Baggett and Ryan Dungey both having crashes, and Baggett finished 14th, with Dungey 7th. Cairoli won with ease. In moto two, Justin Barcia tried to get the team back into contention with a good start, he was second and battling with Belgium's Ken de Dycker when they collided, and Barcia busted his front spokes and crashed. He dropped back to fifth, but on the last lap the front wheel locked up, costing him a ton of spots as he had to get the bike fixed to even cross the finish. Baggett was better in moto two--inside the top ten, but it was not enough. Germany had more solid rides from Roczen and Schiffer, giving them a big points lead heading into moto three.
Belgium, meanwhile, had a second-moto DNF from MX2 rider Jeremy Van Horebeek cost them big time. They still had a shot at Germany in moto three, but they needed some help, and Germany didn't give them any--Nagl rode solid to seal it. The Americans had more bad luck in the moto. Barcia and Dungey started 2-3 right behind Cairoli, and Barcia made a pass on Dungey for second. Then Dungey crashed again and lost a bunch of time. He would only finish ninth. Barcia ran second for awhile, but Herlings' crazy charge from way, way back eventually overtook that spot. Herlings went after Cairoli but couldn't get him. Barcia finished third--the only moto podium for Team USA.
Look for a full race report, results and photos later this afternoon.