With the Motocross Des Nations taking place at RedBud this weekend, the two favourite Nations heading into the event are the Netherlands and USA.
However, we take a closer look at the Nations that just might surprise at the prestigious event this weekend.
Germany: The past few years have been a bit of a struggle for the German’s. They didn’t even qualify in 2016 and in 2017 they could only muster twentieth position. Since winning the event at Lommel in 2012 things haven’t gone to plan.
Why will this year be different? Well, Ken Roczen will represent the German’s for the first time since 2013 in Germany. Roczen has been through a lot the past few years but make no mistake about it, he’ll have been putting in the work to produce the goods this weekend. When Roczen won the MX2 World Championship in 2011 he formed a rivalry with Jeffrey Herlings. Since then they’ve only raced each other once in the sand of Lommel. Roczen will be very motivated to remind everyone of his incredible talents this weekend.
Also, Henry Jacobi is riding the best he ever has after securing tenth in the MX2 World Championship this year and standing on the podium once. Max Nagl is no slouch either and this is the best German team on paper since Lommel in 2012 so they’ll be motivated. Don’t be surprised to see the German’s on the box at RedBud this weekend.
Great Britain: The Brit’s are usually knocking on the door for a podium but it finally happened last year at their home round of the Motocross Des Nations which took place at Matterley Basin. Credit to Mark Chamberlain because it was his first year as the role of team manager and he did a great job.
This year they have a strong team and two riders retain their spot in the team – that being Max Anstie and Tommy Searle. However, Searle won’t be racing the MX2 class this year as Ben Watson really stepped up this year finishing fourth in the MX2 World Championship. Searle will race the open class, there’s been a lot of talk between the British fans that Nicholls or Simpson should have got that spot ahead of Searle.
However, Searle loves the Motocross Des Nations and usually raises his game for the event. The British fans should be getting behind the team and supporting them the best they can. Some rain is expected at RedBud and if that happens the Brits might just get on the podium for the second consecutive year. Remember Max Anstie’s amazing performance last year? If he can reproduce that kind of form team GB have a real chance of a podium.
Belgium: Everyone seems to be forgetting about the Belgian’s. Sure, it hasn’t been an amazing season for Jeremy Van Horebeek but as the MXGP season drawn to a close he started to improve and with no ride for 2019 he’ll be wanting to show the world at RedBud he’s not finished racing at the highest level just yet!
Who was the only rider to beat Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings to win an MXGP overall this year? That would be Clement Desalle. The Factory Kawasaki rider hasn’t rode the Motocross Des Nations event since 2013 due to injuries so he’ll be excited just to race the event! Desalle always loves racing against the American’s too so he could be a surprise at RedBud if he rides like we all know he can.
Regarding Jago Geerts, this kid is super talented. The best is most definitely yet to come but if he can just give the team one good result come Sunday then the Belgian’s certainly shouldn’t be far away from the box. After missing the podium last year they’ll be determined to make it happen this year in America.
Estonia: Underrated, that would be the perfect word to use for the Estonian’s when it comes to the Motocross Des Nations. On paper their team might not jump out at you at first but don’t underestimate them. Last year they even beat America to finish eighth overall but 2014 was even better as they finished fourth overall at Ernee in France to just miss the podium. That’s an incredible achievement for a small country when you really think about it.
This will be Tanel Leok’s eighteenth time representing Estonia at the event and he always raises his level for the event. The tough man of MXGP will once again be looking to run with some of the best riders in the world at RedBud.
Harri Kullas is always pretty solid, with him you know exactly what you’ll get. This year racing the MX2 class for Estonia is Hardi Roosiorg who’s improved a lot over the last twelve months.
Italy: In the past five years Italy have been in the top five twice and they even got on the podium at Lommel in 2013. We all know what Antonio Cairoli can do and despite not winning the MXGP World Championship this year he’s shown some amazing speed and arguably rode the best he ever has.
However, his two team mate’s in the form of Alessandro Lupino and Michele Cervellin are riding the best they have in their career. Lupino moved to the Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki Racing this year and has improved massively. He ended up thirteenth in the MXGP World Championship which is a great achievement for a non-factory rider.
Despite missing three rounds of the MX2 World Championship, Michele Cervellin ended up seventh in the series – a big achievement. If all three riders show their best in RedBud, Italy can be dark horses for the podium or at worst they should be looking for a top five which would still be a good result.
Article: Andy McKinstry