De Wolf, Hampshire, Craig and Coenen talk Ernee MXoN
The Husqvarna Factory Racing athletes from around the globe closed their international campaign at the prestigious Motocross of Nations, which took place in front of a packed house at the old-school circuit of Ernee in France. RJ Hampshire and Christian Craig represented Team USA, whilst Kay de Wolf took to the track in The Netherlands’ colors and Lucas Coenen rode for Team Belgium for the first time.
Kay de Wolf was superb, in just his third race since injury, as he battled with the established 450F riders. Third overall in the MX2 classification was his reward; he achieved that via 11-9 moto finishes. Moto one was a particular highlight, as he stole headlines with an aggressive charge up to the top ten. Unfortunately, The Netherlands only had two riders in action and so a top-fifteen finish was unrealistic.
RJ Hampshire showed incredible speed and used the power within his FC 250 to holeshot his qualification heat on Saturday. The athlete who wore ‘2’ was never quite in a position to succeed, however, as he found himself himself clawing his way through the field each time. 16-10 results were his reward and those put him in sixth in the MX2 classification. Team USA was ranked in eighth.
Joining Hampshire on Team USA was Christian Craig, who returned from injury to represent Team USA in the very competitive setting. Craig gave it his all, battled hard and raced to 16-20 scores in his two motos earlier today. The scorecard put him eighth in the Open classification. Craig will return to the United States and turn his attention to 2024.
Lucas Coenen’s Motocross of Nations debut was a baptism of fire. Mediocre starts and mistakes held him back in his two motos – he charged from the back each time to log 19-19 scores (when classified amongst 450F riders). The scorecard left him tenth in the individual MX2 overall classification. Team Belgium fared better, as they raced to fifth overall.
Kay de Wolf: “I am happy with my riding this weekend! I made some big improvements at Matterley Basin and carried those into here, so I am pretty happy. It is obviously a shame to see my teammate on Team Netherlands get hurt and miss the motos – it was impossible to compete for a good team result after that. Thanks to the Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing team for their work this year. Bring on 2024.”
RJ Hampshire: “Man, just an unreal experience and something I am going to look back on and just appreciate. I felt really good on the bike for how gnarly the track was. I just needed some luck, and I just did not have it today. In the first moto, I just got cleaned out on the first lap with a decent start. I got in a first turn pile-up in the second moto… You are going to get everything I have and that was it in the second moto. I felt really good, just a huge thank you to this whole organization: Husqvarna, Rockstar Everyone and just everyone supporting us.”
Christian Craig: “Man, it was everything I guess that I expected. People did not lie when they said it was a lot of pressure… Shout out to the whole support group of Team USA. To experience this was unreal and we will always relish this moment, win or lose. All in all, it is a really cool experience. It would have been better to stand on that podium, but it is what it is.“
Lucas Coenen: “It was a difficult weekend racing against the 450F riders. Poor starts did not help at all, but I charged and progressed as much as possible. It was crazy to race at the Motocross of Nations for the first time, especially with the number of fans that we had here! I will never forget this day. Thank you to the Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing team for their support.“
With another successful term in the rear-view mirror, all at Husqvarna Factory Racing would like to express their sincere gratitude to the riders and teams for their effort on and off track.
Words: Press Release
Image: Full Spectrum Media