Ryan Villopoto (above) and Ryan Dungey took podium finishes in each of their motos to help bring home USA’s 22nd MXoN title.
Congratulations Team USA on taking home the 2011 Motocross des Nations title! By a margin of 13 points, Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey and Blake Baggett, along with team manager Roger DeCoster, secured the Chamberlain Trophy after RV and Dungey pulled through with dominant performances in the final moto.
Second overall went to Team France riders Gautier Paulin, Marvin Musquin and Christophe Pourcel, with Paulin putting in a strong performance in Race 2 for the win.
The battle for the final podium spot between Great Britain and Australia went down to the final moto as Aussie Brett Metcalfe made a late mistake to leave the door wide open for Brit Tommy Searle. Despite finishing fourth in the final moto, however, Searle’s performance wasn’t enough and Australia nabbed the last spot on the box by just two points. MX1 champion Antonio Cairoli had an extremely difficult day after failing to finish both of his motos. As a result Team Italy plummeted down in the rankings to 16th.
MX1 + MX2
The first race of the day featured a combined contest between MX1 and MX2 riders. Cairoli was the victim of a first turn crash as Aussie Chad Reed nailed the holeshot ahead of Russia’s Evgeny Bobryshev and Dungey. In the coming laps Dungey passed Bobryshev for second and began pressuring Reed for the lead. The duo traded fastest laps, but heavy rainfall in the second half of the moto significantly hampered their lap times.
Germany’s Ken Roczen took advantage of the leader’s slower times to push toward the front on his 250cc KTM. On Lap 12 Roczen overtook Dungey for second and was going after Reed when the checkers came out. Searle finished in fourth more than 16 seconds behind Dungey, followed by South Africa’s Tyla Rattray and Estonia’s Tanel Leok. Meanwhile Great Britain’s Dean Wilson notched a decent ride aboard his 250 machine for ninth, putting GBR at the top of the standings heading into Race 2.
MX1 + MX2 Motocross des Nations Results:
1. Chad Reed, AUS (Honda)
Ryan Dungey was passed in Race 2 by Ken Roczen as rain began to fall in France. He eventually finished third.
2. Ken Roczen, GER (KTM)
3. Ryan Dungey, USA (Suzuki)
4. Tommy Searle, GBR (Kawasaki)
5. Tyla Rattray, RSA (Kawasaki)
6. Tanel Leok, EST (TM)
7. Jonathan Barragan, ESP (Kawasaki)
8. Marvin Musquin, FRA (KTM)
9. Dean Wilson, GBR (Kawasaki)
10. Joel Roelants, BEL (KTM)
11. Christophe Pourcel, FRA (Kawasaki)
12. Rui Goncalves, POR (Honda)
13. Yoshitaka Atsuta, JPN (Suzuki)
14. Antti Pyrhonen, SML (Honda)
15. Filip Neugebauer, CZE (Kawasaki)
MX2 + Open Class
In the second race France’s Gautier Paulin secured the holeshot, giving the home crowd something to cheer for before Dutch rider Jeffrey Herlings took over the lead on the opening lap. Behind Herlings was Roczen, Paulin and Switzerland’s Arnaud Tonus. This time Villopoto had a mediocre start back in ninth, but it didn’t keep the ’11 AMA Supercross and Motocross champ from charging toward the front with an eventual pass on Roczen for third.
On Lap 6 Paulin moved into the lead ahead of Herlings, and to the cheers of his home crowd the Frenchman seized the team’s only victory of the weekend. The battle for second went down to the wire as Villopoto set the fastest lap of the contest on the final lap. Despite the American’s efforts the Dutchman eluded him as RV posted his first podium of the day. Meanwhile Team USA’s MX2 rider, Blake Baggett, started in 11th behind Villopoto, but by Lap 9 the 19-year-old had dropped outside the top-25. After making progress near the end of the moto Baggett recorded 17th place.
As a result of Paulin’s win Team France moved into the lead by nine points ahead of Team USA. Meanwhile Great Britain dropped back to fifth after Brad Anderson and Dean Wilson placed 14th and 27th, respectively.
MX2 + Open Class Motocross des Nations Results:
1. Gautier Paulin, FRA (Yamaha)
2. Jeffrey Herlings, NED (KTM)
3. Ryan Villopoto, USA (Kawasaki)
4. Ken Roczen, GER (KTM)
5. Kevin Strijbos, BEL (Suzuki)
6. Gareth Swanepoel, RSA (Yamaha)
7. Brett Metcalfe, AUS (Suzuki)
8. Davide Guarneri, ITA (Kawasaki)
9. Carlos Campano, ESP (Yamaha)
10. Arnaud Tonus, SUI (Yamaha)
11. Marvin Musquin, FRA (KTM)
12. Joel Roelants, BEL (KTM)
13. Marcus Schiffer, GER (Suzuki)
14. Brad Anderson, GRB (Honda)
15. Luis Correia, POR (Yamaha)
MX1 + Open Class
The last moto of the day went mostly according to plan for the Americans as Villopoto led the opening lap ahead of Bobryshev and Dungey. A few laps later RV had a small tip-over in a corner, which allowed Bobryshev to briefly hold the lead before Villopoto could reclaim the top spot. France led the overall standings coming into the final race, but the country’s hopes were dashed when Pourcel suffered a mechanical and had to pull into the pits early. Because of France’s misfortune the Americans were set to take the 2011 MXoN so long as both Villopoto and Dungey finished the race.
But Team USA did one better by dominating the top-two positions in the final moto, the two teammates finishing less than a second from each other as Rattray took South Africa’s only podium in the series in third. Searle’s strong charge late in the race gave him fourth, but it wasn’t enough to knock Australia out of the top-three.
Despite a crash in the final race the lead never left Villopoto’s sight as the 23-year-old went on to win with Dungey right behind.
MX1 + Open Class Motocross des Nations Results:
1. Ryan Villopoto, USA (Kawasaki)
2. Ryan Dungey, USA (Suzuki)
3. Tyla Rattray, RSA (Kawasaki)
4. Tommy Searle, GBR (Kawasaki)
5. Davide Guarneri, ITA (Kawasaki)
6. Evgeny Bobryshev, RUS (Honda)
7. Chad Reed, AUS (Honda)
8. Gautier Paulin, FRA (Yamaha)
9. Jeffrey Herlings, NED (KTM)
10. Brett Metcalfe, AUS (Suzuki)
11. Kevin Strijbos, BEL (Suzuki)
12. Tanel Leok, EST (TM)
13. Arnaud Tonus, SUI (Yamaha)
14. Jonathan Barragan, ESP (Kawasaki)
15. Brad Anderson, GBR (Honda)