Team Italy leads the 2009 Red Bull Motocross of Nations after Saturday's heats. Tony Cairoli (MX1), Davide Guarneri (MX2), and David Philippaerts (MX3) finished first, 10th and first respectively, in their heat races. The finals are tomorrow, with the heats for bragging rights and gate picks.
Ryan Dungey whips it over the hills during heat races for the 2009 Motocross of Nations.
Saturday's gate picks were done at random, and Team USA was nearly last, giving Ryan Dungey, Jake Weimer, and Ivan Tedesco a significant disadvantage. The team finished sixth overall after struggling with come-from-behind efforts in the MX1 and MX2 heats.
Tedesco actually pulled off a great start from the outside in the MX3 heat, but finished fifth after a battle with the UK's Shaun Simpson. Team USA's manager Roger DeCoster was still pleased with what they were able to pull out together from bad gate picks.
Saturday's crowd was simply huge, as large as any MXoN Saturday to date, if not larger. A good conservative estimate would be at least 25,000. And this is just Saturday!
Team France is second overall. Their results were Steve Frossard fourth (MX1), Marvin Musquin first (MX2), and Gautier Paulin second (MX3).
Tonight Youthstream is organizing the FIM Off Road Awards in the paddock.
Scratch the Alessi to Australian SX rumor from yesterday, that one is not confirmed. He is skipping US Supercross in 2010 and plans on doing the first 3 GPs on a KTM 350.
The newest buzz has Chad Reed possibly signing on as Ryan Villapoto's teammate on Monster Energy Kawasaki, and the deal includes Monster Energy support for Reed's Australian Supercross series. It's not clear if he is signing on for SX only again.
The crowds are amazing here. This Saturday had at least 25,000 (left). Reed anchors the strong Australian team (right).
Yes, those are French fans (left). The start of the MX3 qualifying heat, Philipparts (#15) will win it for Italy (right).