2011 Motocross of Nations
The 65th edition of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations started Saturday in the hard pack of Saint Jean d’Angely with the three qualifying races. Team USA dominated completely the three heats and they will be the first ones to choose the starting gate tomorrow for the main event.
Ryan Dungey was the winner of the MX1 qualifying heat, the rookie of USA team Blake Baggett dominated the MX2 race and Ryan Villopoto had no opponent in the Open class.
After the qualifying races all the 36 countries taking part in this year’s Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations were presented to the passionate crowd in Saint Jean d’Angely and they had the opportunity to hear some words from the top Motocross riders in the World.
The first qualifying race of the day saw Bobryshev taking the holeshot in the MX1 class and put Russia at the front, but Dungey and Cairoli overtook Bobryshev already in the first lap and the Russian dropped quickly to the eighth position. From then until the chequered flag, the American and the Italian had a dogfight for the lead and it was Dungey who crossed the finish line first with just one-second advantage over Cairoli.
Pourcel started from an initial fifth position, but he passed Bobryshev after three laps and succeeded in giving team France a third result in the first heat of the qualifying sessions. Reed rode fifth behind Bobryshev most of the race, but he managed to pass the Russian and hand Team Australia a fourth final result. Rattray from South Africa completed the top five thanks to his consistent riding.
Gonçalves, who is riding for Portugal, was sixth, Estonian Leok seventh and Bobryshev eighth. The British rider Searle did not have a good start and when he was recuperating some positions, he made a mistake and had to settle down with the ninth position, followed by Barragán from Spain.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Ryan Dungey (USA, Suzuki), 23:46.461; ; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.308; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:46.425; 4. Chad Reed (AUS, Honda), +0:52.778; 5. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +0:54.664; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:59.299; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +1:01.397; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:01.570; 9. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:29.250; 10. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), +1:32.070;
Team USA obtained another victory in the MX2 qualifying race thanks to the impressive performance of the rookie rider, Blake Baggett. The young American rider took the holeshot and pulled away until the chequered flag, crossing the finish line almost nine second ahead of Musquin from France.
Musquin did not have a good start but he moved up to the second position already in the second lap. However, it was too late for the French rider to catch Baggett, as he had already opened a consistent gap with his pursuers.
The third position was for Wilson from Great Britain, who had to move all the way up from an initial ninth position. He admitted he made many mistakes during the heat, but all in all he was very satisfied with the third place.
Roczen did not have a good qualifying race and he ended fourth ahead of Roelants. The German started fifth, but he was already second after the opening lap. The FIM MX2 World Champion made then a mistake and dropped down to the seventh position and had to move all the way back again to hand Germany the fourth position.
Roelants gave a very important fifth place to team Belgium, as well as Italian Lupino, who finished sixth. Austrian Rauchenecker started second in the heat, but he crashed when he was riding fifth and crossed the finish line seventh. Olsen from Denmark was eighth, Spaniard Butrón ended ninth and Irish Edmonds completed the top ten.
The Australian rider Moss was riding tenth when he had to enter in the pit lane due to a mechanical problem.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Blake Bagget (USA, Kawasaki), 24:45.804; 2. Marvin Musquin (FRA, KTM), +0:08.876; 3. Dean Wilson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:11.331; 4. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), +0:11.742; 5. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), +0:35.043; 6. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:55.250; 7. Pascal Rauchenecker (AUT, KTM), +0:57.149; 8. Stefan Kjer Olsen (DEN, Yamaha), +1:09.391; 9. Jose Antonio Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:15.543; 10. Stuart Edmonds (IRL, TM), +1:16.750;
American Villopoto had no rival during the Open Qualifying race; in fact, after the American took the holeshot, he quickly opened a massive gap with all the other riders and nobody could stop him from winning the heat.
The big surprise in Open class was the impressive performance of Italian Guarneri, who was selected just two weeks before the event to replace Philippaerts. The Italian started in a solid third position, but he quickly close the gap with Gautier and he took over the second position from the French.
Home rider Paulin had also a good start, but he was not fully comfortable with his riding today. However, Paulin is confident that tomorrow he can fight for the top positions and help team France to be on the first step of the rostrum.
Belgian Strijbos started from the sixth position, but he had a great rhythm and moved quickly up to the fourth place. It was then, when he fought for the second position with Paulin and Guarneri, but he could not follow their speed and ended fourth.
After the bad result Australia got in the MX2 qualifying heat, Metcalfe went to the grid knowing that his country qualification for the main event was only depending on his performance. The Australian did not let his team down, and obtained a solid fifth place.
Swanepoel from South Africa was sixth; Dutch Herlings could only be seventh after not starting really well, and Swiss Tonus ended eighth, ahead of Campano from Spain and the Czech rider Michek.
OPEN Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), 24:46.792; 2. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:07.704; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:08.708; 4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:09.677; 5. Brett Metcalfe (AUS, Suzuki), +0:11.170; 6. Gareth Swanepoel (RSA, Yamaha), +0:24.849; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:26.038; 8. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:43.333; 9. Carlos Campano (ESP, Yamaha), +0:45.547; 10. Martin Michek (CZE, KTM), +0:52.961;
Nations Qualifying Top Ten: USA, Italy, France, Belgium, Australia, South Africa, Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland.