Thousands of fans crowded the German track of Teutschenthal for day one of the 67th edition of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. Team Australia was the big surprise, qualifying first thanks to the strong performance of Brett Metcalfe, Dean Ferris, and Todd Waters. Team USA finished second, and Team Belgium completed the top three. Hometown favorites Team Germany, and last years winner, qualified fourth.
The first race saw a strong Brett Metcalfe taking the holeshot and leading the race until the checkered flag. The Australian felt really comfortable today and he managed to withstand the pressure of Ryan Dungey who rode second during the whole heat. Metcalfe explained that the whole team was very happy for having qualified first, especially because it is the first time that Australia takes pole at the MXoN. He is expecting to do well tomorrow and finish on the podium.
Dungey had a good start in second and he tried to catch Metcalfe, but in the end he had to settle down with the second position. Third was Tommy Searl,e racing for Team Great Britain, who had an incredible performance, taking into account that he had the last gate pick. The Brit was sixth already after the first lap and by the middle of the race he was already third. From there, he rode a consistent moto and finished ahead of World Champion Antonio Cairoli, and Ken De Dycker.
Cairoli did have a good start because he had a very bad gate pick, but he was able to move from his initial 11th position to fourth at the end. The Italian is confident for tomorrow and he hopes to win both races and help Team Italy to finish among the top five Nations.
Ken De Dycker crossed the finish line fifth, and home rider Max Nagl ended sixth after having started fourth. Gautier Paulin had a small crash in the opening lap and he dropped to the 27th position. However, the French rider made an outstanding recovery and finished seventh ahead of Rui Gonçalves and Valentin Guillod. Marc De Reuver completed the top ten of the MX1 class.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Brett Metcalfe (AUS, Kawasaki), 23:35.783; 2. Ryan Dungey (USA, KTM), +0:01.633; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:13.873; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:16.251; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:19.500; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:26.949; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:43.854; 8. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), +0:45.244; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +0:50.222; 10. Marc de Reuver (NED, KTM), +0:55.953.
It was another Australian who took the holeshot of the MX2 race, but Dean Ferris could not keep the lead, though he rode a consistent moto behind Ken Roczen. The German did a really good race and crossed the finish line five seconds ahead of Ferris, but he admitted that he did not feel 100-percent comfortable with the settings of his bike. He explained that they will need to make some changes for tomorrow’s races.
Jeremy Van Horebeek was not fully confident before the race, as he is still adapting himself to the 250cc. He said that they made a big step forward and he felt much better on his Kawasaki. The Belgian went from seventh to third and he finished ahead of AMA MX Champion Eli Tomac, who had started behind him in fourth.
Jake Nicholls had a good start in fifth, but by the middle of the race he lost one position with Tomac. However, the Brit kept on riding with no mistakes and he moved up to fifth again and finished ahead of Jordi Tixier from France and Jose Butrón from Spain.
Alessandro Lupino started 11th, and then moved up to the ninth place after the first few laps. With two laps to go, the Italian overtook Alexandr Tonkov and he finished eighth ahead of the Russian. Glenn Coldenhoff from the Netherlands completed the top ten in MX2.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), 25:02.351; 2. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +0:05.219; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:15.710; 4. Eli Tomac (USA, Honda), +0:19.534; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:23.440; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:27.269; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:28.421; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:35.772; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Honda), +0:41.120; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:51.532.
In the Open class Clement Desalle took the holeshot and he opened a big gap already after a couple of laps. In the end the Belgian crossed the finish line first, 13 seconds ahead of Justin Barcia, who rode a consistent race in second from beginning to end. The big surprise in the Open class was Estonian Tanel Leok. Leok started in the eighth position, and in the last lap he overtook Australian Todd Waters for third.
Shaun Simpson did not have a good start as he had the last gate pick, but he developed an impressive rhythm. Simpson moved from 12th to fifth, helping Team Great Britain finish fifth. Home rider Dennis Ullrich also had a good race; the German started third and he did his best to hold his position. However, he crossed the finish line sixth, ahead of Christophe Charlier from France and Evgeny Mikhaylov from Russia. Former MX3 World Champion Matthias Walkner racing for Austria finished ninth and Cody Cooper from New Zealand completed the top ten.
OPEN Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 25:08.470; 2. Justin Barcia (USA, Honda), +0:13.324; 3. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +0:16.771; 4. Todd Waters (AUS, KTM), +0:18.732; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:20.691; 6. Dennis Ullrich (GER, KTM), +0:21.173; 7. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:34.471; 8. Evgeny Mikhaylov (RUS, KTM), +0:50.642; 9. Matthias Walkner (AUT, KTM), +0:52.375; 10. Cody Cooper (NZL, Suzuki), +0:54.813.
Nations Qualifying Top Ten: Australia, USA, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Estonia, Spain.