-- Smarty’s MXoN Predictions
-- Who Is Going To Win? These are the facts mate….!!
-- Motocross Of Nations – 29-30 September – Lommel, Belguim
25 hand-picked national teams with 75 of the world’s best motocrossers on
arguably the toughest track in the world. That is what we have to look forward
to when the 2012 Motocross of Nations hits Lommel in Belgium this weekend.
In reality, crashes and bike problems aside, the hot favourite has to be the
old US of A. I know a lot of people think differently but as I see it, of the 75
riders contesting the MXoN there is only six of them that have the ability to
win an individual race and/or their class this year and they are Antonio Cariloi
(MX1 Italy), Jeffrey Herlings (MX3 Netherlands), Ken Roczen (MX1 Germany), Ryan
Dungey (MX1 USA), Blake Baggett (MX2 USA) and Justin Barcia (MX3 USA).
The problem for everyone except USA’s team manager Roger DeCoster is that all
of the teams have one rider capable of winning while America has three riders
who can win…let’s look at the teams that I see will be top ten.
- 1st: USA: Ryan Dungey (MX1), Blake Baggett (MX2), Justin Barcia (MX3)
If you need me to write up what each of these riders have achieved in 2012 you
might as well move on now coz you are simply not a moto enthusiast. Dungey will
be a force at Lommell because he loves the sand and performs well at every
occasion while Baggett and Barcia are dead-set fighters with talent to boot. You
need guts and determination to win at Lommell and the Yanks have that in spades.
- 2nd: Germany: Max Nagl (MX1), Ken Roczen (MX2), Marcus Schiffer (MX3)
Germany is a real chance of winning this. Roczen is a race winner and Nagl is
one of the hardest men on the GP circuit while the person who is considered the
weakest link, Marcus Schiffer, is no slouch. Schiffer took time away from the
GPs in 2012 in order to concentrate on the German ADAC MX Masters series which
he managed to win with a round to spare AND scored solid points in the couple of
GPs he competed in.
- 3rd: Belgium: Clement Desalle (MX1), Jeremy van Horebeek (MX2), Ken de
This is the sleeper team. All three of these riders have talent to burn and fly
under the radar more often but not. Desalle finished the World Motocross
Championships in second place while de Dycker managed fifth overall and van
Horebook finished the MX2 championship in third place but more importantly all
rider have performed well in the sand in the past.
- 4th: Italy: Antonio Cairoli (MX1), Alessandro Lupino (MX2), Davide Guarneri
Cairoli rides the sand more than anyone in the moto world and the now six time
world champion will break his MXoN hoodoo and win at Lommell BUT his teammates
are not going to be flat out cracking the top ten all day. Lupino managed 11th
in the final standings in the World Motocross Championships on the TC250 Husky
while Guarneri scored 13th in the MX1 class by season end.
- 5th: France: Gautier Paulin (MX1), Marvin Musquin (MX2), Xavier Boog (MX3)
Paulin and Boog are talented hard chargers while Musquin is the former world
champion so these three WILL be in the mix this year. A slip up from USA and
team France could well be on the top step of the podium.
- 6th: Netherlands: Marc de Reuver (MX1), Glen Coldenhoff (MX2), Jeffrey
This isn’t a bad team. Some believe that Herlings is the best sand racer ever
and it is hard to argue against that and he is riding the factory KTM350SX-F and
Coldenhoff is coming off a podium at the final round of the championships last
weekend in Germany. Unfortunately de Reuver will struggle stay anywhere near the
- 7th: Great Britain: Tommy Searle (MX1), Jake Nicholls (MX2), Max Anstie
Even though he finished 2nd in the MX2 World Championships it is a fact that
Tommy Searle sucks in the sand compared to the top runners while Nicholls and
Anstie will without doubt have a crack but a top ten can only be the best they
can hope for.
- 8th: Australia: Lawson Bopping (MX1), Luke Styke (MX2), Todd Waters (MX3)
No Chad Reed, Michael Byrne, Brett Metcalfe, Jay Marmont or Dean Ferris so we
are in trouble. Bopping, Styke and Waters will put themselves among the top
runners early in each of their races but my bet is that they will die in the
arse towards the end of each moto like a dart that simply hasn’t been thrown
hard enough. Lommell is a killer and our young stars simply haven’t got the
experience on a track that that will be torture towards the end of each moto.
- 9th: New Zealand: Josh Coppins (MX1), Kayne Lamont (MX2), Cody Cooper (MX3)
Coppins is a chance for a top ten at best while Cooper will keep his Suzuki in
the top 15 and Lamont will suffer the same fate of the young Aussies.
- 10th: Russia: Evgeny Bobryshev (MX1), Alexander Tonkov (MX2), Evgeny
This is the commentators nightmare team if they are at the front of the
field…fortunately they won’t be. Bobryshev finished the MX1 championship in 9th
while Tonkov finished the MX2 championship in 17th and Mikhaylov finished 40th
in the AMA Nationals. I give them tenth because they are the best of the rest of