Team France win 2017 MXoN at Matterley Basin
Australia 6th / Hunter Lawrence 4-8 / Gibbs 5-19 / Ferris 22-23
Hunter Lawrence wins MX2 Overall and Ricky Carmichael Award
The 71st edition of the unique Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations presented by Fiat Professional is in the books and it was one of the best in recent history.
The grassy english hillsides of Matterley Basin was full with thousands upon thousands of diehard motocross fans yelling, jumping, and cheering, all for the world’s best motocross riders.
This weekend was the pinnacle of what a Motocross of Nations event should be with enthusiastic, dedicated, and patriotic riders fighting for their nations glory and pride.
The fans resembled the riders in enthusiasm, dedication, and patriotism doing everything in their power to motivate their motocross idols. All of which brought the atmosphere of the emotional and action packed event to an epic level.
Team France of Gautier Paulin, Christophe Charlier, and Romain Febvre were up against strong competition today but handled the challenge with perfection winning their Fourth MXoN in a row.
The team was however challenged by the Netherlands returning team of Glenn Coldenhoff, Brian Bogers, and Jeffrey Herlings which for the second year in a row finished second.
The final spot on the podium went to, for the first time in 20 years, Team Great Britain made up by Max Anstie, Tommy Searle, and Dean Wilson.
Team Australia took out sixth overall with Hunter Lawrence starring for the team. Lawrence not only took 4-8 results across his two motos but also took out the MX2 class overall on his RM-Z250 and earned the Ricky Carmichale Award for best young rider.
Kirk Gibbs took a brilliant fifth in the opening moto and backed that up with 19th in his second effort.
Dean Ferris looked ready to ride but a few mistakes cost the reigning Australian Motocross Champion dearly and he carded disappointing 22-23 results from his two motos. He also made a pit-stop to fix and issue in the opening moto.
Results – FIM Motocross of Nations 2017
- France 20
- The Netherlands 31
- Great Britain 32
- Belgium 53
- Switzerland 56
- Australia 58
- Italy 63
- Estonia 84
- USA 85
- Sweden 87
- Denmark 98
- Slovenia 108
- Canada 119
- Russia 120
- Ireland 120
- Portugal 125
- Puerto Rico 134
- Spain 134
- Slovakia 142
- Germany 129
Race One – (MXGP + MX2)
The Netherlands Jeffrey Herlings is known as the bullet but it was his teammate, Glenn Coldenhoff, who shot out the starting gate and took the Race 1 FOX Holeshot by less than half a wheel over Max Anstie.
By the second corner Anstie was in the lead and by the conclusion of lap 1 the #4 of Coldenhoff had been shuffled back to 4th. Team Italy’s Antonio Cairoli was in 4th the first few corners but when trying to pass Paulin he tipped over and would remount in 12th. The two riders who passed Coldenhoff on the opening lap where Team France’s Gautier Paulin and Team Switzerlands Arnaud Tonus. Behind Coldenhoff was Slovenia’s Tim Gajser and Australia’s Hunter Lawrence on his 250.
On the third lap Gajser passed Coldenhoff and 4 laps later Tonus. Meanwhile Paulin was keeping Anstie honest at the front but many were on the young Australian rider of Hunter Lawerence who was not only holding his own against the more powerful 450’s but he was out riding many first passing Coldenhoff halfway through the race.
Back at the front Gajser made a pass on Paulin for second look easy as railed an inside line past the Frenchman. Paulin’s teammate Christophe Charlier started the race in 20th but was working his way forward eventually getting up to 14th.
Team USA struggled in the opening race as Cole Seely faced a bike issue and would not finish the race while his teammate Zach Osborne started and finished in tenth. On the final lap Hunter Lawrence found his way by Arnaud Tonus for 4th position as Max Anstie won the race followed by Tim Gajser, and Gautier Paulin.
MXoN Race 1 top ten
- Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), 36:10.357
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:06.251
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:09.398
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:41.407
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:44.978
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:55.596
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:00.247
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:08.634
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:19.761
- Zachary Osborne (USA, Husqvarna), +1:31.126
Race Two (MX2 + Open)
When the gate dropped in the second race of the day the “Bullet”, Jeffrey Herlings, propeled himself to a several bike length holeshot. Just as in Saturday’s Qualifying France’s Romain Febvre followed into the second corner as both Estonia’s Tanel Leok and Australia’s Kirk Gibbs had good starts crossing the line 3rd and 4th.
Team USA again had struggles as Thomas Covington fell and got back up in 35th before falling again a lap or so later. The leader Jeffrey Herlings hit neutral on a jumps and fell hand the lead and advantage to Febvre.
The MX2 riders of Hunter Lawrence and Christophe Charlier battled but then Zach Osborne split the pair and took a position back from Lawrence who had passed him earlier in the race. 2 laps later Lawrence again passed Osborne and his teammate Gibbs while up front Herlings charged down the inside of Romain Febvre to retake the lead. Only a couple laps later Lawrence took 3rd position away from Alessandro Lupino.
Lawrence then fell just after the start straight and before the mechanics area allowing Lupino back by. Lupino didn’t stay in the third spot for long though as Zach Osborne passed him on with one lap to go.
At the finish line Herlings won over Febvre and Osborne with Lupino taking fourth and Kirk Gibbs 5th while Hunter Lawrence came across in 8th taking the MX2 Overall win just behind Charlier and Team Great Britain’s Dean Wilson. Hunter Lawrence not only took the MX2 overall but was also awarded the Ricky Carmichael Award for the best young rider.
MXoN Race 2 top ten
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 37:59.364
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:13.730
- Zachary Osborne (USA, Husqvarna), +1:38.876
- Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +1:40.149
- Kirk Gibbs (AUS, KTM), +1:44.122
- Christophe Charlier (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:49.117
- Dean Wilson (GBR, Husqvarna), +2:01.064
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +2:02.897
- Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +2:07.211
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +2:28.124.
Race Three (Open + MXGP)
As the final race of the day started the hometown hero and team Great Britain rider Max Anstie took the final Fox Holeshot. Once again Romain Febvre crossed the Holeshot chalk in second followed by team Belgium’s Jeremy Van Horebeek.
In lap 2 Jeffrey Herlings found his way by Van Horebeek when the Belgian bobbled and missed the rut. Herlings was then third but up front Max Anstie fell out of the lead on the same jump that Herlings crashed on in race 2 while leading.
Romain Febvre then inherited the top spot as has teammate Gautier Paulin was left to battle with Switzerland’s Arnaud Tonus over 5th. Paulin eventually took the spot only to have Tim Gajser pass him at the halfway point.
Back up front it was a heated three way battle for the lead as Anstie tried to retake 1st position from Romain Febvre. Febvre made a mistake on the finish line jump coming up just short after threw away his goggles. Anstie flew back by into the lead as Febvre tried to retaliate down the start straight.
One lap later the exact same scenario unfolded for Febvre but with Herlings and as the Dutchman jumped passed Febvre waved to his team for new goggles. As he came down the start he took a face full of roost from Herlings and immediately after pulled into pit lane to take new goggles. Febvre rejoined the race in the same position which left it, in third as Herlings tried to real in Anstie.
Anstie and the British crowd boisterously backing him proved to be too much for Herlings and the rest of the competition as he took his second race win of the day to take the MXGP overall win while Herlings took the Open Overall victory.
MXoN Race 3 top ten
- Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), 37:59.163
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:01.108
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +1:00.011
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:20.559
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:27.401
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:36.967
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +1:44.854
- Dean Wilson (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:51.593
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +2:02.765
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +2:07.648
Hunter Lawrence – Team Australia – MX2 Winner – Ricky Carmichael Award
“The day started off really well, with a good start on my RM-Z250. It was a good race with the 450s and I ended up fourth which was really cool, finishing ahead of some top-quality riders and I was the first MX2 rider across the line.
“It was a short break between the two motos and I didn’t get as good of a start in the second race and I had to work my way through the pack. There was so much mud on my helmet and I had to take the goggles off but I was riding well and making passes.
“I took a rock to the eye at one stage and that hurt a lot but others were making mistakes and I kept charging and eventually got up to third.
“Unfortunately, my helmet was falling down across my eyes and I couldn’t see so well and I crashed a couple of laps from the end. Obviously it was a massive let down for myself as I ended up finishing eighth after that mistake.
“I still won the MX2 class and won the Ricky Carmichael award for best young rider so I’m really happy with that and with helping Australia to a sixth overall.”
Gautier Paulin – Team France
“Winning the Nations is a crazy feeling that never gets old. This is such a special event with fans and spectators travelling from all parts of the word to see us race. I really want to thank my teammates Christophe Charlier and Romain Febvre. They did a great job and the overall win belongs to all three of us. The atmosphere this year has been amazing.
“As for me, it feels great to be able to get a fourth consecutive win with the team. I did my best to secure two good results in the final motos and I made it happen. I loved every moment of this year’s Motocross of Nations. The Motocross of Nations is something that you need to live to know how it is, because motocross is an individual sport and you don’t have the same feeling when you ride the MXGP season or similar, racing here you can talk about lines and other stuff.
“Winning the Motocross of Nations mean a lot to be me but it also means a lot to be able to share it with all the fans and with the French Federation.”
Romain Febvre – Team France
“It feels good to win with the team, and not only by 1-point, by 11-points. It was a difficult weekend with so much rain, so it was tough.
“It was amazing to achieve this result on the 2018 bike, it’s what we want to see before going into the off-season, especially because we know we can make it better for my riding style a lot in the off-season. I’m already looking forward to the start of 2018.”
Christophe Charlier – Team France
“I’m over the moon with this victory. Especially for me focusing all my efforts this season into the EnduroGP World Championship, it’s been a crazy experience coming back to the pinnacle of motocross competition.
“The Nations is always a huge event and this season it seemed that it was even more spectacular. As for me, I spent the last couple of weeks training on the FC 250 machine and it all worked out pretty well here in the UK. I got 14th in the first moto and then managed to improve to sixth in moto two. It’s been a crazy journey and it feels amazing to have now won the ISDE and the Nations during the same season.”
Max Anstie – Team Great Britain
“It was unbelievable, it was awesome. I tried to race as fast as I could and the guys rode amazing, this week has been stressful, probably the most stress of all of our lives but we’ve made the best of we’ve kept solid and it’s an amazing feeling to be on the podium.”
Tommy Searle – Team Great Britain
“I was going well in the first race until I had to retire, and I felt I’d let the rest of the team down at first as this is a team contest and it put the pressure on the other guys.
“I knew I had to bring it home in my second ride but I had a bad start and got filled in with the mud as I came through the pack. I was very nervous and fifteenth is not good, but it was enough to help earn third place for the team.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek – Team Belgium
“I was feeling really good today; it was really tough because the pace was really high. I am happy with fourth place as I have only been for a few rides on the new bike and this was my first race.
“I feel like it was lucky I had the new bike this weekend because it handles so well and on a track that is this rough and technical, it really helped. I’m stoked, Yamaha have done a great job on the bike. Fourth place in my first race means we will be in business next year.”
Arnaud Tonus – Team Switzerland
“It was a bit of a frustrating day. I felt good but I made a few mistakes so I felt like I could have done better. The track was really difficult today, and I think I was fifth so that is okay. I hope to keep improving and land on the podium soon.”
Zach Osborne – Team USA
“I was happy to be back racing on familiar British soil. I did my best in the qualifying moto and was happy to get away with the win. Then on Sunday my performance was good. I didn’t get a good rhythm in the opening moto and following a small crash I had to settle for 10th at the line. In the second moto I felt much better and managed to make some good passes in the last few laps for third. I’m satisfied with second overall in the MX2 class. For Team USA it was a tough weekend but I am sure we will come back fighting for next year.”
Thomas Covington – Team USA
“I was looking forward to representing Team USA for the first time in my career. My speed was good on the 450 machine but things didn’t work out for me in any of the final motos. I got a bad start in my first moto and then went down three times during the race. My bars and levers were bent so I just did my best to finish the race. Then in the second moto I wasn’t able to get a good start again. I tried to come back as closer as possible to the top but had to settle for 17th at the line.”
Tim Gajser – Team Slovenia
“Actually, today was really tough for us as a Slovenian team. We set the goal before we went to this event that we wanted to be top 15 and we did that as we finished 12th.
“I struggled today with my starts I had to come back through from far back. It was hard as the track was really muddy and I lost my goggles in the third lap in both moto’s. I got roosted really badly in the eyes.
“I managed to finish second in my first race and then fifth in the second one. I know I can do better but we are quite happy because after many years Slovenia has had a good result.”
Tony Cairoli – Team Italy
“Today was good. We couldn’t expect the win and with the track like this it was a matter of good starts and staying out of trouble and this was not our case. We struggled a lot but Alessandro rode well in the second moto to take fourth place.
“I had a crash in the first race and it was difficult to come back, and in the second moto I had another problem at the start and from almost last I could come to seventh. Anyway we were happy that it was muddy because we needed to work a bit on this kind of soil and had struggled a bit in similar conditions during the season. We had some good practice today and now I’m looking forward to the break before we start to think of the new season.”
Michele Cervellin – Team Italy
“Today was not a good race for me. I struggled with my leg in these conditions but I just tried to do my best for Team Italy and for HRC as it is my last race with them.
“The track was so difficult and you need an umbrella on you just to see where you are going. I am going to take some time now to focus on next year.”
Evgeny Bobryshev – Team Russia
“I had a really good first Moto today even though the track was not my favourite type of terrain, then in the second race I didn’t have a good start but managed to finish twelfth. The track was really muddy compared to yesterday and really tough. Russia didn’t do so well overall but I enjoy taking part in the event and is good to see so many fans out there supporting us.”
Jeffrey Herlings – Team Nederlands
“We did really good last year and had a bit of luck to finish second but I think we deserved it this time. I’m proud of my teammates and the organisation to make this happen.
“I just missed the start in the second moto and had so much mud on my helmet and dirt in my goggle. Romain went in for goggles and I wasn’t sure, so I kept going and I caught Max but there was only one dry line and it was very tough to pass.
“I managed to get him in France [the GP Pays de Montbeliard] but couldn’t do it this time! I feel a bit disappointed because I worked hard and wanted to go 1-1 but I couldn’t. The second part of the season was good for me. I was one of the fastest and it gives me a lot of confidence going into next year.