Belgium beats Netherlands and France
The 58th edition of the Motocross of Nations was for sure the best one of the last three years with a huge crowd attracted by the new format and prestige of the event. It was a good opportunity for Belgium to clinch another victory (the 14th), as they finally defeated a strong Dutch team and a surprising French squad, the country who will host next year’s event at Ernée.
Despite all the doubts, the Nations stays the Nations, whatever teams or riders are entered for the event. “I’m really happy this year, I was optimistic before and I can see that I was right. We proved that good work brings a good result, everything was great this weekend; there were a lot of spectators, but what is really important for me is that there was a great atmosphere, as it was in the past. We saw many fans happy to show the colours of their country, this is really the Olympic games of motorcycles and for sure we’ll continue to make this event better and better. This year we had a big success without an American team, and I hope they will join us in the future; all the main countries for Motocross must be part of this event,” said Giuseppe Luongo.
Supported by many fans the Belgian team finally triumphed. Only Netherlands gave them some trouble, leading proceedings after the first heat (MX2 and MX1); but the Dutch team weren’t able to apply pressure until the end. Winner of his two heats, Stefan Everts brought an excellent score of only two points to his team. “It has been a really difficult week for me, after what happened last weekend and my crash on Wednesday while practicing. It’s my 5th individual win and I’m really happy, because on Thursday I had headache and wasn’t sure to be able to race. The track was today incredible tough; I never see so many whoops and my legs feel like they weigh 140 kilos!It’s been an awesome weekend and I’m really happy to have Kevin and Steve alongside me in the team,” said Stefan. 2nd and 6th Kevin Strijbos delivered two more good results to the team, while Steve Ramon secured the win with two strong races (7th and 13th) on his MX2 KTM.
Marc De Reuver was the best Dutch representative and challenged Everts for the win in both races. Twice second, Marc got his best result for some time. “I was so sick last week in South Africa that I didn’t know what to expect, even if I recovered pretty well during the week. I decided to race on a 250 two stroke after a meeting with Pit Beirer; the track was unbelievable, I know what is sand but there were so many lines, so many ruts…. I had a lot of bad luck this year and came here to do awesome races and I think we gave to the crowd what they expect even if it’s a shame that I crashed both time in the last five minutes!” said De Reuver. 9th and 11th, Eric Eggens confirmed his high potential after a great qualifying race on Saturday, while Bas Verhoeven brought to the team the 5th good result with a 8th position. Three teams finished the event with the same number of points, and the ranking was decided with the final 6th result coming into play, France taking the honours thanks to Sebastien Pourcel’s 17th position over Estonia’s Juss Laansoo’s 19th and South Africa’s Wyat Avis 29th. “We didn’t know what to expect as Antoine Meo and Sébastien Pourcel didn’t had a great experience of this race and are not used to race in sand. They both come from south of France and did their best for the team; none crashed today, and despite bad starts Sébastien came back strongly while Antoine surprised me with a 9th position in the first race. The team wasn’t as strong as previous as Vuillemin, Tortelli and Roncada finally denied the invitation, but the most important was to be really motivated for this race. After my heat win I tried to follow Stefan in the last race, but at mid-race I felt tired and made some mistakes. Third is the best result we could expect for this year, we’ll be pleased to welcome the event in France next year” said Pichon.
Final result: 1.Belgium (Ramon, Everts, Strijbos), 17 pts; 2.Netherlands (Eggens, De Reuver, Verhoeven), 32; 3.France (Pourcel, Meo, Pichon), 41; 4.Estonia (Leok A, Leok T, Laansoo), 41; 5.South Africa (Rattray, Swanepoel, Avis), 41; 6.Finland (Seistola, Vehvilainen, Pyrhonen), 46; 7.New Zealand (Townley, Coppins, Hurley), 76; 8.Canada (Klatt, Blair, Roy), 79; 9.Great Britain (Sword, Mackenzie, Cooper), 86; 10.Portugal (Correia, Goncalves, Santos), 90; etc….
For more info and results check the official web site of the FIM Motocross World Championships: www.motocrossMX1.com