2017 Motocross of Nations, Matterley Basin, UK
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Jeffrey Herlings 450 SX-F MXoN
Ray Archer/KTM Media Library
The three motos on Sunday were run in muddy conditions as the English climate delivered some of its worst. The fast and popular track was an exciting challenge on Saturday but for the crucial race programme was slow and both tacky and slippery due to the rain through the evening and constant haze of water through the course of the afternoon.
Armed with the factory 450 SX-F Herlings almost holeshotted the second moto of three (his first as the Dutch MX Open rider) and after a brief crash while leading recovered to overtake Romain Febvre and win. The 23 year old then took part in a fantastic chase with Britain’s Max Anstie and with Febvre again in close company to almost go 1-1. He pushed the Brit all the way to the flag and the difference was only 1.1 seconds at the line. The Netherlands beat the host nation to the second step of the podium by one point as Coldenhoff – in the MXGP class with the 450 SX-F – contributed an 8-11. Bogers played his part with a 9th in MX2 and with the 250 SX-F.
Herlings: “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.”
Coldenhoff: “I expected better. I got a good start in the first moto but struggled a bit at halfway. I had to take off my goggles as well and then it was even more difficult. I tried as hard as I could and just came up a little bit short. It was not my day today. I gave everything that I had and in the end I’m happy for the team but disappointed in myself.”
MXGP World Champion Tony Cairoli was representing and leading Team Italy once more and didn't enjoy the best of starts on his way to a 7-11 scorecard. The Sicilian suffered a small crash in his first outing but was able to work with his mechanics to gather some important information in the muddy conditions with a view to a title defence come 2018. Team Italy was seventh overall.
Cairoli: “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.”
With MX2 World Champion Pauls Jonass electing to miss the Matterley event to recover from a heavy and pressurised MX2 campaign, Jorge Prado wore Spanish colours on the works 250 SX-F. The teenager was 28th with a goggle problem that caused him to put in his first race and then had to retire from the second after a stone jammed into his rear brake.
Prado: “A disappointing way to finish the season. I had some goggle trouble in the first moto and was always battling the conditions and then the second race was over when I had a stone get into the rear brake. It meant I wasn't going anywhere with the bike. Not really how I wanted to end the year but it has been a long one for me and now it is time to stop and have a good look at everything we have done and work for the next season.”
The mammoth event brought the international racing season to a close with a break now preceding final tests and a winter training programme ahead of a 2018 FIM World Championship calendar that will feature twenty Grands Prix.
Results Motocross of Nations Matterley Basin 2017
1. Max Anstie (GBR), Husqvarna
2. Gautier Paulin (Fra), Husqvarna
3. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda
4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL), Yamaha
5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI), Yamaha
1. Hunter Lawrence (AUS), Suzuki
2. Zach Osborne (USA), Husqvarna
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN), Husqvarna
4. Christophe Charlier (FRA), Husqvarna
5. Brian Bogers (NED), KTM
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM
2. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha
3. Dean Wilson (GBR), Husqvarna
4. Alessandro Lupino (ITA), Honda
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Suzuki
Motocross of Nations classification
1. France 20 points
2. Netherlands 31
3. Great Britain 32
4. Belgium 53
5. Switzerland 56