WMX Motocross of Nations

  • Vlaanderen Helps Dutch Win MXoN, While Gajser Is Victorious in MXGP Class

    Team HRC's Calvin Vlaanderen put in a pair of 10th place finishes to help the Netherlands win their first ever Motocross of Nations, while Tim Gajser rounded off his amazing season with one-two moto results in his two races.


Report

Vlaanderen Helps Dutch Win MXoN, While Gajser Is Victorious in MXGP Class

TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands, September 27-29, 2019

Strong Showing for HRC Riders in MXoN Qualifying Races

Team HRC duo Calvin Vlaanderen and Tim Gajser both finished second in their respective qualification races as the pair helped their countries make tomorrow's Motocross of Nations A-Final.

Held at the Assen motor-racing facility in the Netherlands, where 26000m³ of sand have been brought in to make the circuit, the 2019 edition of this prestigious event saw a wide range of weather conditions as the riders took to the track for their qualifying races.

First out was Gajser in the MXGP class representing Slovenia, who had 11th gate pick after the ballot on Friday evening. Getting a good jump out of the gate, he rounded the first turn in fourth place and set about trying to work his way forward. On the second lap he moved in third place and then a lap later he had moved up to second spot, with the rider in front within striking distance. However due to the format of the competition, Gajser decided it was better to secure two points for his country rather than risk a pass in what were quite difficult conditions and that decision paid off as Slovenia made the A-Final in 16th place.

In the MX2 class Vlaanderen was lined up near the outside as the Netherlands only had 27th gate pick out of 34. Still, utilizing the power of the Honda CRF250RW, the Dutch rider rounded the first turn inside the top 10 and ended the first lap in sixth place. Just like the MXGP race, rain showers hit the track throughout the moto but that didn't stop the home fans cheering on their rider as he worked his way through the field. Making passes at regular intervals, Vlaanderen kept the crowd entertained and eventually he crossed the line in second place, which was the best finish of the Dutch trio and gave them second gate pick for tomorrow's three races.

Team Japan in B-Final After Tough Day of Racing

Team Japan fought valiantly in the Assen sand to try and make the A-Final, but in the end came up short in what was a tough day of racing at the 2019 Motocross of Nations.

In the MXGP class Team HRC's Akira Narita was unable to finish his moto after he went off the track midway through the qualification race. Due to this incident, he felt it best to retire from the race and try and recover as best as he can for tomorrow. It was a shame for the experienced Japanese rider as he was hoping to help the team qualify straight into the A-Final.

This meant it was down to MX2 rider Gota Otsuka and Open rider Toshikia Tomita to score the necessary points from their two races, which is what they both set about trying to do when the gates dropped. Unfortunately the difficult conditions proved too much and the pair were only able to come 29th and 25th respectively, which is good enough for the B-Final tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow, the teams have a 15 minute warm-up before the B-Final gets underway at 11:00. There is then a bit of a break before the three A-Final motos which take place at 13:10 (MXGP & MX2), 14:40 (MX2 & Open) and 16:08 (MXGP & Open) local time.

Vlaanderen Helps Dutch Win MXoN, While Gajser Is Victorious in MXGP Class

Team HRC's Calvin Vlaanderen put in a pair of 10th place finishes to help the Netherlands win their first ever Motocross of Nations, while Tim Gajser rounded off his amazing season with one-two moto results in his two races, taking a convincing MXGP class victory for yet another award in 2019. The Slovenian rider also took a pair of holeshots as his Honda CRF450RW once again showed its power in the deep, wet, sandy conditions of the Assen motor-racing circuit.

Torrential rain hit the facility overnight and it continued throughout the whole day, adding an extra layer of difficulty to what is already a tough track. The organizers trucked in 26000m³ of sand to lay on top of the tarmac racing circuit and despite the horrendous weather, the track held together really well for all three motos.

For an ecstatic Vlaanderen, even the large quantities of rain couldn't dampen his mood as the Netherlands were called up on the podium to collect the Chamberlain Trophy. As the MX2 rider, he rode the first two races up against 450cc machines but despite the displacement disadvantage, he was still able to put in a pair of 10th place results, which was good enough for second in the class. Those results also helped the Dutch win by almost 30 points as they ran out convincing victors in front of their home crowd. It was a sweet redemption for Vlaanderen who got injured in last year's MXoN, and also confirmation that the Dutch Federation made the right decision when choosing the Honda CRF250RW rider.

While Vlaanderen was helping the Netherlands make history, Gajser also made a bit of history for Slovenia as his race win in the MXGP + MX2 moto was the first ever for their nation in this event. The HRC rider grabbed the holeshot but was pushed out in the second corner and had to spend the first half of the moto looking for a way to get back into the lead. Eventually he made the pass and despite some late pressure, he won the moto and proved once again that he is fastest 450cc rider in 2019. In the third moto, his second, he once again grabbed the holeshot and led for the first three laps before a small tip-over dropped him two places. He regrouped quickly though and set about trying to regain the lead, and although he had the fastest lap of the race, he couldn't make the pass he needed to go one-one. However, his three points were still half as many as the next rider in the MXGP class and that meant he added another award to an already packed trophy cabinet.

Next up for the 2019 MXGP world champion is a trip stateside as he looks to take on the best supercross riders in the world at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas on October 19th. 

Team Japan tries valiantly in horrid conditions

Despite their best efforts, unfortunately Team Japan were unable to make it out of the B-Final as Akira Narita sat out of the race due to the incident in yesterday's qualification race. That meant it was just down to Gota Otsuka and Toshiki Tomita and despite them trying their best, they just weren't able to take the win they needed to make it into the A-Final. 

Tomita had the best finish with 11th place in the B-Final in what were atrocious conditions as heavy rain had hit the track overnight and continued throughout the morning. Despite the sandy terrain, there were still puddles on the track when the gate dropped and it was more a battle of survival than a race as mistakes were plentiful.

Next year, the Motocross of Nations is scheduled to take place in Ernee, France where Japan have good memories after qualifying for the A-Final there in 2015 and 2005.

Comments

Calvin Vlaanderen | the MX2 class representing The Netherlands

"Last year didn't go as planned but we came into this year feeling confident and even though the rain made it a bit harder, we still knew we had a really good chance of winning. For myself, I had a pretty good day and I came close to winning the MX2 class, which was my goal, but I came second and that was still good enough. I was second and third for the MX2 riders in each race, 10-10 in the overall classifications and I was happy with how I rode and especially happy to help the Netherlands win the Motocross of Nations. Last year I felt terrible and I felt like I let down the team but this year I am extremely proud to be a part of this winning team."

Tim Gajser | the MXGP class representing Slovenia

"It was a good day. The weather wasn't the best and the track became a bit of a mess but I took two good starts, two holeshots and then I was able to win the first moto too so it was good. I'm a bit disappointed to make that little mistake in the second moto when I was winning but I came back very close to the leader at the end so overall I'm super happy. It's been an incredible season and this is just another great moment to win a moto and to become the first Slovenian rider ever to do so."

More

Results

Motocross of Nations

Race 1 (MXGP + MX2)

Rank Rider
1 Tim Gajser
2 Jeffrey Herlings
3 Jorge Prado
4 Jeremy Seewer
5 Gautier Paulin
6 Jeremy Van Horebeek
10 Calvin Vlaanderen
19 Valentin Guillod
21 Priit Ratsep
23 Kyle Webster
34 Wyatt Chase

Race 2 (MX2 + Open)

Rank Rider
1 Glenn Coldenhoff
2 Pauls Jonass
3 Shaun Simpson
4 Harri Kullas
5 Zachary Osborne
6 Jordi Tixier
10 Calvin Vlaanderen
14 Kyle Webster
24 Valentin Guillod
25 Priit Ratsep

Race 3 (MXGP + Open)

Rank Rider
1 Glenn Coldenhoff
2 Tim Gajser
3 Pauls Jonass
4 Jeffrey Herlings
5 Jeremy Seewer
6 Jeremy Van Horebeek
12 Harri Kullas
38 Wyatt Chase

Nations Classification

Rank Nations Rider
1 The Netherlands Jeffrey Herlings
Calvin Vlaanderen
Glenn Coldenhoff
2 Belgium Jeremy Van Horebeek
Jago Geerts
Kevin Strijbos
3 Great Britain Nathan Watson
Adam Sterry
Shaun Simpson
4 Estonia Tanel Leok
Priit Ratsep
Harri Kullas
5 France Gautier Paulin
Maxime Renaux
Jordi Tixier
6 USA Jason Anderson
Justin Cooper
Zachary Osborne
13 Slovenia Tim Gajser
Peter Irt
Jan Pancar
29 Japan Akira Narita
Gota Otsuka
Toshiki Tomita

Photos