Welcome to The Weekly Dirt, the place to go each Wednesday to catch up on the latest happenings in the realm of off-road motorcycling. This week, a little about the Motocross of Nations.
Once again, it was consistency that brought the Motocross of Nation’s Chamberlain Cup back home to America. The U.S. squad of Ryan Villopoto, Ryan Dungey and Blake Baggett won just one of the three motos in Saint Jean D’Angely, France, but took enough seconds and thirds to beat the French team of Christophe Pourcel, Gautier Paulin, and Marvin Musquin for all the marbles – although it took a bit of luck as well. At the end of the day, Villopoto won the MX3 title with a 3-1, while Dungey took the MX1 overall title with a 3-2 tally. Meanwhile, Baggett had first turn problems and went 17-17.
For sure, Villopoto and Dungey are clearly the two fastest riders in the world, but it takes a lot more than speed to dominate a one-off, pressure-packed event like the Motocross of Nations for seven years in a row. You have to have the entire arsenal at your disposal – consistently good starts, superior conditioning, blazing speed, the best mechanics, and a fair amount of cunning moto savvy (it also helps to have Roger DeCoster in your corner) – and that’s where the Yanks have a clear advantage. There is no better training ground than the AMA circuit, which is why riders like Chad Reed, Christophe Pourcel and most recently Marvin Musquin, come to America to hone their skills. At Saint Jean D’Angely Villopoto, Dungey and Baggett proved once again that the United States is the greatest motocross nation on the planet.
Further proof of American racing dominance was the fact that Team Australia claimed their first-ever podium at the race with a solid third place finish behind the efforts of AMA riders Chad Reed and Brett Metcalfe. Reed won the opening MX1/MX2 race over German Ken Roczen and Dungey. Would Reed and Metty be what they are today had they decided to pass on the AMA series and concentrate on the GP series? I’m just saying…