Moto XXX - Team Brazil Motocross Of Nations Race Report - Dirt Rider Magazine

This past weekend history was made. Not only was this the first time the Motocross of Nations was back in the US after 20 years but it marked team Brazil's first appearance in the highly competitive "A" final. After a weekend of highs and lows, once the final moto's results were tallied team Brazil ended up with their best overall finish to date.The three rider team consisting of Antonio Balbi Jr. (#139, Open class) Wellington Garcia (#137, MX1) and Leandro Silva (#138, MX2) arrived at the Budds Creek track Saturday morning looking forward to representing Brazil for the first time in the MXoN. Garcia was the first out on the track in the MX1 division and was riding well before a mishap coming down one of the steep hills saw him take a visit to the Asterisk medic unit. Everything checked out okay and he would be ready for his qualifier later on in the day. Silva was next on the track and the young rider looked comfortable right away on the Budds Creek circuit posting some impressive lap times. Finally it was Balbi and the Open classes turn on the track. Balbi wasted little time cutting some quick laps and finding the fastest way around the track. Once all three sessions were completed, the Brazilian team had high hopes for the qualifying races coming up that afternoon.Both Garcia and Silva started well in their respective qualifiers and proceeded to finish inside the top 15 moving the team closer to a qualifying spot. With Balbi's race coming up next the team felt like they were a lock for a qualifying position with the way Balbi had ridden in practice. As the gate dropped for the Open class, Antonio was in good position and quickly settled in. Unfortunately disaster would strike two laps into the race when Balbi went down hard off of one of the track's double jumps. The bike would take the worst of the beating but it left the team with 17-15 moto scores and ultimately one point shy of making the "A" final.Visibly disappointed, all members of the team immediately changed their focus to the Sunday's "B" final. A win there would secure the final spot for the team in the main event. But the guys would need to ride as a team since the results were based on the team's top two finishers.Sunday morning practice started off well and all of the riders knew what needed to be done. Win. When the "B" final took off, team Brazil was in good position rounding the first turn. As the pack completed the first lap all three Brazilian riders sat inside the top 5. Slowly the laps began to tick away and the team continued to ride strong. When the checkered flag flew it was team Brazil netting the overall win and earning the final spot on the gate for the "A" final. The whole team was ecstatic! The celebration was short lived as everyone knew it was time to prepare for the biggest race of the year. The first moto would be the MX1 and MX2 classes. Silva was first to the line choosing a more inside gate while Garcia chose to line up closer to the dog house. Both riders rounded the first turn well and worked to get into a rhythm. Shortly before the half-way mark came out, Silva pulled off struggling with the heat and humidity. Garcia continued to ride but was also struggling with the climate. When the checkered flag flew Garcia would be credited with 31st and Silva 36th.The second moto saw the MX2 and Open classes take to the line. Once again Silva chose an inside gate while Balbi lined up further outside. Balbi got a good start and immediately began working his way up while Silva seemed to have recovered well from his first moto DNF. Antonio rode strong the entire moto and would finish 18th at moto's end. Silva would also ride strong and cross the line 27th. The final moto of the day was the MX1 and Open classes. Garcia chose to line up on the far outside while Balbi chose a gate a little further inside. The gate dropped and both riders made it through the first turn safely but had their work cut out for them. At the completion of the first lap it both riders were sitting around 30th and looked to move up. Each rider put down consistent laps and steadily improved until the checkered flag flew. At the end it was Balbi in 26th and Garcia in 29th.At the end of the day team Brazil would be credited with a solid 16th place overall. By far their best finish ever at this event. All throughout the weekend the team stuck together and did what they needed to do. Everyone on the team was more than excited about not only their finish but the experience of riding with the best riders from around the world.Next year the event moves back across the pond to Northern Ireland where Brazil hopes to make it two in row. See you there!Moto XXX Racing is proudly supported by:
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