OCT 21–THE REPLACEMENTS – MOTOCROSS DES NATIONS

Bellpuig, Spain

It finally happened! The race that was supposed to hit the Southern California shores nearly a month before at Competition Park finally materialized in Spain for the 56th running of the Motocross Des Nations. Is this years running of the MXDN really that beneficial and will it go down in the annals of the motocross history books?

Yes, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Unless you’ve been glued to your television playing the latest video games (admittingly, we also are at fault for spending countless hours video gaming) you would know that the original MXDN were cancelled in California. It was a blow to the FIM, DORNA, but most importantly motocross. This sent many people into a whirlwind, more specifically several big wigs in the motocross industry, all of whom decided to hold a specific race on the supposed weekend of the MXDN at Glen Helen. It was a great idea and was successful, but didn’t have the special Motocross Des Nations aura surrounding the event.

Enter DORNA with a last ditch effort to save face by delaying the MXDN and moving to Bellpuig, Spain. In a way, every problem circulated from the cancelling racing at the original track (Comp Park) had magically disappeared. Or had it? Enter ‘The Bad News Bears,’ or maybe ‘The Replacements’ would be a more fitting name for this years race.

A usual world class event turned disastrous after the top riders in the world decided to forego the event for more important things like yachting, eating brie, going to the river, or heaven forbid…just not being interested in racing the event! Face it, an unprecedented washout at the wash track of Competition Park translated into a washout of riders in Bellpuig. Carmichael, Everts, Pichon, and Smets weren’t on the playbill in Spain, but instead Garcia Vico, Lanza, and Theybers showed presence. Don’t get us wrong, all should be given respect for contesting the race, but even the fly by the seat of their pants World Cup of Motocross had more firepower than the MXDN!

So who won the ‘coveted’ Motocross Des Nations? Here’s your answer. As Italy found out, put in your top players and you get top results. Italy was the only team to field their original MXDN team in Spain, as Andrea Bartolini, Alessio Chiodi, and Alex Puzar all decided to race. However, give credit where credit is due, because those three riders were the only complete ‘A’ team to really even care about the event. Call it taking candy from a baby, call it an easy win over lackluster teams, but you should at least respect a team that actually had unity and stuck to the original game plan. It was a proud day for the Italians, one they haven’t shared at the MXDN since 1999, making it the second time they have won.

Twelve teams (usually in the MXDN there are around thirty) competed, allowing for rather unusual results. Belgium finished a usual second place, but Finland placed third with Spain and Sweden in fourth and fifth?! Erie and unusual to say the least, it was more a fight between each country’s ‘B’ team squad. Unlike the movie ‘The Replacements,’ the ‘B’ teams couldn’t compete with the ‘A’ team of Italy, but Belgium proved to be the best of the rest.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ

This years Motocross Des Nations will go down in the history books as one of the most trying times and embarrassing moments the MXDN has had to endure. Not to point fingers, but it might be a wise idea for DORNA and the promoters to look at the MXDN as one of the most prolific races of the year instead of looking specifically at dollar signs.

Maybe, just maybe the Motocross Des Nations will return to form next year in Belgium. Congratulations to Italy for winning, we’ll have to wait and see what happens next year.

RESULTS: MOTOCROSS DES NATION

1. Javier Vico Garcia…Spain
2. Andrea Bartolini…Italy
3. Alessio Chiodi…Italy
4. Jussi Vehvilainen…Finland
5. Peter Iven…Belgium
6. Danny Theybers…Belgium
7. Joaquin Karlsson…Sweden
8. Marco Kovalianen…Finland
9. Alex Puzar…Italy
10. Thierry Bethys…France
11. Antti Pyrohonen…Finland
12. Oscar Lanze…Spain
13. Johnny Lindhe…Sweden
14. Serge Guidetty…France
15. Avo Leok…Estonia

FINAL STANDINGS BY COUNTRY

1. Italy…5 points
2. Belgium…11 points
3. Finland…12 points
4. Spain…13 points
5. Sweden…20 points

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