The 75th running of the world’s most prestigious motocross event, the Motocross des Nations held at famed American professional motocross venue RedBud MX in Buchanan, Mich., was won on Sunday by an All-Monster Energy team of racers representing USA – Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton, and Justin Cooper. This added to the United States’ record win total (23) and breaking an 11-year drought (2010, Lakewood, Colo.) since the USA last won the coveted MXdN Chamberlain Trophy.
Leading Team USA was Cooper (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha), who won the overall MX2 division title with a 9-4 two-race finish. Monster Energy’s Sexton (Honda) added a 2nd/3rd two-race finish for 2nd overall in the Open division for some crucial team points and Tomac (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) won the opening race, then rode to a solid 6th place (following a smart first turn move to avoid a crash) in the third race to preserve the victory for Team USA.
All totaled 12 Monster Energy-backed racers competed at the RedBud MXdN. Maxime Renaux (Monster Energy/Yamaha) would win the 3rd race outright, going 3-1 in the MXGP class to secure the MXGP individual title and help Team France to a 3rd place overall finish. Renaux’s countryman, Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha), would go 6-4 in the Open class for 3rd place individually. Switzerland’s Jeremy Seewer (Monster Energy/Yamaha) raced very strong and would go 4-5 in the MXGP class to finish 3rd individually and Belgium’s MXGP class racer Jago Geerts (Monster Energy/Yamaha) would battle Tomac closely throughout the opening moto, finishing with a strong 2nd place finish, but fell in the 3rd race and finished outside the top ten (5th individually).
Noteworthy Monster Energy performances: Chile’s Hardy Munoz (Husqvarna) placed 8th overall in the MX2 class; Glenn Coldenhoff (Yamaha) of the Netherlands battled back to a respectable 13th place in the first moto after crashing early; the UK’s Tommy Searle (Honda) placed 9th overall in the Open class; Japan’s Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki), who won the RedBud MX National 250 class this summer, unfortunately didn’t get to race Sunday’s main program on account of Japan not qualifying as a team.
Team USA entered Sunday’s final races with all kinds of momentum by winning Saturday’s qualifying rounds. Cooper was victorious in MX2 qualifying, leading every lap of the 20 min/plus two-lap qualifier race. Tomac placed 2nd in the MXGP class qualifying (behind winner Geerts, and ahead of 3rd place Seewer). And Sexton, who was winning the Open class qualifier on Saturday, fell on the last lap, handing the victory to Ferrandis (Sexton remounted for 2nd). The 2-1-2 finish by the Monster Energy-backed racers gave Team USA the top gate pics in Sunday’s final races.
Race 1, MXGP and MX2
Geerts got out fast on the muddy track, beating Tomac to the holeshot line by a set of forks. Tomac would quickly get the lead back from Geerts, passing the Belgian on Turn 2 and taking the early lead. Tomac would continue to increase his lead over Geerts, but the MXGP MX2 class runner-up was persistent in his pursuit of the ’22 450 class U.S. SX/MX dual champion, keeping within two to four-seconds of Tomac. Renaux and Seewer also kept Tomac and Geerts in sight, and helped Monster Energy with a 1st (Tomac), 2nd (Geerts), 3rd (Renaux), 4th (Seewer) sweep of the opening race for Monster Energy. Cooper would add a 9th place finish, 2nd in the MX2 class, in the day’s first race.
Race 2, MX2 and Open
Sexton would pull a good start, out in 2nd place, while Cooper and Team Australia rival Hunter Lawrence (Honda) got together on the opening lap, with Lawrence getting the worst of it and hitting the deck (as Cooper raced off). As the rains continued and track conditions were difficult, vision-wise, Sexton battled with Italy’s Mattia Guadanini, swapping the lead at one point before Guadanini took it back from Sexton. Both Sexton and Guadanini would get passed by Team Australia’s Jett Lawrence (Honda), but Sexton played it smart in the highly important race for the Chamberlain Trophy, letting Jett Lawrence go and focusing on Guadanini, who he passed late in the race to take 2nd.
Noteworthy: Cooper’s get together with Hunter Lawrence, and his 4th place to Lawrence’s 10th place, would be the main turning points for Team USA winning the MXdN championship over Australia.
Race 3, MXGP and Open
With all the team championship chips on the table, the two premier classes faced off in one last race at RedBud, to decide the 2022 MXdN championship. It’d be Monster Energy-backed racers that’d dominate. Blasting out to the early race lead were Team France’s Ferrandis (holeshot) and Renaux, leading Sexton out of the first turn. Drama ensued as Geerts would go down and disrupted Tomac’s start, relegating the MXdN opening race winner to 12th place out of the first turn. At the race’s halfway point, Ferrandis made a mistake on the massive “Hammer of Thor” uphill triple jump and Renaux took over the lead. With Ferrandis down, Sexton was close behind and easily took over 2nd place. But again played it smart with the team championship on the line for the USA and allowed Jett Lawrence to breeze by, while keeping Renaux (2nd) in site. While all that was happening, Tomac quietly picked his way through the world’s top racers and up to a commendable 6th place in the final race. And when the checkers flew, it was Sexton in 3rd and Tomac in 6th to secure the Chamberlain Trophy for Team USA.
So at the end, 34 nations and 102 racers, Team USA stood as the champions of the 2022 Motocross des Nations at RedBud, Team USA’s record 23rd MXdN championship and first since 2010.