Thunder Valley MX welcomed the biggest motocross race of the year this weekend and fans came from nearly every corner of the world to witness the planet’s fastest racers duke it out at 7,000 feet above sea level. Team USA has dominated the Motocross of Nations for years now, so the pedestal on which they stand has become a very tall perch to fall. The target could not be bigger on the backs of the American riders.
Ryan Dungey and Trey Canard got first crack at the Thunder Valley track, but it was Jonathan Barragan of Spain that stole the holeshot, followed closely by Dungey. Tragically, Trey Canard and Puerto Rico’s Zach Osborne barely made it off the line before getting tangled up. The two remounted and joined the race in dead last.
Italy’s Antonio Cairoli and Belgium’s Steve Ramon chased after Dungey, but Brett Metcalfe, waving the Australian flag, caught Ramon within three laps and set his sights on Cairoli. The crowd roared to life as Dungey took over the lead while Canard fought tenaciously through the pack. Cairoli soon caught Barragan as well and refocused onto Dungey’s rear tire. Dungey, though, maintained a faster lap than the Italian and held onto his early lead. Metcalfe, however, did everything but maintain, reeling in Ramon, than onto to Barragan.
Disaster struck the French next as Marvin Musquin backed off and raised his hand with bike problems. The French, who were leading the combined at that point, watched their Chamberlain hopes die with Musquin’s bike. Out front, the Italian and the American battled for supremacy. Cairoli kept the pressure on as Dungey fought to keep him at his back.
As time wound down, Canard continued to pick riders off, clicking off laps up to four seconds faster than top ten riders in front of him. Rising 250 stars Ken Roczen of Germany and Dean Wilson of Great Britain, twisted the throttle to catch up to the front runners, and with under 10 minutes left Roczen passed Steve Ramon, who was aboard a 450.
Although Cairoli pressured Dungey for quite a few laps, Dungey still managed to create some space in between them, and eventually built a five second lead on the Italian stallion. When the checkers flew, Dungey took a comfortable win, while Canard spent his final lap reeling in Kiwi Josh Coppins for the tenth-place spot. He nearly caught the veteran Aprilia rider, but there just wasn’t enough track left before the finish. One thing is for certain: Trey Canard is one bad dude. From dead last, the Elk City, Oklahoma native charged all the way up to 11th.
1. Ryan Dungey – USA
2. Antonio Cairoli – Italy
3. Brett Metcalfe – Australia
4. Jonathan Barragan – Spain
5. Gautier Paulin – France
6. Ken Roczen -Germany
7. Steve Ramon – Belgium
8. Dean Wilson – Great Britain
9. Rui Goncalves – Portugal
10. Tanel Leok – Estonia
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