By Brendan Lutes
This year’s Monster Energy Motocross of Nations will go down as historic for many different reasons with the most important being the first-ever victory of Team Germany. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, though, the racing action wasn’t all that happened on the sandy circuit of Lommel. Check out this week’s edition of Monday Kickstart for everything you need to know about the MXoN.
Also check out our other coverage throughout the weekend:
Saturday Practice Report
Saturday Qualifying Race Report
Sunday Race Report
The weather in Belgium this time of year is always unpredictable and it didn’t disappoint this weekend. On Saturday morning, this was the view from the pit area. As the sun came up, the sky darkened and gave way to heavy rain during the MX3 practice session. By the time qualifying was underway, the skies had cleared and rain never materialized again. On Sunday, you couldn’t find a cloud in the sky.
Yes, the track got very rough and this picture of the front straight that went past the signal area doesn’t do the brutal track justice. Between races, only certain portions of the track—the first turn and select jump faces— were smoothed over in order to keep things safe. Overall, it was easily one of the roughest tracks we’ve ever seen.
When the rain hit during the MX3 practice session on Saturday, the soft sand soaked it up like a sponge. When it really started coming down, many of the riders retreated to the coverage of pit lane to wait out the downpour. France’s Xavier Boog chose to ride through the wet stuff.
It varies every year, but for the past few years, Team USA has been spread all throughout the pits, with each rider pitting underneath their respective sponsor’s truck. This year, Ryan Dungey was pitted at the KTM truck and shared the real estate with his U.S. teammate France’s Marvin Musquin, as well as Italy’s Antonio Cairoli, Germany’s Ken Roczen and Max Nagl, The Netherland’s Jeffrey Herlings, and others. It was easily the biggest pit in the paddock.
Justin Barcia was pitted underneath the factory Honda rig and shared the space with riders from Japan and Portugal. For the most part, most of Team Muscle Milk Honda was on hand to support Barcia.