TWMX Race Report: 2005 Fox Motocross Des Nations

The dark, gloomy skies that were present on Friday afternoon in Ernee opened up into a sunny, nearly perfect day on Saturday, but unfortunately returned in the shape of a torrential downpour early Sunday morning. The rain continued right up until the start of the first practice session, turning Saturday’s beautiful track into a mud bath.

Sunday’s program still went off as scheduled at 8:50 AM with the first practice of the day—Warm-up B Final (the teams that didn’t qualify in the top-20 for the MXdN Main Motos). Once the B Warm-up was off the track, Warm-up Motocross des Nations Group 1 and Group 2 hit the track—each with their own 20-minute session. The track and the mud continued to break in over the course of the morning, and as a result, the lap times steadily improved by the time the Group 2 riders got up to speed. Thanks to the 1-4-2 performances put in by Team USA in Saturday’s qualifying motos, however, they were already pre-qualified as the number-one team, and thus Sunday morning’s practice times had no effect on their starting positions in the MXdN main motos…

Warm-up Group 1—MX1 + MX2 + OPEN:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (USA)—MX1 2:02.291
  2. Kevin Windham (USA)—Open 2:02.799
  3. Kevin Strijbos (Belgium)—Open 2:05.925
  4. Stefan Everts (Belgium)—MX1 2:06.076
  5. James Noble (Great Britain)—Open 2:06.430

Notables:

  1. Ivan Tedesco (USA)—MX2 2:09.833

Warm-up Group 2—MX1 + MX2 + OPEN:

  1. Mickael Pichon (France)—MX1 1:58.111
  2. Ben Townley (New Zealand)—Open 2:01.788
  3. Tanel Leok (Estonia) —MX1 2:02. 272
  4. Antonio Cairoli (Italy)—MX1 2:02.283
  5. Josh Coppins (New Zealand)—MX1 2:02.978

Notables:

  1. Sebastien Tortelli (France)—MX2 2:03.330
  2. David Vuilllemin (France)—Open 2:03.836

RACE 1: MX1 + MX2—JUST LIKE HOME

The stormy weather that frightened fans and teams passed, and by the start of race one cloudy blue skies and warmer temperatures welcomed Ricky Carmichael as he blasted through turn one with the holeshot. RC wasted no time and immediately left the entire field of MX1 and MX2 racers battling for second overall; by the end of lap one he had already opened up a full straightaway lead. The battle for runner-up honors quickly developed between New Zealand’s Josh Coppins and France’s Mickael Pichon. With a clear home court advantage, Pichon received unbelievable fan support that pushed him to within a second or two of Coppins. As the track began deteriorating and gnarly ruts formed up the face of a double, Coppins swapped hard and went down on the backside of the jump. Pichon, who was just bike lengths behind, could not avoid Coppins, and the two were left picking up their bikes side-by-side. Coppins remounted first, and eventually finished the moto in second behind RC—some seven seconds in front of Pichon.

With Ricky up front and in charge, fans switched their focus to an amazing battle between the MX2 riders. Ivan Tedesco scored an amazing start against the 450s of the MX1 class, and completed lap one in eighth overall. Hot Sauce rode like a champ and opened a healthy-sized lead over most of his class, until on lap 14 when France’s Sebastien Tortelli moved into second place in the MX2 class. Tortelli wasn’t quite as fortunate as Ivan out of the gate, and was forced to start the moto back in 20th overall. After moving his way through the pack, Seb caught and passed Belgium’s Steve Ramon after a hard-fought battle. Once in second, Tortelli set his sights on Tedesco, and within only a couple laps had closed to within a few bike lengths. Ivan fended off the hard-charging Tortelli like a true champion, and took the checkers to take first place in the MX2 class, and sixth overall for the moto. Team USA’s 1-6 scores were exactly what they needed to pull anarly lead for the des Nations overall championship.

RACE ONE OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (USA)—MX1
  2. Josh Coppins (New Zealand)—MX1
  3. Mickael Pichon (France)—MX1
  4. Tanel Leok (Estonia)—MX1
  5. Stefan Everts (Belgium)—MX1
  6. Ivan Tedesco (USA)—MX2
  7. Sebastien Tortelli (France)—MX2
  8. Mark De Reuver (Netherlands)—MX1
  9. Steve Ramon (Belgium)—MX2
  10. Billy Mackenzie (Great Britain)—MX1

RACE 2: MX2 + OPEN

The holeshot in race two went to Kevin Windham aboard his CRF450R, and just like his teammate RC, K-Dub checked out immediately. Behind Windham, France’s David Vuillemin got by David Philippaerts from Italy to take over the second spot. Though Windham enjoyed a very comfortable lead in the first few laps, disaster struck for Team USA when K-Dub washed out while exiting a corner leading into a steep downhill. While on the ground, Windham was passed by Ben Townley, who just seconds before had passed Vuillemin for second. It was made clear by his slow return to pace that something was wrong with his bike. On the very next lap, Windham lost control off the rutted face of a tabletop and swapped sideways upon landing, smacking the rear of his CRF into a metal post. The result was a loss of three more positions.

Meanwhile in the MX2 class, Belgium’s Steve Ramon was holding it down up front, as race one winner Ivan Tedesco had a rough time keeping his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki straight. Ivan, who completed lap one in 11th place, dropped back to 16th after a mishap on the second lap, allowing race one rival Sebastien Tortelli by. From there, Hot Sauce began his charge to reel the Frenchman back in, but the two collided on lap five and went down at the top of a long uphill in a tight turn. Their bikes got locked together, resulting in both riders losing valuable positions. Tortelli got going a few spots ahead of Tedesco, but on lap nine he went down again, and could only salvage a 29th place finish by moto’s end. Ivan, meanwhile, finished well ahead of Tortelli, but was only able to scrape together a 17th overall. Taking the class win and finishing third overall was Belgium’s Steve Ramon aboard his KTM 250SX-F, giving the Belgium team a boost in the overall standings. Adding to their success was Ramon’s teammate Kevin Strijbos, who finished one spot behind Windham in sixth.

Speaking of K-Dub, he was able to nurse his bike across the line for fifth overall. After the moto, it was reported that just about everything besides the frame and motor on Windham’s bike were replaced due to his two crashes. Almost every free member of Team USA’s mechanical squad, including Mitch Payton, were hard at work on K-Dub’s bike. Once the dust settled and the results came in from race two, it was Team USA in a tie for the overall event lead with France, each with a combined total of 12 points. Every team is allowed to drop its lowest moto score, thus Tedesco’s 17th place finish was dropped from the tally, as was Tortelli’s 29th.

RACE TWO OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ben Townley (New Zealand)—Open
  2. David Vuillemin (France)—Open
  3. Steve Ramon (Belgium)—MX2
  4. David Philippaerts (Italy)—Open
  5. Kevin Windham (USA)—Open
  6. Kevin Strijbos (Belgium)—Open
  7. Javier Garcia Veco (Spain)—Open
  8. Marc Ristori (Switzerland)—Open
  9. Yoshitaka Atsuta (Japan)—Open
  10. Matti Seistola (Finland)—MX2

Notables:

  1. Ivan Tedesco (USA)—MX2
  2. Sebastien Tortelli (France)—MX2

RACE THREE: MX1 + OPEN—TEAM USA WINS!!!

Heading in to the final moto of the day, Team USA and Team France were tied for the overall win. Team Belgium sat just two points back. Set to be one of the best races of the event, the third and final moto went to the line. The outcome would determine the overall Motocross des Nations champion, and all 35,000 plus fans were on their feet for the drop of the gate. Grabbing the all-important holeshot was Team USA, with K-Dub out front and RC close in tow. Belgium’s hope for an overall victory was dashed in the first turn, as Everts got tangled up and went down. Up front, Carmichael made his move on teammate Windham to lead the pack across the line upon the close of lap one. On lap two, a very impressive and hard-charging Ben Townley moved past Windham to take over the second spot, and he then set his sights on RC. Townley kept RC in closer check than just about anybody had been able to do in the past couple of years outdoors, but in the end, Carmichael was just too fast, too consistent, and too tough.

France’s Mickael Pichon moved into fourth behind K-Dub on lap two, and kept Kevin honest for the entire moto. On the last lap, Pichon went down hard just two turns from the finish, but remounted to cross the line in fifth place overall. With teammate David Vuillemin struggling just a bit and finishing the moto in seventh overall, the French team was simply overpowered by RC and K-Dub’s 1-3 moto scores.

RACE THREE OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (USA)—MX1
  2. Ben Townley (New Zealand)—Open
  3. Kevin Windham (USA)—Open
  4. Josh Coppins (New Zealand)—MX1
  5. Mickael Pichon (France)—MX1
  6. Mark De Reuver (Netherlands)—MX1
  7. David Vuillemin (France)—Open
  8. Kevin Strijbos (Belgium)—Open
  9. Stefan Everts (Belgium)—MX1
  10. Tanel Leok (Estonia)—MX1

Team USA’s win marked the 16th time in the event’s 59-year history that the Chamberlain Trophy will travel back to the states. Congratulations RC, K-Dub, Hot Sauce, and the rest of Team USA!

MOTOCROSS DES NATIONS OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. United States (USA)
  2. France (FRA)
  3. Belgium (BEL)
  4. New Zealand (NZL)
  5. Great Britian (GBR)
  6. Estonia (EST)
  7. Netherlands (NED)
  8. Portugal (POR)
  9. South Africa (RSA)
  10. Spain (SPA)

. The outcome would determine the overall Motocross des Nations champion, and all 35,000 plus fans were on their feet for the drop of the gate. Grabbing the all-important holeshot was Team USA, with K-Dub out front and RC close in tow. Belgium’s hope for an overall victory was dashed in the first turn, as Everts got tangled up and went down. Up front, Carmichael made his move on teammate Windham to lead the pack across the line upon the close of lap one. On lap two, a very impressive and hard-charging Ben Townley moved past Windham to take over the second spot, and he then set his sights on RC. Townley kept RC in closer check than just about anybody had been able to do in the past couple of years outdoors, but in the end, Carmichael was just too fast, too consistent, and too tough.

France’s Mickael Pichon moved into fourth behind K-Dub on lap two, and kept Kevin honest for the entire moto. On the last lap, Pichon went down hard just two turns from the finish, but remounted to cross the line in fifth place overall. With teammate David Vuillemin struggling just a bit and finishing the moto in seventh overall, the French team was simply overpowered by RC and K-Dub’s 1-3 moto scores.

RACE THREE OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (USA)—MX1
  2. Ben Townley (New Zealand)—Open
  3. Kevin Windham (USA)—Open
  4. Josh Coppins (New Zealand)—MX1
  5. Mickael Pichon (France)—MX1
  6. Mark De Reuver (Netherlands)—MX1
  7. David Vuillemin (France)—Open
  8. Kevin Strijbos (Belgium)—Open
  9. Stefan Everts (Belgium)—MX1
  10. Tanel Leok (Estonia)—MX1

Team USA’s win marked the 16th time in the event’s 59-year history that the Chamberlain Trophy will travel back to the states. Congratulations RC, K-Dub, Hot Sauce, and the rest of Team USA!

MOTOCROSS DES NATIONS OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. United States (USA)
  2. France (FRA)
  3. Belgium (BEL)
  4. New Zealand (NZL)
  5. Great Britian (GBR)
  6. Estonia (EST)
  7. Netherlands (NED)
  8. Portugal (POR)
  9. South Africa (RSA)
  10. Spain (SPA)