The time has come to kick off this event, and today you could truly feel the excitement in the air. The 2015 Motocross of Nations has officially begun and today marked day one of the three day event. Friday’s schedule is essentially all preparation and final set up for both the race teams and the MXGP/promoters teams. The track was being prepped to perfection all afternoon, and you can check out a track preview gallery HERE. Down in staging, the technicians were performing sound check and all of the bikes went through tech inspection.
The decibel level ratings for Europe are very similar to Supercross sound testing, but it is still a process with each team to meet or try and get near the allowed level without exceeding, obviously. Ben Shiermeyer, Justin Barcia’s mechanic, mentioned that Jeremy Martin’s 250 was so far under the allowed level that they made some changes to allow a little more noise (a louder exhaust generally breathes better, creating a small gain in horsepower). Every bit of power counts, and it is truly a balancing act to get that edge just like anything else at this level of the sport.
One of the key happenings today was the press conference, where team France took the stage first. Hearing each member discuss the importance of this race gave a true feeling of the pride involved. Each member mentioned it being easily the most important race of their career. No pressure, boys! Team America fielded questions, and humbly mentioned that they felt they have a good chance at this thing. You can bet that all three riders have both personal AND American pride on the line here in Ernee. Team Belgium mentioned being overshadowed when anyone mentions favorites to win, and also said they prefer to come in the underdogs. After all, they finished second last year. Britain’s team made up of Shawn Simpson, Dean Wilson, and Max Anstie could all be put on this list as well, seeing as all three have the ability to bring some serious speed. It goes without saying, we are excited for qualifying to begin to see where teams actually end up!
Finishing off the day was the re-introduced “pit bike of nations”, where the media and a few fast veterans went head to head on the start straight with quite a crowd gathered waiting for carnage. Good times! Walking out of the facility tonight all you could hear was a raging party atop the hill where the main camp area is. The country’s have convened, the adult beverages are flowing, and you can bet your euros on it that there will be some epic action tomorrow when timed qualifying starts. Way more to come this weekend from “The Olympics of Motocross” in Ernée! It’s Motocross of Nations time.