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10/9/2022

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Pro Motocross Championship Racers Enjoy Successful FIM Motocross of Nations

9/25/2022

 

 

Justin Cooper, Chase Sexton, Eli Tomac Lead United States to Victory; France’s Dylan Ferrandis & Marvin Musquin, Australia’s Lawrence Brothers All Shine in Podium Efforts

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (September 27, 2022) – The return of the famed Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) on American soil saw a massive and raucous crowd descend on Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX for the event's 75th running, where the stars of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship shined bright on an afternoon in which the host nation made its anticipated return to the top step of the podium. MX Sports Pro Racing congratulates the United States Motocross Team, which captured the Chamberlain Trophy for a record 23rd time, led by team manager Roger DeCoster and the three-rider lineup of Justin Cooper, Chase Sexton, and Eli Tomac. Additional praise goes to Frenchmen Dylan Ferrandis and Marvin Musquin as well as Australian siblings Jett and Hunter Lawrence, who all played an integral role in helping their respective country’s finish on the MXoN podium.

 

More than a decade had passed since the United States last prevailed at the annual spectacle affectionately referred to as the “Olympics of Motocross,” but the star-studded trio combined for a comprehensive effort that was simply too tough for their rival nations to overcome. Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing rider Cooper captured individual honors in the MX2 division with 9-4 moto scores, while both Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing’s Tomac (1-6) and Team Honda HRC’s Sexton (2-3) secured runner-up finishes in the MXGP and Open divisions, respectively. A total team score of 16 was more than enough to end the longest winless drought for the U.S. at the event and give America its fourth victory on home soil.

 

For Tomac, it puts a finishing touch on what has been the single-most-successful season of his decorated career, where his first MXoN victory in what could very well be his fourth and final appearance completes a banner 2022 campaign in which the Colorado native swept both the Monster Energy Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross titles and also earned an ESPY Award for Best Athlete, Men’s Action Sports. A season of emergence for Sexton that saw the Illinois racer join the sport’s elite ended with his most coveted accomplishment to date in his debut at the MXoN, adding to a memorable year in which he earned his first premier class win in Supercross and was Tomac’s combatant in the closest Pro Motocross title fight of all time, earning six 450 Class victories along the way. What began as a season of heartbreak for Cooper ended on a high note for the New Yorker, who overcame a serious foot injury that initially put all of 2022 in doubt but ultimately saw him defy the odds and return to form in the latter stages of the summer to earn a spot on the U.S. lineup for the second time.

 

“It’s been a long wait for American motocross fans to once again have a reason to celebrate the talents of their racers on a global stage like the MXoN, but it was well worth it when you look at the truly incredible atmosphere at RedBud,” said Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing. “Through all the years of frustration, no one took the lack of success harder than the athletes themselves and as a result Eli [Tomac], Chase [Sexton], and Justin [Cooper] came determined to take care of business in front of the hometown crowd. They focused on the task at hand and accepted every challenge that came their way for one of the most impressive collective efforts we’ve seen from a U.S. squad, where every rider stepped up to hold up his end of this team event. It was a memorable way to regain America’s grip on the sport.

 

"I would also like to congratulate Team USA Manager Roger DeCoster on his return to the top of the podium, which is where he belongs,” continued Coombs. “He is the winningest team manager in the event's long history, as well as the winningest rider–he won 16 times as a rider for Belgium in both the MXoN and the old Trophee des Nations (250cc class). This time Roger and the riders received invaluable assistance by the AMA's Mike Pelltier and Roost MX's Christina Denny, who acted as assistant team managers and helped everyone on the team forge a strong unity."

 

Not to be outdone, several other Pro Motocross stars made their presence felt at RedBud for their native countries. For former 450 Class Champion Ferrandis, the MXoN became an opportunity to turn around a season of heartbreak and frustration with the kind of performance we’ve come to expect from the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing rider, as his third place standing in the Open division (6-4) was pivotal in France’s runner-up finish and allowed him to end 2022 in celebratory fashion. His effort was supported by an equally strong outing by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Musquin, who leveraged years of success at RedBud to finish third in MX2 (14-9), despite a scaled back schedule that saw him make just one Pro Motocross start this summer. A weekend of firsts for reigning back-to-back 250 Class Champion Jett Lawrence resulted in the latest success of the young Team Honda HRC rider’s meteoric rise to stardom, as he became the breakout rider of the MXoN by winning the Open division (1-2), leading Australia to its first podium appearance since 2011 in his debut at the event and in his first competitive race aboard a 450cc machine. The elder Lawrence, Hunter, showed the same grit that defined his summer for Team Honda HRC with a resilient outing that supported his brother’s results and landed him runner-up in the MX2 division (8-10).

 

Beyond the podium, familiar faces from American motocross proudly represented their home nations, including Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Wilson, who embarked on his final MXoN journey for Great Britain, who finished in 10th place, as well as veteran Fredrik Noren, who helped Sweden to a 12th-place effort aboard his BBMX KTM. Additionally, the KTM-mounted duo of Benny Bloss and Josh Varize composed two-thirds of the lineup for Guam and guided the island U.S. territory to a 17th-place finish. Rounding out the influence of Pro Motocross on this year’s MXoN was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Italian icon Antonio Cairoli, who leveraged his experience as a part-time competitor here in the states this summer to lead his country to a fourth-place result and sixth in the MXGP division (7-9). Fresh off a championship runner-up finish in the 250 Class this summer, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda also made his MXoN debut for Japan, but the team missed out on securing one of the 20 available spots to contest Sunday’s motos.

 

“We’re proud to see the global influence of Pro Motocross play such a crucial role in the overall success for various countries at the Motocross of Nations,” added Coombs. “While homegrown U.S. talent continues to have a significant presence amongst the sport’s most high-profile athletes, the international diversity at the top of American motocross is deeper than ever before. It’s exciting to see the likes of the Lawrences, Dylan Ferrandis, Marvin Musquin, and even Antonio Cairoli parlay their experience here in the states into impactful performances wearing their country’s colors.”

 

The 2022 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations signified the second time in five years that RedBud served as the host site. A cornerstone venue of American motocross with a history that spans nearly five decades under the guidance of the multi-generational Ritchie family, RedBud has long been a standard bearer for how to showcase the sport on its highest scale and has quickly established itself as a go-to stateside destination for this annual global spectacle.
 
"Finally, we should all congratulate and thank the Ritchie family for the incredible work they did on the preparation of their world-renowned facility,” concluded Coombs. “The same should be said for InFront, organizers of the event and MXGP, for bringing the race back to U.S. soil for only the fifth time in its long history, which goes back to 1947."

 

 

 

 

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