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Saturday Sept. 27, 2008 Results

Free Practice

MX1 Class

1.  James Stewart              USA                        1:57.360
2.  Sebastian Pourcel        France                   1:57.879
3.  Billy Mackenzie             Great Britain           1:58.312

MX2 Class

1.  Ryan Villopoto              USA                     1:58.075
2.  Tommy Searle             Great Britain        1:58.738
3.  Tyla Rattray                 South Africa         1:59.131

Open Class

1.  Nicolas Aubin             France                1:58.482
2.  Tim Ferry                   USA                     1:58.769
3.  Zach Osborne            Puerto Rico         1:58.804


Qualifying Race MX1

1.  James Stewart                 USA               Led all 12 Laps
2.  Sebastien Pourcel           France         -0:10.184
3.  Ken de Dycker                Belgium        -0:12.131

Qualifying Race MX2

1.  Ryan Villopoto              USA                Led all 11 laps
2.  Brett Metcalfe               Australia         -0:24.989
3.  Anthony Boissiere        France            -0:28.643

Qualifying Race Open

1.  Cody Cooper                New Zealand            
2.  Zach Osborne               Puerto Rico         -0:01.900
3.  Michael Byrne               Australia              -0:02.101

9.  Tim Ferry                      USA                     -0.22.655
*Ferry had the fastest lap time in the field of 2:02.420


Top Qualifying Nations for the 2008 Motocross of Nations

1.    USA
2.    Australia
3.    France
4.    Belgium
5.    Italy
6.    New Zealand
7.    Great Britain
8.    Estonia
9.    Spain
10.  Finland


Sunday Sept. 28, 200 Results

MX1 / MX2 Race #1

1.  James Stewart                 USA    
2.  Sebastien Pourcel           France
3.  David Philippaerts           Italy
4.  Jonathan Barragan         Spain
5.  Julien Bill                        Switzerland

10.  Ryan Villopoto             USA  
*2nd fastest lap time behind Stewart at 2:02.667


James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto were the fastest riders in this race as they posted the two fastest laps of the
race.  However, they had different paths to their final finishing positions.  Stewart battled with World MX1
champion David Philippaerts for a couple of laps before getting around for good and checking out to a large
lead (over 21 seconds at the finish).  

Villopoto's moto took a turn for the worse after he fell while he was in the top five.  He finished Lap 1 in 26th
position, and then he put the hammer down to work all the way up to 10th (and second MX2 rider) by the final
lap.  It is interesting to note that RV posted the second fastest lap of the moto of 2:02.667 (behind Stewart) on
the 16th and final lap of the race.  Talk about fitness!

MX2 / Open Race #2

1.  Ryan Villopoto        USA
2.  Steve Ramon          Belgium
3.  Tommy Searle        Great Britain
4.  Cody Cooper          New Zealand
5.  Alex Salvini             Italy
6.  Zach Osborne        Puerto Rico (U.S)


Ryan Villopoto dominated this moto in almost a repeat performance of last year's MX of Nations as he worked
into 1st place on Lap 1 and disappeared to a 24+ second finish over the 2007 MX1 World Champ Steve
Ramon.  Another great ride by RV in winning to go 10-1 to win the MX2 class.  RV now has three MX2 class wins
in a row at the
Motocross of Nations.  I don't think there is much doubt as to who the best MX2 rider in the
world is after another great race by RV.

Tim Ferry struggled in this race with a mid-pack start and eventually worked up to 9th place at the finish.  It
wasn't as impressive as last year as he appeared to have some problems during the race, but he did finish a
solid 9th which put the USA team in good standing going into the final race.

A very impressive ride was put in by another American (riding for Team Puerto Rico), Zach Osborne.  Osborne
fell in the early stages of the race, and then proceeded to charge from last place all the way up to 6th by the
end of the moto - an outstanding race for the young American.  It's hard to believe this is the same guy who has
raced in the U.S. the past couple of years where he struggled in the Lites class.  Good job!

MX1 / Open Race #3

1.  Sebastien Pourcel          France
2.  Tanel Leok                     Estonia
3.  Max Nagl                        Germany
4.  Ken de Dycker               Belgium
5.  Tim Ferry                       USA

23.  James Stewart             USA
*Stewart led most of the race until he fell and couldn't get the bike started right away.  Again, he had
fastest lap time in the race and his lead was about 13 seconds over 2nd place when he fell.


Going into the final moto, the USA team looked to be a fairly safe bet for another Motocross of Nations win.  
But, as we all know, motocross racing is highly unpredictable, and the final moto would prove this point once
again.  In the early stages of the moto James Stewart and Sebastien Pourcel battled for the lead with Stewart
eventually moving in the top spot and once again motoring to a comfortable lead of over 13 seconds.  At the
same time Tim Ferry was buried in the pack and circulated in 22nd after Lap 1.  While the US would be safe with
this finish, things turned out much different in the end.  

While Tim Ferry worked his way through the pack, Stewart circulated the track with a 13+ second lead by lap 9.  
But shortly thereafter disaster struck when Stewart fell and killed the engine.  As he unsuccessfully kicked the
starter over and over, riders continued to pass him.  By the time he rejoined the race he was at the back of the
pack and out of scoring position.  Now the burden of victory fell on Ferry who had made it up to 9th when
Stewart fell.  With about 6 laps or so left in the race, the pressure was on Ferry to save the team win for the
Americans.  And, he was up to the task as he continued to push to the front, making his way to an impressive
5th place finish and top Open rider in the moto.  Stewart would cross the finish line in 23rd, but his finish didn't
matter because Ferry saved the day for the Americans, despite Stewart's mistake.

Here are the final team results:

Final Team Standings

1.  USA                26 points
2.  France            31 points
3.  Belgium           41 points
4.  Great Britain    42 points
5.  Italy                  45 points

Final Observations

As always this was a great event, and the Americans once again were victorious, but it was not easy for them.  
The French team proved to be a worthy challenger and had things gone a little better in the second moto for
them, they could have won the event.  The always-tough Belgian team finished in third, while the home team of
Great Britain missed the podium by one point.  

Individually, it appears that James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto are the two best riders in the world right now.  
There are a few riders that can stay with them for a few laps on a given day, but overall they appear to be at the
top of the class right now.  Now, it will be interesting to see how RV competes on the 450.  Can he give Stewart
competition?  It should prove to be exciting, and I look forward to seeing them battle.

From my perspective the theme of the day was the inability to restart bikes after a crash or stall.  This happened
several times and cost some riders and their teams valuable places and points - specifically Tyla Rattray and
James Stewart.  The four-strokes are great bikes, but this type of problem shouldn't determine the outcome of
races (just my opinion).  Maybe we will see some electric starters soon, or maybe a return to the two-stroke!  
Regardless, it was still great racing amongst the top riders in the world, and, as always, we can look forward to
next year's event in Italy to see if the US can retain the trophy one more time!

Until Next Time!

For the entertaining version of the 2008 Motocross of Nations go to Dominic Chalk's report direct from
England.  This report also includes some photos including a
group photo of Team Mongolia - Check it out!
2008 Motocross of Nations
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