MXoN 2007 - Looking back in Time
News Wednesday 11th July 2012 By Geoff Meyer
The 2007 Motocross of Nations proved, beyond any doubt, that Team USA are the team. Of the nine podium places taken in three motos, seven went to AMA riders, while Team USA totally dominated the event. It was a shock for the European based racers, and it left many questioning the current level of Grand Prix competition.
Why was it that Ryan Villopoto was allowed to walk away with his two motos whilst riding a 250cc machine against the 450s?
How come both Ricky Carmichael and Tim Ferry could come back from first lap falls and pass almost the entire field?
To get some answers, MXLarge decided to ask some of the sport’s veterans most powerful and respected figures what made Team USA so strong, and what went wrong for the rest of the world. This article will go over a couple of weeks and our first comments come from one of the all time great riders of MXoN.
American legend Jeff Emig knows better than just about anyone how the Motocross of Nations works. Emig made his debut as a youngster at the 1992 event, held in Australia, and since then made six successive appearances for Team USA, which helped carve out his deep passion for this classic, annual race.
‘Yes, Team USA was very good at the event last year at Budds Creek. Everyone seems to be talking about the rides that Ryan Villopoto put in; there is no doubt that he is fit, fast and on an incredible bike, put all those components together and it’s a hard combination to beat.
‘Tim Ferry did a great job in the Open class. He has been so solid all year and†he should be very proud of what he accomplished, I know I am proud of him. ‘And little Ricky, well, he ain’t so little anymore! He rode like the champion that he is.
‘Sure I have seen other riders perform like that at this event; I was on three winning teams. Hell, even the couple of the years that I was on a team that didn’t win, I still witnessed a rider from America kick some ass. When a rider puts his heart and soul into the racing, some very special rides come out of it.
‘Well, the difference between the US and GP circuits is, for me, the most part. What I have seen of the GP circuits – when I he rode there 10 years ago – the tracks are pretty hard packed, or muddy with a hard base. Fortunately for the riders here in the States, the track owners have started paying close attention to the tracks and replacing the soft loamy topsoils that has been lost over the years of racing. This summer the track surfaces have been a bit softer, with more ruts and bigger bumps. I think that was a huge advantage for the US riders at Budds Creek.
‘Plus, if you paid close attention to the chassis set up on a majority of the European bikes, versus the American’s bikes (or riders that race supercross here in the states), you would have seen that the back of the Euro bikes tend to sit much higher and the front lower, when compared to the US bikes.
‘This I believe is from the evolution of supercross, and what the riders here in the States like the bike to feel like – it allows them to be very aggressive over the jumps and bumps without the back coming up on them, even though it may not corner as well on flat turns. But the riders have even adapted a new style and technique to compensate for that, and with the track design at Budds Creek, it played in the favour of the American style setup.
‘This year [the team organization] was awesome! I have never seen a setup like that. There are a number of companies and people behind the scenes that put in a lot of hard work to provide the team with that type of support, a big thank you to everyone involved.
‘It is a true reflection of racing here in the United States of America, a true testament to the passion and the love that we have for the sport of motocross.’