MXoN Feature Motocross Illustrated - European Dominance
News Friday 19th October 2012 By Geoff Meyer
Or that magical effort of MX2 rider Ryan Villopoto in 2007 in USA when he beat everyone including the great Ricky Carmichael. This event always goes a step further than any other event.
When Max Nagl crossed the finish line in 6th place in the final moto of the 2012 MXoN there was a feeling of relief, like a load had been lifted from the Grand Prix rider's shoulders. Always the bridesmaid never the bride so to speak, at least not for a while now, not since Stefan Everts, Joel Smets and Steve Ramon won for Belgium in 2004 have the Euros been able to do what happened in Lommel last month.
It wasn't the failure of the American riders to come to grips with this treacherous Lommel circuit, or the fact Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings and Ken Roczen had dominated the leading American riders. Those two things were given coming into the event, a surprise it wasn't.
What did surprise me though was the manner of the attack by Team Germany, the consistency and mental strength of their riders from the very moment they set a wheel in action on the Saturday morning.
"It’s absolutely amazing what all three of us did," said Roczen. "We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. There are a lot of teams out there that can ride in the sand. But that it really was going to be us on that top step at the end was a really good feeling and yeah, history for Germany of course."
In the last 10 years Grand Prix riders have handed the Motocross of Nations to Team USA, rolled over or at times just had terrible luck. Don't get me wrong, team USA had had their share of bad luck, even in 2007 when they totally dominated the GP riders they had misfortune with crashes, but they always found a way to come back. This time it was very different.
That last moto is often the deciding moto, has been several times in the last 10 years. Team USA looking in trouble have always found a way to win, their riders coming out of the first corner of that last moto in first and second place, just as the case was in France in 2011 and America in 2010. This time though their riders Ryan Dungey and Justin Barcia did mount an early challenge, holding down second and third places in that final moto, but this time Europe fought back.
The three motos proved that GP riders own Americans in deep sand, it also proved that the Grand Prix riders found a new belief a belief that these brilliant riders from America are no longer the tough force of the 1980s when names like O'mara, Ward, Johnson and Bailey dominated us, or in the 90's when Emig, McGrath, Lamson and Stanton ruled the roost. Hell even in the 2000's we had to deal with Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto on enough occasions, but now in 2012 there might just be a big enough change to propel our riders ahead of the Americans.
Read the remaining of this story in our FREE e-magazine Motocross Illustrated below.