When The World Changed - MXoN 2012

Posted on September 21, 2022

Team USA’s seven-year winning streak came to an end at the 66th running of the Motocross of Nations in Lommel, Belgium, this Sunday. The 2012 USA Team, consisting of Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) in MX2, Ryan Dungey (KTM) in MX1, and Justin Barcia (Honda) in the Open class, finished third overall behind Belgium and this year’s winner, Germany. It was the first time Germany ever took the MXoN title.

Max Nagl (KTM), Ken Roczen (KTM), and teammate Marcus Schiffer (Suzuki) left in possession of the Chamberlain Cup, the most coveted trophy after a tight faceoff Belgium with KTM’s Ken de Dycker and Jeremy van Horebeek and Clement Desalle.

Ken Roczen: “Yeah, it’s absolutely amazing what all three of us did.  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. And I’m really happy with what I did winning the third time in the row for MX2.”

But this epic 66th edition of the challenge will also be remembered for the amazing rides of two other KTM teammates: for Tony Cairoli’s victory in the opening race when he finished 21 seconds ahead of French rider Gautier Paulin, for Jeffrey Herlings’ magic in race two when he finished 58 seconds ahead of Tanel Leok of Estonia and for race three when the two KTM teammates fought it out on the track; six times World Champion Cairoli, the recently crowned MX1 World Champion and a wily tactician of great skill and Herlings, the young just 18-year-old pretender from the Netherlands who has just taken the world MX2 title.

The two gave a stunning display of skill on the treacherous Lommel track where by the end of the race weekend the ruts in the soft and sticky sand were almost waist deep. They wove and danced over the deteriorating track surface with the kind of skill that left observers open mouthed with admiration. Even for the hardest fighting American riders it was just too good.

When Cairoli and Herlings lined up for the final race both their national teams were already out of the reckoning so what was at stake here was their honor.  Both were riding the KTM 350 SX-F bike, Tony was racing for MX1 and Jeffrey for the Open Class instead of piloting his KTM 250 SX-F in the MX2 series. It was a battle of proven skill and youthful exuberance that seemed to be over as soon as the gate dropped.

Cairoli took the holeshot and Jeffrey was buried right down at 28th place in the melee of riders trying to get away cleanly. The young Dutchman made up 18 places in the opening lap, was in fourth in the fourth lap and was second behind Tony two laps later. There was a huge gap between them but Jeffrey was lapping multiple seconds faster than any other rider and it all came down to the final lap.

In the end it was Cairoli who took the race but close behind him was Herlings after finishing what was probably the ride of his young career. They hugged and were in the pit area surrounded by their team before third placed Justin Barcia of the USA took the checkered flag. It will be a race that people will talk about for a long time.

Tony Cairoli: “I’m not a Belgian or a Dutch rider. I’m not born in the sand so I just do my best, I train a lot here, I step up my condition and my technique.  So today I was the fastest and the strongest and the best sand rider, so I think its just amazing that I can even step it up more…. not so much for Italy but with myself I’m really happy. We’re happy that we finished top five it’s not a bad result. I think next year we can prove our worth and the media will consider us a team that can be on top.

Ryan Dungey: “We learned quite a bit and we realized what a demanding and tough track this is.  You know it’s about learning. We didn’t ride terribly today, we gave it our best effort and you don’t always win. It’s tough because that’s the goal in the States and over here. You don’t really want to accept anything but a win. The older you get and the more you win, the harder it gets to lose but at the same time we did well. We’ve given 100% and that’s all you can ask.”

MXoN Results - 2012 Monster Energy Motocross of Nations

Race 1 (MXGP + MX2) – Classification: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:13.245; 2. Ryan Dungey (USA, KTM), +0:03.732; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:04.814; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:13.464; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:15.220; 6. Filip Bengtsson (SWE, KTM), +0:32.340; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:36.143; 8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:40.866; 9. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:46.237; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +0:47.836; 11. Jeremy Martin (USA, Yamaha), +0:51.596; 12. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +0:54.601; 13. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:56.224; 14. Chad Reed (AUS, Kawasaki), +1:14.061; 15. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +1:20.634; 16. Colton Facciotti (CAN, Honda), +1:23.929; 17. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +1:30.365; 18. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Honda), +1:30.941; 19. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:31.515; 20. Harri Kullas (EST, KTM), +1:36.254; 21. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +1:59.045; 22. Luke Clout (AUS, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 23. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), -1 lap(s); 24. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 25. Gert Krestinov (EST, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 26. Ludvig Söderberg (FIN, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s); 27. Kim Sorensen (DEN, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 28. Henry Jacobi (GER, KTM), -1 lap(s); 29. Benjamin Lamay (PUR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 30. Paulo Alberto (POR, Honda), -1 lap(s); 31. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), -1 lap(s); 32. Alex Martin (PUR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 33. Toni Eriksson (FIN, KTM), -1 lap(s); 34. Kaven Benoit (CAN, KTM), -1 lap(s); 35. Martin Barr (IRL, KTM), -1 lap(s); 36. Jernej Irt (SLO, KTM), -1 lap(s); 37. Gordon Crockard (IRL, Kawasaki), -2 lap(s); 38. Ken Bengtson (SWE, KTM), -6 lap(s); 39. Ceriel Klein Kromhof (NED, KTM), -7 lap(s); 40. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), -8 lap(s);

Race 2 (MX2 + Open) – Classification: 1. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 35:28.584; 2. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:03.329; 3. Dean Wilson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:21.875; 4. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:23.377; 5. Fredrik Noren (SWE, Honda), +0:25.580; 6. Eli Tomac (USA, Honda), +0:26.102; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +0:26.726; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:27.713; 9. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:43.243; 10. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), +0:45.552; 11. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:47.484; 12. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:56.723; 13. Jeremy Martin (USA, Yamaha), +0:59.597; 14. Dennis Ullrich (GER, KTM), +1:10.562; 15. Matt Moss (AUS, Suzuki), +1:14.480; 16. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +1:29.620; 17. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:31.015; 18. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +1:37.494; 19. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +1:45.685; 20. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Yamaha), +1:48.369; 21. Luke Clout (AUS, Yamaha), +1:49.646; 22. Alex Martin (PUR, Yamaha), +1:50.311; 23. Santtu Tiainen (FIN, Husqvarna), +1:52.802; 24. Harri Kullas (EST, KTM), +1:55.053; 25. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Honda), +1:59.229; 26. Hugo Basaula (POR, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 27. Roberts Justs (LAT, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s); 28. Paulo Alberto (POR, Honda), -1 lap(s); 29. Stefan Kjer Olsen (DEN, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 30. Jernej Irt (SLO, KTM), -1 lap(s); 31. Ludvig Söderberg (FIN, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s); 32. Evgeniy Mikhailov (RUS, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s); 33. Ken Bengtson (SWE, KTM), -1 lap(s); 34. Henry Jacobi (GER, KTM), -1 lap(s); 35. Kaven Benoit (CAN, KTM), -1 lap(s); 36. Stuart Edmunds (IRL, Suzuki), -1 lap(s); 37. Tyler Medaglia (CAN, KTM), -7 lap(s);

Race 3 (MXGP + Open) – Classification: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 34:03.950; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.146; 3. Eli Tomac (USA, Honda), +0:04.436; 4. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:21.369; 5. Dean Wilson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:24.872; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:26.519; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +0:27.657; 8. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:29.083; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:31.589; 10. Rui Goncalves (POR, Yamaha), +0:47.533; 11. Ryan Dungey (USA, KTM), +0:52.632; 12. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:56.528; 13. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), +0:57.622; 14. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), +1:07.404; 15. Dennis Ullrich (GER, KTM), +1:09.075; 16. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +1:13.637; 17. Fredrik Noren (SWE, Honda), +1:13.967; 18. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:28.477; 19. Gert Krestinov (EST, Kawasaki), +1:29.779; 20. Ceriel Klein Kromhof (NED, KTM), +1:34.337; 21. Evgeniy Mikhailov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:47.484; 22. Roberts Justs (LAT, Husqvarna), +1:49.226; 23. Hugo Basaula (POR, Kawasaki), +1:54.341; 24. Stefan Kjer Olsen (DEN, Kawasaki), +1:54.552; 25. Santtu Tiainen (FIN, Husqvarna), +1:56.318; 26. Toni Eriksson (FIN, KTM), +1:59.355; 27. Tyler Medaglia (CAN, KTM), -1 lap(s); 28. Klemen Gercar (SLO, Honda), -1 lap(s); 29. Stuart Edmunds (IRL, Suzuki), -1 lap(s); 30. Gordon Crockard (IRL, Kawasaki), -2 lap(s); 31. Filip Bengtsson (SWE, KTM), -2 lap(s); 32. Ulises Velasco (PUR, Yamaha), -5 lap(s); 33. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), -6 lap(s); 34. Benjamin Lamay (PUR, Yamaha), -9 lap(s); 35. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), -13 lap(s); 36. Matt Moss (AUS, Suzuki), -16 lap(s); 37. Colton Facciotti (CAN, Honda), -17 lap(s); 38. Chad Reed (AUS, Kawasaki), -17 lap(s); 39. Kim Sorensen (DEN, Kawasaki), -17 lap(s);

Nations Classification: 1. Germany, 25 points: Ken Roczen MX2 (KTM), Max Nagl MX1 (KTM), Marcus Schiffer Open, 2. Belgium, 29 points: Ken de Dycker Open (KTM), Jeremy van Horebeek MX2 (KTM), Clement Desalle MX1, 3. USA, 39 points: Blake Baggett MX2, Ryan Dungey MX1 (KTM), Justin Barcia Open, 4. The Netherlands, 44 points: Jeffrey Herlings Open (KTM), Glenn Coldenhoff MX2 (KTM), Marc de Reuver MX1, 5. Italy, 45 points: Tony Cairoli MX1 (KTM), Davide Guarneri Open (KTM), Alessandro Lupino MX2,

Class Classification MX1

1. Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM

2. Max Nagl, Germany, KTM

3. Gautier Paulin, France, Kawasaki

4. Clement Desalle, Belgium Suzuki

5. Ryan Dungey, USA, KTM

Classification MX2

1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM

2. Blake Baggett, USA, Kawasaki

3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM

4. Alexander Tonkov, Russia, Honda

5. Priit Rätsep, Estonia, KTM

Classification Open

1. Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM

2. Tanel Leok, Estonia, Suzuki

3. Ken de Dycker, Belgium, KTM

4. Justin Barcia, USA, Honda,

5. Davide Guarneri, Italy, KTM

Ray Archer image