Strong Presence for Yamaha at the 2018 Monster Energy Motocross of Nations
In front of an enormous and highly animated crowd at the Monster Energy Motocross of Nations in the USA, YZ250F mounted Dylan Ferrandis played a vital role in Team France's Chamberlain Trophy defense with the nation triumphing for the fifth year in a row. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Jeremy Van Horebeek's third-place finish in the 'Open' class qualifying race was Team Belgium's saving grace, while Team Great Britain's best performer Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Ben Watson pulled the curtain on his 2018 season with an incredible fourth place finish onboard the all-new 2019 YZ250F against many of the worlds fastest 450cc riders.
Proudly representing their countries, the Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 trio Ben Watson, Jago Geerts and Anthony Rodriguez, and Team France's Dylan Ferrandis put the YZ250F technology through its paces at the rain battered, deep and treacherous Red Bud MX track in Buchanan, Michigan, USA. Each rider had to complete two back-to-back 30-minute plus 2-lap races against twenty of the worlds fastest 450cc riders, and another twenty of the worlds quickest 250cc riders.
Team France's Dylan Ferrandis put his nation in a strong position yesterday after he placed his YZ250F inside the 'victorYZone' with a dominating performance in the MX2 qualifying race. The 23 year-old Frenchman verified his incredible skill-set yet again today with his seventh and eighth place finishes in his respective races against the 450cc riders. He placed third in the individual classification, a result that played a crucial part in Team France's fifth consecutive Motocross of Nations victory.
After ending the 2018 MX2 World Championship in fourth-place, Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Ben Watson was honored to represent Team Great Britain at the most prestigious event of the year, MXoN. The 21 year-old Briton put in a solid ride for seventh yesterday, which combined with the fifth place finish of his teammate Tommy Searle granted 'Team GB' seventh gate-pick for the main events today.
In the opening race, Team Great Britain decided to put Watson on the outside of the start gate. With more distance to cover going into turn one, he found himself buried in the pack where he ended up running into a fallen rider.
After he freed his YZ250F, the British prodigy clawed his way from the back of the pack and up into the top-20 before the end of lap-2. With 200cc less than some of the riders he was battling with, the brutal track conditions proved difficult, but nevertheless he managed to finish in fifteenth place.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Jeremy Van Horebeek's third-place finish in the Open class Qualifying Race saved Team Belgium from being summoned to the 'Last Chance Qualifying' race this weekend after the ill fortuned Qualifying Race results of his MXoN teammates, Clement Desalle and Jago Geerts - Desalle failed to finish while Jago Geerts salvaged 18th after suffering a heavy fall on Lap-3 and as a result, the team's podium hopes decreased.
In the first MXGP and MX2 combined race, young Belgian phenomenon Geerts bustled home a thirteenth place finish after exiting turn-one outside of the top-20, while Team Venezuela's Anthony Rodriguez labored a 26th place finish.
Race 2 saw Watson, Geerts and Rodriguez return to the start-line for their second and final race of the weekend only 40-minutes after their first race. This time the trio were put up against a different group of 450cc racing stars, which included YZ450FM mounted Van Horebeek and Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's YZ450F mounted Jeremy Seewer, who lined up for their first races of the weekend.
Out for redemption, Watson put in a ride to remember onboard the all-new 2019 YZ250F. He got off to a top-3 start and went bar-to-bar with the 2018 MX2 World Champion Jorge Prado for the entire race, and eventually finished fourth. A further 1,8 seconds back, Switzerland's star performer Seewer rode smooth for fifth-place, and was 5-seconds clear of Van Horebeek in sixth at the flag.
The final race of the weekend was the most evenly matched. All of the riders on the line were on 450cc motorcycles and ready to go head-to-head for the final time this year. It was a high stakes game when the gates dropped, particularly for Jeremy Van Horebeek who had the weight of his nation on his shoulders. Despite putting in a sensational personal performance in the Qualifying Race yesterday, the Motocross of Nations is a team event and after two luckless results from his teammates, Team Belgium's gate pick had the YZ450FM star at a disadvantage and he only manage to slog home a thirteenth place finish, which was enough for the 28 year-old to finish third in the individual classification as the strongest rider on the team. Seewer failed to finish the final race after sinking his bike in a mud-hole, but still rounded out the top-ten in the 'Open' class classification, as he was the second 'Open' rider home in the opening race.
Ben Watson was the strongest British rider this weekend. He was fourth in his class, MX2. Geerts was sixth, and Rodriguez was tenth.
Team Great Britain finished inside the top-five. Team Belgium was seventh, while Team Venezuela's fifteenth place finish was the countries best ever 'Nations result. Team Switzerland rounded out the top-20.
MXoN Winner, Team France
"I was really happy ride here in the USA and to test my speed against the rest of the world. I knew the track before I came here but it was quite a bit different to what it is like at the AMA Nationals. It was a lot softer and different in some areas. I didn't feel amazing today, it was difficult to race two back-to-back races, I needed to try to preserve my bike because the track was really rutty and really deep. It is awesome to be on Team France and to represent my country and it is an awesome weekend to end with the win. "
4th Motocross of Nations MX2
"I've had a really fun weekend. This was my first experience at the Motocross of Nations and it has been incredible. As a team in the first race, we decided to put me in 27th gate-pick so I had a horrible start and got involved in a first turn pile-up. It was nice to start on the inside in the second race. I got a third place start and stayed there for the entire race, following Prado for most of the race. I was over the moon with a fourth place finish in that race and how my riding was this weekend."
Jeremy Van Horebeek
3rd Motocross of Nations Open
"The 'Nations is always a really crazy race. I had a good race in the qualifying heat yesterday, but today was just not my day. We had a lot of rain, so the track was really deep and gnarly, and we had quite a bad gate-pick so I didn't start good in either of the races. I just ate a lot of roost, but it is what it is."
10th Motocross of Nations Open
"We only had two riders on Team Switzerland this weekend, so a total disaster for the team, but I am happy that my teammate is actually okay after such a heavy fall. I had pretty good ride in the first race, I had good speed and I put some good laps together but I couldn't really find that last bit. I struggled a little bit with my suspension, and finished fifth. In the last race I had a good start and after 3 laps I went half a meter off track and got stuck in the mud and then had a big crash and had to stop the race."