For the third time in a row rainfall and an inclement climate played a role in the shape and events of the Motocross of Nations: the biggest, most eagerly awaited and spectacular off-road race of the year. A dismal twenty-four hour period of bad weather hammered the famous TT Circuit Assen but did not totally dampen the carnival aspect of the meeting: especially for the hoards of Dutch fans that opened their umbrellas with expectation.
For the first time in 73 years – and after finishing as runner-up for the last three editions - Team Netherlands conquered the conditions and the pressure through the light sand and hiked up the party vibe.
The trio of Jeffrey Herlings, Glenn Coldenhoff and Calvin Vlaanderen were home heroes with a comprehensive success: mainly with Coldenhoff winning both of his races for the second time in a row. The 2018 RedBud star again shone on his KTM and another 1-1 meant a rare achievement in the history of this prestigious contest.
Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha’s Jago Geerts posted a 7th position in his second moto and the youngster’s result was a key contribution towards Team Belgium being able to crowd the second step ahead of Team Great Britain.
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin has been an authentic leader and star of the race for more than a decade. The Team France captain has excelled in the last five victories from his 11 appearances but the 29 year old was heartbroken when a fuelling problem left him and the French stranded in the sodden sand with one lap of the entire event to run. The misfortune cast the champions away from the box for the first time in half a decade and to 5th place overall.
MXGP #2 in 2019, Jeremy Seewer, won the MXGP Qualification Heat on Saturday for Switzerland. The Monster Energy Yamaha man was 3rd overall on Sunday on what was the final race appearance for the prolific Italian team run by Italy’s first ever world champion Michele Rinaldi.
Team USA, the most successful squad in MXoN history, carry much hype but the crash between Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper and Jason Anderson on the first lap of the first race pushed the Americans down the order. Cooper bravely attempted the following outing with an injured left hand but the red-white-blue could not rise higher than 6th overall.
So the Chamberlain trophy has been spirited away to the confines of the Dutch Federation HQ for a year. The silverware will need a good polish in less than twelve months time when 2020 will welcome the MXoN back to the hillside setting of Ernee and a chance for Team France to strike back.