The qualifying heats for the 75th edition of the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations occurred earlier today in RedBud, United States, as the 34 nations vying for the Chamberlain Trophy this year headed to the track for the first time.
Today’s qualifying races determined which 19 teams will advance directly to tomorrow’s races, while the remaining teams will compete for the last position in the B final tomorrow morning. For teams aiming for the podium, the qualifying heats were vital for determining the optimal gate selection for the main event.
Team USA qualified best as a nation, but Team Belgium’s Jago Geerts (MXGP), Team USA’s Justin Cooper (MX2), and Team France’s Dylan Ferrandis (MX2) won their respective qualification races (Open).
Team Switzerland’s Jeremy Seewer led into the first corner of the MXGP qualifying heat, followed by Team Australia’s Mitch Evans, Team Netherlands’ Glenn Coldenhoff, and Team Belgium’s Jago Geerts, who made his 450cc debut.
Eli Tomac of Team USA began the race in the tenth position but made multiple passes in the early laps to move closer to the top five.
Evans assumed the lead after Seewer’s front wheel collapsed before the completion of the opening round. Geerts was in second place and challenging the Australian for the win at this time. Evans managed to hold off the Belgian for two circuits until Geerts passed him.
Geerts then completed the fastest lap of the race in an attempt to break away from the competition. While farther down the line, Tomac exerted pressure on Maxime Renaux of Team France. It took the American efforts to pass the Frenchman, but he eventually succeeded and concentrated on Team Spain’s Jorge Prado and Coldenhoff, who were in the lead.
Geerts led Seewer by 3.121 seconds as Seewer attempted to recover from a mistake he made early in the race. With three minutes and two laps remaining, the Swiss grabbed onto the rear wheel of Evans and passed the Australian, with Tomac applying additional pressure to Evans.
Tomac was able to pass Evans with four laps remaining in the heat, and he then set his sights on Seewer, with whom he engaged in a fierce duel for the following few laps. Both riders committed errors, but Tomac emerged victorious after passing Seewer on the penultimate lap.
Geerts ultimately won the race, followed by Tomac, Seewer, Evans, and Prado in that order.
Qualifying Heat MXGP – Top Ten Ranking:
1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 24:49.598;
3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:04.209;
4. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:16.694;
5. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:17.469;
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:31.722;
7. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.095;
8. Dean Wilson (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:50.440;
9. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:50.957;
10. Dylan Wright, Canada, Honda, 0:52:524;
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In the MX2 qualifying, Team Spain’s Guillem Farres took the holeshot ahead of Team Netherlands’ Kay de Wolf, but Team USA’s Justin Cooper overtook both. He was determined to deliver a top finish in front of his home fans.
Cooper was in the lead, followed by Team Australia’s Hunter Lawrence, Team Italy’s Andrea Adamo, Team Chile’s Hardy Munoz, de Wolf, and Team France’s Marvin Musquin.
Valentin Guillod of Squad Switzerland crashed and did not finish the race, which was a significant setback for the team.
Cooper comfortably led the pack and put in some quick laps as he stretched his advantage over Farres to 5.917 seconds. Musquin then past Adamo for fourth, while Lawrence passed Farres for second on the third circuit.
Jo Shimoda of Team Japan was having an unhappy qualifying race when he crashed early in the heat, but he could put his head down and recover to finish 12th.
In the last moments of race, De Wolf and Adamo were engaged in a thrilling struggle for fifth place, but de Wolf’s wheel trouble forced him out of the competition.
Cooper ultimately defeated Lawrence, Musquin, Farres, and Adamo to win the heat.
Qualifying Heat MX2 – Top Ten Ranking:
1. Justin Cooper (USA, Yamaha), 24:54.959.
2. Hunter Lawrence (Australia, Honda), +0:18.809;
3. Marvin Musquin (FRA, KTM), +0:30.328;
4. Guillem Farres (ESP, Yamaha), +0:42.120;
5. Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:51.804;
6. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:52.922;
7. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:53.165;
8. Hardy Munoz (CHL, Husqvarna), +0:58.965;
9. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:00.273;
10. Joshua Varize (GUM, KTM), +1:12.932;
The day’s final heat was the open qualification race, in which Calvin Vlaanderen of Team Netherlands won ahead of Dylan Ferrandis of Team France, Mattia Guadagnini of Team Italy, and Ruben Fernandez of Team Spain. Several riders, including Jeremy Van Horebeek of Team Belgium, crashed at the start.
Chase Sexton of Team USA and Jett Lawrence of Team Australia began fourth and sixth, respectively, on the opening lap, while Guadagnini crashed out of third place.
Lawrence then engaged in a fierce confrontation with Fernandez, who refused to give up his position easily. Before Lawrence could gain the lead on the second lap, there were a few close calls.
At that point, Sexton was in third place, keeping an eye on Ferrandis and Vlaanderen. By the end of second lap, the American had taken the race’s lead after a series of slick and swift passes. Simultaneously, Vlaanderen was passed by Ferrandis and fell to third place.
Sexton promptly set the race’s fastest lap as he attempted to break away from Ferrandis, while Lawrence passed Vlaanderen for third place.
All eyes were on the leaders, who fought closely throughout the race to maintain a separation of just two seconds. This was the case until Ferrandis hooked his leg in his back wheel and had to stop to remove it before resuming the race.
Sexton was able to draw away and appeared to be headed for Team USA’s second victory of the day, but he wrecked on the race’s final lap, allowing Ferrandis to pass him comfortably.
The qualification race was won by Ferrandis, followed by Sexton, Lawrence, Fernandez, and Vlaanderen.
Qualifying Heat Open – Top 10 Classification:
1. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Yamaha), 25:00.986;
2. Chase Sexton (USA, Honda), +0:03.502;
3. Jett Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:11.947;
4. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:32.435;
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:35.890;
6. Harri Kullas (EST, Yamaha), +0:54.772;
7. Fredrik Noren (SWE, KTM), +1:03.561;
8. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +1:09.312;
9. Lorenzo Locurcio (VEN, KTM), +1:14.933;
10. Tommy Searle (GBR, Honda), +1:18.959;
Some quick facts about Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations 2022
- Circuit length: 1900m
- Type of ground: Sand
- Temperature: 22
- Weather conditions: Cloudy
- Live broadcast: CBS Sports, MXGP TV, You can watch From Fubo TV (With seven days trial)