Rain playing a factor at RedBud brings up a ton of bad memories from the 2018 Motocross Des Nations for America. On a weekend where they were the clear-cut favorites to win the whole thing, they missed the podium entirely. Four years later it was the exact same situation, but with a couple of new faces and a bigger sense of team pride. Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton, and Justin Cooper showed that they were all business in 2022.
As a unit, they secured the top gate pick for the main show on Saturday, with Cooper picking up the MX2 qualifying race win. That ended up being massive, as no eventual Des Nations winner has qualified worse than third in over a decade. With the elements being an off-and-on-again factor, this group showed right off the bat on Sunday, that this wasn’t a repeat of 2018. Tomac, Sexton, and Cooper as a group were simply too tough to beat on home soil. For the first time since 2011, the United States at long last can call themselves Motocross Des Nations Champions.
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2022 Motocross Des Nations Podium
Team Australia – Third Place (26 Points)
A rough day from Mitch Evans makes this a what-if result for the Australians, but we now know one thing, Jett Lawrence is going to be a P-R-O-B-L-E-M on a 450 next summer. Going 1-2 on the day, he took home the Open Class win over Sexton, Calvin Vlaanderen, and Dylan Ferrandis. Going from third to first in Moto 2 gave Australia a shot, and for that Jett did his part. Not a bad day either for Hunter Lawrence, whose 8-10 was good for second-best among all MX2 riders. Safe to say this team will have their chances in the years to come for sure.
Team France – Second Place (23 Points)
As expected, the French were comfortably in the mix of things, but couldn’t repeat what they did in 2018. Not to the fault of either Maxime Renaux or Dylan Ferrandis, who were both fantastic on Sunday. Although the former AMA champion had some in-race incidents, he was still able to rally to a respectable 4-6. He probably could have gotten a couple of more positions in both races, and perhaps could have won a Moto had he not gone down.
Luckily, a monster performance by Maxime Renaux secured France second over Australia. The MXGP class rookie was a man on a mission on his YZ450, winning the final Moto of the day, just after finishing third in Moto 1 just a few hours prior. With a run like that, he will be a name to watch next year in Europe. Marvin Musquin was also solid on the 250 but just wasn’t good enough to win. Hard to say if Thibault Benistant would have been a better option, but Musquin unequivocally had the experience on his side.
Team USA – First Place (16 Points)
11 years, 11 long years it took for the USA to get back to the top, and they do so in excellent fashion at the most important track on the AMA National circuit. For Tomac, this win just about cements his legacy as one of the five best riders in AMA history. With this, he has won everything there is to win as a professional rider. Supercross Championships in both classes, Motocross Championships in both classes, multiple Monster Energy Cups, and now a Chamberlain Trophy. The few dozen wins both indoors and outdoors aren’t too bad either.
For Cooper, this was all about vindication. For a while, he’s had to hear about how Christian Craig would have been a better option for the Team USA MX2 spot. What does he go and do in response? A ninth in Moto 1, followed up by a fourth in Moto 2. Not a single MX2 rider was better today than the one riding bike No. 102. Safe to say he should have a spot for himself on this team in 2023, regardless of what kind of bike that ends up being.
Now to Sexton, who punctuated that he is now a premier threat in the AMA circuit for years to come. No Moto wins, but his third in Moto 3 was exactly what it needed to be. No critical errors, while still doing well enough to have a comfortable gap to countries behind the red white, and blue. Sexton in many ways reminds me of Ryan Dungey, and like the all-time great, he picks up a Des Nations win in his first try. Roger De Coster should already have him penciled in for Ernee next year.
2022 Motocross Des Nations Nation Results
1st Team USA (16 Points)
2nd Team France (23 Points)
3rd Team Australia (27 Points)
4th Team Italy (49 Points)
5th Team Belgium (50 Points)
2022 Motocross Des Nations MXGP Class Results
1st No. 13 Maxime Renaux (France) (3-1)
2nd No. 101 Eli Tomac (USA) (1-6)
3rd No. 22 Jeremy Seewer (Switzerland) (4-5)
4th No. 46 Jorge Prado (Spain) (6-7)
5th No. 16 Jago Geerts (Belgium) (2-11)
2022 Motocross Des Nations MX2 Class Results
1st No. 102 Justin Cooper (USA) (9-4)
2nd No. 114 Hunter Lawrence (Australia) (8-10)
3rd No. 14 Marvin Musquin (Switzerland) (4-5)
4th No. 17 Liam Everts (Belgium) (12-14)
5th No. 32 Simon Laengenfelder (Germany) (17-11)
2022 Motocross Des Nations Open Class Results
1st No. 115 Jett Lawrence (Australia) (1-2)
2nd No. 103 Chase Sexton (USA) (2-3)
3rd No. 15 Dylan Ferrandis (France) (6-4)
4th No. 48 Ruben Fernandez (Spain) (5-8)
5th No. 6 Calvin Vlaanderen (Netherlands) (7-14)
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Main Image via MXGP.com