The action is finally underway at the 2017 Motocross of Nations, as Saturday afternoon was filled with qualifying races across the three classes. Riders blasted around the Matterley Basin track in motos separated by their chosen division (MXGP, MX2, Open) and the combined overall results of each country determined the gate picks for Sunday’s feature event. With the points tallied up (the worst moto score is dropped from each country’s overall result on Saturday), it’s evident that a handful of teams are capable of claiming the Chamberlain Trophy this year.
2017 Motocross Of Nations | MXGP Class Qualifying Moto
Team Germany’s Max Nagl claimed holeshot but Team Slovenia’s Tim Gajser slipped into the lead early. From this moment on Gajser was alone at the front and he claimed the win by a five-second margin. This was the highlight of the team’s day, as the two-time world champion greatly the small country’s result. Team France’s Gautier Paulin held second for much of the race and was challenged by Team Italy’s Antonio Cairoli in the middle of the race. Team Great Britain’s Max Anstie pushed late in the moto, passed Cairoli, and reeled in Paulin until a mid-air collision with a slower lapped rider on the final lap put them both on the ground. Anstie immediately remounted and finished the race in fourth place. Team USA’s Cole Seely and Team The Netherlands Glenn Coldenhoff traded passes early in the race, but after this brief exchange, the two rode alon with spots in the top-ten.
2017 Motocross Of Nations | MX2 Class Qualifying Moto
Team Australia’s Hunter Lawrence jumped out to the early lead over Team The Netherlands Brian Bogers and Team Spain’s Jorge Prado, while Team USA’s Zach Osborne was well outside of the top-ten in the opening lap. Lawrence clicked off a series of near-perfect laps that put him well clear of the competition, a feat that was aided by the battle between Bogers and Prado. As the minutes ticked by, Osborne motored through the pack and after a pass on Team Great Britain’s Tommy Searle, was ranked within the top-five. It seemed like Lawerence's lead was safe in the final minutes of the moto, but a late-race charge by Osborne put the two riders within inches of each other in the closing stages. After a few tight moves on each other, Osborne snuck by on the final lap and claimed the moto win.
2017 Motocross Of Nations | Open Class Qualifying Moto
Team The Netherlands’ Jeffrey Herlings dominated the moto from the moment the gate dropped, as he claimed the holeshot, pulled clear of Team France’s Romain Febvre, and won the moto by a twenty-eight-second margin. Febvre and Team Switzerland’s Jeremy Seewer held their positions in the top-three for the full race and spent much of the moto on their own. Team Australia’s Kirk Gibbs made the most of his start and like those ahead, ran solo for much of the race. Team Great Britain’s Dean Wilson diced with Team USA’s Thomas Covington early on, but after an intense duel, the British rider got by and spent the rest of the race pursuing Gibbs. A pass between the two seemed imminent in the final lap until a lapped rider slowed Wilson and allowed Gibbs to creep away.