The 2023 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations witnessed an astounding spectacle as it hosted the biggest overall weekend attendance ever, with a hundred of thousand fans converging upon the historic track of Ernée. The atmosphere was nothing short of electrifying, as fans came together to celebrate their shared passion for motocross and make it know to the riders with roars and cheers giving goosebumps to everyone present. The collective intoning of ‘La Marseillaise,’ the French national anthem, by the enthusiastic crowd before the first race. It was a moment of unity and pride that resonated deeply with everyone present. The crowd’s unwavering support for all the riders, especially the Team France, created an unforgettable experience that will undoubtedly go down in motocross history.
After five years without winning the Peter Chamberlain’s Trophy, Team France made up with Romain Febvre, Tom Vialle and Maxime Renaux took the top step of the podium at the 2023 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, on home soil in Ernée.
The day before, the trio had already performed well, taking first place overall, with a win for Tom Vialle in MX2 and for Maxime Renaux in Open, while Romain Febvre took the 5th in MXGP. Team Manager Gautier Paulin couldn’t be happier for his riders, he who won the 2018 competition in Redbud, the United States, with Dylan Ferrandis and Jordi Tixier.
Joining the winners on the podium was Team Australia with Jett Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence and Dean Ferris, while rounding out the podium was Team Italy, composed of Alberto Forato, Andrea Adamo and Andrea Bonacorsi.
In the euphoria of yesterday’s first-place finish in the RAM Qualifying Races, Team France needed to achieve an excellent result in front of their home fans. And Romain Febvre can be relied upon to do just that. The Frenchman knew he was expected to perform well, after Tom Vialle and Maxime Renaux had taken first places the previous day. He pleased his fans by getting off to a good start behind Jorge Prado, who took the Fox Holeshot.
The Spaniard, who is used to getting off to a roaring start, tried to break away as he had done during the RAM Qualifying Race, but this time the home hero, wouldn’t let him edge away. Staying behind his season-long rival it was around Lap 6 that #4 began his attacks on him. And after an aborted attempt, he temporarily took the lead of the race.
Behind this unstoppable duo, Team Switzerland Jeremy Seewer clung on to 3rd place until on Lap 8, when Team Germany’s Ken Roczen attacked him in a corner and snatched the last step of the podium from his grasp.The German, who made a mistake a few moments later, lost this position, but in a new battle with Seewer, he finally got it back.
But the front was the place to be, and in a burst of pride, Prado managed to regain the advantage over Febvre thanks to a strong move. The Spaniard thought he had done the hard part with three laps to go, but he underestimated his opponent, who decided to engage in a virile side-by-side battle. The crowd certainly played its part at this point in the race, as the Frenchman managed to get back in front of the Spaniard. Febvre achieved a new feat for Team France, crossing the finish line first, ahead of Jorge Prado, 2nd and Ken Roczen, 3rd.
One of the most remarkable comebacks of the day belonged to Team Australia’s Jett Lawrence, who, despite an early fall that left him languishing in the mid-20s, showcased his tenacity and skill. Lawrence embarked on an aggressive charge through the pack, taking daring lines to make a remarkable comeback and ultimately finishing an impressive 6th.
Race 1 (MXGP + MX2) – Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:22.325; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:02.320; 3. Ken Roczen (GER, Suzuki), +0:26.166; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:28.846; 5. Aaron Plessinger (USA, KTM), +0:30.267; 6. Jett Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:33.837; 7. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:33.940; 8. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:41.304; 9. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:43.080; 10. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:43.887
In Race 2 – MX2 and Open classes – Team Switzerland’s Valentin Guillod came out to play spoilsport, taking the lead through the first corner, taking the FOX Holeshot and avoiding the pile-up that left a dozen unfortunate riders behind. But the experienced Swiss barely had time to savour his start, as in the second corner, Team Spain’s Ruben Fernandez took the smile away from him by getting in front. That destabilised Seewer and Arnaud Tonus’s teammate, who ended up on the ground a few meters later.
Behind, Team France’s Maxime Renaux took advantage of the Swiss rider’s rout to close on Fernandez. The French public’s favourite kept a close distance from the Spaniard and waited until Lap 10 to make a move on his rival. A first attempt was denied by Fernandez, who had seen #6 trying to pass on the outside. But the next attempt was the winning one, after a very long jump, which Fernandez could do nothing anoput. The Spanish rider crashed a few seconds later, jeopardizing his hopes of top spot finish in the race. Team France’s Tom Vialle, who was in third place at the time, wasted no time in passing the unfortunate #18.
Meanwhile, the battle for the last step of the podium was already raging between Team Belgium’s Liam Everts and Team Italy’s Andrea Adamo. Usually teammates, the two young riders did not do each other any favour. Adamo put a lot of pressure on the Belgian in the final minutes of the race, but the MX2 World Champion was unable to get the upper hand.
Renaux eased off the throttle a little towards the end of the race but took the win ahead of his compatriot, Vialle. Everts took 3rd place. Adamo and Team Australia’s Hunter Lawrence completed the Top 5.
Race 2 (MX2 + Open) – Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), 34:00.428; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:00.882; 3. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:17.342; 4. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:20.937; 5. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:30.599; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:38.812; 7. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:43.751; 8. Andrea Bonacorsi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:46.180; 9. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:46.878; 10. RJ Hampshire (USA, Husqvarna), +0:49.211
The final round of the day saw the MXGP and Open classes battle it out. And it was Roczen who crossed the Fox Holeshot line ahead of everyone else. Renaux had been following the German closely but was caught by J.Lawrence after a few corners and ended up 3rd.
Just outside the podium, Team Slovenia’s Tim Gajser struggled to get the better of Fernandez and made the pass on lap 3. However, the Slovenian was unable to hold on to 4th place, and had to give it up under pressure from Prado, who was more discreet during this round.
A little further back, Team Italy’s Alberto Forato in fine form at the end of the year, got into a battle with Febvre for 8th place. But the Frenchman was no slouch at this game, and on Lap 3 he powered through the Italian on a straight section. Less than a minute later, the two riders were at it again, and the Italian regained his position on a downhill. But on lap 7, the hard-working Frenchman played another trick on Forato, taking a shortcut through the air.
Almost at the same time, J.Lawrence 2nd, also took to the air on Lap 7, his double jump leaving Roczen struggling with the ground. The Australian didn’t wait for his rivals and went straight to victory. He won ahead of Roczen 2nd, Renaux 3rd, Prado 4th and Gajser 5th.
Race 3 (MXGP + Open) – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jett Lawrence (AUS, Honda), 35:25.550; 2. Ken Roczen (GER, Suzuki), +0:07.295; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.349; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:12.854; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:21.737; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:23.245; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:01.929; 8. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +1:05.270; 9. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +1:13.321; 10. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +1:19.073.
Once the final race had concluded at the podium celebrations had ended, the team’s headed to the Media Centre for the official press conference where the top three nations, the individual class winners and the winner of the Ricky Carmichael Award answered journalists’ questions and were awarded with their prizes.
Team Germany’s Ken Roczen was the overall winner in the MXGP category, while in the MX2 class it was Team France’s Tom Vialle. Team France’s Maxime Renaux won the individual win in the Open category while it was Team Belgium’s Lucas Coenen who got rewarded the Ricky Carmichael Award for the youngest and best scoring rider in the class.
The top three teams were presented with their FIM medals by FIM President Jorge Viegas, FFM President Sebastien Poirier and FIM/CMS Director Antonio Alia Portela, followed by the presentation of the Champions Rings to the winning team by Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo.
Nations Classifications – Top 10: 1. France 14pts, 2. Australia 34 pts, 3. Italy 43pts, 4. Germany 47pts, 5. Belgium 55pts, 6. Switzerland 55pts, 7. Spain 59pts, 8. USA 65pts, 9. Slovenia 85pts, 10. Great Britain 89pts.
Maxime Renaux: “It’s an amazing weekend. I went first and third in the race so I helped the team to get the win but I also have two amazing teammates with Romain (Febvre) and Tom (Vialle). Tom did a super good job and Romain too. I really think it was the winning team today. I’m so happy that we could put it together because it’s never easy, even more as we were expected by the French crowd sop really happy that we could bring it home. It’s an amazing feeling, I never seen that many people around a track, singing an all. It was really emotional.”
Jett Lawrence: “In the first race the start wasn’t too bad but after falling and starting dead last wasn’t ideal but I felt good on the track, I felt fit and not tired at all and were able to finish strong. On the second race, I was able to get a good start to go 2nd and got to chase Kenny (Roczen) like back in America. I then put my head down and got on the flow to pass him. It’s the best-ever finished yet, and we’re looking forward for next year”
Andrea Adamo: “It was an amazing moment for us. I wasn’t feeling my best in the first race but we were having fun which is the most important. I the second race I was able to get a better start and makes some passes and I was fighting with Liam (Everts) for P.3 although I was really happy to finish fourth and second of the MX2. This result means a lot for us as we are very young and the other guys have more experience than us so it almost feels like a win for us!”
MONSTER ENERGY FIM MOTOCROSS OF NATIONS QUICK FACTS:
Circuit length: 1520m
Type of ground: Hard Pack
Weather conditions: Sunny
Overall Weekend Crowd Attendance: 102,000
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