Glory belonged to Tom Vialle and Andrea Adamo as Team France and Team Italy classified 1st and 3rd at the 76th Motocross of Nations. The steep valley setting of Ernee in northern France basked in hot sunshine and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing officially closed the 2023 motocross season in front of a momentous crowd at the biggest international off-road motorcycle event of the year. Vialle rode to 1st overall in the MX2 class while Adamo was 4th with their KTM 250 SX-Fs. Liam Everts was an excellent 2nd overall in the MX Open category with the KTM 350 SX-F as Belgium classified 5th.
Located a short distance west of Le Mans, Ernee has created its own motorsport folklore and a special place in the hearts of off-road motorcycle racing fans. The venue has been a semi-regular host of the French round of MXGP for decades but also staged rapturously received Motocross of Nations events in 2005 and 2015. Once more the crowds, colors and craziness descended on the circuit outside of the quaint and historic town to watch the best three riders selected from each country compete on a single day for the Peter Chamberlain trophy.
Team USA were reigning champions and counted Red Bull KTM ace Aaron Plessinger among their triple for the charismatic racer’s second appearance for his country. ‘AP’ struggled for set-up and feeling around the track on his first visit outside of North America. He rode to 5-18 as the Americans classified 8th.
Double MX2 World Champion Tom Vialle returned to European dirt after a debut season in AMA competition in 2023. Vialle wore the livery of the home nation and was passionately cheered on every lap of a bright and sunny raceday on Sunday. Vialle, whose last meeting in Europe was his memorable 2022 title win at the Grand Prix of Turkey, was fast and motivated and the best MX2 racer on the day as he lined-up against 450s in both outings. Tom’s 2nd place in the second moto saw him just 0.8 of a second from Team France teammate Maxime Renaux. Tom conquered the MX2 class in just his second career run for his flag.
The successor to Vialle’s 2022 MX2 world championship was Andrea Adamo and the Red Bull KTM man was in the spotlight for Team Italy. A crash in the first moto meant Andrea’s 18th was the ‘joker’ result that squad dropped but his excellent 4th place in the second race was the highest of the day for the Italian. He was the 4th best MX2 rider in Ernee.
Making his third appearance for Team Belgium, despite his tender 19 years, was Liam Everts who entered the MX Open category and elected to steer the KTM 350 SX-F. Liam was the best for his country thanks to a 3-10 and a very decent runner-up ranking in MX Open. The Belgians were 5th in the final standings, tying on points with Switzerland but earning the top five thanks to their superior scores.
Tom Vialle, 2nd and 8th for 1st overall in MX2 class. 1st for Team France: “I had a great weekend and I was happy to be back. Ernee is a track I really like. I won the Qualifying race but the first race wasn’t so easy. I couldn’t get that comfortable because it was pretty slippery and the second one was way-better. The fans were amazing. We came here to win and we did it.”
Liam Everts, 3rd and 10th for 2nd overall in MX Open class. 5th for Team Belgium: “I feel pretty good! It was a tough day, a long day. I was doing well in the first moto but got a little nervous in the second part. Still, to finish 3rd meant the day had started so well. I made a bit of a rookie mistake at the start of the second moto but kept on fighting and finished 10th. 2nd in the Open class so I’m very pleased with the individual overall ranking. Obviously as a team we did what we could. It’s great to end the season like this. In previous years injuries finished things early for me. I looked at this race as a little boy knowing it was the ‘big one’ and so to be here and racing in those positions was pretty cool.”
Andrea Adamo, 18th and 4th for 4th overall in MX2 class. 3rd for Team Italy: “An amazing weekend for us even if I had some issues on Saturday and the first moto with some crashes. I wasn’t super-happy and not feeling great but it was also fun to be here and that counted for a lot. My better start in the second moto meant I could make some passes and battle for P3. I was happy to take P4 because this overall result means a lot for us. The other teams had much more experience and so this feels like a win.”
Aaron Plessinger, 5th and 18th for 9th overall in MXGP class. 8th for Team USA: “I felt pretty good coming here and really good for today. I had 5th in the first moto and got a little tight but I’m not sure what happened second moto. I had a mid-pack start and just faded back about half-way. Not a good ending but after 32 races in a season I think we did alright. I cannot compare the track to anything. It was gnarly and these guys are gnarly for riding it that fast. It’s awesome to represent your country and a shame we could not get on the podium. It was my first time overseas; pretty wild. It means the world to me to represent America over here in France. We’ll go home, have a break and get ready for supercross.”.
Results MXGP 2023 Motocross of Nations
1. Ken Roczen (GER), Suzuki, 3-2
2. Jorge Prado (ESP), GASGAS, 2-4
3. Jett Lawrence (AUS) Honda, 6-1
4. Romain Febvre (FRA) Kawasaki, 1-7
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha, 4-6
9. Aaron Plessinger (USA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 5-18
Results MX2 2023 Motocross of Nations
1. Tom Vialle (FRA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 8-2
2. Hunter Lawrence (AUS) Honda, 10-5
3. Kay de Wolf (NED) Husqvarna, 11-9
4. Andrea Adamo (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 18-4
5. Simon Laengenfelder (GER), GASGAS, 14-11
Results MX Open 2023 Motocross of Nations
1. Maxime Renaux (FRA) Yamaha, 1-3
2. Liam Everts (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 3-10
3. Andrea Bonacorsi (ITA) Yamaha, 8-11
4. Valentin Guillod (SUI) Honda, 6-15
5. Dean Ferris (AUS) Yamaha, 12-16
Final Standings MXGP 2023 Motocross of Nations
1. France (Febvre, Renaux, Vialle), 14 points
2. Australia (Ferris, Lawrence, Lawrence), 34
3. Italy (Adamo, Bonacorsi, Forato), 43
4. Germany (Koch, Laengenfelder, Roczen), 47
5. Belgium (Coenen, Everts, Geerts), 55