Admittedly, the team classification occupies most of the focus, at the MXdN. However, there are a number on interesting individual battles to keep an eye on in Germany this weekend. It is a unique event, the Motocross des Nations, as it is the only time that we see Ryan Dungey, and Antonio Cairoli battle it out! So with that in mind, lets look at the battles to watch!
Antonio Cairoli vs. Ryan Dungey:
Shockingly, we haven’t really seen Antonio Cairoli and Ryan Dungey battle straight up at the MXdN – the closest we have come to seeing the duel was at Thunder Valley, back in 2010. It is shaping up to be a good race between the two this weekend – the track should not favour either guy, I believe. Antonio has past experience there, of course. I don’t think that Dungey will be at too much of a disadvantage though, as Teutschenthal should not be too foreign to him. In my opinion, Cairoli is the favourite to acquire the overall win in the MX1 class. But, it will depend on whether he can avoid the black cloud that hangs over him at the MXdN.
Clement Desalle vs. Justin Barcia:
Interestingly Joel Smets has stuck Clement Desalle in the Open category, in an effort to steal some more points for the Belgian. However Desalle will not have it much easier in that class, as he will face Justin Barcia. When Clement made his one-off appearances in America earlier this year, he did not have a lot for Justin. However now that he is in his comfort zone, I think that he should be just as fast as Barcia. Although, they will be focused on the team results, it will be interesting to see the two riders battle in the qualifier, and also in the MX2 and Open race, as they should be the favourites to win that moto.
Ken Roczen vs. Eli Tomac:
Although these two have been battling it out all year long, the situation will be very different this weekend. In the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross campaign this year, Ken was the outsider, as he was not as familiar with everything as Tomac. Now, Tomac will face what Roczen had to fight against all-year long – the unknown. I do not believe that this will have much of an impact on the results. But, Roczen has proven to be unstoppable at the MXdN – I think that the German will continue his streak of individual victories, on Sunday. It could come down to which rider gets out of the gate first, to be honest, and Roczen has proven to be the better starter.
Todd Waters vs. The GP Regulars:
When it was announced that Ice1 Racing Husqvarna had signed Todd Waters for 2014, most raised their eyebrows, as he is an unknown quantity. So, Todd will undoubtedly have a lot of focus on him at the MXdN – it will be interesting to see how he performs and where he slots in, amongst the GP regulars. Teutschenthal will not be the first time that he has represented Australia though, as he filled the Open class spot last year, also. Although, he finished eighth in his individual category, the sand was foreign to him, and he wasn’t as strong as he is now – don’t be too surprised if he grabs a good start and runs up front.
The United States vs. Europe:
Although the MXdN is a race between each nation, there is an underlying plot each year – it is also an indication of which is stronger, the FIM series or AMA. It is a bit skewed, seeing as there are a lot less riders, from the AMA. But nonetheless, this is the debate most choose to take part in. In the past, the AMA riders have come out on top more often than not, and it is looking like the same will happen again this year, as a team, they are just too strong.
Words by Lewis Phillips