So, the 2013 Motocross des Nations is in the rear-view mirror, sadly. Following a day of travelling, we’re back and ready to bring you a lot of coverage from the race. Currently, there is loads of bench-racing going on around the world based on many different topics – most of which based on this race. Following the race, we sat in on the post-race press conference, where the riders on the top three teams gave their account of what happened. Shall we see what they had to say?
Joel Smets: “Yeah, that’s true, for many years I have been part of this event – for sure this was the craziest, and the most strange event that I have done in my life. When the [final] moto took off and [Clement] Desalle dislocated his shoulder, I didn’t really have any hope at all anymore. So, I went to look after him at the first aid. We were having x-rays, and stuff like that. When you’re in the medical mobile tent, and making x-rays on the rider, you’re not really thinking about winning the des Nations. So, when I walked out onto the track again after fifteen minutes, I heard that we were still leading. So, it was like a dream – the last couple of laps were just amazing. Put your hands together for my riders – I am so happy.”
Jeremy van Horebeek: “The first moto for me was okay, I was really nervous, and I was seventh – so it was good. In the second moto I went down, and I said ‘this is over’. But I came back from thirty-fourth to seventh, and did some really good lap times. For me, it was a really big challenge to come back from MX1 to MX2, so I am proud of what I did today, and also the other riders. When Clement [Desalle] went down, all the hope was on Ken [de Dycker]. I was really nervous, because, as a kid, you dream of winning the Motocross des Nations. We finally did it. I’ve got to give it up to the other riders, also.”
Clement Desalle: “It’s true, I’m so happy to have done this. I’m in pain a little bit, after injuring my shoulder. It’s really nice to win this. We’ve been thinking about this over the last few weeks – so it is really nice that we did it. I had a strong first moto, I made a mistake on the start. There were some problems with my bike there, so I started really far away. I had a good, strong comeback. So, it was a good race. In the last moto, I crashed on the start. I’m really sad as this was the last moto of the year – everything was good, and now I’m hurt. We are sad about this, but we’ll try to enjoy the moment still. At the moment, it is just dislocated [the shoulder] – nothing is broken. So, we put it back in – I’m going to the doctor as soon as I can next week.”
Ken de Dycker: “I didn’t know the whole race that Clement [Desalle] was not out there. I looked in some places to see if I could see him, or hear the announcers. But, I didn’t hear or see anything. So, it was a little bit stressful. I just looked at my pit board from my mechanic, and he said that I had to catch Max [Nagl]. Luckily, he made a little mistake at the end, and I could close directly and pass him also. It was hard, as the first moto was really hard-pack and fast. But, the last moto went a lot better, which was good.
Roger DeCoster: “I want to congratulate all of the guys on the European circuit, it was good to see everyone so competitive. You know, there were five or six teams that could win. Congratulations to the Belgian team, my old team. We wanted to win, but if someone was going to win that would have been out first choice. Congratulations to Italy, also, they did an awesome job – especially Toni [Cairoli]. He is a real world champion, and he showed it here. We wanted to win really bad, but we were not good enough.”[Note: If you want an full, exclusive interview with Roger DeCoster, where he says some things that were both honest, and shocking, follow this link.]
Justin Barcia: “The weekend was good, I struggled a little bit. Much respect to the guys over here that won, and Italy for getting third – they’re gnarly dudes, and the tracks here are extremely rough, and are a lot more challenging than the US tracks. It is very hard to find a track like this back home, and we said that last year too, about the sand – but the guys do ride some gnarly stuff. All in all, we did our best, it didn’t turn out how we wanted it too. The USA wants to win bad, and we just couldn’t do it this year; these guys out rode us, and we had some bad luck. We’ll keep working, and try to win again.
Eli Tomac: “We [Ken Roczen and I] were so close in speed and lines [in the second moto] around the track, where it was pretty much whoever got in front of eachother. Ken did have a country behind him here today, and I really think that helped him push all the way through to the end. I didn’t do my best, and no excuses from that first moto crash either. I was just happy to be out there, and come out swinging in that second one. It was just after the start line there [my big first moto crash], just going up the single, I just went a little bit too fast and got cross-rutted, which ripped the bars out of my hands. From there I was just rolling up the windows, and praying that I would be okay. It was a good experience, seeing all the European fans. I wish the Americans would get into it as much as these guys do. Now, I’m just hungry to come back next year, and put up a good fight.”
Ryan Dungey: “Losing once again is tough, but you haven’t seen the real Ryan for a couple of years. We need to get some stuff figured out, myself included. I felt like we all gave it all we had, especially Justin and Eli. We put it all out there, and came up just short. Like Eli said, we’re hungrier for whats to come – it fuels the fire even more.
Thomas Traversini: “I say thanks to the whole team. They did a very good job. Before the race, we knew that we could be up in the top five or six teams. But, you never know about the podium. Finally, we got up onto the podium with a very good performance from everybody. So, I am really proud of them.”
Alessandro Lupino: “I want to say thanks to all my team. For sure I helped the team be on the podium, but we had the fastest guy in the world on our team, which made it an easy life for us [laughs]. I have improved a lot from last year, I feel good with the bike. I want to say thanks to Toni and David. We are usually so unlucky, but we got it. This is more than a third place for us, it is like a victory.”
David Philippaerts: “I feel very happy for us to be on the podium. We know that Toni is so strong. Alessandro and I just had to stay in the top ten in every moto. After three years of injuries, coming back onto the podium is a team. Our team was perfect, and so were the bikes.”
Antonio Cairoli: “You know, it’s a dream. I’ve been racing for Italy for ten years, and I’ve never been on the podium. This was our goal. We couldn’t expect to finish first or second, because their teams are more complete than us, because David has been out with injuries, and Alessandro still has to improve for sure. I hope next year to fight for the big trophy. For myself, the weekend was perfect. I tried to push the guys and tell them we can make it – thanks to both of them, they did a good job.”
So, that’s what the top three teams had to say. We’ll have a lot more exclusive, unique interviews coming up this weekend from many different riders, and team personnel. So, stayed tuned to MX Vice for that.
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Elliot Spencer