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Pre-Race Report: MXoN

The Motocross of Nations is underway, following countless media activities that took place earlier today. The pre-race press conference was the main talking point, of course, as eight of the high-profile teams took to the stage to discuss their goals for the weekend. All of those comments can be found below in an easy-to-view format, so jump right in.

Team France

Gautier Paulin: “We are very happy to be here in our country’s colours. I’m feeling really good with Romain [Febvre] and Christophe [Charlier]. The team atmosphere has been great – we have been training together. Christophe is so happy to be here and riding a strong 250F. Romain and I have been fighting together this year and now we are here for the same goal. There is such a great atmosphere. We love the Motocross of Nations. We were here yesterday and today, walking the track and it looks awesome. It is long with many jumps and good ground.

“We are sure that the British fans will be crazy, but the French fans will be too. They are already in the paddock. We are definitely looking for the title, after three in a row, but we will put everything on the table again. There are some strong teams, but we are one of them. We are really confident, for sure. This is a track that I like. I think that for every motocross racer this is a track that they like. We arrive here with the good ground, so it is such a good place for motocross. There is nothing else around and only one event a year, so it is looking really good.”

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Christophe Charlier is the wildcard on Team France.

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Christophe Charlier: “For me, it is a good challenge. It is a dream to win this event and Motocross of Nations. It is a really good challenge. Less nervous now, because I have changed discipline to enduro. For me to come here is a bonus and I am better when I have less stress. I am confident for the race.”

Romain Febvre: “Yeah, like you said my season was not so great. We turned it around and finished the season strong, so I am really happy about it. Now it is time for the Motocross of Nations. We are happy to be in England and all love the track. It is going to be a good race. They changed the layout on some jumps, but I think in the end it is almost the same. The start is something new and we had some training this week on a start like this. We are ready for this.”

Team Netherlands

Glenn Coldenhoff: “I think so. I think there are many teams that are very similar, but I think we are one of the guys who can be up there for the top spot. Last year we were pretty close, but we did not expect to do that well. Coming into this year we are in a good place at the moment, so it is looking good. Our goal is to be on the box again, just like last year, and maybe with a little bit of luck we can be on the top spot. It would be good.”

Brian Bogers: “For me, the rain does not matter. In Holland it is also raining a lot, so I am used to it, and if it stays dry it is also good for us. I think we have a strong team and if it is muddy or stays dry, we will give it our all. After Villars sous Ecot I felt that the season was over and it did not go as good as I wanted. There is one more race with the MXoN and I want to be on point, especially for my country, so we’ll see what happens this weekend. It is a track that I like, it gets a lot of ruts in the corners and there are many jumps. I think it’ll be good for us.”

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Jeffrey Herlings will aim to sweep the individual motos for the first time.

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Jeffrey Herlings: “It is tough to speak about a ‘Nations victory, as you need all three. It cannot just rely on my results. We have been training together, we are good friends and together as a team we are strong. We have just got to do our best and that is all we could possibly do. We might need some luck to win, but we will just do our best. Our main priority is to be on the podium, which would be a good result for us, and individually I will go out to win. That is all I could do. It would be great if I could finish off the season in a strong way. The last couple of rounds were very strong and I won a lot of races lately. We hope to get a podium on Sunday evening.

“Obviously we all live pretty to each other, within half an hour, because Holland is a small country compared to other countries. We did a practice on Wednesday as a team. We spend time together every week pretty much, so we did not need team training. Glenn is on the same team and Brian is on a Dutch team and the same brand, so we already spent so much time together. It is good to go out as three friends and try to put our best possible result together, like last year. We were the underdogs and no one expected us to be in the top five, but with some luck we almost won. It is going to be raining on Sunday and a gamble, more or less, but like Brian said in Holland it rains a lot and we are used to that. We will just see on Sunday.”

Team USA

Cole Seely: “After seeing the track I am really excited. Like you say, I have never been here and I have never been to England before. I am just excited to experience a new format, new track and my teammates are very excited to be here. We have a lot of heart and passion to bring a really good result. Like I said, I’m really excited. Zach and I have raced each other since we were on 50s, so we have known each other our whole lives, and Thomas has been around, as we are both California boys. Camaraderie is good and I think we are going to work well together. We are just excited to be here and represent our country.”

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Cole Seely opted to not ride in the UK prior to the MXoN.

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Zach Osborne: “It is definitely a little different. I’m happy to be back in the UK and it feels like a bit of a homecoming for me. I have been here for three weeks and really enjoyed my time, it is like I never left. I am just trying to prepare and not really think about the race. Now we are here and have seen the track. It is, in my opinion, one of the best tracks in the entire world. I think it is a great place to have this race and, like Cole said, we are all keen. We all want this trophy really bad. We know it has been a few years since we last had it, so it would be incredible to take home the trophy.

“It has been very important. I planned my trip to England in April on these dates and then it turned out that I would be on the Motocross of Nations team, so I organised a bike and a way to do my job while I’m here. For me it has been a really nice change of scenery and pace from Florida. I got to do a lot of riding with Mel at his track. We had mega good weather and conditions, so overall it has been an awesome trip.”

Thomas Covington: “I’m feeling really good. I am just really excited to represent the United States. I raced the 450F quite a bit when I was an amateur and had of success on that. Two weeks before the Mexican GP I rode the 450F in the USA and then straight after France we started testing. Straight away, as soon as I jumped on the bike, it seemed to fit me really well.”

Great Britain

Max Anstie: “Yeah, exactly. I was born in Winchester. My Grandma and all of my family are from Newbury, which is twenty minutes away. I was here in 2006, when it was last here, and I remember being stood on that hill and thinking that these boys were amazing. It is a great experience and feeling to know that, eleven years later, I am able to take part in it for Team GB and be on the 450F in MXGP. We have a good team, the boys are riding well, we all like the track and I think it is going to be good.

“We have got to focus on what we need to do. For me, my training has not stopped since the last GP in France and I have been looking forward to it like it is the next GP. I am here to go and race. Whether we are inside or outside on the start, I am just going to ride as fast as I can and put myself up as far up as I can. The other two boys are going to focus on their job, then at the end of the day we are going to see with the points.”

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Max Anstie has a great shot at taking Team USA to victory.

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Tommy Searle: “I’m feeling really good. The year that GB won in 1994 showed similar signs with team selection and a lot of people have pointed that out. We feel good, I feel good and coming in I am happy to be on the team. Dean and Max are riding the best that they have in their careers, so we have a really strong team and now it comes down to getting the job done on the day. Obviously this race comes down to a little bit of luck, but hopefully that is on our side this weekend. It feels really nice. Steve Dixon has a good 250F that has been going well this year and I have done a couple of days on it. It feels really good and I am looking forward to racing it around the track this weekend.”

Dean Wilson: “It has been a good trip. I have been in the UK for about three weeks now. The thing that is tough is our season is done a month earlier than the MXoN, so to keep training for another month is tough. After the last round of the outdoors I took a week off, then got back to it and came over here. I have enjoyed it, as it has been good. I am looking forward to this race and I think this is my fifth ‘Nations for Team GB, so it should be a good one.

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Tommy Searle has put in a few days of testing aboard a 250F.

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“This year was a big learning year. It has been good for me as a person. You can see how fast things can be taken away from you, so you appreciate what you have. It has just been amazing. I have worked hard to get here and with hard work I feel like opportunities do open and they did. It has been a really good year.

“We have only had Max for the last few days, which has been good, and I have had to put up with Tommy for the past couple of weeks. We have had a good laugh, been working hard and training. Max and I did motos when we were getting ready for this and he is riding really good. Tommy has also been riding well. I think that as a team we really get on and will help each other as much as we can. I think we’ll be fine and I have a good feeling about this weekend.”

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX

MX Vice Editor || 25