2023 Motocross of Nations | Kickstart Recap & Gallery
October 16, 2023
The time I spent in France to watch and work the 2023 Motocross of Nations went by in a blur. 9184 MQMs aboard a Delta-branded plane, 834 kilometers behind the wheel of a Volvo, and dozens of conversations at the track/hotel/airport filled the six days between my departure and return to the STL airport. Still, as I walked out of the terminal, it seemed like only a few hours had passed since I had parked and locked the Buick.
And then it took a week to remember and rewatch everything that happened.
Getting to Paris on Wednesday but without my checked bag, making the most of the day with Tom Journet and his girlfriend in the city, and taking the four-hour toll-free route to Laval with team trainer Jarrett were the vacation parts of the weekend. Getting upgraded to an SUV, with Google Maps programmed into the dash and windshield display, was a reward for being a trusted Hertz member. The open passenger seat is why Chris Bond rode back and forth to the track all three days. I’ve sort of known “Bondo” for a few years, in that we’ve said hi to each other in the tunnels at races, but the thirty-minute trips from the hotel in Laval to the track in Ernee were our first times really talking. Bond’s first race as a producer was the muddy Seville Supercross in Spain, and his stories of making week-delayed one-hour replays were eye-opening when compared to the live race footage, pre-recorded profiles, and sponsored segments that are now crammed into a four-hour window on a Saturday night. He explained the how and why of the broadcast on Peacock, great information that we’ll have to formally record for a future feature, and outlined the various projects that production departments from Feld and NBC will work on ahead of Anaheim One. Launching a post-race show on Peacock and a midweek series on YouTube is how Feld and NBC want to keep the conversation going after the checkered flag flies, and the programming style is a proven winner with similar shows covering the NBA and NFL.
The first drive from Laval to Ernee felt like an hour, but by the end of the weekend, the roundabouts, hidden red lights, and traffic dodging detours were easy to navigate. Ernee is a picturesque village in the Mayenne department, with a cluster of shops, bakeries, and tabacs for the 6000 or so people living there full-time and the 60,000 who showed up on Sunday for the third MXON in twenty years.
The track’s proper name is Moto Club Ernee Raymond Demy, a tribute to a founding member who presided over the facility for 35 years. Demy helped the track earn its first GP in 1990, a 125 special won by Donny Schmitt, and gradually become a fixture to the championship calendar, with Stefan Everts’ single-day domination of the 125/250/Open Classes in 2003 and a first Motocross of Nations in 2005 being highlights of his reign. Ernee was supposed to host the race in 2020, but the pandemic and confirmed events in other countries pushed the return to 2023. The wait proved worth it, with promoter InFront Moto Racing stating that the team turnout-ticket sales-media requests were all the highest in the history of the MXON.
Doug Dubach’s assessment of the place was hilariously accurate: “It’s a French track, so it’s hard pack and hilly.” As impressive as the natural amphitheater and built-in amenities were, enough to put it in the top five motocross tracks I’ve ever visited, the Doctor’s description is what I faced hiking up and down the rocky walls. Riders had an even more daunting challenge, including the shallow ruts cut into the off-chamber corners, baked-in braking bumps at the top, and square-edge chop that developed everywhere. Unseasonably warm weather, with temperatures in the high 70s and no rain in the week leading up to the race, had to have played a part in the prep. Although a small creek runs right through the property, the Moto Club website says it has been forced to reduce water consumption, meaning no recent practice days, and there’s no way environmentally conscious France would change this stance for one weekend and a few dozen motorcycles.
The KTM Group’s commitment to the MXON is hard to overstate. The unwavering support of RJ Hampshire, Aaron Plessinger, and Christian Craig is a big reason why Team USA was able to go at all, and the factory racing efforts of the three OEMs were represented in nine total teams (France/Italy/Germany/Belgium/Spain/USA/South Africa/Canada). Working with up-and-comers like Everts/Vialle/Adamo/Coenen ensures the Austrians will have a stable to pick from in the future, and their program has ensured a future at the MXON for all the previously listed countries.
Some see the Motocross of Nations as an end-of-year formality, with results that mean little in the grand scheme of things, especially if their country did poorly. This year’s race gave plenty to talk about regarding who beat who, but I was especially impressed by the young riders that iconic MXON efforts like Spain/Italy/Belgium sent to the starting line. Spain was in the hunt for a podium, even with a substitute rider dropped into the MX2 slot. Italy had to swap MXGP podium finisher Mattia Guadanini for EMX rider Andrea Bonacorsi, a teenager with no prior race time on a 450, and still finished third overall. The Belgians had to bump nineteen-year-old Liam Everts to the Open Class role to make room for Lucas Coenen, but the decision gave Everts a chance to go against a deeper field and could revive the 350cc at the professional level.
The best line of the weekend happened on Sunday night when a Belgian fan in an Everts jersey walked by me and the guys from Alpinestars. The Red Knights are notorious for having a beer or ten after the race and listening to techno, and in obvious but broken English, the man stated, “France win, no party. Belgium five, we party!”
As we’ve said before, seeing everything on the track and shooting is next to impossible, and what happened during the three motos is just a rush of color and noise in my head. I rewatched the entire Sunday feature a week later and was just as captivated by the Prado-Febvre/Fernandez-Renaux/Roczen-Lawrence battles for the win as I was watching them in person. Moto One between the Prado and Febvre was so good that they let it run uninterrupted for twelve minutes on the MXGP-TV feed, cutting away just in time to see a six-rider pack of GP podium finishers/AMA winners fight for spots in the top ten. I obviously saw Renaux get Fernandez in front of the crowd, there’s a sequence of the pass in the gallery below, but I had no idea that the ten-minute push by Renaux had him close the gap, jump off the track, and then get around two laps later in the same section.
Seeing France win at home is something I won’t forget. Track workers started to set up the temporary fence during the last moto, and with a mass of people ready to rush from the hill to the starting line, I decided to stay near the finish and mechanics area until the checkered flag. The most passionate were pressed against the chain link before the bikes were wheeled onto the podium, with scorching hot smoke flares in one hand and a flagpole, chainsaw, or both in the other. The FFM’s organization, from coordinated practice days to the two-story rig that serves as home base, is the standard that every other country is trying to match, but thats not the reason for the success. Like KTM, France has spent years shaping their next stars so that they can pick who they want when the time is right, and in the case of Gautier Paulin, promote them to an executive position. Each rider has exceptional technique and support from the significant race teams, and if one doesn’t work out, another is in line to take their place.
A Sunday coffee while watching the B Final Warm-Up is another moment I won’t miss. Each morning in France started out chilly, but the hillside was already dense with people who knew they needed to stake off a spot for the day, and I plotted through the pack to a small opening halfway up. For twenty minutes, I got to see the race and place how everyone else did, then rushed back to the media tent, formatted a memory card, and made it back to the track in time for the Group One Warm Up.
The Americans. Although a year of planning went into Team USA’s effort (Christina Denney booked hotels in Laval, a 30-minute drive from Ernee, the moment the 2023 race was announced in 2022), the biggest push happened in the last month or so, when Aaron Plessinger, RJ Hampshire, and Christian Craig committed, and mechanics crated and shipped six complete motorcycles. All three were aware of the things they would face, from the basics of learning an all-new track over two days to personal tests brought on by jet lag and unfamiliar food, but embraced the challenges as part of the experience. “I like, kind of, uh… Everybody in Paris, when I was walking around, it was eyes on me. They weren’t saying anything to me, just looking at me. So, I was like, ‘What’s going on here?’ Until I realized I stand out like a sore thumb,” said Plessinger of his first voyage outside North America. “Anywhere I walked in, I would try to do the, ‘Bonjour, bonjour,’ and they would just say, ‘Hello!’”
Love it or hate, the random ballot draws to determine Saturday’s gate pick really is the fairest way to start the weekend off. For the second year in a row Morocco, a country in Northern Africa with a population of 37 million, was matched with the number one pill.
Thirty-seven countries signed up for the 2023 race with European nations Slovakia/Croatia/Luxembourg/Greece/Portugal/Poland/Ukraine back after missing last year, but South American and Pacific groups like Ecuador/the Philippines/Japan/Venezuela/Honduras and the FIM Europe entry were absent.
The Chamberlain Trophy, the ceremonial cup named after race creator Peter Chamberlain and presented to the winning team on the podium, and the yearly unique trophy, which was a shock-brake disc-M claw commissioned piece by UK artist The Rag and Bone Man (@theragandbonemanuk).
One thing became very clear to me during the time in France: a presence at the Motocross of Nations is a must for the AMA and Team USA. The race is the perfect place for all the international signatories to chat with each other and prove what their efforts back home are producing in front of the FIM, and that’s especially important for the American Motorcyclist Association, as the AMA represents the largest country in the global motorcycling governing body and sanctions some of most prestigious championships in off-road racing (SX-MX-SMX). Status as defending champion made this year’s trip especially important, as the trio was respected by the competition and fans for coming over to put up a fight and earn results with humility.
The start practice pad was the place to be on Friday afternoon, since it was the only place where any real action happened. Seeing the Americans share the space and grates with Team Australia (a chunk of Team Honda HRC’s staff was sent over to assist the Lawrence brothers) was especially cool for us and the fans, as two of the biggest draws of the weekend and their groups worked together within inches of the crowd.
RJ Hampshire’s setup for the weekend. Props to the people who pieced the FLY Racing/SCOTT/Gaerne products together, which included custom paint by Tagger Designs on the Formula S helmet, one-off print on the Lite gear, and red-white-blue trim on the unreleased SG boots.
Airoh helmet with custom cartoon of yourself and a just-released electric powered KTM minibike? Chase Cairoli really lives the life of motocross prince. The all-new SX-E 2 is made for young riders that are eager to go from something like their trusty STACYC to a true motorcycle but might not be quite ready for the SX-E 3; think PW50 for the plug-in crowd. The SX-E 2 has all the components expected of a KTM, including WP suspension (tunable shock), disc brakes, ODI grips, a rigidity-optimized frame, 10-inch Kenda knobby tires, and height adjustability for the suspension, footpegs, and seat, and is powered by a quick-change capable lithium-ion battery that’s good for 100 minutes of ride time and a 1.8kW motor located in the hub of the rear wheel.
Petty Officer Second Class Bradley Reiman and his son, Walker, presented the riders with a set of flags that had been flown over the USS Harry S. Truman the prior month, then led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance before the team headed over to Friday’s introduction parade. Hearing the entire room say the few lines together in unison, thousands of miles away from home, was quite the stirring moment.
Sure, Romain Febvre and Maxime Renaux scored wins on home turf, and Jett Lawrence was on the continent for the first time since becoming a superstar, but Aaron Plessinger was the man of the weekend. The American was mobbed by people asking for pictures or the chance to have him rev their chainsaw, and even FIM President Jorge Viegas stopped by to pay his respects to the Cowboy and to say how much of a fan he is of the free spirit.
Not film or special editing effect; just a smoke flare or four going off.
Images of the hillside, no matter how many you see from the MXON, don’t do it justice and navigating the masses was a test of one's line choices, manners, respect, and use of "Pardon." Ernee’s configuration, which puts all of the action on one side of the property and all of the spectators on the other, is a sort of natural amphitheater and makes for an atmosphere like no other. We heard comparisons to Steel City, but I only went there one time-the last visit in 2012- and don’t remember much except for the grassy slope riders would part on before rolling down for practice.
Grant Harlan had a hell of an experience and we’re happy to report that the Team Guam rider is back in Texas after a hard crash during Saturday’s qualifier and a harrowing time in a French hospital. Information about the FIM insurance was mentioned in Friday’s technical briefing, and the AMA’s supplementary coverage was rushed to the rider as he weighed options of having the fracture in his pelvis repaired at home or abroad (he ultimately was advised against having surgery at all). There are a lot of little details that sometimes get overlooked during busy weekends like the MXON, but when it’s crunch time, everything is suddenly remembered, and people step up to help whoever needs it. In Harlan’s case, his mechanic left the track that night to be with the rider, John Kuzo drove the paperwork to the facility, and the AMA pooled its resources for Harlan to get a lay-flat seat for the plane ride back.
Next year’s numbers for Team USA? 24-25-26.
Joshua Varize told us about his plans to race for Team Guam a few months ago and we were excited to see the American rep the territory alongside Grant Harlan and Sean Lipanovich, the one rider actual from the island. The weekend was a big experience for Varize, as it was his first big trip overseas and against an international field, and making the most of the opportunity was just as important as the results. Varize is slated to be a true privateer in 2024, so if you’d like to help, get in contact with the California native through Instagram (@jammin.24)
Ryder McNabb, Canada’s next big hope, is headed to America for 2024. The up and coming prospect has joined wth the AEO Powersports squad, a signing that earned the group more support from KTM, and together they plan to take things slowly, first with a presence in Supercross Futures to learn the ropes (stepping up to 250 SX doesn’t seem out of the question) and a summer racing Pro Motocross in the 250 Class. McNabb is another young rider that could become a mainstay for Canada’s MXON efforts going forward, and that makes the next three-five years very exciting for our friends up north.
What’s FIM Latin America? The effort is mash-up of fast riders from the region who were unable to garner support from their home countries but wanted to show their talents on a global stage. Miguel Cordovez, Marco Antezana, and Joaquin Poli put on the purple gear and contented in the B Final, where 12-15-21 scores tied them with Team Canada for 24th overall.
Did you know a small creek runs right through the Ernee track? We didn’t. The steady flow of water goes comes in underneath the uphill quad, winds around the first turn and starting lane, and then in the middle of the paddock. The warm October weather and breaks in action made dipping a toe in the water seem very enticing.
Ruben Fernandez went from virtual unknown in the MX2 class to Team HRC factory rider in the span of four years, with his first MXGP win happening at the opening round of the 2023 season. The young Spaniard is part of a talented generation coming from the Iberian Peninsula, and if things continue to go to plan with training grounds and race facilities and fast pros, the region will be a hotbed of motocross activity and future host of the MXON.
Team Guam’s Sean Lipanovich had his own share of setbacks while in France, as he struck one of the fence posts that lined the track on Sunday and dinged his knee to the point that an MRI was necessary when he returned to the US. Unlike some riders racing for American territories like Guam and Puerto Rico under technicalities, Lipanovich really is from the small island in the Pacific Ocean, which is the westernmost part of the US. Its people are American citizens, but they do not vote in presidential elections nor have representation in the Senate.
Martin Barr is an MXON legend. The Irishman has lined up a stunning seventeen/eighteen times over the years (social media posts on his page have both numbers listed), which ties him with Max Nagl for second-most appearances and a few behind the ageless Tanel Leok. We respect Barr’s commitment to racing more than two decades into a career, as his spot with the Apico Husqvarna team sends him to ACU British Championship, the Vet Des Nations, British Masters, and even the UK Arenacross series.
Dylan Wright’s crash on Saturday morning kicked off a chain reaction that curbed Team Canada (and Team Guam’s) weekend. The CRF was mangled after multiple bikes landed on it during the first lap of the MXGP Qualifying Moto, including bent bars, a busted subframe, and damage to the fuel system and suspension, but help from all the Honda groups in the pit and an overnight effort got the bike repaired in time for Sunday’s Warm-Up, where Wright did a twenty-minute shakedown. Another big crash in the B Final left Wright with a sore lower leg, but he and the Canucks were already looking forward to next year.
Jago Geerts is going to be a good addition to the MXGP division in 2024. The Belgian has aged out of MX2 after a four challenging chases to runner-up finishes in the small-bore championship and will join the recently reorganized Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team, which will be managed by Hans Covers and have Geerts, Maxime Renaux, and Calvin Vlaanderen on the YZ450F.
We’ve heard all about Ernee over the years, but after seeing the place in person, we have to put it in the top-ten of global tracks for its facilities, including permanent office structures by the finish line, course design, ease of getting around, spectator areas and concessions, the layout of the paddock, and bonuses like free wifi (even though it didn’t work).
Jorge Prado’s win on Saturday afternoon was a statement. The Spaniard is undoubtedly one of the best in the world, evident in his new rank as MXGP World Champion, and taking the checkered flag in front of the French crowd and over the combined field showed just as much of his determination as it did his speed. Prado will spend the next few weeks in America to sharpen his Supercross skills and hopes to begin racing in the stadiums soon, but a full-time move to the US is at least a year away, as his current contract with GASGAS will keep him in MXGP through 2024.
Jack Chambers’ move to Europe in the middle of 2023 was a bit of gamble, but a confirmed contract with Steve Dixon’s Big Van World MTX Kawasaki will keep him abroad for another year. The Floridian told us that he was honored to ride for Puerto Rico at the MXON and said earning a future spot on Team USA is part of his long-term plans and a reason for staying in MX2. Team PR knew they had little chance of advancing out of the B Final on Sunday morning, but we (and Chambers) were shocked when Rodny Gonzales and Edwardo Morales didn’t turn up for the gate drop.
SML test rider Rene Garcia joined Joshua Varize in France and worked as mechanic for Team Guam. The week was both Garcia and Varize’s first time in Europe, an adventure that Garcia shared for us in an episode of the Midweek Podcast that’s posted on the homepage.
We didn’t see that many Americans during the weekend, but the ones we got the chance to chat with were very patriotic and excited to being among the European masses. Look, we know making the trip to another country to watch a dirt bike race is an expensive privilege, but seeing how the other side of the world embraces and celebrates dirt bikes, from the gear and parts purchased to the passion of the fans, will change the way you see and go about things back home.
We heard a rumble of crowd noise just before bikes fired up for Saturday’s MX2 Qualifying Moto. “Swap! Swap! Swap!” chanted the group of friends packed next to the fence and they threw up the universal horns once we pointed the camera their way. Being recognized at the races is always a treat, as it’s a reminder that people see and enjoy what we’re doing with SML, but to have it happen so far from home was especially touching and was a personal highlight to the weekend.
Time to put Simon Laengenfelder on the shortlist of MX2 title contenders in 2024? The German won two overalls through 2023 and at the MXON, was the fastest rider in the MX2 Free Practice, fended off most two-time world champ Tom Vialle’s attacks during Saturday’s sprint moto before finishing second, and went 14-11 against the combined field of Sunday’s motos to earn fifth overall in the MX2 overall classification.
Two guys from Florida, going at it on the other side of the world. Isn’t motocross cool?
There was no wondering where Guilherme Bresolin represented at the MXON. The Brazilian rider went 35-27, which put him sixteen overall in the MX2 results and helped his homeland finish seventeenth out of the twenty countries in Sunday’s championship.
We know nothing about Team Greece’s Athanasios Avgeris, but his willingness to rep the blue and white of the Mediterranean island is commendable. We searched his name on all the usual spots and only found a Racer X Vault listing from 2009’s MXON; not even an Instagram or results sheet from a 40+ moto at Motocross Megalopolis came up.
Mud-packed tires were a talking point after America’s 2018 loss at RedBud, and now its standard for the team mechanics to swap out the rear wheel used on the sighting lap for a clean rubber. This is one of the strategies first used by the Europeans to make most of the grated start pad, and we’ve seen a handful of factory teams in the States doing the same at the Nationals.
The typical French track: hard packed and hilly.
Getting the facility ready for the MXON was an ongoing effort for the staff and volunteers at Moto Club Ernee, including the addition of new top soil that was mixed into the track over the summer, the necessary landscaping for specators/parking/campers, and general clean-up during each day of the weekend. A look at the website reveals that water ratioing has limited the number of practice days and events on the hilly circuit, and that a mainstay event is a six-hour mountain bike ride around the property.
Second generation racer and third generation racer. We’re starting to see a lot of old pro racer offspring on the track, like Craig and Everts here, and in the next few years should see a Ferry, Wey, and maybe even Reed on the entry lists.
After a long weekend in the French countryside, I see why so many artists spent hours of their lives replicating the scenes with oil paints and canvases.
We caught up with Arnaud Tonus on Sunday evening, a quick chat about his current efforts to race the national championship in Switzerland and what it’s like to be back home after some years away. Tonus, Valentin Guillod, and Jeremy Seewer make the Swiss team a wild card at the MXON, as all three have the pace to finish among the top-20 in any moto, and this year they tied on points with the widely praised Belgian team.
Send it. Jett Lawrence launched as far as possible down the big hill during Sunday’s warm-up, a drop that required commitment from the moment the rider entered the right-hand corner to their eventual touchdown somewhere well past the braking and chatter bumps created by the less daring.
We spent a good chunk of Sunday morning’s Warm Up watching Ken Roczen carve the grassy banks and outside berms around the track. It had been ten years since the German’s last MXON in Europe and fans from all over were excited to see how the rider, now a decade older, smarter, and stronger, still looked on the RM-Z.
The number of Australians who made the very long trip to France (most said it was 24 hours each way) to see the Lawrence brothers and Dean Ferris was impressive. These two told us they had been in America for the last round of SMX a few weeks prior and that they’d head back home soon after the MXON. The runner-up result by the boys matches the country’s best prior finish, and with both Lawrences moving to the 450 Class in 2024, it’s almost a certainty that they’ll touch the Chamberlain Cup before long.
The on-track announcers whipped the crowd into a frenzy ahead of Moto One by getting the entire hillside to do a synchronized wave and clap. The silence and smash from 60,000 people hitting their hands together at once was something, and RJ Hampshire said in HWYW that this was when the weight of the event really hit. “That clap thing that happened before our first moto, I looked back at my mechanic Amos and was like, ‘Dude, is this for real?’ If you’re not part of this or have never been here to see this, you’ll never understand what just happened,” he stated. “The wave at a Supercross is one thing, but to have the wave at an outdoor, the whole crowd was waving all the way around the place. These guys take this stuff seriously, I’m sure half of them haven’t slept since Friday night.”
Alberto Forato and Aaron Plessinger have a lot of similarities, and we don’t just mean in their choice of hats. AF and AP appeal to the working-class everyman, as the big Italian and the long-haired American look like they’d just as easily fit in doing road construction as they do running in the top-ten of the premier motocross championships, and would genuinely seem to enjoy either all the same. Forato’s progression over the last few years is especially impressive, as he finished 2023 seventh in the MXGP standings, a big step forward from the eighteenth he was ranked as a rookie in 2020.
This was our first time really seeing the fishbowls used by Kawasaki and Honda. We understand why fans and even InFront don’t like the cutting-edge structures, as the glass literally puts a barrier between the crowd and the teams, but the office-like appearance of the race and hospitality rigs is an undeniable leap forward in terms of professionalism and presentation compared to a standard 18-wheeler. We’ve heard that a few American teams have inquired about buying some of their own, but since most of the factory trailers in the AMA paddock are fairly new, it would be a few years away.
Ernee’s famed picket fence. Yards of plastic posts were stretched around the track, serving mostly as a barrier between circuit and standing area, or as an artistic addition to photos…
Like in this snap of South American Cameron Durow.
The Kay De Wolf/Pauls Jonass/Jago Geerts/Hunter Lawrence/Jett Lawrence/Simon Laengenfelder skirmish midway through Moto One was excellent, and rewatching it on the broadcast a week later was just as exciting as seeing it play out in person. Jett’s come from behind push could have been stalled out by the mixed pack of GP standouts, but getting through the fracas without issue showed patience and prowess, and the last turn move on Tim Gajser was the exclamation point to a big charge.
Prado and Febvre’s race-long back and forth in Moto One has us eager for 2024. It’s no secret that the two champions aren’t exactly fans of each other, so seeing them duke it out for the first twelve minutes, separate, and regroup for a rematch in the closing three laps was a competitive highlight to the weekend.
The 350 faithful may have just found a new hero in Liam Everts. The general youngness of the Belgian team meant teenaged Everts, usually an MX2 rider, needed to step up to the Open Class to make room for the even-younger Lucas Coenen. Everts is the first rider since Tony Cairoli in 2016 to race the mid-displacement SX-F, and coincidentally, the race engine he used in France was originally built for Cairoli to use if he had raced Southwick this past summer.
Making the pass. The outburst from the hillside when Maxime Renaux made the move on Ruben Fernandez was one of the loudest of the weekend, and the uphill overtake was seemingly a confirmation that the French team would win the overall.
Is Tom Vialle the last of the French to move to America? Or will Maxime Renaux follow suit when his current factory Yamaha contract runs out? That the two MX2 world champions crossed the line within a second of each other was a stunning moment, as Renaux’s win against the combined field and Vialle being the only small-bore rider to finish a moto in the top-three made it seem like a single-digit point total was entirely possible.
Why is changing the rear tire so important? Here’s how dirty Ken Roczen’s Dunlop got after one slow speed sighting lap ahead of the day’s last moto, mud that would have hampered traction on the metal grate.
Jett Lawrence was the rider all the MXGP riders wanted to beat at Ernee. The Australian had caught wind of some comments made by the Europeans in the days leading up, including a claim by Renaux that the perfect season wouldn’t have happened had he lined up in America. Lawrence chose not to get into the back and forth with people he hadn’t seen in years, and told us that the only thing he was going to do about it was ride the motorcycle on the track.
We didn’t know about the Lawrence V. Europe thing going into the weekend, mostly because we were more excited about the latest chapter of Lawrence V. Roczen. Tensions were a little high after SMX, and since the neutral territory of Ernee seemed like the perfect place for the German and the Australian to go at it again, we were eager to see another battle between the two. Jett setting Ken’s holeshot device on Saturday was a funny way to ease down the nerves and helped make Sunday’s finale as heads-up and clean as a race could be.
Who comes after Lawrence and how the budding star handles it will be something to watch over the next few years…
When will the MXON be back in France? The common thought in the MXGP paddock is that the event will rotate between five countries in future years, with 2024 at England’s Matterley Basin, 2025 happening somewhere in America, and France/Italy/Spain getting it after that.
Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.