Team USA, racing on its home track Sunday at RedBud track in Michigan, won the Motocross of Nations for the first time since 2011 with a dominating performance of a team led by American Supercross and Motocross champion Eli Tomac of Cortez and top-five riding from Chase Sexton and Justin Cooper.
Australia was second overall, and France was third. Defending Motocross of Nations champion Italy was fourth, and Belgium was fifth.
The 2022 Motocross of Nations title in Buchanan, Michigan, was Team USA’s 23rd victory since 1981, the most of any nation since the first race in 1947.
Tomac, who was the No. 2 qualifier Saturday in the Motocross GP practice rounds behind Belgium’s Jago Geerts, put Team USA in the lead with a win Saturday in the combined Race 1, the MXGP and MX2.
Geerts was second, and Maxine Renaux of France, who edged Tomac in the MXGP, was third. American teammate Cooper ninth.
Race 1 came on a deep track that held both the MXGP and MX2 riders at the same time. Tomac trailed Geerts to the first turn but quickly overtook the holeshot winner before Turn 2, then led every lap despite Geert’s constant pressure.
Australia’s Hunter Lawrence finished first among the 250cc riders in MX2, in eighth place. Cooper followed Hunter Lawrence in ninth.
Tomac and Cooper’s combined score of 10 gave Team USA a three-point lead over Australia.
In the combined Race 2 – the MX2 and Open – Sexton finished second to Australia’s Jett Lawrence. Cooper was fourth , behind Mattia Guadagnini of Italy.
In the combined Race 3, Sexton finished third, behind Renaux of France and Jett Lawrence of Australia.
Overall, Team USA put up 16 points in the three combined races, to top France’s 23 points and Australia’s 26 points. It was Australia’s second podium finish the Motocross of Nations, coming more than a decade w since its third-place finish in 2011.
Tomac, riding a Yamaha, had seven points on the day – one for winning the combined Race 1 and six for Race 3, after getting a bad start.
Sexton, riding a Honda, had five total points – two for his second place in Race 2 and three for third in Race 3. Cooper had 13 points – four for Race 2 and nine for Race 1.
Tomac entered the race, sometimes called the Olympics of motocross, looking for redemption from 2018, and to leave a mark on 2023.
“It’s great to have a redemption round, ‘18 wasn’t good at all,” he said in an interview with RacerXonline. We’re here, and I have a lot of confidence in my team, and I had a great year indoors and outdoors. We’re as ready as ever. It very well could be my last time with Team USA, right now I have a SX-only contract signed for next year. Right now, I’m just in the mindset to give it all we’ve got. That’s all we can do.”