It looks as if a classic Ryan Villopoto versus Antonio Cairoli showdown is looming for this year’s upcoming Motocross of Nations in Germany, with perhaps Germany’s Ken Roczen also a sure bet to face off against either Eli Tomac or Blake Baggett for the USA and either Marvin Musquin, Gautier Paulin or Jordi Tixier likely to represent France.
Perhaps the Dutch will look to MX2 world champion and current series leader Jeffery Herlings to fly their flag and the British will rely on Tommy Searle (currently sixth in the MX1 world championships) and Jake Nicholls (currently seventh in the MX2 world championships) to wave the Union Jack.
Might we also presume that Dean Ferris, currently sixth in the MX2 world championships chase, will represent Australia, and Cody Cooper, currently fourth in the MX1 championship chase in Australia, will represent New Zealand?
Will Clement Desalle, Max Nagle and Jose Butron also perhaps be making the trip to Germany, representing Belgium, Germany and Spain respectively?
The MXoN squads have not been announced yet, but, if these riders stay out of trouble and avoid injury, they will surely be heading to battle at Teutschenthal on September 29.
The second half of the season is all that’s left now before the respective United States and European motocross exponents toss aside their brand allegiances and line up under country colours and, the way things are going, it will most likely be Cairoli heading to Germany with the MX1 world championship in his pocket and Villopoto heading there with the AMA crown in his.
Washington native Villopoto looks to extend his points lead in the 450 class in America this weekend by capturing his first ever nationals win in front of his hometown crowd on Saturday.
In four attempts at the Washougal event, Villopoto is yet to win at his home track. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider currently holds 11 moto victories – the most of the season – while leading the way with four overall wins through the first seven rounds of the championship.
The primary challenger to Villopoto’s dominance this season has been Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. The reigning 450 class champion has posted three overall wins to hold a strong runner-up position against Villopoto in the championship standings. Dungey has won five-straight races at Washougal across both classes and the Minnesota native looks to extend his win streak before heading to his home track at Spring Creek next weekend.
Last round, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart put in an impressive ride at Red Bud to earn second place overall behind Villopoto, placing him fifth in the championship standings. The 2008 450 class champion looks to build off his momentum from the last round with another podium finish at Washougal.
The 250 class continues to produce exceptional competition this season with four different overall winners through the first seven rounds. Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen topped the 250 class last round en route to his second overall victory of the season after flip-flopping moto wins with Honda’s Eli Tomac.
Tomac, who also holds a pair of overall wins, sits only seven points behind Roczen in the 250 class championship as the two riders prepare to continue their battle this Saturday at Washougal.
Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin has missed the podium the last two rounds, causing the Frenchmen to lose valuable points in the 250 class championship chase. Musquin currently holds third place in the standings with two overall victories to date.
Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett currently sits fourth place in the overall standings, just 13 points behind Musquin. With his 2011 victory, Baggett is the only current 250 class rider to have captured a win at Washougal.
Furthermore, the defending 250 class champion will look to secure his second overall win of the 2013 season on Saturday.
Washougal MX Park is one of the oldest stops on the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship schedule and is the only round of the season to run in the Pacific Northwest. The first national was held at Washougal in 1980 and with the exception of 1987, the track has been a part of the championship for the last 30 years.
Over that time span, the facility has been the site of many of the sport’s most memorable moments and has become one of the most challenging circuits on the schedule. Washougal boasts one of the largest climbs on the circuit, with the iconic Horsepower Hill.
Experience mastering Horsepower Hill will be just what’s required too if these men also head to the steep Teutschenthal circuit near Leipzig in a few weeks’ time.
© Photos by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
(all taken at MXoN events over the past few seasons)
USA 450 Class Championship Standings:
1. Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 333
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 291
3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 249
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 200
5. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 184
6. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 170
7. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., 137
8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 135
9. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 131
10. Jake Weimer, Twin Falls, Idaho, Kawasaki, 131
USA 250 Class Championship Standings:
1. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 312
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 305
3. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 260
4. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 247
5. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Honda, 212
6. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki, 176
7. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 162
8. Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha, 158
9. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda, 145
10. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha, 140
World MX1 Class Championship Standings:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 564
2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 465
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 456
4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 441
5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), 365
6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 337
7. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), 305
8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), 296
9. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 230
10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), 195
World MX2 Class Championship Standings:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 592
2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 441
3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 383
4. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 343
5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 326
6. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 313
7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 292
8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), 259
9. Max Anstie (GBR, Suzuki), 252
10. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), 221