2018 MXoN Saturday Qualifying Highlights Photo Gallery

RedBud was a whole different animal after a bunch of rain the night before, but it made for a compelling start to an epic racing weekend.

2018 MXoN Saturday Qualifying Highlights Photo Gallery

We'll 'fess up...we love the Motocross of Nations. Despite some rough weather to start the weekend, RedBud hasn't disappointed. Here's a peek at what happened during Saturday's qualifying.

While a pre-race lottery system is used to determine gate picks for Saturday's qualifying action, it's the qualifying races for each individual class that sets the field for Sunday's motos. A team's top two scores from Saturday was used to determine the field. The MXGP gang got things started. Check out Ken Roczen keeping an eye on Gustavo de Souza (67) and Gautier Paulin (1), as he starts to move over. Behind him, Eli Tomac got pinched off not far out of the gate, and had to back off.

Coming into the first turn, Valentin Guillod (13) had to take evasive action to avoid collecting Antonio Cairoli (19). That may have spooked Jeffrey Herlings (4), who lost the front end and went down hard right after this.

When Herlings went down, he collected Clement Desalle (10). Jeffrey remounted, made a quick stop to the pit lane for adjustments and headed back onto the track.

Antonio Cairoli took the win in this one, giving the Italian team an early headstart, as they went on to finish second for the day.

Ken Roczen was a strong second among the MXGP class.

Eli Tomac started in sixth and was in the fifth spot before dropping out with a reported electrical issue with less than a handful of laps remaining.

It was cool to see Kevin Windham back on the track, and racing for Team Puerto Rico. He came off the couch to finish 21st in the MXGP moto.

After his early-moto crash, Jeffrey Herlings went on an absolute tear and passed Gautier Paulin on the last lap for third place.

Jeffrey was on the gas everywhere (like this off-camber section) and was extremely impressive. We were chatting with a veteran MXGP photographer who said that in nearly four decades of shooting the sport, he hasn't seen another rider like him.

Have you ever seen a chainsaw mosh pit? Neither had we, until RedBud.

Hunter Lawrence got in a couple of days of testing with the GEICO Honda before RedBud. The first day was mostly getting fit on the bike and some starts. During the second day, he got more familiar with the team's suspension, which was considerably different than what he'd been using, and he also got to try a couple different engine packages.

Henry Jacobi (59) made a late charge into the first turn, and took over the lead from Aaron Plessinger.

At the end of lap one, it was Jacobi, Plessinger, and Hunter Lawrence.

Michele Cervellin grabbed a fourth for Team Italy. With a combined five points, that put them in second overall for the day, right behind The Netherlands.

Dylan Ferrandis took over the top spot, but his win didn't come without a challenge from Hunter Lawrence. He held him off, despite tossing his goggles late in the moto due to the challenging conditions.

Aaron Plessinger went down at least once and eventually finished in 11th spot. Team USA finished the day with 13 points, and ninth overall heading into Sunday's action.

Metal grids into what felt about like quicksand (at least while walking across it) made for some interesting starts.

Travis Pastrana looked pretty solid in his Open class race...at least before cartwheeling down the ski jump with just a few laps left in the qualifier. Team Puerto Rico will have to go through the B final if they want to make it to the A race.

Glenn Coldenhoff was the top scorer for the Dutch squad, grabbing the win in the Open class.

With a DNF for Clement Desalle and an 18th for Jago Geerts, it was a tough qualifying day for Team Belgium. Jeremy van Horebeek was the top scorer with a third.

Justin Barcia kept the pressure on Glenn Coldenhoff, and grabbed the top score of the day for Team USA with a second-place finish.

Harri Kullas finished in the fifth spot for Team Estonia.

Here are the top ten teams heading into Sunday's action.

1. Netherlands 4
2. Italy 5
3. France 5
4. Germany 5
5. Australia 11
6. Spain 11
7. Great Britain 12
8. Switzerland 12
9. USA 13
10. Sweden 16

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