Vital MX Pit Bits: 2017 Motocross of Nations - Matterley Basin 8

See all the patriotic gear and bikes, the racing...the mud...the fails...and more in this edition of Pit Bits from the 2017 MXoN

Vital MX Pit Bits: 2017 Motocross of Nations - Matterley Basin

The MXoN sign and the green rolling valley that is Matterley Basin go together quite naturally...

It's now been announced that Thomas Covington tore his ACL during a crash in Saturday's qualification race, making his rides on Sunday even more impressive.

The BMX-style start straight certainly made things a bit more interesting on what's already a totally beautiful Matterley Basin motocross track.

Conditions on the track meant that the Legend's Lap just circled next to the spectators, but it's always good to see these guys swinging a leg over a dirtbike. Pictured here are Jamie Dobb and Jeff Emig.

Cole Seely and Antonio Cairoli catch up before the races began. For some fans, they view MXoN as the biggest "war" of the year, while some riders can find a bit of fun catching up with other racers/friends they rarely get to see.

Ricky Carmichael finally got to ride Matterley Basin, 11 years after he was ruled out of the 2006 MXoN due to a shoulder injury.

The goods that all the teams and riders want to get their hands on.

We found a couple USA fans that crossed the pond to see the best do battle.

The weekend started off with the team USA looking positive and things didn't look too shabby after Saturday...but Sunday really was a different story...

Cole Seely's steed, before the mud and the drama ensued.

Sadly, Seely's machine was unable to finish either moto on Sunday due to a reacurring shock problem. There's been some banter and arguing on the forum about what happened but here's the simple truth: The rear collapse was due to the failure of the rear shock's retaining collar. This collar/bumper cup, located at the bottom of the shock...between the shock spring and clevis is what keeps the shock in place (along with the pre-load rings up top). Due to the mud build up, the collar had unique pressure on it and failed...allowing the rear spring to fall down and ultimately jammed down onto the link arms. Some speculated the link arms themselves failed but photos and comments show this wasn't the case. An internal problem in the shock, such as a blown nitrogen bladder, wouldn't effect the overall ride height of the bike. Ultimately, the spring effects the ride height and the bike dropped down due to the spring sliding down the shock body. Due to the short turn around between motos and the actual design of the part, the only thing that could be done was swap to a backup shock with the same parts, which failed again in the next moto. Lastly, it wasn't the added weight of the mud that caused the problem, but where the mud packed in and cause the pressure to dislodge and damage this retaining collar. This didn't effect the other HRC machines at the race due to the difference in retaining system between a KYB and Showa shock. Seely was the only HRC rider at the race using KYB and the failure was unique to the length of spring and clevis the HRC bikes use, along with the KYB retaining system...this is also evident by the fact that the retaining system KYB uses is common on their shocks and was present on a slew of machines and different brands that didn't experience these problems. In the end, it was a combination of the retaining system and Honda shock layout that made for the perfect storm in these muddy conditions to fail both motos.

Zacho's lid was awesome, period.

Troy Lee Designs always has something patriotic in their lineup but they changed it up a little on Cole's helmet.

A little customized and added foam for Cole's lid.

The Factory Yamaha Rinaldi teammates of Jeremy van Horebeek and Romain Febvre both made their 2018 YZ450F debuts at the race. It might seem risky to ride a new machine at the MXoN, but as you can hear in our interview with Romain Febvre on the homepage...the bike updates were too good to pass up in his eyes.

Weather conditions were pretty miserable for most of the Sunday, but that didn't seem to dampen the fans spirits who were in great voice for all three races.

Two thirds of team Great Britain, who managed a podium for the first time in nearly 20 years.

After second place last year, Glenn Coldenhoff and team Netherlands were hoping to go one better this time around....but ultimately defended their second place.

After riding in the GP's for a few years, Zach Osborne actually came across to England a few weeks early to spend time with some old he was based there with Steve Dixon's team during his time in Europe.

Gotta warm up the hands...

That's a lot of tear-offs...

Speaking of lids, Tanel Leok from Estonia had a reminder of every Motocross of Nations he's competed in around his helmet...the 2017 edition being the 17th time he's raced this event!

With such an excellent result, many thought Hunter Lawrence finally got the equiptment that Jeremy Seewer had all year instead of his usual "B" bike. According to our sources, this wasn't true and Lawrence did the work on his normal ride. Right on man and while it's a year early, welcome to the Hunter will be here in 2019 for GEICO Honda.

Jorge Prado's Red Bull KTM 250 SX-F features a shaved down seat for the young Spanish rider.

While Jeffrey Herlings machine seems like it might have a slightly raised seat to match the lanky Dutchman's size.

Some extra venting drilled into Seewer's RM-Z450WS front brake disc guard.

Zacho warming up before battle ensues.

Due to an injury on Sunday, Team Germany had to do without Max Nagl's assistance come Sunday...relegating them to last place as Nagl would be scored in the final position for both of his motos.

Max Anstie laid down the ride of a lifetime in front of his home crowd...and in both motos! You could tell exactly where the Brit was on the track each lap due to the rolling roar of the crowd.

The simple red and white of Team Canada's setup makes for some good MXoN bikes and gear each year.

The red foil Canadian Leafs are a nice touch.

Just like 99% of the field, Thomas Covington had to ditch his goggles at one stage of the race.

Zach followed suit...

Whoever ran this stand made a small fortune over the weekend.

I don't think anyone expected Christophe Charlier to get a sixth in one of his motos, but the muddy conditions certainly seemed to suit the ISDE rider.

Speaking of the ISDE, Charlier made history by being (as far as this writer is aware) the first person to ever be on the winning ISDE and MXdN team in the same year. Christophe helped Team France win the ISDE just a few weeks ago and as the back-up's, back-up MX2 rider...he helped take the victory here in Matterley Basin. The closest instant of this we can think of is Stefan Everts winning the overall rider's victory at the ISDE in 2003 and being a part of the Belgium MXoN winning team the same year. The difference being that Belgium as a team didn't win the ISDE, they actually got tenth even with Evert's amazing win and Everts was beat by Ricky Carmichael at the MXoN in individual classification. Overall, this makes for some unique history for both riders.

Jeffrey Herlings has really come into his own as the season has gone on, showing another amazing ride in the 450 class, going one-two in his races in the mud.

A blast from the past, a replica of the bike that was never actually used for it's intended purpose. Ricky Carmichael's 2001 MXoN bike was built but never raced due to the terrorist's attacks on 9/11 which with-held Team USA from competing that year.

So much can barely tell those are Fox boots under there.

Hunter Lawrence is certainly a proud Aussie and Australia can be even more proud of him after he won the MX2 class.

These wash bays got a LOT of use over the weekend

The roar of the crowd at this very moment was insane...

Interestingly, the Danish team had their best result in 20 years, despite having their MXGP rider complete just one start straight on the Sunday.

Definitely a display bike, as no machine looked this good during the weekend...

Now a four times MXoN winner, Gautier Paulin joins a very select club and surely goes into the history books as one of the best ever at this event.

Antonio Cairoli however, faced another tough MXoN, an event he seems to struggle with or just have very poor luck at.

These faces are starting to become familiar at the top spot. Can USA take it to them at Red Bud next year?

It's always a bonus to see Slovenia make it through to the A-final because that means Tim Gajser can play spoiler a bit. He ended up going two-five for second overall in the MXGP class.

The perfect end to the racing saw childhood rivals, Max Anstie and Jeffrey Herlings, battle it out...with the Brit eventually coming out on top.

Brian Bogers was able to give Team Netherlands a solid MX2 result that was enough to lock down second overall for the team again this year. Next year Bogers moves to HRC Honda alongside Tim Gajser, with his previous team HSF Logistics folding up and moving their sponsorship dollars to the Honda squad.

We're not sure who were louder, the French or the English. In the end, they both had so much to cheer for as Great Britain was back on the podium after nearly 20 years off and France extended their victory streak to four wins.

Your individual winner, Max Anstie...congrats on the victory in front of your home country, that's one to remember.

While we feel bad for the USA riders and the backlash they receive on this event, we feel worse for Roger Decoster. "The Man" who has done more for Team USA, led us to our insane win streaks and highest ever total victories in the events over the years is continually accused of not doing his job... With rider participation being a serious problem, there's only so much Roger can do and we really hope that Team USA is back on top soon. Not just for our national pride, but to get deniers and accusers to shut their holes.

Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment