Team Yamaha Ricci's Nicolas Aubin ended an impressive breakthrough season in which he won his first Grand Prix, finished a career-best sixth in the MX2 World Championship and by assisting France to second place in front of a huge 74,000 crowd packed into the impressive Budds Creek circuit, Maryland USA for the 61st Motocross of Nations.
On a typically American track that was quick, technical, lined with jumps and blessed with hot sunshine. The temperatures in the mid 30's gave the racing an extra physical edge and tested the best riders (three per Nation with one representative each in MX1, MX2 and MX Open classes) from around the globe with twenty countries entering the gate for the three 30 minute and 2 lap motos mixing the categories. The scoring system worked in reverse compared to a Grand Prix with the first classified participant taking one point, second position two points and then continuing down the order to last place. The Nation will the lowest score from five accumulated results (the worst finish can be discarded) earned overall victory. On this occasion it was the USA for the third year in a row.Aubin was making his Nations debut for 2001 winners France and gave his country their third share of silverware since that historic day at Namur six years ago. The youngster rode to results of tenth and sixth in the two motos against the larger machines of the MX1 and MX Open fields. He was third overall in the MX2 class and provided an exciting piece of action in the first race when he clashed with Tommy Searle, only losing out on ninth by a fraction of a second at the finish line.
With the USA dominating each moto thanks to Ryan Villopoto and Ricky Carmichael it was left to the rest of the world to fight for podium slots. France beat Belgium by just one point and Italy were some way adrift in fourth. MX2 World Champion Antonio Cairoli was unlucky to take only fourteenth and a DNF. Cairoli was originally on the point of being unable to compete as his YZ250F arrived just in time for practice on Saturday having been held up through US customs. The 21 year old Sicilian struggled on the rough and bumpy track. He had his line cut by another rider in the first moto versus the MX1 machines and crashed, damaging his front brake and forcing a retirement. In the second race he had to enter the pits with a badly buckled front wheel as a result of a collision on the second lap. He re-entered the race but could not break into the top thirteen. USA for the third year in a row.
Team-mate Davide Guarneri was also feeling the demands of the surface with his first outing on the YZ450F in the Open category. He was fifteenth and sixteenth. USA for the third year in a row.
2007 AMA Motocross Champion Grant Langston had a tough day for South Africa. His first moto was wrecked by a spate of crashes and a problem with his rear brake. He then rode better in Moto2 to finish third and give the team their highest result. With Gareth Swanepoel crashing and breaking his foot South Africa was twelfth in the closing ranking. USA for the third year in a row.