As expected, the strong home team emerged winners of the Red Bull FIM Motocross of Nations competition at Budds Creek, Maryland, on Sunday after the competition returned to the USA for the first time in two decades.
USA has won the competition more often in its 61 years of history than any other country and was also the defending champion. France was second in the three race event that matched the world's best riders across disciplines and Belgium took the minor podium place, with contributions from Jeremy van Horebeek on board a KTM machine.
KTM Red Bull Motocross factory riders were on the track for their individual countries in this competition that awards nations the prizes and not individual riders. David Philippaerts was the most successful for the fourth placed Italian team while Tommy Searle, the MX2 vice world champion made the biggest contribution to the fifth placed Great Britain team. Jonathan Barragan, Philippaerts MX1 factory teammate was a key rider for Spain, which came in in sixth place.
Max Nagl and Marcus Schiffer were onboard their KTM machines for Germany, which was eventually classified ninth from 20 finishing nations after the last of the three races. KTM's Searle and Philippaerts in particular were high on the list of the MX2 and MX1 rider categories with Searle in second place and Philippaerts fourth. Searle's MX2 team-mate Tyla Rattray had been selected to compete for South Africa but had to be replaced when reconstructive knee surgery cut short his season.
KTM Red Bull team boss Stefan Everts was on hand to see his charges perform. Everts, a motocross icon with 10 world championship titles to his name, last year rode his last Motocross of Nations, winning all his heats to put his country Belgium in second place.
Some 35 teams were on the starting list and while the powerful motocross nations were omnipresent, so too were the exotics. Among others, riders competed for Guatemala, Brazil, China, Iceland and Estonia, an indication of the ever growing popularity of the sport.