September means Monster Energy Motocross of Nations
By Geoff Meyer | 12 Sep 2012
It has been called the greatest race, the Olympics of Motocross, and simply the Motocross of Nations, and when the FIM World Motocross Championships and the AMA Motocross National Championships have been run, it is time for the MXoN, this year set for the deep sand of Lommel in Belgium.
On September 29 and 30 the best riders from around the World will go to war on the roughest Motocross circuit in the universe.
Now Lommel does have a history with this event and it was a very important day in 1981 that Team USA came to Belgium and wanted just one thing.
Back in 81 four young American riders dressed in red, white and blue started a legacy in the American Motocross history by winning their first ever Motocross of Nations. It was the start of something very impressive, and until this day Team USA are the ones to beat in the MXoN.
For Team Belgium who where the heavy favourites it was a horrible day and Harry Everts remembers it well.
"I remember 1981 pretty well,'' Everts smiled. "I crashed and really cost us the win. We finished second, but it was a nice event, but I cost us the win 100%. We didn't know those guys, Sun, Hansen, the others; we didn't know how good they would be and even after practice we thought we could beat them, but they just killed us."
Eric Geboers was another part of that 1981 team, and he felt that the European riders learnt a lot from that defeat. Amazingly some 30 years later Geboers is promoting the event.
"1981 was a bit of a bummer," Geboers told. "The time we got beaten in Lommel and the first year USA kicked our backsides, but it was a nice race. I mean maybe that kind of bummed us out, that they looks so good, but they really impressed us and it was the first time we saw their Supercross style used, with late braking and aggressive in and out of the corner and we looked like we were sleeping. We were way too smooth to follow those guys then. Grand Prix riders have learnt a lot in recent years with our tracks now a little more technical and not so fast."
American racer Donnie Hansen was fortunate to be on the winning team and his memory is very much one of happiness and victory.
"" I had a good weekend," Hansen said. "Lommel was very rough and I had never ridden anything so tough. I remember getting I think a 4th and a 6th or something in each moto. That was pretty good and Danny Laporte and Johnny O'Mara were like second and third in their motos. Andre Vromans won everything, he dominated, that was his track and he rode the sand well. 45 minutes in that deep sand it was an experience for sure.""
Whatever happens in 2012 in Lommel, you can bet that that 1981 Belgian team will be well represented. Andre Vromans, who was the star of the day, is a regular visitor to the Grand Prix scene and will want to visit the Lommel circuit for another look at this magnificent event. Along with Geboers and Harry Everts.
Photo: Harry Everts - Geoff Meyer image
Read the next news: Motocross Illustrated - Issue 20 Also on ipad and ipod (12 Sep 2012)
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