Team HRC riders played their part in an epic day of racing at the 2023 Motocross of Nations, held at the amazing Ernee circuit in France.
Team HRC riders played their part in an epic day of racing at the 2023 Motocross of Nations, held at the amazing Ernee circuit in France. Jett and Hunter Lawrence helped Australia to their best ever Nations finish with a second overall, with Jett winning the third moto, while Tim Gajser provided the best scores as Slovenia also posted their first ever top 10 result with ninth overall. Elsewhere Ruben Fernadez gave everything he had to try and get Team Spain on the podium, but wasn’t quite able to make it happen after two gutsy rides.
In race one, Gajser gave up his gate-pick to help the Slovenian MX2 rider, which meant he was outside the top 20 as he rounded the first bend. In an impressive first lap, he was able to get up to 10th but the leaders were well clear by the time he settled into a good rhythm. Eventually, he brought it home in seventh, which wasn’t what he was looking for individually, but it was still a good score for Slovenia.
With the MXGP and MX2 riders being up first, this put the Lawrence brothers on the gate for Australia and although Jett had a good jump, a crash on the third corner dropped him to the back of the pack by the time he had remounted. Against the 450s, Hunter’s Honda CRF250R did well to battle inside the top 15 but on the large hills of Ernee, he had to fight for every inch and did well to get 10th overall. From dead last, Jett quickly set about the task at hand, moving through the field with purpose. After lap one he was 23rd, by the halfway point he was up to 12th and in the final laps he really went on a charge to move all the way up to sixth by the time he crossed with the chequered flag. It was a great performance and together with Hunter’s result, it gave Australia a strong start as they went after the Chamberlain Trophy.
The second moto saw the Open riders line up for the first time alongside the MX2 class, with Spain’s Fernandez ripping a great start on his Honda CRF450R to get into the lead by the third corner. Riding excellently, the HRC rider kept his lead until the midway point of the race, where unfortunately a small off-track detour cost him eight positions. He kept fighting though, and managed to crossed the line in seventh position, keeping Spain in the hunt for the podium. Ahead of him, Hunter had once again overcome his CC disadvantage to put himself in the top five, in another impressive Nations ride, giving him second in the MX2 class and almost guaranteeing a second Aussie MXON podium in a row.
It was an all-450cc affair for race three as the MXGP class joined the Open riders to decide who would win the Chamberlain Trophy, meaning that Gajser, Fernandez and Jett would all be on the line. And it was the Australian who was best out of the gate, rounding the first lap in second place, with Fernandez in fifth and Gajser just behind in sixth. After a few laps Jett swept into the lead, checking out and adding a Motocross of Nations moto victory to his already impressive 2023 resumé. Behind him, Gajser moved into fifth, which was another solid result and enough to move Slovenia into the best overall finish ever. Unfortunately, Fernandez was unable to keep his form throughout the moto, with a couple of quick crashes forcing him into pitlane and ultimately dropping him out of a good points-scoring position.
With Jett’s victory, Australia cemented their second overall, an improvement on last year’s third place but still not quite enough to hold aloft the Chamberlain Trophy. Fernandez’s seventh in moto two helped Spain to seventh overall, while Gajser’s Slovenia were delighted with their ninth, in what was a strong performance from all of Team HRC and a fitting finale to what has been an exceptional year for the manufacturer.
Race 1 – MXGP & MX2
1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:22.325;
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:02.320;
3. Ken Roczen (GER, Suzuki), +0:26.166;
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:28.846;
5. Aaron Plessinger (USA, KTM), +0:30.267;
6. Jett Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:33.837;
7. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:33.940;
8. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:41.304;
9. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:43.080;
10. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:43.887;
Race 2 – MX2 & Open
1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), 34:00.428;
2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:00.882;
3. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:17.342;
4. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:20.937;
5. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda), +0:30.599;
6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:38.812;
7. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:43.751;
8. Andrea Bonacorsi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:46.180;
9. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:46.878;
10. RJ Hampshire (USA, Husqvarna), +0:49.211;
Race 3 – MXGP & Open
1. Jett Lawrence (AUS, Honda), 35:25.550;
2. Ken Roczen (GER, Suzuki), +0:07.295;
3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.349;
4. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:12.854;
5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:21.737;
6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:23.245;
7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:01.929;
8. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +1:05.270;
9. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +1:13.321;
10. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +1:19.073;
1. France – 14 points
2. Australia – 34
3. Italy – 43
4. Germany – 47
5. Belgium – 55
6. Switzerland – 55
7. Spain – 59
8. USA – 65
9. Slovenia – 85
10. Great Britain – 89
*Bold denotes Team HRC rider