The 2023 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations delivered a breathtaking spectacle with the largest weekend attendance in its history, as hundreds of thousands of fans converged upon the historic Ernée track in France.
The atmosphere was nothing short of electric, as fans united to celebrate their shared love for motocross, expressing their passion with deafening cheers that sent chills through everyone present. The collective rendition of ‘La Marseillaise,’ the French national anthem, by the enthusiastic crowd before the first race, was a moment of unity and pride that resonated deeply with everyone. The unwavering support from the crowd, especially for Team France, created an unforgettable experience that will undoubtedly be etched in motocross history.
After a five-year hiatus from winning the Peter Chamberlain’s Trophy, Team France, represented by Romain Febvre, Tom Vialle, and Maxime Renaux, ascended to the top step of the podium on home soil in Ernée at the 2023 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.
The trio had already displayed impressive performance the day before in qualifying, securing first place overall, with Tom Vialle winning the MX2 category and Maxime Renaux dominating in the Open class. Romain Febvre’s fifth-place finish in MXGP contributed to their overall success. Team Manager Gautier Paulin, who had won the 2018 competition in Redbud, United States, with Dylan Ferrandis and Jordi Tixier, couldn’t have been prouder of his riders.
Sharing the podium with the victorious French team was Team Australia, consisting of Jett Lawrence, Hunter Lawrence, and Dean Ferris. Rounding out the podium was Team Italy, represented by Alberto Forato, Andrea Adamo, and Andrea Bonacorsi.
Team France needed a stellar performance in front of their home fans after their first-place finish in the Qualifying Races. Romain Febvre, known for his consistency, rose to the occasion. The Frenchman, aware of the expectations following Tom Vialle and Maxime Renaux’s victories the previous day, pleased the home crowd by starting strongly behind Spaniard Jorge Prado, who secured the Holeshot.
Prado, accustomed to blistering starts, attempted to pull away, but this time the French hero kept pace. Febvre made his move around Lap six, challenging the reigning World Champion for the lead. After an initial attempt, he temporarily took the race lead.
Behind them, Jeremy Seewer of Team Switzerland held onto third place until Lap eight when Germany’s Ken Roczen launched an attack, claiming the final podium position.
Roczen, after an error a few moments later, briefly relinquished the position, but in a subsequent battle with Seewer, he regained it.
However, the battle at the front stole the spotlight. With three laps remaining, Prado managed to regain the lead from Febvre with a decisive move. The Spaniard thought he had secured victory with three laps to go, underestimating his opponent. Febvre engaged in a spirited side-by-side battle, galvanized by the crowd’s support. Ultimately, the Frenchman crossed the finish line ahead of Prado in second and Ken Roczen in third.
A noteworthy comeback of the day belonged to Australia’s Jett Lawrence, who, despite an early fall, surged through the pack, displaying remarkable determination and skill. Lawrence finished an impressive sixth, with his brother, Hunter Lawrence, securing the tenth position, saw Australia in second place at that stage.
In Race Two, featuring the MX2 and Open classes, Team Switzerland’s Valentin Guillod momentarily disrupted the status quo, securing the lead and the Holeshot while avoiding a pile-up that ensnared several riders. However, the experienced Swiss rider’s early lead was short-lived, as Team Spain’s Ruben Fernandez swiftly overtook him.
Maxime Renaux of Team France capitalised on Guillod’s mishap to close in on Fernandez. Renaux, the favourite of the French fans, kept pace with the Spaniard and made his move on Lap ten, securing the lead. Fernandez resisted initially, but Renaux’s persistence paid off as he ultimately took the win. Team France’s Tom Vialle, in third at the time, wasted no time in passing Fernandez.
Meanwhile, the battle for the final podium position raged between Team Belgium’s Liam Everts and Team Italy’s Andrea Adamo. Despite being teammates, the two young riders fiercely competed against each other. Although Adamo applied immense pressure on Everts in the final minutes of the race, the MX2 World Champion held his ground.
Renaux eased off the throttle slightly towards the end, securing the win ahead of his compatriot, Vialle, while Everts secured the third position. Adamo and Australia’s Hunter Lawrence completed the top five, with Lawrence surviving a minor crash when his handlebars dug into a dirt bank.
Dean Ferris put in an impressive performance to secure twelfth place, maintaining Australia’s second-place position, while Team France stretched out a commanding lead.
In the final moto of the day, featuring the MXGP and Open classes, Ken Roczen crossed the Holeshot line ahead of everyone else, with Renaux closely following but ultimately finishing third.
Just outside the podium positions, Tim Gajser of Team Slovenia fought to overtake Fernandez and managed to do so on Lap three. However, Gajser could not maintain his grip on fourth place and had to relinquish it under pressure from Prado, who had a quieter race during this round.
Further back, Italy’s Alberto Forato, in fine form toward the end of the season, engaged in a battle with Febvre for eighth place. The Frenchman showcased his skill, making an airborne move to pass the Italian on a straight section. Less than a minute later, the two riders were at it again, with Forato regaining his position on a downhill. However, on Lap seven, Febvre executed another aerial maneuver, taking a shortcut and regaining the position.
Nearly simultaneously, Australia’s Jett Lawrence, in second place, executed a double jump on Lap seven, leaving Roczen struggling to regain his footing. Lawrence did not wait for his rivals and secured victory by seven seconds, followed by Roczen in second, Renaux in third, Prado in fourth, and Gajser in fifth.
Maxime Renaux’s fifth-place finish and Romain Febvre’s seventh-place finish sealed the home victory for Team France. Jett Lawrence’s victory and Dean Ferris’ fourteenth-place finish secured second place for Team Australia.
“It’s an amazing weekend,” Renaux enthused. “I went first and third in the race so I helped the team to get the win but I also have two amazing teammates Romain (Febvre) and Tom (Vialle). Tom did a super good job and Romain too. I really think it was the winning team today. I’m so happy that we could put it together because it’s never easy, even more as we were expected by the French crowd sop really happy that we could bring it home. It’s an amazing feeling, I have never seen that many people around a track, singing an all. It was really emotional.”
Race 1 (MXGP + MX2) – Top 10 Classification:
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) – Top 10 Classification:
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
5 Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +1:21.091
Race 3 (MXGP + Open) – Top 10 Classification:
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 Points
3 Italy – 43 Points
4 Germany – 47 Points
5 Belgium – 55 Points
6 Switzerland – 55 Points
7 Spain – 59 Points
8 USA – 65 Points
9 Slovenia – 85 Points
10 Great Britain – 89 Points
11 Estonia – 91 Points
12 Latvia – 109 Points
13 Rep of South Africa – 127 Points
14 New Zealand – 137 Points
15 Czech Republic – 150 Points
1 Renaux, Maxime FRA – 4 Points
2 Everts, Liam BEL – 13 Points
3 Bonacorsi, Andrea ITA – 19 Points
4 Guillod, Valentin SUI – 21 Points
5 Ferris, Dean AUS – 28 Points
1 Roczen, Ken GER – 5 Points
2 Prado, Jorge ESP – 6 Points
3 Lawrence, Jett AUS – 7 Points
4 Febvre, Romain FRA – 8 Points
5 Seewer, Jeremy SUI – 10 Points
1 Vialle, Tom FRA – 10 Points
2 Lawrence, Hunter AUS – 15 Points
3 de Wolf, Kay NED – 20 Points
4 Adamo, Andrea ITA – 22 Points
5 Laengenfelder, Simon GER – 25 Points