The 2019 Motocross of Nations (MXoN) took place the weekend of September 28, 2019 in Assen, the Netherlands, and not even the rain, wind, or cold could stop the racers and their fans from showing up and showing support for their countries.

MXoN, often billed the “Olympics of Motocross,” is a prestigious two-day event that brings the top 3 racers from each country together to compete in a unique 3-moto format. Two of the three classes – MXGP, MX2, and Open – race simultaneously in each moto, on a rotation that allows each class to race twice. The riders’ finishing positions is equal to the points they earned for the moto. The final winner is the team that has the lowest amount of points after dropping the worst of the six individual scores.

Tensions were high for Team USA heading into Assen. Their 6th place finish last year, paired with the fact that they haven’t taken 1st since 2011, put immense pressure on Jason Anderson, Zach Osborne, and Justin Cooper to perform. So at the conclusion of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series, the team headed overseas to begin training led by Roger DeCoster and well-documented by Team Fried.

Moto 1: MXGP and MX2

The first moto was stacked with riders like Tim Gajser (Slovenia), Jeffrey Herlings (the Netherlands), Jorge Prado (Spain), and Jeremy Van Horebeek (Belgium) competing against team USA’s Anderson and Cooper.

The first gate drop saw Prado clinching the holeshot with Gajser and Van Horebeek following not far behind. Herlings got mixed in the middle, sitting near 10th place after the first turn. Far out of the top 10 were Anderson and Cooper who had collided into each off the start. The collision left Cooper a lap down and Anderson in 31st place.

Ten minutes to go and Gajser had stolen the lead. Herlings was making a comeback, too, working his way up to 6th place. Things were only getting harder with the track, though, as it continued to deteriorate in the wind and wet. Some racers got stuck while other’s bikes stalled on the track.

Expertly navigating through all of the weather and traffic was Herlings. His pace was faster than most, leading him past 5th, 4th, and 3rd place. He caught Prado before the Spaniard detoured to the google replacement lane. Then in 2nd place, the only rider left for Herlings to pass was Gajser.

In the last lap of the moto, Herlings managed to reel Gajser in, sitting right on his rear wheel. Lap traffic from Dean Ferris (Australia), however, made it impossible for Herlings to make the pass, securing Gajser his first-ever MXoN win.

The finishes in the first moto put the Netherlands in 1st, leading Switzerland and France (tied) by 11 points. Out of the top 10 and running for the title was team USA in 14th place with 42 points. Anderson wasn’t ever able to climb past 17th place, and Cooper couldn’t make it past 25th as his clutch wasn’t working and he was hurting from the collision.

Moto 1: MXGP/MX2 Results

Pos.No. NameCountryBikeClass
191Tim GajserSloveniaHondaMXGP
24Jerffrey HerlingsThe NetherlandsKTMMXGP
319Jorge PradoSpainKTMMXGP
455Jeremy SeewerSwitzerlandYamahaMXGP
51Gautier PaulinFranceYamahaMXGP
616Jeremy Van HorebeekBelgiumHondaMXGP
788Ivo MonticelliItalyKTMMXGP
8107Thomas Kjer OlsenDenmarkHusqvarnaMX2
9118Hakon FredriksenNorwayYamahaMXGP
105Calvin VlaanderenSouth AfricaHondaMX2
1125Tom KochGermanyKTMMXGP
1235Rene HoferAustriaKTMMX2
1322Tanel LeokEstoniaHusqvarnaMXGP
1432Alvin OstlundSwedenHusqvarnaMX2
1510Dean FerrisAustraliaKTMMXGP
1631Filip BengtssonSwedenHusqvarnaMXGP
1713Jason AndersonUSAHusqvarnaMXGP
182Maxime RenauxFranceYamahaMX2
1956Valentin GuillodSwitzerlandHondaMX2
20119Kevin HorgmoNorwayKTMMX2
2123Priit RatsepEstoniaHondaMX2
2220Iker Larranaga OlanoSpainKTMMX2
2311Kyle WebsterAustraliaHondaMX2
248Adam SterryUnited KingdomKawasakiMX2
2514Justin CooperUSAYamahaMX2
2698Davis IvanosLatviaHusqvarnaMX2
2734Lukas NeurauterAustriaKTMMXGP
2897Toms MacuksDenmarkKTMMXGP
2937Jason MearaIrelandKawasakiMXGP
3017Jago GeertsBelgiumYamahaMX2
3192Jan PancarSloveniaYamahaMX2
32106Stefan Kjer OlsenDenmarkKTMMXGP
3389Alberto ForatoItalyHusqvarnaMX2
3449Wyatt ChaseNew ZealandHondaMXGP
3567Michael DochertySouth AfricaKTMMXGP
367Nathan WatsonUnited KingdomKTMMXGP
3726Simon LaengenfelderGermanyKTMMX2
3868Anthony RaynardSouth AfricaYamahaMX2
3950Dylan WalshUnited KingdomHusqvarnaMX2

Moto 2: Open and MX2

It was a similar story for the United States in the second moto. Harr Kullas (Estonia), Glen Coldenhoff (the Netherlands), Paul Jonass (Latvia), and Shaun Simpson (Great Britain) took the top 4 spots while Osborne sat in 11th and Cooper out of the top 30.

As the race wore on, spots shuffled within the top 4. Kullas fell back to 4th place after taking the holeshot, and Coldenhoff easily slipped into the lead. He held that for the entire race, followed by Jonass and Simpson who held their 2nd and 3rd place positions for the majority of the race as well.

With minimal action at the front of the pack, it became a more important race for the leader’s teammate. Calvin Vlaanderen (the Netherlands), worked to put on a consistent ride to bolster Coldenhoff’s 1st-place ride, and he succeeded with a solid 10th-place finish at the end of the moto.

At the checkered flag, Coldenhoff, Jonass, Simpson, and Kullas finished in 1st-4th place. Sitting in 5th place was Osborne. After laying down some quick lap times and taking advantage of other riders’ mistakes, Osborne had cracked the top 5. It didn’t do too much for team USA, though, when paired with Cooper’s 29th place finish.

After Moto 2, the Netherland’s were still in 1st place with only 23 points. France, sitting at 59 points, was in 2nd place and Belgium at 3rd with 60 points. USA moved up to 11th place with 76 points.

Moto 2: Open and MX2 Results

16Glen ColdenhoffThe NetherlandsKTMOpen
299Pauls JonassLatviaHusqvarnaOpen
39Shaun SimpsonUnited KingdomKTMOpen
424Harri KullasEstoniaHondaOpen
515Zach OsborneUSAHusqvarnaOpen
63Jordi TixierFranceKTMOpen
717Jago GeertsBelgiumYamahaMX2
8107Thomas Kjer OlsenDenmarkHusqvarnaMX2
927Dennis UllrichGermanyHusqvarnaOpen
105Calvin VlaanderenSouth AfricaHondaMX2
1112Regan DuffyAustraliaKTMOpen
128Adam SteeryUnited KingdomKawasakiMX2
1321Carlos CampanoSpainYamahaOpen
1411Kyle WebsterAustraliaHondaMX2
15119Kevin HorgmoNorwayKTMMX2
1632Alvin OstlundSwedenHusqvarnaMX2
1718Kevin StrijbosBelgiumYamahaOpen
18108Bastian Boegh DammDenmarkKTMOpen
1926Simon LaengenfelderGermanyKTMMX2
2089Alberto ForatoItalyHusqvarnaMX2
2190Alessandro LupinoItalyKawasakiOpen
2298Davis IvanovsLatviaHusqvarnaMX2
2333Anton GoleSwedenYamahaOpen
2456Valentin GuillodSwitzerlandHondaMX2
2523Priit RatsepEstoniaHondaMX2
2635Rene HoferAustriaKTMMX2
2738Martin BarrIrelandYamahaMX2
2820Iker Larranaga OlanoSpainKTMMX2
2914Justin CooperUSAYamahaMX2
302Maxime RenauxFranceYamahaMX2
31120Henrik WahlNorwayKTMOpen
3236Michael SandnerAustriaKTMOpen
3351Maximus PurvisNew ZealandYamahaOpen
3493Peter IrtSloveniaYamahaOpen
3539Stuart EdmundsIrelandHusqvarnaOpen
3657Cyrill ScheiwillerSwitzerlandYamahaOpen
3792Jan PancarSloveniaYamahaMX2
3868Anthony RaynardSouth AfricaYamahaMX2
3950Dylan WalshUnited KingdomHusqvarnaMX2
4069Lloyd VercueilSouth AfricaYamahaOpen

Moto 3: MXGP and Open

Things were looking pretty good for the Netherlands going into the 3rd moto. With a 36-point lead over 2nd place, they just had to have an okay race to take home the trophy. It wouldn’t hurt if France and Belgium had a rough race, either – which they did.

As the gates dropped on the 3rd moto, Gajser took the holeshot and early lead of the race. Van Horebeek was putting on a solid ride for Belgium in 2nd place, but teammate Kevin Srijobos was weighing down that score after a nasty crash off the start. That said, things weren’t going too well for the Netherlands, either. Herlings got a bad start off the inside, crashed, and found himself in 20th place at the end of the first lap. Coldenhoff was sitting pretty in 3rd place, but Herlings would have to make some progress to keep the Netherlands comfortably in the lead.

By the mid-point of the moto, positions had been switched. Gajser crashed out of the lead, leaving the spot open for Van Horebeek. He wasn’t able to hold if off from a charging Coldenhoff, though, who quickly took the lead for the Netherlands. Coldenhoff checked out in 1st and, with Herlings in 10th place after some passes and crashes, it was enough for the Netherlands to have the title in the bag, even with Gajser making a last-lap attempt to take back the lead.

Team USA continued to struggle in the 3rd moto. Osborne tried to replicate his top-5 finish in the 2nd moto but found himself in 17th after the start. Add in a stop for goggles and a really hard charge, and he was only able to salvage a 13th place. Anderson made it up to 6th place at one point but fell back to 8th place by the end of the race.

In the end, the Netherlands swept the competition with a 29-point lead. The team only earned 18 points for the day with two 1st-place finishes, two top-5 finishes, and one 10th place finish. It’s the first time the Netherlands has won MXoN, and it breaks the 5-year streak held by the French. Coming in at 2nd was Belgium with 47 points, followed by the United Kingdom in 3rd with 58 points.

Despite their struggles, the United States still managed a 6th place overall, tied with France’s 68 points. It wasn’t the results the team was likely hoping for, but 6th out of the 20 teams that raced, not to mention the 12 that didn’t even qualify, is still something to be proud of.

Moto 3: MXGP and Open Results

16Glenn ColdenhoffThe NetherlandsKTMOpen
291Tim GajserSloveniaHondaMXGP
399Pauls JonassLatviaHusqvarnaOpen
44Jeffrey HerlingsThe NetherlandsKTMMXGP
555Jeremy SeewerSwitzerlandYamahaMXGP
616Jeremy Van HorebeekBelgiumHondaMXGP
719Jorge PradoSpainKTMMXGP
813Jason AndersonUSAHusqvarnaMXGP
97Nathan WatsonUnited KingdomKTMMXGP
109Shaun SimpsonUnited KingdomKTMOpen
1118Kevin StrijbosBelYamahaOpen
1224Harri KullasEstoniaHondaOpen
1315Zach OsborneUSAHusqvarnaOpen
1422Tanel LeokEstoniaHusqvarnaMXGP
1525Tom KochGermanyKTMMXGP
163Jordi TixierFranceKTMOpen
17118Hakon FredriksenNorwayYamahaMXGP
1827Dennis UlrichGermanyHusqvarnaOpen
19106Stefan Kjer OlsenDenmarkKTMMXGP
2097Toms MacuksDenmarkKTMMXGP
2193Peter IrtSloveniaYamahaOpen
2233Anton GoleSwedenYamahaOpen
231Gautier PaulinFranceYamahaMXGP
24108Bastian Boegh DammDenmarkKTMOpen
2536Michael SandnerAustriaKTMOpen
26120Henrik WahlNorwayKTMOpen
2751Maximus PurvisNew ZealandYamahaOpen
2839Stuart EdmundsIrelandHusqvarnaOpen
2957Cyrill ScheiwillerSwitzerlandYamahaOpen
3010Dean FerrisAustraliaKTMMXGP
3137Jason MearaIrelandKawasakiMXGP
3288Ivo MonticelliItalyKTMMXGP
3312Regan DuffyAustraliaKTMOpen
3431Filip BengtssonSwedenHusqvarnaMXGP
3521Carlos CampanoSpainYamahaOpen
3634Lukas NeurauterAustriaKTMMXGP
3790Alessandro LupinoItalyKawasakiOpen
3849Wyatt ChaseNew ZealandHondaMXGP

Final Results

1The Netherlands210*1014118
3Great Britain36*2412391058
19New Zealand3439*39333827171
20Rep. of South Africa35383840N/AN/A151

*Indicates dropped score