America won the Red Bull Motocross of Nations at Donington on Sunday but the racing was anything but predictable for the massive 40,000 crowd.
The Motocross of Nations is the world cup of motocross with 20 teams battling for bragging rights to be named the top nation in the sport. America have now won it 19 times.
James Stewart, unbeaten in the outdoor US motocross season, dominated the first race, the combined MX1 and MX2 class, but Monster Kawasaki team-mate Ryan Villopoto was the victim of a first lap pile-up that left him chasing through the pack to finish tenth.
Stewart looked set to win the second race but crashed two laps from the end and struggled to restart his bike. He trailed in 23rd but the team scores only account for the best five of six results.
Stewart said: “In the first moto I wanted to get a good start and it all went pretty good. In the second race I got the holeshot, although (Sebastien) Pourcel almost cleaned me up in the whoop section. He was there for a few laps but I was feeling good and god clear.
“Then I got to the tabletop (towards the end of the race) and I went to the right. I don’t but maybe the wind caught me. I landed on a haybale and crashed but couldn’t get the bike restarted and pretty much swore myself out trying.
“But we won the event and it’s pretty special. It was a struggle though. The track was gnarly and each race something happened to one of us. I told the guys, ‘we got to work for this one.’”
Villopoto dominated the second race with Tim Ferry ninth after a slow start. Villopoto said: “My first moto started pretty good but about 40s into the first lap I got blown out from behind by Pourcel. I was under a pile and it was a bummer. It seemed like we had this big target on our backs this weekend. Race two went a lot better and I was able to get a good break early on.”
Ferry saved the day in the final race, finishing fifth after Stewart crashed. Ferry, one of the elder statesmen of American motocross, was part of last year’s USA winning team, drafted in at the last minute to replace the injured Stewart.
He said: “It feels good to win again. I underestimated the track. It was really difficult, tough to pass on and very slippery. I said last year we couldn’t top that win but we’ve really accomplished something by winning this year.”
Frenchman Sebastien Pourcel, the bad boy of the show according to the Americans, won the final race.
America took the overall by five points from France, with Belgium just edging out Britain for third place by a single point.
For the Brits, World MX2 number two Tommy Searle finished third in the second race of the day, after he had placed ninth in the first race. Billy Mackenzie was sixth in the first race and was running fourth in the final race until he slipped off in the closing stage. He remounted to finish 11th.
"Shaun Simpson was involved in a first lap crash in race two and rode the rest of the race without goggles to finish 15th. He placed 13th in the final race.
4. Great Britain