The 2021 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations has officially kick-started in Mantova, Italy, with the official press conferences and other media activities.
The world’s most exciting race is finally back after coronavirus complications prevent the event from going ahead in 2020. The 74th edition promises to be one of the exciting ones to date as Team Netherlands will look to defend their 2019 title, while Team Italy will fight for victory on home soil.
A total of 31 countries are set to compete in this year’s event, so the fight to make it into the B final is bound to be fierce as only 20 nations will line-up for the main races on Sunday.
Friday’s activities officially began with the welcome press conference with Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo and FIM/CMS Director Antonio Alia Portela sharing some words about this weekend’s events.
Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo: “It’s fantastic to be back at the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, I think it was missing for everybody last year. Already the experience of the Motocross of Nations is different as soon as you pass the gate. It’s a different atmosphere, it’s a different tension, the paddock is full of colours and different nationalities. It’s a very special event, the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations is the biggest and most popular off-road event of the year so everybody is very excited. You can see here the trophies, this race has a big history, so it’s fantastic to have it back. I want to thank all of the federations, the teams, the riders that are attending the event. We have fantastic riders such as Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings that are fighting for the title in MXGP, but they still want to fight for their country, and they are very into this event. It’s fantastic for all the fans. I have to thank the FIM and all the federations for the great collaboration. Mantova is a very well-known venue and very compact, the atmosphere this year will be very exciting, so I wish for all of you a great event, good racing and let’s start have it started, thank you”
FIM/CMS Director Antonio Alia Portela: “When you come to an event like this, you can smell it in the air that there is something different. It’s something that you feel in your heart, to support your nation, riders are together as a team, it’s something that makes the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations a very special event. We are back after one year’s break, it was really sad to postpone the event last year and the good thing is that the answer to this event is great, as you can see there are more than 30 nations coming to this race. I wish to thank Infront Moto Racing for all the effort that it has taken to organise this event, the Italian Federation for bringing it to Italy and preparing the good facilities, the track and all the officials are excited to be here and have the event running in a smooth way. We also have to thank all the federations around the globe who have sent their teams to participate here. Having said that, I wish you all the best in these two days of racing”.
Following the welcome of the officials, a special press conference took place to present the top six nations. This included Team Netherlands, Team Italy, Team Belgium, Team Great Britain, Team France and Team Germany who shared their expectations for the weekend.
Glenn Coldenhoff of the defending Champions Team Netherlands will run the #1 plate this weekend as he, together with Jeffrey Herlings and Roan van De Moosdijk will look to defend their title from Assen in 2019.
Glenn Coldenhoff: “I’m always proud to represent my country and obviously the last couple of years we have had a strong team and we know that and in Assen getting the trophy with Team Netherlands was really special, and we made history. Coming here with the #1, #2 and #3 gives a little more pressure but I feel like for this year there’s only one place that counts and that’s the win”.
Patrice Assendelft Team Netherlands Manager: “I am very proud that we were able to select these three riders. All three are very proud to fight for their country in the middle of a very busy season so I am very grateful for that. We have to put our best foot forward and on Sunday night we will see how the flags are”.
Meanwhile, Team Italy’s Antonio Cairoli, Alessandro Lupino and Mattia Guadagnini are big favourites to take the win here on home soil in Mantova and it is a big motivation for the team to do their best.
Antonio Cairoli: “I’m really happy to be here representing team Italy. I wasn’t sure until two days ago if I could take part in the race because of the hard-hit last week which meant I couldn’t race in Riola which for me was a big bummer for the championship because for me it was something important. But of course, I will never miss the Motocross of Nations and ride if I could and do everything in my power to ride. We are here and of course I am not in my best shape, but I will try to do my best again, to bring Italy on the podium and hopefully win this race which would be very good for me, for the team and everybody in Italy… Of course, that’s why we are here and that’s why I push a lot to be ready for the fight. It’s a team event and we know we are a strong team together. Of course, I would be happier if I could be 100% because one point is for sure better that two or three but we will do our best, we will see how it goes tomorrow. We will start slow tomorrow but I will give everything I have for the race on Sunday” he added.
Then it was time to introduce this year’s teams from the 31 nations that will take part in the battle for the Chamberlain Trophy this weekend, before starting with a special parade of the YZ bLU cRU 65, 85 and 125 riders along with the Junior e-Motocross series participants. Each country showcased the three riders who will represent them at the 74thMonster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations as they took a tour on the start line in front of an enthusiastic crowd of Italian fans.
The Team Presentation started with the 31st team which was Team Bulgaria and wrapped up with the defending champions Team Netherlands and concluded with an epic display from Team Italy who were supported by an enthusiastic crowd of Italian fans who hope that the trio of Antonio Cairoli, Alessandro Lupino and Mattia Guadagnini will stand atop the podium at the end of the races on Sunday.
The evening was finished off with the ballot to determine the starting grid for tomorrow’s racing, with Team South Africa taking the first gate pick, while Team Latvia and Team Croatia will line up second and third for the qualifying heats. Meanwhile Team Italy and Team Netherlands will go to the gate 28thand 29th respectively.
Today’s events, including the press conferences and the team presentation are available to watch on MXGP’s YouTube channel, while the racing this weekend, including the YZ bLU cRU 65, 85 and 125 races, will be streamed LIVE on www.MXGP-TV.com.
SATURDAY: Free/Time practice bLU cRU YZ65 07:40; Free/Time practice bLU cRU YZ85 08:15; Free/Time practice bLU cRU YZ125 08:50; Free/Time practice Junior eMotocross 09:30; T Free Practice MXGP 10:00; Free practice MX2 10:50; Free Practice Open 11:40; Race bLU cRU YZ65 13:10; Race bLU cRU YZ85 13:45; Qualifying Heat MXGP 14:30; Qualifying Heat MX2 15:30; Qualifying Heat Open 16:30; Session 1 Junior eMotocross 17:25.
SUNDAY: Warm-up B-Final 8:35; Race bLU cRU YZ125 09:20; Warm-up MXoN Group 1 10:05; Warm-up MXoN Group 2 10:25; B-Final 11:00; Session 2 Junior eMotocross 12:25; MXoN Race 1 (MXGP+MX2) 13:10; MXoN Race 2 (MX2+Open) 14:40; MXoN Race 3 (Open+MXGP) 16:08.
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