Moto Media
James Stewart

Thor was well represented at MXoN

New Zealand's Team Manager Tony Cooksley in front of Thor's impressive mobile building. Photo: Alan Henderson.

Thor's Giant Expo is the largest mobile facility in the Movico range from the Netherlands. It arrives as a semi-trailer , then expands up and out. It can accommodate more than 150 people on the two spacious floors. The Giant Expo is equipped as standard with toilet facilities, air conditioning, a goods lift and heating - with a floor area of more than 140 m2.

 With Monster Energy Kawasaki and Thor rider, Ryan Villopoto locking up the 450 National Championship at Pala Raceway, it was time for motocross fans to turn their attention towards the 2011 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations where the best riders in the world competed at St. Jean d’Angely, France for their respective countries.

Some of the custom gear featured in France. Photo courtesy of Thor.

Multiple Thor riders were on hand in St. Jean d’Angely. The 450 National and 250 National Champions, Ryan Villopoto and Dean Wilson, represented the United States and Great Britain, respectively. Also representing Thor was Blake Baggett (USA), Brett Metcalfe (Australia), and Tyla Rattray (South Africa).

Ryan Villopoto's MXoN Gear. Photo courtesy of Thor.

After Steven Frossard was forced to withdraw with an injury, Christophe Pourcel was named as his replacement and partnered with fellow Thor rider Gautier Paulin on the French Team. Rounding out the Thor team will be CLS Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider, Tommy Searle, who teamed up with Dean Wilson on the Great Britain team.

Eight Thor riders descended upon the 2011 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.  When the racing and rain was over on Sunday, it was Team USA that again logged their names in the history books with their seventh victory in as many years, and the twenty-second overall win in Team USA Motocross of Nations history.

Ryan Villopoto. Photo: Alan Henderson.

Leading the way for the United States Team was Monster Energy Kawasaki and Thor rider, Ryan Villopoto.  Villopoto went 3-1 (MX2-Open & MX1-Open) on Sunday which was the leading performance most expected out of the 2011 Supercross and Motocross national champion.  Villopoto combined with Ryan Dungey (3-2 in MX1-MX2 and MX1-Open, respectively) and Blake Baggett (17-17 in MX1-MX2 and MX2-Open, respectively) to log a final point total of 26, that was more than enough to hold off the hard charging French (Second overall) and Australian (Third overall) Teams.
Leading Team France to a very solid second place finish was, Gautier Paulin.  Paulin finished 1-3 (MX2-Open and MX1-Open, respectively).  Paulin put on an impressive performance in the MX2-Open moto where he battled the rainy elements on his way to the moto win.

Gautier Paulin, he's taller than I had expected. 
Photo: Alan Henderson

There were more than a couple other bright spots for Thor riders over the weekend.  Tommy Searle finished in the top five in both motos, going 4-4 (MX1-MX2 and MX1-Open, respectively) and leading the Great Britain Team to an impressive fourth-place finish.

Tyla Rattray (5-3) and Brett Metcalfe (7-10) also performed well over the weekend.  Metcalfe represented Team Australia in the Open Class combining with teammates Chad Reed and Matt Moss for a solid third-place overall result.  Rattray also spearheaded another impressive performance, leading the South African team to a respectable sixth-place overall finish.

Brett Metcalfe. 
Photo: Alan Henderson.

How Thor riders fared.
Ryan Villopoto: 3-1 (MX2-Open & MX1-Open)
Blake Baggett: 17-17 (MX1-MX2 & MX2-Open)
Gautier Paulin: 1-8 (MX2-Open & MX1-MX2)
Tommy Searle: 4-4 (MX1-MX2 & MX1-Open)
Dean Wilson: 9-27 (MX1-MX2 & MX2-Open) - later revealed he had a broken Scaphoid and Ulna in his left wrist. 
Tyla Rattray: 5-3 (MX1-MX2 & MX1-Open)
Brett Metcalfe: 7-10 (MX2-Open & MX1-Open)
Christophe Pourcel: 11-35 (MX1-MX2 & MX1-Open)