UPDATE: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th December. Closed. Unfortunately torrential rain has now made the tracks too wet.

Ernee - The Circuit

FIM World MX Champs

maddix park mx
www.britishmx.com  Geoff Meyer

With the next round of the FIM World Motocross Championships heading to France in a little over a week we thought it might be a good idea to check out the circuit that will run the eight round of this year’s FIM World MX1 and MX2 Championships.

Built in a valley just a few hours from the beautiful city of Paris, the circuit of Ernee has a 23 years relationship with the FIM World Motocross Championships. The first ever round of the series was run in 1990 when American racer Donny Schmit won the French round of the World 125cc Championships.

Although Ernee only ran a handful of GPs until the year 2000, since Youthstream arrived on the scene in 2004 the French circuit has been a major stop in the series. There have been some moments though that stand out in the circuit’s history.

Back eight years ago in September of 2005 Team USA of Ricky Carmichael, Kevin Windham and Ivan Tedesco put Team USA on top of the podium as they battled with Team France and Team Belgium. In what will go down as one of the best Motocross of Nations in the sports history Carmichael showed the World what a talent he is with his 1-1 results, although it was also the performance of a young New Zealander Ben Townley that caught the imagination of the huge crowd in attendance.

“I was a little surprised by Townley,” Carmichael would say at the time. “He rode well, and I couldn’t get too far ahead of him. I love racing at the Motocross of Nations and this circuit has really made it difficult, and the crowd were very supportive.”

Click here for footage of the 2005 MXoN with Townly and Coppins and of course Carmichael.

Another race weekend that  stood out in the history of the Ernee circuit was the day legendary Belgian Stefan Everts won three classes in one day, taking the MX1, MX2 and 650cc classes in the 2003 Grand Prix of France. It would be the only time in the history of the sport that a ride would win three classes in a single day.

Another moment for Everts was when he ended his brilliant Grand Prix career at the circuit in 2006. Winning his 101st GP and ending with the huge crowd screaming his name and the press saying goodbye to their hero. A special circuit for a special moment.

2006 also saw a battle royal between home track rider Christophe Pourcel and defending World MX2 Champion Antonio Cairoli. Cairoli would win the Grand Prix from fellow Italian David Philippaerts, although Pourcel with 40 points would score enough to win the 2006 FIM World MX2 Championship.

What the 2013 version will bring we won’t know until June 9, and for sure riders like Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings, Gautier Paulin and Clement Desalle will enjoy their visit to the wonderful circuit of Ernee.

 
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