The Latvian motocross team pushed the maximum in the mud of the USA

Kārlis Sabulis represented the Latvian national team in the Nations Cup for the fourth time and was the team leader on the tough track in the USA.


Ilmārs Stūriška, “Latvijas Avīze”, JSC “Latvijas Mediji”

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The Latvian motocross team with Kārli Sabulis, Tomas Macukas and Kārli Reišulis in the line-up at the Nations Cup in the USA repeated the historically second best achievement – 11th place.


Only motocross superpowers ahead

“The guys have exceeded our expectations. In front of Latvia, in fact, there are only motocross superpowers, and some of them are also behind us. Everyone had their best races, there were some failures – Tom fell in the first race and started with painkillers. The track is very heavy, big mud. All countries faced negative surprises, so it’s nice that our guys rode steadily, never stopped,” President of the Latvian Motocross Federation Mārtiņš Lazdovskis expressed his satisfaction to “Latvijas Avīze”.

“Karlis proved that he belongs to the motocross elite. The second race – only a few expected such a result, and he confirmed to himself how well you can ride if you are in the right mood. In the first, there was a failure at the start and he started fighting from a lower place,” said Lazdovskis about Sabuli, who before the season paid more attention to training other athletes than to his own preparation. In the MXGP class rating, Sabulis took the eighth place in the competition of 20 athletes.

“16-year-old Kārlis Reišulis was one of the youngest, if not the youngest, participant of the competition. I remember the moment when I stood on the podium at the European Championship stage in Ķegum in April and when I got off I was asked – have I declared myself as a candidate for the national team? I said he must have done it. The boy’s determination, pride in representing the country is fantastic – he did not burn out from the great tension and made excellent trips,” the head of the federation praised the young athlete.

Latvian athletes started with rented standard motorcycles, bringing with them individual parts to make them more powerful. A local mechanic helped prepare the wheels, and the machine did not disappoint on any trip. Paul Jonas already said in time that he will not start in the Nations Cup, besides, he was injured in the last stage of the World Championship.

Latvia’s record in the motocross Olympics is the eighth place won in 2019, but until then the best achievement was the 11th place, which was won by Leons Kozlovskis, Mairis Levans and Viesturs Gaušis in 1992, competing for the first time under the red and white flag.

The Nations Cup was held for the 70th time, after an 11-year break, the USA, which has the most titles (23), won. France is in second place, Australia is in third place, and last year’s winner Italy, whose team again featured the legendary Antonio Cairoli, is immediately behind the podium. The nine-time world champion put an end to his career a year ago and did not compete in the world championship this season, but the powder is still quite dry for the athlete who just celebrated his 37th birthday – he took seventh and ninth place in the races, being the best representative of the Apennine Peninsula.

A strong application

Last weekend the Sidecar Nations Cup was held in the Czech Republic. Latvia was represented by Daniels Lielbārdis with the Lithuanian Konstantinas Beleckas, Māris Rupeiks and Kaspars Liepiņš, Didzis Gorbenko and the Frenchman Rūdolfs Lebretons, finishing in fifth place. “The sidecar men proved that it is not for nothing that it is a traditionally strong type for us, the team had a combination of experience and youth. Special joy for Lielbardi, who only two months ago reached the age when he can participate in international competitions. The fifth place is an excellent result, I think that the future of sidecars with the Lielbarži brothers could look quite bright for us again,” admitted Mārtiņš Lazdovskis.

Lielbardis presented himself brilliantly on the stage of the world championship, winning the second place in the qualification at the debut stage in September. Unfortunately, the singer’s twin brother Bruno broke his arm in a fall, but he quickly managed to talk to the Lithuanian veteran Beleckas, who suffered a head injury in a fall at the start of the first round of the Nations Cup. Although concussion was suspected, he drove to the end despite representing his neighbors and not his country.

The Netherlands won, but the bronze was won by Kaspars Stupelis as part of Estonia, for whom these were farewell matches from the great sport. He announced the end of his career already the previous week.

Matīss Palēvics, Reinis Bicāns and Valērijs Kuzmins ranked ninth in the quadricycle nations in the Czech Republic.

Mototrialists fought for the Cup of Nations in Italy, Spain continued its incredible winning streak – they have been unbeatable since 2004. Apart from the first success, Antonio Mena, who has also been the host in the individual competition at the world championships since 2007, was in the ranks of all the other Spaniards. The Latvian trio with Kristeras Einas, Nikas Alksni and Kristaps Kīli ranked 20th in the overall table.

Results. Motocross


Results in trips

* Kārlis Sabulis – 13th and 20th place

* Tom Macuk – 22nd and 23rd place


* Kārlis Reišulis – 23rd and 23rd place

In total, Latvia took 11th place out of 34 teams. Lithuania is 22nd, Estonia – 19th.