The pre-event favourites twice found a team member left at the back of the field, but each time the rider concerned delivered an exciting come-back charge - while Ryan Villopoto stole the show with perfect start-to-finish wins in the first two races.

Retiring team captain and AMA legend Ricky Carmichael then concluded his Motocross of Nations career with an emotional final moto victory which, combined with second for Tim Ferry, easily handed America a record 18th win in the 61st edition of the end-of-season team event.

Moto One - MX1 and MX2

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The first moto, mixing MX1 and MX2 machinery, saw reigning AMA MX2 Motocross champion Ryan Villopoto storm to a brilliant 15-second victory against his more powerful rivals - despite having to remount his Kawasaki after tangling with a backmarker at mid-distance!

Meanwhile, event hero Carmichael had dramatically been left at the back of the pack following a first lap incident, but dug deep to claw his way up to third position at the finish - giving Team USA a confident early lead - while former AMA Supercross champion Chad Reed separated the Americans.

Reed had seized second place with a brutal pass on Britain's Tommy Searle, which left the impressive MX2 rider on the dirt, and the Australian went on to hold off former rival RC by four seconds at the chequered flag.

Sebastian Pourcel took fourth for France ahead of Spaniard Jonathan Barragan and Italian David Philippaerts. Philippaerts' team-mate Antonio Cairoli had been fighting his way through the top ten, and turned heads by briefly re-passing Carmichael, but his hopes came to an abrupt halt when he hit the back of Billy Mackenzie on lap six of 16 - launching the reigning double MX2 world champion over the handlebars. A frustrated Toni later retired with a seized front wheel, almost certainly caused by the fall.

After moto one, Team USA held a ten point lead over France, with Spain a further five points back and Great Britain just one point from the podium.

Moto Two - MX2 and Open

Moto two again saw Villopoto grab the holeshot on his 250cc Kawasaki, and again his Team USA team-mate was left in last place - this time in the form of Tim Ferry, who was one of two riders to fall heavily on the exit of turn one.

While Ferry fought his way through the field, Villopoto completed a dream day by disappearing to a 1minute 6secs victory margin over second place Ken de Dycker, riding a 450cc Honda! Searle made up for his opening moto disappointment by completing the podium on his 250cc KTM, while Ferry fought all the way up to fourth position.

Meanwhile, Cairoli had another race to forget: Considered the only rider capable of challenge Villopoto in the MX2 class, the Italian raised hopes of a thrilling showdown by slotting into second early in the race. However, the Yamaha rider made a mistake on the opening lap, then collided with Australian Michael Byrne in his haste to recover positions - leaving him with a broken front wheel.

After the second of three motos, Team USA had extended its advantage to a comfortable 16 points over France - whose riders Pierre Renet and Nicolas Aubin took solid fifth and sixth place finishes in race two - with Spain now 25 points further back in third.

de Dycker helped raise Belgium to fourth, four points from a potential podium, while Great Britain slipped to fifth due to a practice injury for Open class rider James Noble.

Moto Three - MX1 and Open

The decisive moto of the day was an all-450cc affair and this time Carmichael made a safe start, took the lead at turn one - and never looked back. Ricky eventually brought his RMZ home 12secs in front of team-mate Ferry, who worked his way up from fourth on lap one to complete a perfect moto for the USA.

Third position looked like going to reigning MX1 world champion Steve Ramon, but the Belgian was denied by reigning AMA Motocross champion Grant Langston on the very last lap. That pass, and a poor final moto by de Dycker (14th), was to prove costly for Belgium as it lost out on second overall by just one point to France.

The French team were the surprise of the competition, but were rewarded for their consistency with Sebastien Pourcel and Pierre Renet claiming ninth and 14th in the final moto.

With each team's worst score dropped, the USA won by a mammoth 26 points over the French, with Italy finishing 22 points behind Belgium in fourth.

2007 Motocross of Nations - top ten:

1. USA - 8 points
2. France - 34 points
3. Belgium - 35 points
4. Italy - 57 points
5. Great Britain - 63 points
6. Spain - 68 points
7. Japan - 77 points
8. Switzerland - 84 points
9. German - 89 points
10. Canada - 90 points