2017 Mini O’s | SX Tuesday

By Billy Rainford

Photos by Jeff McConkey and Bigwave

First off, let us say thank you to these folks who are helping out with this latest motocross road trip:

After getting the go-ahead to drive Monday Morning, Jeff and I jumped into the DMX Van and pointed it south and made it to Gatorback Cycle Park faster than I’ve ever done it before.

The 2017 Thor Winter Olympics event is bigger and busier than I’ve ever seen it. Rigs are parked as far as you can see and then they opened a section I’ve never seen needed before…and then they rented space off a neighbour and parked people there! This is a great sign for the sport, people!

We’ve got a solid contingent of Canadians racing here this year, too. We drove all night and showed up at the track at around 8:30 this morning, so we were a little groggy but did our best to get parked, pitted, and over to the Supercross track.

Speaking of parking, although they don’t officially have handicapped parking on site, they were nice enough to direct us to a pretty plum spot near the gate to set up and it really helped a lot for me to get to and from the actual track on my crutch. Thank you.

Anyway, today was mostly qualifying and gate pick day on the track. The weather stayed nice right until they got those finished. Unfortunately for those who had to go to an LCQ, it started pouring and they were left with a very slick track to negotiate. I know a few Canadians didn’t make it through in all their classes, but most did pretty well.

Here’s a closer look at some of the action from Tuesday on the SX track:

Hurry up, Jeff Ward, we’re going to miss Tanner’s race!!

Blake Wharton says, “Just chill, Jeff Ward, they’re not going anywhere, man.”

Nobody sweat it. He made it with plenty of time to spare.

London’s own, Justin Roney, is here helping out.

This could be the intro for the new ABC Wide World of Sports’ “The thrill of victory – the agony of defeat” broadcast. That’s #29 Zane Merritt grabbing a juicy holeshot.

#184 Tanner Ward is racing 3 SX classes – 250 Pro Sport, 450 Pro Sport, and 450 A. He’s 8, 13, and 12th in his gate pick qualifiers. I expect those results to improve with some clean races tomorrow.

We first saw #46 Marco Cannella in the 250 Pro Sport class where he had troubles in the second corner and had a rough one for 25th. He came back for a solid 2nd in the College (16-24) class and was 5th in 250 A.

Pierce Brown looked good taking his 250 B heat win.

Jalek Swoll has the speed to win and took 3rd in his heat. He crashed hard later in his 450 B heat and left with a couple issues.

Jesse Flock is running 6 classes in SX! He absolutely killed the his 450 B heat.

Canadian #53 Bjorn Viney seemed a little off after his little brother broke his elbow Monday. He was 14, 26, and 15 today in his races.

Hey, Bennet (Larry), over here, I’m up next!

I was impressed with Quinn Amyotte’s race attitude today. He went into the first turn and made good things happen. This, however, is the look of someone who got passed for the win on the final lap. He finished 2-4-1-2 in his C class heats today.

Rockwood, ON’s #50 Gregory Rovers was 17th and 21st in his C class motos.

Looking for the other Duran…

#79 Jett Reynolds had only 1 blemish in his 5 races today, a 2nd with the rest wins. He is flying!

Thomas Rendall has been here many times. He finished 11-14-26 in his motos today. He didn’t move on in his Schoolboy class.

He was just here in this Newberry Starbucks with #20 Jeremy McKie. The Quebec rider moves on in his Supermini 2 class (9th) but not in his Schoolboy class (19th).

Apparently, they’ve got a “1 in, 1 out” policy on Rays over at FXR…

Sarnia, ON’s #241 Daylen Vanderslagt finished 12th in 250 C and 13th in 450 C today.

Watch for #329 Matthew LeBlanc to go for wins tomorrow in his classes. He finished 1-2-3-2 today and will hear several “Friends” jokes tomorrow, too…

Woohoo, the Mini O’s!!!

#47 Jo Shimoda gave probably the most polite speech I’ve ever heard here last year. He’s racing the B classes and finished 7-1 and then also won his Schoolboy 2 heat.

Even without his long hair, #936 Ty Masterpool is still one of the most exciting riders to watch race. He won his 125 moto, handily, and was 5th in Schoolboy 1.

#101 Matthew Cemovic finished 17th in both the Schoolboy 1 and 125 races.

#422 Kennedy Lutz raced the B classes and finished 30th in 250 and 21st in 450. She was 3rd in the Women’s +14 class so watch for her to go for the win there tomorrow.

#22 Preston Masciangelo from Brantford, ON gets some last-minute advice before the gate drops. Was the question, “What would Jay Bondrock do?” Google it, Bowker!

He finished 7 and 9 in his 85 (9-11) heats.

OK, I know we missed some riders, and we apologize. We’re on it for tomorrow! Hey, Tim Ferry, after you’re finished cleaning up, could you turn the lights off on your way out? See you at the races…

Full results can be found at: http://wintero.escoremx.com/class.asp?s=&c=&e=114