2019 Yamaha Media Ride Day at Motopark
By Billy Rainford
Each year at this time, we get the invite from Yamaha Motor Canada to head over to Motopark in Chatsworth, Ontario, to ride the next year’s motocross line-up, and each year I tell myself I really should have ridden more leading up.
My days of chasing lap times are long gone, but I’m still able to get the sense of what’s new and different from each bike when I get on the track. My skills may be rusty, my knees may be shot, I may stare down at the front fender, and I may not clear all the doubles, but the smile under my helmet is as big as anyone’s, and that’s why we ride dirt bikes in the first place — because it’s fun.
One thing we older riders in the crowd noticed, immediately, was how different “new school” jump face lines are. Every one had a line that headed off the top of the jump face heading way off on an angle that would see you jump into a tree or onto Iain Hayden‘s runway if you didn’t have the necessary scrub/whip skills. I started my own lines right down the centres…
The 2019 Yamaha YZ250F is an all-new bike. There were some changes to the 450, too, but the 250 is the one that got the lion’s share of the attention for 2019. The 450 got it for 2018.
We will post our thoughts on the actual bikes, themselves, in an upcoming column, but here are a few photos from a great day at the track last Friday.
Direct Motocross set up and ready to hit the track.
The day always starts with some in-class time to go over everything that’s new. To be honest, this is probably where I do my best work…
Head Marketing guy, Graeme Jones, takes us through how the day will unfold and thanks us for coming.
Jeff dials in his goggles and gets ready to go.
Steve Simms working the ultra-trick tuning app on his phone.
Sam Gaynor was pumped to try out his shoulder for the first time since his pre-TransCan injury.
You knew Chris Pomeroy would head straight for the new 450.
Jeff wondering which machine he should try first.
“Should I or shouldn’t I?” wonders Dan Tricco.
Graeme checking out the riding from the porch.
Josh Cox puts it a little sideways on this jump with the Motopark sign nicely in the background.
Seth Hughes says hello.
Jeff hits the track on the 2018 250 to determine his base line.
He and Jake Tricco were wearing the same gear, but it became apparent who was who…
Dillan Epstein came by to put in some hot laps.
#66 Marco Cannella has some fun for the camera of Peter Marcelli.
Steve Simms tells a good story, I guess.
Dan Tricco decided to hit the track, after all.
Jeff was impressed with the 2019 250.
I was impressed with JF’s old school fast guy 125 skills.
Steve Simms turning one down.
#615 having some fun down the finish straight.
Dillan Epstein hit the track on the 65, so I think this deserves a few photos.
Nobody checked the sag.
It took him a while to get used to the tiny wheels, but he got the hang of it and started hitting all the jumps.
Doesn’t actually look that bad!
That was a laugh!
Jeff switched out the Scott goggles for some Fox goggles to keep the advertisers happy.
I really like this tree in the background. That’s Palms again.
Jake looking cool at lunchtime.
Seth and Marco hanging out at the end of the day.
Thanks again for a great day, Yamaha. We’ll see you next year!