Brainstorm | London SX | 450 Class | Strikt
By Billy Rainford
With Jeff McConkey unable to make it to this last round of Supercross, his McThoughts-style column rests with me this week. Here’s what I thought of the top 10 in the 450 Pro class at the London Supercross at Delaware Speedway this past Saturday night.
1. #16 Cole Thompson KTM – Cole is definitely in his wheelhouse. Take away the top American riders who were in Montreal, make the course tighter, and you’ve really got a mix that gives him an advantage. When I saw how hard the clay-based track got in London, I knew Cole would be comfortable because it was almost exactly like his practice Supercross track in Brigden.
Cole actually crossed the flour line first for the holeshot, but Phil Nicoletti lead early. Cole slowly worked his way to the front and never really looked to be in trouble. He also looked silky smooth doing the tricky triple sequence through the rhythm section every lap which is not something you can say for all the top guys.
Cole extended his lead in the $100K Triple Crown money chase, too. He leads the Supercross points and is 8 up on Facciotti for the money.
2. #45 Colton Facciotti HON – As soon as I saw Colton on the track in practice, I knew he was going to be good…Duh! But, seriously, he looked really comfortable and fast on the new machine. During free practice, he was holding speed better than everyone in the jumpy rhythm section and looked completely relaxed doing so.
He looked good in the main and I thought was going to take a run at Cole up front but it took him quite a while to get past Nicoletti. He had a scary moment in the whoops that may have forced him to weigh out the risks of pushing harder.
3. #54 Phil Nicoletti YAM – I’ve cracked a rib before and I could barely reach into the lower rack in the fridge on week 4. How can he race at the front with bad ribs?! Phil grabbed the early lead and managed to hold off our 2 top SX riders for a really long time!
After the race, he could barely get off the bike or onto the stage, he was in so much pain. That was a character-building performance and an effort that should have everyone in Canada cheering for him next and every time they see him.
4. #570 Cody VanBuskirk KAW – Really good ride for Cody Saturday night. He’s got a ton of Supercross experience. Go look at some old results and you’ll likely see the Illinois native in almost all of them.
He was pressuring for 3rd the entire moto and the PRMX guys should be pretty stoked to have this guy under their ‘awning.’
5. #5 Tyler Medaglia KAW – I interviewed Tyler at the end of the night. He had Supercross suspension mounted but said he’d need a little more time to get used to what it does to him on the rest of the track – not just the jumps. He’s a little dude and stiff suspension for the huge jumps and whoops can be a handful, elsewhere.
Still, he had a good performance and was always in touch with the leaders. If any bobbled, he was there to capitalize, but only Matt Goerke went down in front of him.
6. #7 Dillan Epstein YAM – Dillan was right there with Tyler throughout most of the race. He lost Tyler’s rear wheel late and ended up riding all alone in 6th at the flag, going down a lap right at the end.
I’m sure they’ll ride a bunch of SX between now and Quebec City, so watch for him to continue making improvements.
7. #20 Davey Fraser HSK – Talk about riding alone! Davey was 30 seconds behind Dillan and 30 seconds ahead of 8th place at the flag.
He’s been around a long time and knows when and where to take his chances. I don’t think the Delaware track was the place he was going to force the issue. He was happy with his result and said he just wanted to be safe out there. He fought with #295 Josh Mann early, until Josh went down.
8. #176 Ryan Derry KTM – Ryan is a working man now and probably didn’t want to risk too much out there on this tricky little track. He and his dad, Peter Derry, are all smiles these days at the track and I think they are just happy to keep making memories in this sport. He wasn’t going to win this thing, but I really don’t think that’s the point with these guys. Good job, Ryan.
9. #164 Mitch Goheen YAM – Mitch raced the Pro 450 class in London. He had a couple close calls in the whoops and ran pretty consistent lap times.
He also ended up on his own out there and was 15 seconds behind Ryan and 11 seconds ahead of 10th. It’s always good to see Mitch and his dad, Dan Goheen, at the races having fun.
10. #751 Donald Turner YAM – I don’t know much about Donald, to be honest. He got out into 12th place off the start and that’s where he rode until Josh Mann and Matt Goerke went down, moving him up a couple spots.
Judging from the laps page, there were a couple times when he must have had some issues, because his best time is a :49 and he has a couple that were over 1:00. Again, he was never going to win this thing, but he’s out there going for it, gaining experience, and making memories. Well done, Donald.
Biggest Stud: How can you not give this to Phil Nicoletti, after that heroic ride?! Ribs hurt the same amount (a lot!) for 5 straight weeks, and he was out there racing 7 days after damaging his. That’s easily “Stud” status, right there. No contest.
Biggest Dud: I don’t want to call him a “Dud,” per se, but clipping that tuff block and going down that hard was a mistake I’m betting Matt Goerke would like to take back. He didn’t need to be that close to the inside there and was pressuring Thompson for that 2nd spot, at the time.
Biggest Suprise: How “raceable” that track was. It was quite narrow and short, and the top 5 guys were all within…actually, I just checked and it was 20 seconds. OK, that’s not all that close, but the racing was better than those numbers tell us. Throw an un-crashed Matt Goerke in there and it looks even closer.
Also, I was very pleasantly surprised with how many people ended up going through the turnstiles (or baffle gates). I hadn’t heard any ads on the local radio station I listen to most, but people definitely knew it was happening and come out to almost fill the place. It looked good and will, hopefully, mean we try to go to Delaware Speedway again in the future. I live 10 minutes away, so my fingers are crossed.
Again, I’m not giving out a style award. That’s Jeff’s category and I’m not going there.
Next round is in Quebec City, November 3rd. See you there.