Calgary Arenacross Recap
By Billy Rainford
After a Round 1 that was about as tough as you’re going to see at an indoor motocross event. For round 2, the Jetwerx crew designed and built a track that was challenging yet safe and it made for some great racing.
The race was held in the Nutrien Agrium on the same grounds that hold the Saddle Dome where the Calgary Flames were taking on the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Although the sign up was light in the Pro classes, all the top contenders who were supposed to be there, were.
Here’s how the groups were set up:
250 Group B
202 Blake Osatchuk
328 Talan Hansen
52 Brad Nauditt
145 Tyler Gibbs
11 Davey Fraser
19 Dylan Wright
250 Group A
46 Marco Cannella
50 Jyire Mitchell
94 Luke Renzland
296 Ryder Floyd
5 Tyler Medaglia
450 Group B
3 Shawn Maffenbeier
114 Nick Schmidt
197 Brock Leitner
202 Blake Osatchuk
126 Tyler Chopyk
450 Group A
12 Cade Clason
2 Matt Goerke
54 Phil Nicoletti
1 Cole Thompson
296 Ryder Floyd
476 Collin Jurin
When the riders hit the track for their first practice, competitive times were in the sub-24-second per lap range. 15 laps were going to go by quickly in the 250 main and 20 laps would also be a fairly short 450 race.
Unfortunately, when the 450 B group hit the track, Brock Leitner doubled into the triple section and clipped a tuff block that he said had moved into the lane. It caused him to veer into the riders’ line and crash. He was hit by another rider and that was it for his night. He hadn’t even made a single lap and he was out. Eerily, it was one year to the date from his knee surgery that had him miss the entire 2018 season.
Brock was taken to the hospital and, when we last spoke to him, was waiting for the ortho doc to get there to make a final decision on what course of action to take. He has a few breaks in his hip and pelvis that will require some attention. At this point we don’t know if that means surgery, but we assume so since the ortho was called in to make an assessment.
Tough luck for the young Summerland, BC racer who told me simply he was “over it” from his hospital bed. However, those are usually the words of someone who hasn’t had a chance to think about how much the sport means to them, so we won’t hold him to this declaration when we see him lining up in 6-8 weeks time.
1. 94 Renzland 22.724
2. 5 Medaglia 23.025
3. 296 Floyd 23.257
4. 19 Wright 23.295
5. 46 Cannella 23.747
6. 50 Mitchell 24.044
7. 52 Nauditt 24.190
8. 11 Fraser 24.685
9. 146 Gibbs 24.897
10. 202 Osatchuk 28.398
11. 328 Hansen 29.554
1. 2 Goerke 22.659
2. 1 Thompson 23.147
3. 476 Jurin 23.194
4. 54 Nicoletti 23.219
5. 114 Schmidt 23.632
6. 3 Maffenbeier 23.697
7. 12 Clason 23.839
8. 202 Osatchuk 28.144
9. 770 Taylor 30.179
250 Heat 1
Heading into 250 Heat 1 Medaglia and Wright were posted up on the two inside gates. Osatchuk was on the far outside. Holeshot would go to Wirght and he would hold on for the win.
Mitchell and Medaglia had a nice battle but Wright rode alone out front. Dylan said his time spent riding Supercross whoops down south really helped him get through these ones in Calgary.
250 Heat 2
250 Heat 2 it was Nauditt who got out to the early lead, followed by Floyd and Renzland. Floyd made a nice pass as he pushed by Nauditt to take the lead. Next it was Renzland who got by Nauditt in the whoops while Gibbs and Hansen were slowing down on the track.
Rnzland closed in on Floyd as the race wound down and went for an inside pass in the final turn which took them both down.
Renzland was able to get up quickly and hold on for the win, as Nauditt sqeeked through and took 2nd place.
Luke would later say that he “got a little aggressive in the last corner” but added that it’s “going to happen.”
450 Heat 1
Floyd decided to sit out the 450 class this week and they mentioned it was due to not having time to get the suspension set up the way they wanted. He was going to concentrate on the 250 class.
The heat races were for gate pick only and there were only 4 riders in 450 heat #1 after a couple riders were hurt early.
Thompson grabbed the holeshot in Heat 1 with Nicoletti, Maffenbeier, and Osatchuk chasing.
Maffenbeier would go down in turn 2 and be left scrambling.
Thompson and Nicoletti gapped the rest and it looked like Phil had something extra in the whoops section but couldn’t get the pass made and ended up 2nd with Maffenbeier a distant 3rd.
Thompson said he “rode a little tight in that moto” and that he “needs to be better in the whoops.”
450 Heat 2
450 Heat 2 holeshot went to Jurin with Goerke making an early pass for the lead. Farther back it was Schmidt and Clason fighting for 3rd place.
At the flag, Goerke had a lead on Jurin who had a pretty good gap on Clason and Schmidt in 3rd and 4th.
Clash for Cash
Nicoletti lined up on the outside while Wright was on the inside gate on his 250 for the Clash for Cash race.
At the start it was Jurin, Goerke, Wright, Thompson and then Nicoletti. Goerke took the lead with a great run through the whoops and Nicoletti pushed Wright wide to take the position.
At the flag it was Goerke, Jurin, Thompson and Nicoletti.
Thompson tried a last corner pass on Jurin but came up short and then left Jurin hanging for the post-race high five.
Floyd lined up on the outside gate with his red plates while it was Mitchell and Wright on the inside gates.
The holeshot went to Nauditt with Wright, Mitchell, and Medaglia (who would fall early with Renzland).
Lap one it was Nauditt, Wright, Mitchell, Cannella, Fraser, Medaglia, and Renzland.
Wright was looking good in the whops while Medaglia would go down in them.
Wright made a pass on the inside of Nauditt in the corner before the finish line to take the lead and hold onto it for the rest of the main.
Around halfway, it was Wright, Nauditt, Cannella, Mitchell, Fraser, Gibbs, and Floyd.
Floyd would be forced out of this one with a shifter mechanical.
Wright gapped 2nd place, Nauditt, who had Cannella pressuring hard.
Cannella would bump his way past Nauditt to take 2nd place, while Naiditt would hold onto 3rd place at the flag.
Nauditt said he tightened up and just didn’t have the 15 laps in him. He said he was “just getting tired.”
Cannella admitted he’d “been a bit of a wussy, lately” and had to make every second count out there on the track and that he had to make passes. We saw a new side of Marco in the main as he forced the issue several times.
Wright said that he had some “breathing room” and was “able to ride my own race.” He also added, “this win is gonna make the drive home from Florida a lot easier!”
The final race of the night lined up with Osatchuk and Schmidt on the outside and Thompson, Goerke, and Jurin on the inside.
The holeshot would go to Thompson, but Nicoletti would make an immediate pass to take the lead with Goerke and Maffenbeier in 3rd and 4th.
On lap 2 it was Nicoletti, Thompson, Goerke, Maffenbeier, Clason, and Jurin.
Goerke tried to get past Thompson on the inside but Cole saw it coming and chopped the option off.
Goerke would get a little loose in the whoops but hold on.
All riders found a new low line over the wall jump that was saving a lot of time.
Nicoletti and Thompson put some room on Goerke but Matt was closing back in with some nice wheel tapping through the whoops section.
At the half it was Nicoletti, Thompson, and Goerke well out front of the rest. The leaders were going at it and Goerke joined in the fun.Unfortunately, Matt would crash with Schmidt as he was being lapped, but hold onto 3rd place.
Nicoletti and Thompson put on a great show with Cole trying everything he could to make a move.
With one last chance on the last lap, Thompson missed the triple jump as he was trying inside lines and that allowed Nicoletti to get to the line comfortably with Thompson settling for second. Goerke was a distant 3rd.
Matt said on the podium that it was a “terrible race for me” and that he was “not too happy with that.” He said that he “messed up” and added, “sorry to my team and fans.”
Cole said “I think I was thinking too much” and that the race “went quicker than I expected.” He said that “Phil was on it” and that he’ll use this round as “extra motivation.”
Phil said that he was “an outdoor guy” and that this was his “first win up in Canada.” He said that “Cole kept me honest” and that the “lighting was tough.” He added that he was “ready for a t-bone move” but that he didn’t “think anybody wants to start a blood war yet.”
Next round is April 27 in Sarnia, Ontario.