Canadians at the 2023 Arlington Supercross
By Billy Rainford
As I always say in our podcasts when it’s someone’s first time doing something, “We only ever get one time to interview a racer after their first time doing something, and this is your one time.” That goes for #622 Preston Masciangelo from Brantford, Ontario, who was in Arlington, Texas, to race the Supercross Futures.
Preston’s season got off to a very rough start when he crashed at SOBMX on Day 1 and broke and dislocated both wrists back in early winter. He’s spent the time since keeping himself as fit as possible while he waited to have the casts removed.
Preston rides on the Partzilla PRMX OGs Kawasaki team, owned by fellow Canadian Julien Perrier. The team is based out of SOBMX in South Carolina and also employs Canadian #500 Julien Benek, New Zealander #86 Josiah Natzke, and Americans #508 Hunter Yoder, #170 Devon Simonson, #219 Chase Marquier, and #68 Cade Clason.
Preston was finally ready to make his AMA SX Futures debut at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday night. Keep reading as we take you through the day and night of our Canadian riders in Texas. And we’ll have an interview with Preston up as soon as they arrive back at “home” in South Carolina.
Julien Benek from Mission, British Columbia, had decided to race the 450 class to keep gaining more experience. He lined up in Group C on his 250.
Also in Texas was Manluk Rock River Yamaha’s #614 Quinn Amyotte from Blackstock, Ontario. Quinn was entering his second AMA Supercross and knew he was going to be in tough to make the Mains in this second of the Triple Crown formats.
One of the most entertaining parts of the Supercross racing week in and week out is watching #68 Cade Clason. He’s not Canadian, but we treat him like he is. No matter what happens, Cade seems to put himself on a bubble every time. Whether it’s qualifying for the Main or getting through the LCQ, Cade being in the battle for the final position is always even money.
He did it again in Arlington when he was safely into the 3 Triple Crown Mains out of Group A until late in the 450 Group B second qualifier. Both #78 Grant Harlan and #519 Josh Cartwright bumped him down to 19th when the checkered flag waved.
In the Triple Crown format, they take the top 18 directly to the Mains while the next 22 riders down to 40th place go to the LCQ where they take the top 4.
Unfortunately, this week Cade wasn’t able to put himself in the Mains after ending up 9th in the 450 LCQ. Keep an eye on him next week in Daytona, it’s always fun.
Speaking of the 2nd 450 B Qualifier, there was a red flag waved when #97 Devin Harriman went down and needed attention from the Alpinestars medics. Hopefully, he’s doing fine.
#500 Julien Benek was fastest in the first 450 Group C qualifier while #551 Guillaume St Cyr was back in 12th in the same group. Julien’s time was 51.280 so he would need to drop a couple seconds to make the top 18 and avoid going to the LCQ. Guillaume was in danger of not making it into the top 40 to get to the LCQ with a time of 53.997 in Q1.
When the checkered flag waved to end final qualifying, Benek was 1st in the group with a 50.283 and St Cyr was 12th with a 52.601. You could tell Julien’s shoulder was hurting as he slumped down over his left side once he took the flag.
In combined qualifying times, here’s how our Canadians did:
#614 Quinn Amyotte – 31st 50.980 Headed to 250 LCQ
#500 Julien Benek – 29th 50.283 Headed to 450 LCQ
#551 Guillaume St Cyr – 46th 52.601 Missed making the LCQ
In the Futures class, Preston found himself in 8th place with a best lap of 53.283 after his first qualifying session.
Once the 450 and 250 Pros were finished (they did 450’s first), the Futures riders got their final shot at the track before the Main. With less than a minute remaining, Preston was yet to improve on his Q1 time. In fact, his best time in Q2 was 2.5 seconds off his Q1 time. In the end, his best time remained the same and that placed him 11th.
Amyotte got held up heading into the first rhythm section after the first turn. #247 Brock Papi, #99 Hardy Munoz, and #66 Henry Miller were the first 3. Amyotte was sitting in 10th place behind #874 Zack Williams and ahead of our old Texan friend #118 Cheyenne Harmon. #86 Natzke was the man on the bubble in 5th place. He made a mistake late and dropped to the back of the pack.
Quinn had rookie pro #602 Gage Linville behind him with 2 minutes to go. Linville made the pass to push Quinn to 10th, 20 seconds off the lead. He then had #137 Ayden Shive on his rear wheel with 2 laps to go. Quinn held on to cross the line in 10th place. A solid ride but Quinn was headed back to the rig and would miss the Mains.
The holeshot went to #80 Kevin Moranz. #500 Benek was mid-pack on his 250 and looked over his left shoulder as a rider went down beside him in the first turn, narrowly avoiding going down himself.
He was up to 7th place at the end of lap 1 but then crashed and dropped to the back of the pack and out. He walked off the track favouring his right leg while getting attention from the medics.
I fired him a message to make sure he was OK, and here’s how he described what had happened:
#848 Joan Cros hit him before the dragon’s back and his leg got twisted around backward and both bikes and Joan were on top of his leg while it was still in an awkward position.
Fortunately, he said he’s ok and that he just “tweaked his leg pretty good.”
Moranz and #11 Kyle Chisholm had a great battle for the lead with #74 Logan Karnow close behind in 3rd. 4th was #60 Justin Starling with Marquier on his rear wheel.
Off the start, this race belonged to #241 Daxton Bennick. He was out front while #622 Preston Masciangelo was up in 6th place. After qualifying 11th, this was going to be a tall order to hold this position. He’s scored as 8th at the end of lap 1.
Masciangelo battled hard but slipped his way back to 11th by the time the 6-minute plus 1 lap race was done.
We also have to mention young #10 Meston Lockhart from Langley, BC out on the track in the KTM Junior Supercross class. Racing in front of a sold out stadium must have been the highlight of the youngster’s life! Meston matched his number in the KJSX Main with a 10th place.
In the end, none of our Canucks were in the Mains in Texas, but it was a tall order, considering the Triple Crown format. We should see Quinn, Guillaume, and Julien back on the track in Daytona this coming week. Hopefully, we see a couple more familiar faces on the gate to cheer for as well.
It’s also the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross in Daytona, so we’ll keep an eye out for many more amateur Canadians on the track on the days following pro day.
Racing this coming week will start with the Pro Circuit Open at Tampa MX on Thursday night. The Supercross is Saturday, followed by Round 2 of the GNCC Racing series at Hog Waller in Palatka, Florida, on Sunday, and Monday will be the RCSX back at Daytona International Speedway.
It’s a busy week of racing, and one of the best of the season. See you at the races…
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