Faces at the Races | Canadian MX Nationals Round 4 – Gopher Dunes

By Billy Rainford

It’s time for another fun and sarcastic look at the people who were at Round 4 of the 2023 Canadian Triple Crown Series MX Nationals at Gopher Dunes.

Yes, I already used this shot of Randi Lockhart from Saturday, but come on!
Tanner Ward has been pretty broken up about not being in one of my latest vlogs, so let’s get race day started with Tanner warming up on the stationary. We’ll be sure to get the #84 at Sand Del Lee. 🤣
We had a bunch of American riders race Gopher Dunes last week. #718 Grant Taylor is here all the way from Texas to race his 250 2-stroke. Unfortunately, I don’t think he had the experience he was hoping for. Let’s see if he makes the trip to Ottawa. 34-29 put him 32nd.
#13 Brenner Lammens cruising the pits. He crashed pretty hard and hurt his hand but he still raced the Premix class second moto and got 5th.
Apparently, they’ve got the AC cranked in the Astudillo trailer. Either that or Logan Leitzel is Dracula. “Abracapocus!”
Before I get carried away, let me first point out just how good the entire Gopher Dunes grounds looked on race day. Kudos, gang. You’re move, KT.
Tuesday Auz and Sunday Maff checking out the track. #50 Austin Jones finished 9th and Shawn Maffenbeier crashed hard while showing crazy speed and is out with a concussion.
I can wait…
The Thor GasGas stable of rides.
Nobody brings sand to the beach, but the WLTN Kawasaki Seven team brought the shirts!
Authentic Montana cowboy.
I actually thought #35 Preston Masciangelo looked pretty good but it turns out he’s battling an illness that’s sapping his energy. Wow, can’t wait to see him at full strength!
That’s Seth Hughes, Ryan Derry, and Dario Zecca not hiding the fact they aren’t paying attention to Paul Kingsley very well.
That’s Cale Kuchnicki doing even worse! Sorry, Cale.
Don’t look at me like that, Yanick Boucher, you’re the one whose name was so small on your back I didn’t know who #32 was for a while! 14-12 put Yanick 14th this week.
This father ain’t out of it yet!
Riders gathered on the grassy knoll for riders meeting.
I’m just kidding, everyone was glued to Paul’s speech.
That’s #881 Jerry Lorenz still at it, coming up from Michigan. 10-11 for 10th.
It was good to see #454 Ben Leclair lining up this week and crack the top 20.
I hadn’t seen Jay DaSilva in a while and was impressed to see just how fit he’s looking these days! He and James Gourlay are almost ready for the marathon!
#61 Noah Viney isn’t a sand guy and actually headed to Oklahoma this week before SDL.
#28 Sam Gaynor raced 4 motos on Sunday at the Dunes. There’s no bolder move than to double class it there.
Brandon Gourlay on his TM. Things didn’t end well, but he grabbed a juicy holeshot. 2-DNF for 7th.
Lindsey Bradley and Breanna Rose comparing notes. All the cool kids are doing it.
Team Barrett in formation.
I stood at the exit of the track after practice to see who said hello. Thank you, #7 Brooke Merrow from Maine. 7-5 put her 6th.
And thank you #8E Bella Morgan. Let’s take a second here…
All smiles for them before the gate dropped.
She crashed pretty hard in the new rollers. I went over to lift the bike off her and she was in a lot of pain. As I lifted I noticed that her clutch lever had gone right though her pants and was stuck, so as I lifted the bike (wondered why I was so damn weak!) it was lifting her left leg and entire body with it. She yelled.
Here’s why! Ron Cameron and I managed to get her leg free and didn’t realize the extent of the damage at the time. Bella was looking good but will now be on the sidelines for a little while. I spoke with her dad, Dave Morgan, and he tells us that surgery went well. Heal up, Bella.
Hello, Dana Barrett. 14-15 for 16th.
Middle finger available for mid-moto social media posts for #29 Alissa Harkin. I wonder if she’d get a “Harkin Banks” reference? “What’s a Kiss Ass Blaster?” 15-14 for 15th.
“Nothing to see here,” says #8 Mitchell Harrison.
And I’m not even touching this one from #1 Ryder McNabb!
Everyone but your teammate, that’s who’s back there #126 Kaven Benoit. 4-1 for 2nd place.
If we were going to try to see you upset, #23 Josiah Natzke, which moto should we watch? 1-5 put him 3rd.
#187 Leith Ness says, “Shaka, brah!” 30-25 for 26th.
I knew #454 Ben Leclair was more of a rock and roll horns kind of guy. 18-20 put him 20th.
Not sure I made a big enough deal about how good #33 Tanner Scott rode in moto 2. 12-6 put him 7th overall.
#225 Tristan Dares doing his best R Kelly impression. 25-18 put him 21st.
34-26 for 27th is not where #53 Marcus Deausy belongs. I’ll go ahead and say he’s not a sand guy.
A few tense moments for #20 Jeremy McKie early in the day. They sorted the issue out quickly and he went on to have a very good day! 6-5 put Jeremy up in 5th spot.
Ooh, that’s a nice one! I like that. #5 Tyler Medaglia said he did way too much sand training in the days leading up to Gopher Dunes. You can hear him explain in the latest “Walk and Talk” on YouTube. 5-4 put him 4th but he slowed down late in the motos very uncharacteristically.
It’s great to see #3W Kaylie Kayer has made the trip east to race both sides. 7-7 for 7th but watch for that to improve as the tracks get firmer. SHe’s also going to prepare to represent Canada at the 2023 ISDE in France.
#11 Ciel Ferguson totally leave Todd Gibbs hanging on the line. Or maybe Todd was stuck in an imaginary glass box? He’s a huge lover of the mime art. 8-9 put her 9th.
I like the way #192 Amelie Croteau rides. She shows a lot of bike control and aggression. 4-4 put her 4th.
Both #14 Brittani Majcher and #184 Carrie Davis were at Southwick the day before watching their significant others race. 5th (5-6) for Amelie and 10th (10-10) for Carrie.
Chris DaSilva is coming back from injury so he was there to help his GF #618 Sophia Poncia-Myre. She finished 18th (17-18).
Let me know when you’re ready, Oliver Benek…
#276 Mickayla Vollick was 14th with 16-13 motos.
It’s a proven fact, you throw the horns and Oliver is incapable of looking away!
It’s great to see #98 Melanie Harvey still doing what she loves. 13-12 put her 12th and I don’t think the smile ever left her face.
#22 Chantal Ouellet finished 17th (18-17).
Smiles from #6 Brook Greenlaw who was out there letting her 250 2-stroke sing. Of course that makes a rider smile! 9-8 put her 8th.
#145 Grant Hoffman checking out how the track is developing. The rider from Georgia was solid with 13-7 motos for 8th.
James Lissimore and I are watching the finish of the day’s stage of the Tour de France as I work on my snappy captions.
Canada, eh. This is how we roll here.
Not sure what’s happening here but I’m trying my hardest not to make something up about a big fight that broke out…
#61 Noah Viney finished 8-8 for 6th and heads to his home race this week in Ottawa.
“I hope #84 Tanner Ward doesn’t bore me in this first moto…” He didn’t. He came from last to 5th for 5th overall (5-3).
#35 Preston Masciangelo pulled over for a chat during practice. He raced while feeling pretty weak but still looked pretty damn good! 10-10 put him 11th. Hopefully, they figure out what’s sapping his energy soon.
Steve SImms reminding #28 Sam Gaynor how expensive bike parts are these days. Sam won the FXR PreMix and then finished 7-12 for 10th in the 250 class. That’s a full day.
I kept wanting to make a Superbad joke/reference every time they said the name Anthony Voghell but then realized the correct name was “Fogel.” Dammit, so close. I think we can still go there. McLovin was 3rd in the Premix class with 5-4 motos.
#613 Cole Pranger was 2nd (3-2) in the Premix class. I’m gonna be honest, I miss the mullet.
The crowd loves it when Sam makes the podium because he always tosses swag into the crowd.
They also get to enjoy some champagne.
I’m not gonna lie, you can see the difference in a Lissimore photo. He owed me one photo for a Tanner Ward podium shot. I liked this one of Ron Cameron. James is good!
Eve Brodeur went 1-1 last week. but let’s see if the other two ladies are closer on firmer tracks coming up. It should be good.
#36 Avrie Berry was 3rd (3-3).
And #2 Jamie Astudillo was 2nd (2-2). Neither of them were satisfied with those results, that was obvious.
But, if you want to BE the champ, you have to BEAT the champ. These smiles are earned.
Mechanics heading from the start line over to the mechanics area just past the first turn.
Guiller Contreras interviewing Jess Pettis after his 2nd place (2-3).
Pulling your goggles is a risky game at Gopher Dunes, but sometimes you have no other choice.
Which way to the beach?!
If I had a nickel…
Josiah was super bummed after that 2nd moto.
“Oh no you di’int!”
They say getting to the summit is only half the battle. Not sure if Paul Kingsley made it back down.
We’ll see a lot more of #787 Lars Van Berkel from The Netherlands. His plan was to go to Millville and then home but said getting on the podium feels really good. You can watch our chat in the “Walk and Talk” from Gopher Dunes and an interview on our Instagram page. He went 4-2 for 3rd.
See what I’m saying?
After a very uncharacteristic first moto filled with mistakes, #1 Dylan Wright came out in moto 2 with a point to prove. Mission accomplished. This guy is world class.
A nice crowd gathered at the podium.
Kourtney Lloyd worked hard all day long selling mech to help get Team Canada to the MXON. Bring your wallet to Sand Del Lee!
This guy will look good heading to AMA Supercross and AMA Pro Motocross in the future…
Well, our time here has come to an end. Thanks for reading and I hope some of these put a smile on your face. See you next week, Jerome Therrien.
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