How Everyone Looked at Gopher Dunes SX Practice Day
Photos and Captions by Billy Rainford
Presented by Troy Lee Designs
We’re about to head into the
Supercross portion of the 2020 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Tour. We’ll be at Gopher Dunes the next two Friday/Saturday afternoons on the purpose-built track that sits where the Arenacross track is. There’s not a lot changed from the usual configuration and the lap times were around the 35 second range.
They weren’t using the 9 whoop whoop section during practice, but it will be included on race days.
Derek Schuster mentioned he was interested in having the main events run under the lights at night but the decision was made to get all the racing done under natural lighting.
There were a lot of Pro riders getting laps in and testing for the changes in set-up that SX requires. Here’s a closer look at everyone.
#77 Casey Keast was looking good and putting in fast laps. He actually thought he was headed home after MX but teammate #10 Keylan Meston was staying for SX, so he’s also here.
Unfortunately, he cased the triple before the big double and went over the bars. He tweaked his right knee and will likely go get it looked at today (Wednesday). We’ll let you know the results when we know them.
#295 Keenan Peterson and his dad checking out what some of the top guys are doing.
Talking with #11 Davey Fraser and he said his first Supercross was in December of 2004. That means anyone under 16 wasn’t even alive when he did his first SX!
Davey has Donk in his corner and the two of them have at least as much experience as any other 2 people at the track.
Young Preston Masciangelo is new to SX and didn’t yet have his SX suspension. He had a few moments on the big double and hit the ground once that I saw, but he had good pace and should be in the mix for top 10’s.
Intermediate rider #223 Austin Jones keeps improving and it will be interesting to see what he’s got for the SX part of the series.
#21 Quinn Amyotte will likely head to Vision Built to get some practice in the whoops section. He’s one of the taller riders and will have an advantage in them.
Obviously, Gopher Dunes is known for sand but they’ve got different soil types on the property and the main line definitely got hard. A couple of the corners will develop deep ruts, though.
Mitch Tyler on the grassy knoll.
#214 Tyler Gibbs decided to head back to Ontario to race the SX. Gopher Dunes set him up with a practice bike to get set up to race.
Tyler came up through the Future West AX and raced some AMA Supercross, so he should excel these next couple of weekends.
I didn’t get a stopwatch on him, but #66 Jamie Powell looked comfortable out there.
It’s great to see the return of Jyire Mitchell and his dad. They hadn’t finished their quarantine for MX but are good to go now.
He’ll be a great addition to the 250 class and should battle for podiums.
#164 Ryder McNabb won’t even be 15 for a little while! I want to see what he can do with a start up at the front.
I expect #18 Tanner Ward to be fighting for wins in these rounds.
He and #46 Marco Cannella should be interchangeable at the top of the results sheet.
#19 Marshal Weltin will also be one of the guys fighting for the wins. He wanted to get another shot at Jess Pettis but we’ll wait for the Press Release to land in our inbox on that one. 450 RIDERS
#243 Eric Schildt and #156 Cole Wilson taking a break.
#82 Zack Zager doesn’t live too far from Gopher Dunes and was out putting in laps.
#57 Dario Zecca is in the area from up in Parry Sound and was also getting himself set up for some SX racing. His teammate #43 Ryan Derry will also be here this weekend.
#208 Logan Leitzel gets the chance to ride for the Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha team after the injury to #54 Phil Nicoletti and now with #28 Sam Gaynor damaging his shoulder. He’s one of the few riders with his AMA Supercross license, so watch for him to be a factor.
Next year, these will be the good old days.
#10 Keylan Meston would love to land on the podium at least once over the next couple weekends. With the good starts he’s been getting, it could happen.
#3 Shawn Maffenbeier has been on fire lately. Let’s see if he can keep the ball rolling on a tighter track.
These next two weekends are #2 Matt Goerke’s swan song. He will head into retirement after them. He should be one of the favourites, but wait…we’ll be seeing the return of a healthy #16 Cole Thompson, and it’s always hard to bet against the Brigden, ON rider on these tight tracks. Another PR should be coming on that, too.
Goerke and Weltin doing practice starts. Missing from the day was their teammate #5 Tyler Medaglia who is another rider who will be going for wins.
Cameron Callaghan, Shawn Maffenbeier, Nathan Bles (recovering from his broken leg), and Kraig Reinhart.
Colton Facciotti is busy with his role with the GDR team as well as his SSS gig.
Speaking of Nathan, that’s him getting a bird’s eye view…for the Gram.
Reinhart, Schildt, Wilson, and Meston.
Nothing like being able to see the entire track from one comfortable spot. Gotta love Supercross!
OK, that will do it until we show up on Friday for some racing. Quinn says, “ See you at the races…“