McThoughts: 2016 Rockstar MX Nationals|MX1 Preview
By Jeff McConkey
Photo by Bigwave
This year’s MX1 class is absolutely stacked! We have 3 past champions, multi time MX2 champions, Transworld Slam champions, and a regional SX champion. How could you not be excited? Top 5’s are going to be a 10-rider fight and wins are going to be hard to come by. Last year, the depth in the MX1 class dropped big time after the top 7. This year, it looks to be solid all of the way back to the top 15. Only time will tell who will be crowned champion, but my pick is the #800. Let’s take a look at my thoughts.
#1 Matt Goerke: Matt was super-consistent last season, and he walked away with his 2nd championship. Things won’t be any different this year. Who else is excited to see all of theses sand specialists battle at Gopher Dunes? If all goes well, there’s no reason why Matt can’t take title number 3.
#2 Colton Facciotti: Colton is coming in healthy. That is bad news for everyone else. I really think Colt is in a good place right now, and his results will show. It’s hard to bet against him, he’s just that good.
#3 Brett Metcalfe: The top 3 from last season are so close it’s hard to pick a front-runner. Brett has been racing in Australia and will be ready and fit for all 10 rounds plus Walton. He has the tools for a championship.
#5 Tyler Medaglia: Tyler will be riding the new Husqvarna FC350. I, personally, think it is a great idea and will benefit Tyler. He will be able to attack more late in the motos, and trust me…power will not be an issue on this bike. I’m calling him for 3 moto holeshots.
#6 Cade Clason: My good buddy Cade Clason. Cade actually sent me a text the other day asking me to “Be nice in your MX1 preview.” How could I not be nice to Cade? He’s coming off a very impressive rookie season in Canada, and backed it up with a very solid 450 SX season. The only knock I have against Cade is him getting absolutely parked by Nick Wey and suffering a shoulder injury. Come on, Clason, Wey’s almost a senior citizen! Anyway, Cade should be around the top 5 every time out, he just needs to get those starts!
#7 Bobby Kiniry: Bobby retired due to injuries suffered during Arenacross.
#8 Kyle Keast: Word is that Kyle will line up at select events. He should have a top 10 in him in the sand.
#9 Dylan Schmoke: It’s unclear if Dylan is running the full series. (Editor’s note: Dylan has received some support south of the border so we may not see him in Canada.) His starts are awful. If he could get a start, he can run in the top 10 and “get on the board!”
#10 Teddy Maier: Teddy retired at the end of 2015.
#11 Kaven Benoit: Kaven moves to a new class, a new bike, and a new mechanic. It’s not going to slow him down. He works as hard or harder than anyone and has the skill to back it up. He will have no problems running with the big boys. He will lead some laps and get a few podiums.
#19 Morgan Burger: Morgan jumps back to the 450 for 2016. I think he will surprise a few people with just how fast he is. Now if he could only keep his East results as good as his West results.
#21 Kyle Swanson: I really hope this guy comes East. For a smaller guy, Kyle looks so smooth on the 450. Someone needs to take a chance on this guy…it will pay off.
#26 Riley Brough: With a year of Canadian racing under his belt, I believe Riley will be more prepared and his results will improve.
#27 Shawn Robinson: Shawn has every opportunity to succeed, he just needs to pull the trigger. I don’t know if it’s nerves or not, but if he can figure it out, he should be right outside of the top 10.
#28 Keylan Meston: Keylan is a young guy who works hard. He needs better starts to take the next step to getting closer to the top 10.
#31 Matthew Davenport: Matthew is taking a step back this season. I was hoping we’d see him contest the entire series as he was looking good towards the end of 2015. Let’s hope he’s back full-time in 2017.
#32 Michael Da Silva: I don’t think I have ever seen Michael on anything other than a KTM. It will be interesting to see him on the new green bike. He’s a hard worker and his results will show.
#33 Eric Jeffery: Eric captured #33 once again. I expect him to be a little better this season. He just needs to get his starts back.
#37 Drew Roberts: If Drew can get good starts, there is no reason why he can’t be inside the top 15 every moto. Please, someone get him graphics this season.
#38 Jason Burke: Jay is a full-time worker, and schedules his vacation time so he can race. He’s getting older now, and has had his fair share of injuries. Much respect to Jay for getting out there and having fun and still going pretty darn fast.
#55 Vince Friese: Vince will open eyes. He has been getting better by leaps and bounds every year. People have a hate on for him, but in all honesty, if you were a team owner, you’d want a guy like him that never gives an inch to anybody. He will land on the podium a few times, and piss off a lot of people along the way. I love it.
#56 Nathan Bles: Nathan recently broke his wrist and will return at some point in the East.
#57 Tim Tremblay: Tim could easily be a top 10 guy at the end of the season, but he has too much to lose. Tim is probably the 2nd best Canadian Snowcross racer ever, behind Blair Morgan. It’s just not worth the risk to hang it out and run the full series.
#118 Davi Millsaps: Davi is a superstar, and it is great to have him up here racing. He will be very fast, but I’m sure our ‘smoother’ tracks will affect him. I don’t think he has a title in him, but heck…he’s Davi Millsaps, he definitely has the speed and talent to prove me wrong.
#800 Mike Alessi: Mike almost had a MX1 championship not that long ago. A few mechanical DNF’s hurt him. This year, he’s on a new bike, a new team, and a new team manager. I think it is all a very good thing and he is my championship pick. He’s going to be hard to beat now that he knows the tracks and the Canadian style of racing.
Thanks for reading. See you at the races!