McThoughts | Barrie Arenacross | 450 Class

By Jeff McConkey

Photos by Billy Rainford

We have the most talent ever in a Canadian series in this seasons 450 class. There aren’t going to be any nights off or easy motos, and every single point is going to count right up until the end. Saturday night in Barrie, it was time for Matt Goerke to shine. Matt has been riding well but he really needed a win to finish out Arenacross. He did what was needed by putting in a great ride and earning the victory, and that brought him within 5 points of series 450 AX champion Cole Thompson.

The battle all season was between Thompson, Goerke and Phil Nicoletti and there wasn’t an inch to give. As tough as the racing was indoors, it is only going to get more intense as we head towards the $100 000 Triple Crown championship. Here are the Barrie results and my thoughts.

1st #2 Matt Goerke KAW: Matt looks to be in a different place this season, and it’s looking like it is going to work for him. He looks great on the green bike and looks super comfortable and happy on the new team. He won’t get pushed around by anyone, and looks to be able to match anyone’s speed. It is going to be a very good year for the #2. Matt heads into the outdoors 2nd in points, only trailing by 5.

2nd #54 Phil Nicoletti YAM: If you aren’t excited to see Phil in our series, well… you’re a moron. This guy brings speed, talent, hard work, and a no bullshit attitude. He was quick in Barrie, just a hair off of the lead. Phil will race you super clean, but will also put you in the weeds if needed. Filthy Phil finishes the Arenacross series 3rd overall with 120 points, trailing Thompson who is our leader by 18.

3rd #164 Dakota Alix KTM: Dakota is another great addition to our series. Super nice guy and skills to back it up. I love that he has the balls to jump into the series and not need a team. Obviously, he would love to be on a team, but this is how you get on one. He looked really good all day and night in Barrie and will no doubt be a podium threat outdoors. Dakota got himself into 6th overall for the series after joining late.

4th #1 Cole Thompson KTM: We all knew how hard it was going to be to beat Cole, and it’s not getting easier. He’s a pure natural indoors and had everything needed to win, but a little fall in the main erased any chance of that. Cole and his smooth calculated indoor skills are our 2019 Arenacross champion with 138 points.

5th #3 Shawn Maffenbeier YAM: Shawn and his new team and bike have been getting better every time on the track. His starts weren’t great, but he had a fantastic battle with close friend Cade Clason. These two went at it the entire main event with numerous passes. They swapped a lot of paint but kept it clean and were both smiling at the end. Like I said, Shawn kept getting better, and will continue to all season long. Shawn was able to get by Clason in the final standings as well finishing 4th overall with 85 points.

6th #12 Cade Clason HSK: Cade is real good at this indoor thing and has a lot of experience. In Barrie he got 2 good starts and rode well. His battle with Maffenbeier was great and had the entire crowd watching. Cade has changed up his program big time and is looking to step up the results, and heads into the outdoors 5th overall in Arenacross with 82 points. It will be exciting to watch Cade and Maff all season long as I feel the two will be glued to each other.

7th #74 Michael Fowler KTM: Michael does quite a bit of indoor racing, and is much better than he looked in Barrie. He was fighting a bike that was cutting out and that held him back. We probably won’t see the #47 again until the East Coast outdoors, but by then he should be pretty comfortable on the new orange ride.

8th #74 Ryan Derry KTM: Ryan raced both Ontario rounds and was the “best of the rest.” It’s hard to give him a fair judging as he was moving over for the blue flag for the majority. I imagine we will see him only on the East coast for outdoors.


Biggest Stud: Goerke is my stud, he just looked in complete control in the main.

Biggest Dud: Rider turnout……

Biggest Surprise: Rider turnout. I really expected more riders to jump on board for a premier series like this.

MC’s ‘G’d Up from the Feet Up’ Award: Shawn Maffenbeier and his FXR kit, Forma boots, 6D Rockstar helmet and 100% goggles take the win.