By Billy Rainford
Photos by John Meaney
We headed into the middle of BC for round 2 of the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MX Nationals at the Blackwater MX track. The weather was perfect for racing and the track got as rough as can be expected from a Pro National.
Cole Thompson came in with the red plate but left without it, after the track bit him with a derailed chain.
Here’s a look at the racing from Prince George, BC.
1st #1 Colton Facciotti HON
If you had any question about Colton’s intensity or intentions heading into what he’s announced as his final season, you can put it all to rest. The 5-time champion went bar-to-bar for the entire time this past weekend and it was fun to watch.
Colt got out to the early lead in the first moto and then dropped to 3rd behind Cole Thompson and Mike Alessi.
He got back by Alessi and then Cole had his issues, putting the Aylmer, ON rider out front. Phil Nicoletti took over the lead and Colton finished 2nd, just 1.5 seconds back.
NB: These 2 were 45 seconds ahead of 3rd at the flag!
In the second, Colton led wire-to-wire for the win, but had to fight Nicoletti off for a few laps. It proved to me that Colton is here to win.
Colton now has the red plate heading into Minnedosa this week, 1 point up on Nicoletti.
2nd #54 Phil Nicoletti YAM
Phil and Colton swapped wins and Phil took another 2nd place. He’s showing he’s got the speed to win and will likely get his first one very soon.
He was all over Colton in the 2nd moto but just couldn’t find anywhere to make a move. He got a little messed up by a lapper late and that allowed Colton to squirt away for the win.
Colton, Phil, and Cole have shown they are easily the top 3, early this season.
3rd #3 Shawn Maffenbeier YAM
I’m very impressed with the speed and aggression I’m seeing from Shawn so far this season. Truthfully, I didn’t think he’d be this close to the top guys in the 450 class.
He looks really good on the big bike and I think tailing Facciotti so closely in Calgary has upped his confidence, too.
He was solid with 4-4 motos and it was enough to put him on the 450 MX podium for the first time in his long Pro career.
A few things happened that put him up there but it’s got to make him happy to get one of the coolest trophies of the entire series.
4th #800 Mike Alessi HON
Mike did what he always does and grabbed great starts. He had good early sprint speed, but I have to think his fitness ins’t where it needs to be to run with these other guys for the entire motos.
He was at the front in both motos but worked his way back in each to finish 3-6 for 4th. It’s not a disaster, but I’m sure he wants to be taking wins.
He now sits 4th, 21 points down.
5th #164 Dakota Alix KTM
I have to be honest, I didn’t see a whole lot of Dakota out there. He finished a consistent 5-5 for 5th but it seemed relatively quiet.
He finished about where he started in both motos, and a day without anything too exciting or surprising on this tough track has got to be something to celebrate.
He sits 6th in points.
6th #16 Cole Thompson KTM
Man, Cole came in with the points lead and looked good early. It looked like he was the guy to beat in the first moto.
Unfortunately, a rock knocked his chain off on the 5th lap and it put him back to 30th place!
He finally got going again just in front of the leaders. He hopped in with them and worked all the way back to 11th by the flag.
At the half in moto 2, Cole was in the battle for the lead with Colton and Phil but got messed up with a lapper who pulled a banner out on the track and it got stuck in Cole’s rear wheel for a while.
11-3 gave him 6th and he did the best he could given the problems he had. He’s now 3rd in points, 17 down.
7th #10 Keylan Meston YAM
Keylan didn’t get the great starts he got in Calgary, and it was odd since they were our 2 cement pad gates.
He finished about where he started and was never really in any danger from behind him, but sort of lost touch with the group ahead of him.
7-8 motos put him 7th overall and he’s now 8th in points.
8th #2 Matt Goerke KAW
This was one of those days that Matt will try to forget as soon as he can. He was up in the mix in the first moto until he had a chain snap on him on the final lap, dropping him from 3rd to a DNF (10th) at the flag.
In the second moto, Matt was in 7th place and looking fast. He got hit by a rock on the first lap and Chad Goodwin told me that his finger was actually pointing the wrong direction!
Matt’s lap times dropped off a bit (obviously) but he managed to gut out a 7th place and salvaged some points.
His 10-7 put him 8th and he’s now 7th in points, 36 down.
9th 39 Ryan Dowd SUZ
Ryan Dowd is the only Suzuki on the first page and one of only 2 on the line.
He had to make a ton of passes in the first moto and ended up in 8th. I liked what I saw as I watched his charge.
In the 2nd, he had a better start and lost touch with Meston ahead of him in 8th and rode alone to 9th.
8-9 put him 9th overall and he’s 10th in points. He’s definitely looking forward to some softer conditions and will probably be closer to the riders ahead of him this week.
10th #12 Cade Clason HSK
Cade found his old friend Keylan in both motos and looked good.
I didn’t see what happened to him in the 2nd moto, but he had something go wrong on lap 10 and dropped back to 17th. He charged back to 11th by the flag, so he’s got to be happy with that comeback.
Cade is 9th in points.
Race 35-minutes with a broken finger and you get Stud status. Matt Goerke is my Stud this week. I’m not sure how it will be for this weekend, but it’s not going to be easy!
He’s not a Dud, obviously, but #17 Cheyenne Harmon breaking his leg in the first qualifier gets Dud status. He broke his tib/fib and will be out for a while.
I forgot that they’d added so much sand to the track and that it was so hard and rough underneath. The track took its toll on a lot of riders with chains and injuries, and that surprised me.
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you again next weekend in Manitoba!