By Billy Rainford
Photos by John Meaney
I’m going to step in and give Jeff McConkey‘s ‘McThoughts‘ column a shot this week. Jeff will step back in when we get to Ontario for the eastern swing.
Week 2 of the 2019 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MX Nationals was one full of surprises and stories. It seemed like people either had great days or rode the struggle bus.
The Blackwater MX track was prepped very well and they had the perfect amount of moisture in it throughout the entire day. We’ve gotten used to seeing rain at this round but this week it was perfect for racing and spectating.
Some rocks came up and the track got rough. It was a real test of man and machinery this week, and it claimed a few riders.
The red plate has gone from Josh Osby to Dylan Wright, in what was one of the most amazing rides we’ve seen in Canada in a long time (more on that later).
Hometown hero #1 Jess Pettis gave the crowd something to cheer about in the first moto and there was great racing throughout the field.
We had a first-time winner and he did it without winning a moto – it was that kind of a day.
Here’s a look at the results and my thoughts on the top 10 in the 250 class.
1st #121 Marshal Weltin HSK
Marshal got out to a 3rd place start in the first moto and held his ground. When Dylan Wright had his problems it bumped him up to 2nd.
In moto 2, he again got out in 3rd place and then made a move on the still-not-100% Pettis and crossed the line in 2nd.
It was his first big Pro win and he was really happy to take the top step on the podium. After having some issues in qualifying, the team was relieved to get through the motos without any issues. This win should help Marshal get some more.
2nd #19 Dylan Wright HON
What can I say? This was a character-building weekend for the Ottawa area rider. I’m sure you’ve all seen the photos and video of Dylan’s heroic finish on a broken bike. It was one for the ages.
Dylan was the fastest rider in the class but had to settle for a 4th place in the first moto. He came back to win moto 2 and it was really great to see him finish on the podium in 2nd. He rode so well, he just didn’t deserve a DNF and this will be the race that may see him get this title.
He heads into Round 3 with the points lead.
3rd #1 Jess Pettis KTM
Like Dylan, this finish while feeling less than perfect will be one he looks back at if he’s able to repeat as champion.
He did the best thing you can do when you’re under the weather – he got great starts and hung on.
The crowd was going nuts for the PG native and seeing him on the podium wasn’t really a surprise, but it was extra important for his season.
Jess sits 4th in points, 12 down.
4th #21 Josh Osby YAM
Josh came in with the red plate but he’ll leave without it. It’s not a huge deal because he’s only 1-point behind Wright, but it’s never fun to lose a lead.
He came on strong in the mid-to-late parts of both motos and has to be happy with how fast he’s riding.
He’ll be a factor as we head to the softer tracks, but that’s also what a lot of the other riders are saying. It seems everyone is looking forward to them, so we’ll see.
5th #5 Tyler Medaglia KAW
Tyler is still looking for an easy moto. He smashed his rear wheel in the first moto and had to hang on for his 6th place at the flag.
In the 2nd moto, he turned a poor start into a 6th place. He rode by himself for a big chunk of it and his 6-6 gave him 5th.
He’s 19 points back in 5th for the series and will need a rebound week in Manitoba this week.
6th #46 Marco Cannella YAM
Marco was in the big battles for top 5’s in both motos. It was a fun group to watch.
He’s right there with all the top podium guys and will need a good start to run the pace from the drop of the gate. He definitely rides the softer stuff well, so watch for him to shoot for a podium spot this week.
7th #296 Ryder Floyd YAM
Ryder is another rider who will show his true speed once he finally gets a good start.
He was way back off the start in moto 1 and spent the entire time chasing and catching the groups of riders in front of him. I kept an eye on his progress and he showed he’s got the pace of the top guys.
He was outside the top 15 again in the 2nd and battled up to 8th. 8-8 put him 7th but we’ve yet to see his potential, so I’m watching for that this coming week at McNabb Valley MX.
8th #48 Westen Wrozyna KAW
I kept an eye on Westen throughout the day and I really liked what I saw. He was in a nice battle with some other traveling Ontario riders in both motos and managed to separate himself from them and place pretty well.
I bet he’s expecting even better finishes from himself, but anything in the top 6 or 7 is going to be very difficult for anyone. It’s stacked ahead of him and he was happy to be the top-finishing “privateer” rider this week.
9th #14 Tanner Ward KTM
Tanner put himself in the top group early in the first moto and was right there just like the other top 5 guys.
He was up in 5th place in the 2nd moto until his chain came off and he dropped outside the top 20.
He put his head down and turned possible catastrophe into an 12th place. His 7-12 put him 9th and he’s got to be happy with that, considering how many more points he could have lost.
10th #94 Luke Renzland YAM
Another crazy story involved Luke on Saturday. He was up in the close battle for 4th in the first moto but then suffered a mechanical (KT said it was a spark plug issue…) and he went crashing to the ground for a DNF.
He had to start on the 4th gate from the inside which basically points off the track! He somehow managed to round turn 1 up in the top 5 or 6.
He made passes throughout the moto and crossed the line in 3rd place and was pressuring Weltin for 2nd by the end.
He sits 7th in the standings, 28 down from first place.
If you really have to ask, you haven’t been paying attention. Dylan Wright is the stud of the entire season, so far! That was so clutch I can’t even begin to describe it.
The track wasn’t taking any prisoners and the injuries and malfunctions the it doles out is the Dud for this week. It’s Motocross and it’s supposed to be tough so I’m not mad at anything. It’s just a long list of riders who got hurt or had mechanical issues.
I’m surprised Marshal Weltin got his first win this early in the series. I figured he’d get one but not until we got to the east. Yes, a few things happened that allowed his 2-2 to take the win, but it’s still a nice surprise to see him take the top step so soon.