McThoughts | Calgary National
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
The MX2 class was a little weak in 2016. Not the top 3, but just the depth. Well, 2017 is much better. We have many guys that can and will podium, and to get a top 10 this year is a lot tougher. Round 3 went off this past Sunday in Calgary and the MX2 class gave us some exciting racing. The defending champion holds down the red plate as points leader, but there are a few guys that will be there right up until the final moto. The Wild Rose MX Park track gave us 2 good MX2 motos, so let’s take a look at the results and my thoughts.
1st Shawn Maffenbeier: Shawn is a guy that has won races on the MX2 bike in the past, but he just seemed to be missing something. So far in 2017, Maff looks to have it all. The aggression he was missing is there, as is the speed that may have been lacking at some points last season. In Calgary, he was a beast, plain and simple. He wanted to win and didn’t hold anything back. The only thing he needs to work on, is staying off the ground.
2nd Cole Thompson: Cole looked good in Calgary. It was looking like another dominant 1-1 weekend, but somehow the unthinkable happened, and Maff caught Cole in both motos. I don’t think there is anything to stress about, yet. Cole normally starts a little slower in the West, and then picks it up as we go. He still has the red plate with a 19-point lead on Maff, and that silky smooth style is still there as well.
3rd Josh Osby: I am a fan of Josh’s style. It kind of reminds me of Jason Anderson. He hangs off of the bike and attacks everything. He didn’t make it easy on himself with his starts in Calgary, but I’m willing to bet that he leads some laps in the East and gets one or two moto wins. Very good pick up for Redemption Racing.
4th Jacob Hayes: Hayes is still getting his outdoor legs under him. That being said, his starts have been good, and he is riding well. I’d like to see him mix it up, swap some paint, and get fired up. This guy is an AX Champ, so he knows how to win and expects to win. If that is going to happen, I’d say it will be a few more rounds in.
5th Ryan Surratt: Ryan and his starts are on point. You can tell his fitness is a little behind the top 4. With some more seat time, I’m willing to bet he doesn’t go backwards anymore. He looks to be having fun, and that is a good thing. He’s a very good addition to the MX2 class.
6th Talon La Fountaine: Talon looks good out there. I like his style. I don’t think he has the speed of the top 5, but he’s got the others covered. It would be nice to see him head East.
7th Jared Petruska: Jared looked great out there on Sunday. It was really nice to see him finally ride like we know he can. Most people were saying that Scott Champion had the biggest whips. I’d have to say the 119 of Petruska was going just as big on everything. You could tell he was having fun.
8th Kein Denzler: Solid top 10 for Kein. I don’t know much about him. He had a good day in Calgary.
9th Hayden Halstead: Hayden is another guy that put in the work and improved. He’s always been known for his love for sand, but he’s starting to look real good on hardpack as well. It will be interesting to see what he can do with a good start.
10th Christopher Fortier: Fortier had a solid day. I expect him to get better as we go East. He’s a super nice kid with a good family behind him. I’d like to see him start inside the top 5 and see the pace of the top guys. I think that will help him a lot.
Biggest Stud: Shawn Maffenbeier is my stud. If you were in Calgary, you won’t argue that. My 11th place prediction was only to get him fired up. Sorry, Maff.
Biggest Dud: I was a little bummed with how greasy some of the jump faces were to start the 2nd moto. It was very dangerous, and a few guys went down.
Biggest Surprise: I’m shocked with the bad luck following Dylan Wright. This kid is a fighter, and hasn’t learned the saying “give up.” His speed looks to be off a little, but that won’t stay like that for long.
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: I was a fan of Jacob Hayes and his A-Star kit, but I am going with Jared Petruska and his Alpinestar Tech 10 boots, Alias gear, 6D Helmets and Oakley goggles. It was a very clean look in both motos.
This year’s MX1 class is deep. To get a top 10 finish is a chore and there won’t be any easy motos all season long. Christophe Pourcel is a heavy favourite, but to be honest, there are a few guys that could beat him on any given race day. The top 5 guys all seem to be close in speed and fitness, which should make every moto a real nail-biter. Like I have said before, top 10’s will be tough and there won’t be any easy motos. There will be a few fast guys left outside of the top 10, and that means we will have good racing all of the way back through the pack. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Matt Goerke: Matt looked aggressive and fast in Calgary. It’s nice to see him this strong on the West, because we all know how great he’s going to be on the East. He’s making it easier on himself by not crashing off the start and spotting the front-runners such a big headstart. He now heads into Regina holding the red plate, up 7 points on Pourcel.
2nd Dillan Epstein: Dylan was in complete control and on his way to the 1-1 and overall, when he went down late in moto 2. His starts were great, and he looked fantastic out front. I thought that he would be good coming into the season, but I didn’t expect him to be this good.
3rd Colton Facciotti: It was nice to see Colt back on the box. He really did look good and aggressive in Calgary. I have a feeling that this is just the start, and some wins are on the way.
4th Tyler Medaglia: Tyler was sick last week, but feeling much better in Calgary. He scored a holeshot, and just sent it going for the lead in a very aggressive move. He looks really good on the Honda, and he will be up front all summer long.
5th Christophe Pourcel: Decent first moto for Christophe, but he rode even better in moto 2. Although he finished 8th on paper, not giving up after a first turn crash may have saved him this title. Christophe went down hard and took quite some time to remount and get back into the race. For a moment, I thought he was going to call it a day, but he gutted it out and made it to 8th from 39th.
6th Mike Alessi: Word on the street going into Calgary was that Mike was not even getting on the plane due to a knee injury. Well, Mike came and gutted it out and actually looked good out there. He’s still learning the bike, and he will be on the podium soon.
7th Kyle Chisholm: Chizz was steady all day. He hasn’t shown any real flashes of speed, but instead he has been very steady and consistent to start the season. Like most of the field, Kyle will shine in the sand once we head East.
8th Tim Tremblay: I’m still waiting for the breakout ride from Tim. He has been riding good, but he has more speed to give us. He’s one of the hardest workers out there, and will work himself inside the top 5. Has anyone seen Tim not smiling? He says that he is “living the dream” and loving every minute of it.
9th Cade Clason: Cade had a decent moto 1, and had a great moto 2 going after a 3rd place start. He ended up losing his rear break in moto 2 and salvaged a 10th. He is having some bike setup issues, but once he figures it out, he should be up there fighting for 5th and 6th place finishes. #freeCade
10th Scott Champion: Scott has been pretty darn good so far this season. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t expect him to be this good. It looked like he was really enjoying the Calgary track as he spent most of his time upside down, throwing huge whips.
Biggest Stud: Although he didn’t get the overall, Dylan Epstein is my stud. He honestly looked like he was just cruising in both motos. He looked very good and very comfortable out front.
Biggest Dud: I don’t really have a dud in MX1.
Biggest Surprise: I was surprised to see Pourcel finish 3rd in moto 1. I don’t know if he was saving himself for the 2nd moto or what, but I was expecting a late-moto charge.
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: Alessi was G’d up from his Alpinestar Tech 10’s, Alpinestar kit, Scott Prospect goggles, and Monster Energy HJC Helmet. Everything ‘popped’ and complimented each other. By far the best look in Cowtown.
Thanks for reading.