McThoughts | Rockstar MX Nationals | Deschambault
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Bigwave
Things didn’t look good Sunday morning. It looked so bad early on, that a few privateers chose not to race and save their bikes. Yeah, it was that sloppy. Fast forward a few hours, and the track got much better as the day went on. Series points leader Shawn Maffenbeier went into the day with a 46-point lead. After riding to a safe 3rd place finish in moto 1, disaster struck and Shawn was scored 0 points with a mechanical DNF.
Consistency pays off, and Ryan Surratt now sits 2nd, and is within 11 points of the championship with 2 motos to go. As we have seen in the MX2 class all season long, anything can and will happen. The championship is going down to the wire this season. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st #338 Ryan Surratt 1-1: Ryan has been good all season, but he stepped up his game and was great on Sunday. From not having a podium in the first 8 rounds to go 1-1 in the 9th, very impressive. Who knew that a kid from Cali could ride sand and mud so well. Ryan is now 2nd in points, 11 back of the leader with 402.
2nd #184 Tanner Ward 2-2: KTM Canada loses their MX1 rider and MX2 rider, and you think it’s time to hit the panic button. Insert Tanner Ward. Tanner steps up and qualifies 1st, and then he backs it up with an impressive 2-2. This kid is learning fast, and going even faster. The future is very bright. Tanner is 12th in points with 170.
3rd #35 Jason Benny 6-4: What a day for Benny. Very good moto 1, and then he leads and finishes 4th in moto 2. He looked very good battling with the top guys and now sits 11th in points with 180.
4th #384 Jeremy Pronovost 5-6: Jeremy goes very fast at this track. He started the day with 2nd in qualifying, and kept the ball rolling with a 5-6. Minor mistakes kept him from the podium, but now Jeremy is fired up and knows he can do it. He sits 18th in points with 135.
5th #19 Hayden Halstead 7-7: Fastest truck driver out there. Hayden has improved quite a bit this season, and he finally got that top 5. He has mentioned a few times that top 5 moto finishes are dangling in front of him like a carrot and if he keeps it up, it’s going to happen. Halstead sits 10th in MX2 points with 276.
6th #33 Casey Keast 8-9: I’ve been really impressed with Casey this season. Your first full season on the road as a Pro is not an easy one. He’s been the fastest of the group just off of the top 5. With the right track, he’s got the tools to fight for the 4-6 spots. Casey is tied with Pettis for 7th with 284 points.
7th #21 Davey Fraser 16-5: Davey is the working man’s hero. He works hard in the off-season, heck, he’s even worked hard during the week in between races before. He showed why he’s a fan favourite, when his bike let go with a few corners to go. This guy pushed his bike unassisted through the slop and still got a 16th in moto 1. Moto 2 he was having bike issues again and cruised it into a 5th at the checkers. This guy is riding great this season and showed a ton of heart this past weekend. Davey is currently 9th in points with 281.
8th #14 Dylan Wright 14-8: Not the season expected from Dylan, but you cannot say that the effort isn’t there. He’s working hard and for some reason it’s just not paying off. I think Dylan needs to go into the weekend and just say “F it!” and make it all about fun. Big whips, big scrubs and blowing up berms is what he needs. Maybe if the fun is there, the good luck and results will follow. Dylan is 3rd in points with 371.
9th #805 Carlen Gardner 12-12: The day started out pretty crappy for Carlen as he was stuck in a mud bog for about 12 minutes of the qualifier/practice. After finally freeing the bike, Carlen got 3 laps in. He looked decent in both motos but I expect him to be inside the top 10 on a dry RJ’s track.
10th #130 William Crete 11-13:
10th #130 William Crete 11-13: For a small guy, William rides the 250 2-stroke very well. He looked surprisingly good in the slop and was rewarded with a nice 10th overall.
Biggest Stud: Surratt is my stud. He hadn’t made the podium all season long, and walks away from the second to last round with an impressive 1-1 ride and has clawed himself to within 11 points of the championship with only 2 motos remaining.
Biggest Dud: No dud for me in MX2, just the rain.
Biggest Surprise: Tanner Ward is my surprise. I always thought he’d be really good, just not this good, this soon. He has a taste of success and now he’s hungrier than ever. Hey JSR, get this kid signed!
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: The dynamic duo of Jess Pettis and Shawn Maffenbeier get the win here. The red/white Forma boots, the black/white FXR gear topped off with the Rockstar Energy 6D Helmets and 100% Goggles looked hot!
Thanks for reading, see you at RJ’S.