McThoughts | Rockstar MX Nationals | RJ’s Round 10 | MX2
By Jeff McConkey
Well, it was almost a nail-biter of a finish – at least going into the 2nd moto, anyway. Shawn Maffenbeier entered the final round up 11 points on 2nd place Ryan Surratt. Shawn did what was needed to secure his first National Championship, and unfortunately, Surratt crashed out of moto 2 injuring his leg.
The final round also added excitement due to a few rookies making their Pro/Am debuts: Marco Cannella, Austin Watling and Conner Mullennix. All 3 looked great at times, but 1st corner crashes held Watling back. Either way, the next crop of young stars looks very bright. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Shawn Maffenbeier 1-3: I was expecting Shawn to come out and play it safe all day. Well, Shawn had other intentions. He was the fastest qualifier and rode to a fairly easy-looking win in moto 1. In moto 2, Shawn got himself a good, safe start and he did what was needed to secure the championship. I really don’t think he was pushing out there as he had no reason to take big chances. Shawn won 6 overalls on his way to the championship finishing with 468 points.
2nd Dylan Wright 4-1: Dylan came into the final round with zero pressure on him. I think he rode great and it was good to see him get that moto win. He finally got a start and was able to do his own thing up front. With Surratt crashing out, Dylan was able to sneak into 2nd for the season overall with 424 points.
3rd Jacob Hayes 3-2: Jacob Hayes really turned his season around the last few rounds. His starts were really good both motos, and his fitness has looked much better. Jacob ends the season 4th overall in points with 361.
4th Jess Pettis 2-4: I really expected Jess to go 1-1 at RJ’s. He told me he tried, but just didn’t have it. He actually rode very well and even though he missed a few rounds, he finishes 5th for the season with 334 points and will once again be sporting the #16.
5th Marco Cannella 6-5: ‘Young MC’ wanted a podium, and his results weren’t far off. Marco had two great starts and avoided all of the carnage. He didn’t look like a rookie at all. He should have had a 5th in moto one, but a late stall cost him a position. This guy will be thinking podiums and wins in 2018.
6th Conner Mullennix 7-6: Another rookie making his debut, Conner looked really good out there. He had very good starts and his speed was very good. He’s a small guy, so I was expecting holeshots, but in the end, it was a pretty good debut. I imagine Conner will join the A class down South, and maybe we will see him again after 2018 Loretta’s.
7th Casey Keast 8-8: Not the best of days for a Casey, but not bad either. He was really hoping for a holeshot, and so was I. I really wanted to see how long he could run the pace with the top guys. This guy honestly just needs some support, the skill is there. Casey finishes his first Pro season as ‘Rookie of the Year’ and he had 320 points putting him 6th overall for the season.
8th Jeremy Pronovost 11-9: Decent day for Jeremy. Unfortunately, his race bike blew up on the way to tech forcing him to ride his practice bike. Jeremy will agree with me on this one, as he should be well within the top 10 and fighting for top 5’s. Jeremy ended the season 14th in points with 167 after only doing 6 rounds.
9th Jarett Pesci 15-7: Nice second moto for Jarett. I’m not sure why, but he was put in the unseeded practice??? I really don’t know much about him at all, but I hope we see him back for 2018.
10 Michael Fowler 13-11: For some crazy reason, Michael decided he was going to double class it at RJ’s. Well, the P.A. resident had a great ride on the little bike earning a top 10 overall. Michael had a very rough last 2 weeks of the season, but I guarantee he had somebody smiling down on him after this great ride.
Biggest Stud: Shawn Maffenbeier is my stud. He never gave up after a few setbacks, and he is a very deserving champion. Not bad for an 11th place guy, eh Muff?!
Biggest Dud: Injuries are my dud. Imagine the battle, had we not lost a few key players to injuries.
Biggest Surprise: I was surprised with how calm and collected Marco Cannella was. He looked like he was out there having a blast. The future is bright for this guy.
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: No, I’m not Marco Cannella’s super fan, but Jay Moore from Fox Canada had Marco looking slick.
Thanks for reading.