McThoughts | Sand Del Lee – 250 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Bigwave
Anything can and will happen this season in the 250 class. Jess Pettis has been the fastest, but he has had a few mechanicals. But don’t forget that Shawn Maffenbeier had 4 last year and still won the title. Speaking of Maffenbeier, he has been very good, very smart, and very consistent. Next, we have Dylan Wright. The speed is there, but so to is the bad luck. Dylan has had more than his fair share but continues to push forward. And then there is Joey Crown. A healthy Joey should be able to run with anyone in this class, but, unfortunately, Joey came in fresh off of a few injuries. Things are starting to heat up with these contenders and it is only going to get better. Here are the results and my thoughts.
1st Dylan Wright 2-2: Right from the beginning, Dylan looked confident and fast. He rode great both motos, but, unfortunately, people are mostly talking about him blasting through the gate in moto 1. Even with the stop and go penalty, and a 20-second lead for Joey Crown, he still almost won that moto. Ya, Wright was that good at SDL.
2nd Joey Crown 1-4: When Joey was leading the first moto, I was honestly thinking that he is finally healed. Joey looked really good, and he will get stronger. I still think he is a few races away, but I am willing to bet that he dominates Walton.
3rd Shawn Maffenbeier 3-3: Off day for Maff, but these are the days that win you the championship. He was good, but just off the pace of the top guys. Like I have said a few times this season, he is a smarter racer now, and he is willing to not win the fight to win the battle. His game plan is working as he now has a 17-point lead over Crown, and 25 over Pettis.
4th Josh Osby 6-5: Josh just did not look like Josh from the get go. I don’t know if he is hurt or just had a bad day, but SDL is a track that Josh should have been fighting for the win at. I am not giving up on him yet, he has the speed to win, he just needs to have a much better day.
5th Hayden Halstead 5-7: This was a great round for Hayden. He looked strong and aggressive and his results show. I will bet you that he backs up this top 5 with another top 5 this weekend.
6th Marco Cannella 7-6: Not a great round for Marco, but definitely not a bad one either. I don’t think he’s quite there with the top 3 or 4 yet in speed, but he is very close. I am more impressed with his consistency. Pretty good rookie season if you ask me.
7th Tanner Ward 4-15: Tanner had a lot on his plate and handled it like a champ. I’m very proud of him and how he carried himself this weekend. I could not imagine what he is going through. He has a week for things to calm down a little and I am sure he will get a well deserved podium for his older brother.
8th Taylor Arsenault 12-8: Welcome back, Taylor. It’s not easy coming back from a serious knee injury and surgery, and then add in the fact that you are jumping into a series at Round 5, but that is just what Taylor did, and did well. He will inch closer to the top 6 or 7 with some more gate drops. Some much needed new talent in the 250 class.
9th Jylie Mitchell 11-9: I know nothing about Jyile from Bermuda at all, but a 9th looks good to me for the newcomer.
10th Jared Petruska 10-11: Solid day for Jared considering he is not used to the sand. He did not look bad to me at all, but I am sure he is licking his chops thinking about Moncton and Walton.
11th Jess Pettis DNF-1: Very sad that Jess suffered a mechanical on the first lap of moto 1. I really hope it does not effect his chances to make the Motocross des Nations team this season as he was, once again, clearly the fastest guy.
Biggest Stud: Young Jake Tricco gets my stud status. He just turned 16 earlier this week, but had the balls to line up with the big boys. And the rookie looked good doing it.
Biggest Dud: Hey, West coast 250 guys, take notes. I don’t know what stopped the B riders from lining up during the first 4 rounds, but there was a fresh bunch here in the East.
Biggest Surprise: I was surprised that the race was not red flagged after Dylan Wright blasted through the gate. But the refs followed the rules to a T, so there is really nothing to complain about.
MC’s ‘G’d Up from the Feet Up’ Award: Dylan Wright (and teammate 450 Colton Facciotti) looked very clean in the Red Fox Instinct boots, navy white Fox Airline kit, red white Fox V3 helmet and Fox Vue goggles.
See you on the Beach.