McThoughts: Walton National
By Jeff McConkey
The 10th and final round has come and gone. The series headed to the world famous Walton Raceway track and didn’t disappoint. The Walton crew had the track in beauty shape all day long, and did a great job! The track gave us plenty of ruts which led to great racing. The MX2 championship was already claimed by Kaven Benoit, but it didn’t stop the action. The class had a great mixture of rookies and veterans and kept us on the edge of our seats both motos. In MX1 action, Matt Goerke and Colton Facciotti took it right down to the last few laps before the title was decided. It doesn’t get much better than that! Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Kaven Benoit (2-2) He didn’t get either holeshot and he didn’t win either moto, but who cares. He finally got a bad start and came through the pack and rode fantastic. I think the 250 2-stroke was a disadvantage this weekend and Benoit still looked great.
2nd Joey Crown (8-1) Wow, what a pro debut. Joey was the fastest guy all week at the TransCan, but I honestly thought he’d be an 8-9 guy Sunday. Was I ever wrong. He got great starts and rode tough. He definitely didn’t have any rookie jitters. This kid has a very bright future ahead of him.
3rd Jimmy Decotis (1-9) Jimmy straight-up smoked everyone in moto 1. He looked fast and smooth on his way to a huge win. Moto 2 he had some issues but he still rode well. Hey…I thought people said he could only go fast in sand?
4th Shawn Maffenbeier (5-3) I had Shawn picked for the win and he totally let me down. Just kidding, Maff. Shawn looked fast all day, but tucked the front end entering the rollers, which gave away a sure podium. Still a solid day for him in what could be his last 250 ride and maybe last Yamaha ride as he will have a lot of interest in his services for 2016.
5th Darian Sanayei (4-4) Darian came up last-minute and replaced Shawn Rife for the Kawasaki team and instantly made a huge impact. He had serious speed all day and looked very smooth on the rutty Walton track.
6th Dylan Wright (3-5) Dylan had 2 strong motos. He didn’t let some of the older riders push him around, and will no doubt be a serious player next season.
7th Cole Martinez (6-6) Cole has been coming on strong since returning from injury. His speed has looked good enough to contend for podiums. I wonder if we’ll see him in 2016?
8th Blake Savage (10-7) Blake went down in the first corner and then rode the wheels off of his Devils Lake Yamaha. I think if he comes back next season, he will win motos.
9th Jesse Pettis (9-8) Jess has looked like a different guy on the East this season. He’s in great shape and fighting hard all moto long. If he had better starts, I think he’s close to top 3-4 speed.
10th Liam O’Farrell (12-11) Someone work on this guy’s starts! O’Farrell is very fast on the 250 2-stroke, but he just can’t buy a start. He’s faster than what his results show.
Biggest Stud: My stud is Decotis. I know his 2nd moto results weren’t impressive, but the guy absolutely killed it in moto 1!
Biggest Dud: I didn’t like the pass Jeremy Medaglia tried to put on Crown. It just wasn’t there yet. He should have waited a bit and set it up.
Biggest Surprise: Joey Crown really surprised me. He didn’t ride like it was his first pro race.
1st Colton Facciotti (1-3) Colt did everything he could to win on Sunday, but he came up just short. He rode a flawless moto 1 and came through the pack at an insane pace after a first lap crash with Goerke.
2nd Cole Thompson (3-2) Cole rides Walton really well and did it again on Sunday. He seemed to improve on his late moto fitness and had a well-deserved 2nd overall.
3rd Brett Metcalfe (5-1) Metty came from dead last to 5th in moto 1, then backed up a great ride with a win in the 2nd moto. It’s hard to bet against him, he’s just so solid.
4th Matt Goerke (2-5) Goerke knew where he had to finish to win the championship and he did just that. I’m sure he scared himself when he went down in the 2nd corner, but he rebounded well and deserves this championship. Congrats to Matt, his mechanic Steve Simms and the entire Rockstar crew!
5th Tyler Medaglia (4-4) Tyler ripped a huge holeshot and had a good day at Walton. This guy is going to bust his ass every moto all season long and you can’t ask for anything more.
6th Kyle Swanson (6-8) Why did it take Swanson and the Devils Lake crew so long to hook up? These guys were meant to be. Swanson rode smooth and fast all day and showed he could battle for top 5’s next season.
7th Franklin Nogueras (7-9) Franklin really impressed me at Walton. He was fast all day and looked really good. After learning our tracks and series, I think he could be a top 10 guy every weekend.
8th Seth Rarick (8-10) Seth belongs on the 450 and showed it once again this weekend. He looks really smooth and his speed was solid in both motos.
9th Cade Clason (12-7) Poor Cade was looking forward to Walton and its deep ruts. A first turn crash with Metty made his first moto tough. He dug deep and finished strong then had a good 2nd moto. Redemption needs to lock this guy up long term.
10th Jason Burke (11-11) Great Walton for Burke. This guy has a family and has a real job and uses his vacation time to race. They don’t get much tougher than Burkey. Good ride for Jay!
Biggest Stud: Facciotti is my stud. He was a different guy on the East Coast. Just imagine if he started healthy.
Biggest Dud: No dud this week. The racing was great.
Biggest Surprise: Kyle Swanson is my surprise. I knew the guy was talented, but I didn’t expect him to do this well or be this fast on a new bike brand and in a new class.
Thanks for reading. See you next season…