McThoughts | Women’s East MX Nationals | Gopher Dunes
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Billy Rainford
The first round of the Women’s East MX Nationals kicked off this past Saturday at Gopher Dunes. There was a solid turnout of familiar faces, but unfortunately there were quite a few regulars missing. Like everything, life must go on, and we are still going to see great racing no matter what.
The big battle will be between Eve Brodeur and Kennedy Lutz. These two young ladies are going to be going at it all season long. It’s a short series, so there’s no time for an off weekend. Lets take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Kennedy Lutz 1-1: Kennedy has the “wow factor.” Wherever she was on the track, you wanted to watch. She looked very fit, very strong, and very very fast at Gopher. There were quite a few times where she looked like she was just about to get out of control, but she was able to muscle herself back into shape and not let up. I think she is only going to get stronger, and that’s very scary for lady racers around the world.
2nd Eve Brodeur 3-2: Eve had an off day, but there is no need to hit the panic button. Her speed is there, it’s just the little mistakes that need to be cured. She’s never really been challenged up here, so this is all new to her. I think it will be good for her, and it will elevate her game.
3rd Julia Krzemien 2-4: Julia showed up last year at Gopher and rode well. Well, this year she rode even better. Her speed was good and she had good battles all day. She is racing Loretta’s, so hopefully we see her at RJ’s for the last round.
4th Brittany Gagne 5-3: Very good day for Gagne, considering that this is her ‘least strong’ round. She definitely redeemed herself from Gopher Dunes 2016. Her starts were good, and she stayed strong until the end in both motos. I’d like to see her hang it out just a little bit, and maybe get a little looser on the bike. I think she will get better as the series goes on.
5th Isabelle Thibault 4-5: I’m already calling Thibault for the ‘Most Improved Rider.’ Her starts need work, but she didn’t let up, and was on the pipe all day long. She is fun to watch and charges non-stop. She was good last year, but she really has stepped up her game. She will be fighting Gagne for that last podium spot for the next 6 motos.
6th Liz Burke 7-6: Good day for Liz. It’s nice to see her not all banged up and riding hurt. I think she will get faster over the next few weeks on the less sandy tracks. It’s nice to see a girl from the ‘Far East’ (PEI) have the stones to make the trip and represent the Maritimes. Right now, she is the fastest girl off of the podium group, and she has it in her to join that next group of Gagne and Thibault.
7th Robin Hutchinson 9-7: Robin had a very solid day. She says from time to time that she misses the 2-stroke, but I really think she rides the thumper better. Her starts need to improve a little and she needs to colour coordinate her gloves a little better.
8th Mariah Gautier 8-9: Solid start to the series for Mariah. I’d like to see her get a little mean on the start and move some girls out of the way, so she can run with the fast group. She’s better than her results show, and should be fighting for 5th or 6th next weekend.
9th Emilie-Jade Leveille 10-8: Emilie doesn’t have much seat time this season, so this is a good result. I’m sure she is happy to be leaving the Dunes and heading to Quebec. I think with a good start she could move up a few spots.
10th Sammi Burch 11-10: Good day for Sammi. She looked solid and starts the season with a nice top 10. Hopefully she can make the remaining rounds.
Biggest Stud: Kennedy Lutz is my stud. She is just that good, period!
Biggest Dud: I’m really bummed for Eden Netelkos. She rode real well to a 6th in moto 1, and was looking even in better in moto 2. Unfortunately, the Dunes got her, and she left with a broken collarbone. Let’s hope we see her back by Deschambault or RJ’s.
Biggest Surprise: Where are all of the Women racers? We should have a full gate at every round. I think we had 30 or 31, which was solid, but where are all of the social media female racers?
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: Robin Hutchinson gets the nod this week with her moto 2 kit. And I have to say, I think her bike is the best looking out there. Her dad killed it this year!
Thanks for reading, see you next week.