McThoughts | Women’s West MX Nationals | Calgary Round 3
By Jeff McConkey
The 3rd round of the Women’s West MX Nationals series went off on Saturday in Calgary, Alberta. The girls were blessed with a very nice day and a good track to race on. Like the previous two rounds, the top 2 girl were on a whole different level. The pair of Shelby Turner and Lexi Pechout put on a clinic in both motos, and had everyone standing during their epic moto1 battle.
Unfortunately, the turnout wasn’t as good as expected, even with an extended sign up to lure in more female riders. Either way, it was a solid day for the races, organizers, and the fans. Who doesn’t love seeing girls racing moto?
I’d like to send a ‘Get Well Soon’ out to #7 Kate Lees who broke her arm in practice. Get better, Kate, you’ll be back in no time. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Shelby Turner: Shelby and her bike skills are on a different level. I think her standing wheelie down the start straight on the hot lap even scared some of the girls. But to be honest, she can jump, she can corner, and she is extremely fast. I also believe she is a very smart racer; her race IQ is way up there and she puts it to use. She was very close to winning moto 1, and looked flawless in moto 2.
2nd Lexi Pechout: Just like Shelby, Lexi has all of the tools. I still think the jumping has to improve, but it is 100 times better than 2016. The biggest thing I see in Lexi is her corner speed….WOW! I really can’t go on enough about how she corners, it’s that impressive. Her race knowledge is also very high and she pulled off the picture perfect pass on Turner to grab the moto 1 victory. This championship will be hers soon.
3rd Danika White: Danika has always been solid, but this year she has really stepped it up. Her starts were good both motos and although she couldn’t run the pace of the leaders, she seems to have the rest of the pack covered, speed-wise. She rode two very solid motos and I really don’t think I saw her out of control anywhere. She looks comfortable at this pace, and I think she still has some speed in her. She should be everyone’s ‘Most Improved Rider’ for 2017, and she was also in consideration for the MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” award (it was the boots, I need to see her in some Fox Instincts).
4th Dominique Daffé: I expected Daffé to be the girl to slide herself into the #3 spot going into the season. She has been good, but I know she has more to give. She has a lot going on, and may be a little overworked or tired, I’m not sure? Whatever the case may be, she had two solid starts and rode well in both. I just know she has 3rd place speed, we just need to see it.
5th Tamala Whiteside: I was shocked with how well Tamala rode. She hounded Danika in moto 1, and was on Daffé moto 2. I think this Calgary ride will really build her confidence and push her to that next level. I think she will get many ‘on stage’ appearances in 2018.
6th Madi Watt: Madi had 2 solid rides, but I think she’s just too nice out there. Madi is a strong, fit girl, and she needs to muscle herself around out there and make the big moves early on to stay with the lead pack. With a little more aggression, she could be that 3rd place girl. Please, somebody practice popping the champagne with her, because she will be there soon.
7th Kristin Tse: Kristin has the speed, but her lack of rut riding has hurt her. If you’re going to ride the West, it’s a must. She is still young, and with the right coaching, I think she would be a threat on any surface. She didn’t look like she was having a ton of fun, and I think if she loosened up a bit, it would be fun. Riding without her dad at her side had to have hurt her, but she still had two decent rides.
8th Sam Puky: Sam has been off the bike for a long time, so this is a great result. Her starts were very good, and as expected, she just didn’t have it in the tank late in the moto or in moto 2. With some more seat time, she would no doubt be a top 5 girl.
9th Nicole Gaudern: Is anybody having more fun racing there dirtbike than Nicole? I doubt it! Always smiling, and always chatting up everyone, Gaudern is a pleasant addition to our series. To be honest, anytime you can add an American with her race resume… it’s a bonus. Nicole had two solid rides and should be closer to the front group come Regina.
10th Oriana Fraser: Oriana rode well in both motos. Her starts need to be better to run with the girls just in front of her, but other than that, she looked pretty solid out there.
Biggest Stud: Turner and Pechout. I wouldn’t want to race them!
Biggest Dud: The turnout. Where are all of the girls? They even extended the sign up and there was still not the greatest turnout. Come on girls, you have an amazing series, and many hard-working people busting their asses for you. You need to say thank you by coming out and racing!
MC’s “G’d Up from the Feet Up” Award: Our good friend Jay Moore from Fox had Lexi Pechout and Dominique Daffé looking top shelf on Saturday. Dominique had the bright colours going while Lexi had a very nice colour combo on her kit. I would have gladly worn either.
Biggest Surprise: Danika White and her newfound speed. She looks like a totally different girl out there.
Thanks for reading.