McThoughts|RJ’s National|MX1 Class
By Jeff McConkey
Photos by Tyler Spikman (@Spikman)
Congratulation to our new 2016 MX1 champion, Davi Millsaps. Davi was very impressive all year, and pretty much put it to the competition. Right behind Davi, we had a very stacked class and a ton of guys who could have won in any other season. The racing was good throughout the season, and we had a few surprises. Kaven Benoit winning a moto and an overall was a special thing to see in just his 1st season in MX1. It was also nice to see the resurgence of Tyler Medaglia late in the season.
As a fan, I really hope all of the top players are able and willing to return for 2017 and beyond. I think this was the most stacked class we have ever seen, and I hope it’s just the start. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Matt Goerke (1-1): When the tracks get nasty and rough and all whooped out, you can bet your ass that Goerke is smiling. Somehow, Matt is able to hang it out and ride the worst conditions as if they were smooth. His fitness and heart will earn him at least one more MX1 title before he packs it in.
2nd Tyler Medaglia (2-2): This guy always seems to amaze me. Just when you think Tyler may be down and out, he comes back stronger. I told him before the start of moto 1 that a holeshot would be nice, then he went out and pulled it on way to a super impressive 2-2. He looked fresh and strong all day long and it was great to see T-Dags back on the box.
3rd Kaven Benoit (3-3): For a guy in his rookie 450 season, Benoit sure didn’t show it. He has gotten better every time out on the track. Every team manager should be ready to break the bank to get this guy for 2017 and beyond. He’s going to be a multi-time MX1 champion.
4th Mike Alessi (5-4): Mike went into the final round hurt pretty bad. I was shocked to see him line up for both motos. I was even more shocked when I saw how good he looked on the way to a 4-4 performance. This guy gives you everything he has each and every time out. Let’s hope he finishes his career up here.
5th Tim Tremblay (8-5): Tim was all smiles as he filled in for the injured Brett Metcalfe. He said it took a bit to get used to the power of the bike, but his results were strong in both motos. He looked very comfortable and fast on the new bike.
6th Cade Clason (4-11): Cade’s moto 1 ride was the best I have ever seen him ride. Benoit hounded him for 3/4 of the moto and Cade never cracked. He got a great start in moto 2, and then it all went bad in the 2nd corner. Cade picked himself up in dead last and put in a very good charge to make it back to 11th. Clason is only 21 and has a very bright future in front of him. Someone get this guy a good deal to stay up here and work towards a title.
7th Max Tannenbaum (7-9): Max looked good out there. It’s just kind of weird seeing a Suzuki doing well. I think with more time in our series, Max could become a player.
8th Morgan Burger (10-8): Two nice rides for Burger. In the past, I always thought Morgan was a little weaker on the East, not this season. He has looked good on both coasts and rode very well in a very stacked 450 class.
9th Teddy Maier (12-7): 2015 was to be Teddy’s last season of professional racing. Well, things didn’t work out and poor Teddy injured both arms and that was it for his great career. Fast forward to the final round of 2016, and Teddy was back at his home away from home. I figured Teddy would have maybe 20-22 minutes in moto 1, and 16 or 17 minutes in him for moto 2. Well, as the day went on, Teddy looked better and better and earned a solid 9th overall and got to go out on his own terms. Congrats on a great career, Teddy.
10th Keylan Meston (15-6): Not the best first moto for Keylan, but he really stepped it up and put in a great ride for 6th in moto 2. He looked like he belonged, and his hard work has rewarded him with National number 8 next season.
Biggest Stud: Tyler Medaglia is my stud. He really turned his season around in the second half and looked great at RJ’s.
Biggest Dud: Injuries are my dud this week. Although the class was still stacked, it was a bummer not to see Colton Facciotti and Brett Metcalfe out.
Biggest Surprise: I’m shocked to see Medaglia and Alessi both ride so well despite how banged up they were. These two guy have a ton of heart.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you at Walton.