By Billy Rainford
I hope everyone had a great weekend and got to spend some quality time with your mothers. I don’t go to the races with my parents anymore, but I sure remember the days when I did. Some of you reading this now are still traveling your circuit with them while others, like me, have all the great memories to look back on.
As a kid, you don’t really appreciate the fact that while most kids are taking their moms out for breakfast or bringing it to them in bed ONE DAY A YEAR, we’re all hitting the track and saying “Happy Mother’s Day” from wherever your series took you on this particular weekend.
We always kind of laughed it off back in the day, but hindsight has me realizing just how much my parents sacrificed to get us to the races.
I don’t have children but sometimes I sit back and think about working in a “normal” job all week long and then having to get a child (or children) ready to race and then to the races every weekend throughout the summer, or more. That’s a huge commitment!
So, once a year, we pay tribute to the glue that usually holds it all together: our moms.
My mom used to toil over scoring laps with a pen and a clipboard whenever I was on the track. In fact, I have almost every race I ever did written down on paper and saved in my Motocross Album. It’s pretty funny to look back at some of the numbers on the list and see who went on to either win a Pro title or come awfully close.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moto Moms out there. Hopefully, you’re back at work on this Monday so you can relax a little before next weekend…
I actually took this past weekend away from any Moto at all. We’re about to get busy with the Rockstar Triple Crown Motocross Tour that starts at Wild Rose in Calgary, May 26th.
It’s amazing how taking a weekend away from the races can get you so fired up to get back. I hate not going but sometimes it’s a couple days off that make you realize how much you want to be there. It’s kind of like people who take their annual vacations to some all inclusive resort in the Caribbean and do nothing for an entire week. By day 3, you’re either completely relaxed or chomping at the bit to get back home and to work.
I found out a couple years ago that I am not an all inclusive kind of traveler. It’s just not my style. I was ready to leave by day 2. To me, it felt like I may a well have just gone to some fancy hotel downtown and laid around by the pool, and that’s not for me.
In the summer, I spend any and all weekends off from Moto at the beach playing volleyball. I love the beach. But to fly somewhere and sit around with a bunch of normally suit-wearing vacationers who only get away from home once, maybe twice, a year, just isn’t my cup of tea. I like to pack a surfboard and go somewhere with little or no plans and see what happens. That’s more fun to me.
I don’t even remember what I’m talking about…
Hey, Ruben Springman, it’s soft butter season!
MXGP of Latvia
MX2 – GP Classification
MX2 – World Championship Classification
MXGP – GP Classification
MXGP – World Championship Classification
Next round: MXGP of Germany in Teutschenthal – May 20th
Lucas Oil Junior Motocross – Guthrie, OK
|250 Pro (16+) – Overall Finish Positions|
|Open Pro – Overall Finish Positions|
|SuperMini 1 (12-15) – Overall Finish Positions|
|Women Open – Overall Finish Positions|
Full results can be found HERE.
Canadian in Amsoil Arenacross Amateur Classes in Las Vegas
I forgot to mention we did have a Canadian make the trip to Las Vegas to race the final round of Amsoil Arenacross – #519 John McKenney from Welland, ON.
John made the trek and raced in the C Class. Check out his results:
Sunday Las Vegas Amateur National Championships – 5/6/2018
The Orleans Arena
And it looks like he took the title. Congrats, John. (But I think the results are incomplete and there appears to be a glitch in the Amateur East standings page)
2018 Amateur East Series
SXQC Montmagny Arenacross Results
|109||Rikky Balboa Turcotte||3||–||5|
|138||Jacob Cain Ste-Croix||7||–||7|
Super Lites 250
|109||Rikky Balboa Turcotte||12||–|
Full results HERE.
Next round: May 19 – Riviere du Loup
Kaven Benoit Good to Go for Calgary
The rumour mill was spinning the past little while about a crash #26 Kaven Benoit suffered while testing suspension out in California. Kaven avoided racing the Triple Crown Arenacross Tour to avoid any possible injury and then to hear that he got injured while testing was a real blow.
Kaven has been training hard at Club MX in South Carolina and, if you remember how fast he was at round 1 in 2017, was ready to attack the Motocross Nationals at full speed in 2018.
We spoke with Kaven and he confirmed that he did have a hard crash and he needed to take some time off the bike as a result. Fortunately, he’ll be ready to race when we get to round 1 at Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary in 2 weeks.
Here’s what Kaven said about the incident:
Hey, Billy. [I] had a little get off 2 weeks ago. Needed some time off the bike but will be ready to race for Calgary.
Good news for racing fans!
Brainstorm | 2018 MX2 Motocross Predictions
We posted this 250 Class Preview column and will have the 450 Class edition up ASAP. Also, watch for our 2018 Canadian Motocross Preview Podcast up on the site as soon as we can get the crew assembled and ready to chat.
We are closing in on round 1 of the 2018 Rockstar Triple Crown Motocross Series and I thought it was time to put down some thoughts and predictions.
For starters, I believe we will have 2 Canadians standing on the the top spot when we finally get to Walton. Of course, this is not a foregone conclusion – we will, once again, have a few strong challengers from south of the border.
Let’s have a look at the MX2/250 class and talk this through.
SHAWN MAFFENBEIER: Monster Energy Alpinestars Piller’s Kawasaki
Heading into this season, Shawn Maffenbeier is the defending champion. Shawn has been around a long time and even had the #6 in the 450 class a bunch of years ago. He is no stranger to the rigors of the summer season.
The big question mark for him, as we head into the outdoors (Huh?), is the fact that he is riding on a new team on a new colour.
Shawn was the top dog on the MX101 FXR Yamaha team last summer and managed to close out the title at the final round in Barrie.
Shawn has moved over to the Monster Energy Alpinestars Piller’s Kawasaki team this year. This team is an amalgamation of the Huber Motorsports and Monster Kawasaki teams from last season.There is a ton of experience behind the scenes on this team, and I don’t think the fact that it is a “new” team is going to even be a consideration.
Shawn just won the Arenacross Tour portion of the Triple Crown and so he is obviously already used to the Kawasaki, and they’ve got the bike riding the way he feels comfortable.
DYLAN WRIGHT: Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing
Dylan Wright finished 2nd to Shawn last season and is somehow a little bit of an enigma. What I mean by that is he has all the speed to run the series out up front but there always seems to be something that happens to keep him from cementing his position in first place.
There’s no question that Dylan is the most exciting rider to watch on the track. His flashy style has kept us glued to him ever since he was an amateur.
Where will he finish in 2018? I think we’ll have our answer after Calgary when we get our first look at him after his GPF training with 4-time Canadian champ, Colton Facciotti.
If Dylan comes out on fire and runs at the front, it could be his time to win. He needs to get better starts this summer if he wants that one higher step in 2018.
RYAN SURRATT finished 3rd last summer but is likely not going to show up in Canada, so we’ll leave him out of the conversation.
JACOB HAYES will likely not return to racing in Canada in 2018, so we won’t talk about him.
JESS PETTIS: Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha
We are going to see a new-and-improved Jess Pettis this summer. He just came off a Supercross season that has him full of confidence.
Jess is a rider that continues to improve, year after year. We’ve given him our ‘Most Improved Rider Award’ more times than anyone else. He was 4th last summer.
Jess is coming into the outdoor season thinking he can win. He’s fit and ready to go. He’s always been fast, but this year, with added maturity, he should prove that he’s actually ready to be there every week.
If he can avoid anymore injuries, he’ll be right there fighting for wins.
Nobody in the 250 class has to worry about the ultra-smooth and fast Cole Thompson in 2018, as he is moving back up to the 450 class. You’re welcome, 250 class.
CASEY KEAST: Shift Kelowna Yamaha
Kelowna, BC’s Casey Keast is coming into the summer season with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Although he’s thankful for his great sponsors, he feels he’s ready and deserves to be looked at by some of the factory teams.
If Casey can have a solid season and prove to the factory teams he’s in this to win it, he should be a rider who gets looked at for next season and beyond. In other words, after a spring training with Kevin Urqhart and the gang down in California, this is Casey’s year to “s#!t or get off the pot,” to use the vernacular (almost). He’s got the talent, we just want to see him out there and putting it all together.
JOSH OSBY: Club MX Redemption Racing KTM
Josh Osby’s season came to an early end last season in Pleasant Valley when he was forced off the track and into a fence. After sitting out with a liver injury, he has been lighting up the Supercross tracks this winter.
After a bit of a rocky start, Josh seems to be well in control and is turning heads south of the border. He returns to Canada on the Redemption Racing team but I bet some US teams are sniffing around.
Josh is a rider who should be high up on your list of riders who could win this championship. In fact, the smart money could be right here.
HAYDEN HALSTEAD: Royal Distributing FXR Yamaha
If ever there was a rider who fits the old cliché, “#19 in your program, #1 in your heart!” perfectly, it’s Hayden Halstead. This guy is one of the characters on the circuit.
Some guys, you just look at and realize they really, really like riding their dirt bike. That’s Hayden.
Hayden seems to like the #19, and I don’t see him changing that any time soon. I’d love to see him post a podium or two in the books, but I just think the riders ahead of him are a little faster on the track.
Nobody in the 250 class has to worry about the ultra-smooth and fast COLE THOMPSON in 2018, as he is moving back up to the 450 class. You’re welcome, 250 class.
DAVEY FRASER stays with the Carlson Racing Husqvarna team but heads up to the 450 class.
JOEY CROWN: Club MX Redemption Racing KTM
Joey Crown is from Michigan and is finally ready to make his mark in the Pro ranks. Joey will line up on the Redemption Racing team alongside Osby and should make for a formidable duo.
He injured his knee this off season (wasn’t supposed to be “off ” for him) and is going to be ready to go once we get to Calgary on May 26th.
I’m going to have a difficult time not picking this guy for wins, as he’s been pegged for a championship for as long as any of us can remember.
TANNER WARD: Red Bull Thor KTM Canada
Tanner Ward showed up last year and really proved he’s ready to be a full-time Pro racer. He looked comfortable riding the pace of the top guys.
Tanner is a rider who will be fighting to finish in the top 5 and on the podium. Yes, he could even take some wins.
With the support of a proven team, Tanner is another rider to keep a close eye on in 2018.
MARCO CANNELLA: Rockstar Energy FXR Yamaha
I’ve really enjoyed watching Marco Cannella progress through the ranks. He, too, looked very comfortable moving up to the Pro ranks and racing with the established riders late last summer.
I feel that he and Tanner will be going at it bar-to-bar to break the top 5 on a consistent basis.
I’d like to see Marco up on the podium as often as possible because he’s getting very comfortable and entertaining on stage with the microphone.
OK, so who is my pick for this championship? That’s a great question.
Josh Osby? Jess Pettis? Joey Crown? Dylan Wright? I like how comfortable Shawn Maffenbeier is on his new bike and I’m going to say that his experience will play a huge role for him this summer.
I think he’ll be one of the few riders able to accept a 2nd place moto to perhaps lose the battle to win the war.
I would also like to put my money on Joey Crown, no, Josh Osby…no, wait, Dylan Wright… Can I bet the trifecta?
I’m not going to post my choice here, as I have to talk with these guys every week along the way – it just doesn’t seem right.
All I will say is the top 5 will look something like this, in no particular order:
Shawn Maffenbeier, Josh Osby Joey Crown, Jess Pettis, Dylan Wright.
Win a 4-Pack of Tickets to Round 1 in Calgary!
Like we did for the Arenacross Tour, we will be awarding someone a 4-pack of tickets to attend round 1 of the Rockstar Triple Crown Motocross Tour at Wild Rose in Calgary, May 26th.
If you’re planning on going and would like some free tickets, head over to our Instagram page @DirectMotocross LIKE and COMMENT with who you think will win the overall in the 450 class in Calgary and you’re entered. Please make sure you are able to attend the races. Last time, a dude in England won before he realized the tickets were for Barrie, Ontario, CANADA! lol (Graphic will be up on Instagram ASAP)
OK, have a great week, everyone. It will be a busy one across the country as we all get ready to invade Calgary for round 1 on May 26th. It always seems like it’s a long way away and then I realize none of my ducks are standing in a line. That’s what I’ll be doing all week – wrangling ducks.