By Billy Rainford
Well, we’ve done it. We’ve gotten ourselves back to racing at the Nationals, and it feels great. I speak for myself, of course, because I wasn’t out there pounding out laps under the hot sun on the rough Gopher Dunes track! It’s easy for me to say it feels good.
However, I’m guessing there are a lot of Pro riders out there who were happy to sleep in late on Sunday and maybe even take a day off the bike. I know I would after going through what those riders did!
The track was the same as last year, but Derek Schuster and the Gopher Dunes gang never sit back and relax. No, they always have at least one thing new to see when you enter the gates for their annual National.
This year, they added a nice grandstand along the north side tree line. It gave spectators a nice view of most of the track from one place.
What I thought was cool about it was that it drew a bunch of people over to that area of the track which is something you didn’t always see.
In the past, you could always stand in one place on the grassy knoll and see the entire track. Things have changed over the past few years and now the place is full of jumps and added elevation. You can no longer see the entire track from one spot.
We actually kind of ribbed Derek about it on the ‘Moto Central Live Show Presented by Sneaky Weasel Beer‘ on Friday night when Ryan Lockhart, Ryan Gauld, and Derek sat in for the first 20 minutes or so.
Derek took it all in stride and just chalked it up to progress. You have to keep giving the riders what they want, and the new school riders want jumps to scrub.
They also had a bit of a wet area so they had to decide whether to try and drain it or add more water to it and make it a spot where fans could grab one of the floaties they provided. They went with the latter and it made for a perfect place to stay cool and catch the action. I meant to go in there all day but never made it happen.
If you didn’t get a chance to tune in live, the show always goes to archive and you can watch it again here:
Thank you very much to those guys for spending some time on a busy Friday night before a National. Also, thank you to Dylan Wright, Eve Brodeur, and our new Florida friend, #711 Tristan Lane, for hanging out and getting to know us and the Canadian Moto Scene a little better.
Speaking of Dylan, he dropped to his knee and proposed to his girlfriend at the team victory photo op on the podium at the end of the race day. Congratulations, you two crazy young people!
Next Friday, we’ll be at Sand Del Lee just outside our nation’s capital, Ottawa, for the racing. That means Kevin Tyler has agreed to host the live show on Friday night.
Maybe we’ll set up on the deck outside their little office/shop and do it from there? Who knows.
Hopefully, we can get his riders to sit in and tell us some stories. We’ll also try to get Johnny Grant on with KT. Hey, Marco Cannella, Hayden Halstead, and Luke Renzland, don’t make any dinner plans for before 7 or until after 8 next Friday…
These race weekends are very busy. Just when it was time to sit down and start going over the content generated from a long day at a National, it’s time to charge batteries and head back to the track for a full day of Amateur racing.
That’s what I did Sunday, but, truthfully, James Lissimore and I didn’t get to the track until the sprinklers were on for intermission between the first and second set of motos. But I did catch every second moto!
So, now it’s Monday and I’ve got so many photos and video clips clogging my laptop’s hard drive that I’m surprised I can still load up Photoshop, Lightroom, and Final Cut Pro to work on anything!
Also, knowing where to even start would help! I’ve got about 10 different things on my mind to get started on and then I decide maybe I should be doing another thing. And you know how that goes…nothing gets started at all!
Because Sundays are also busy, I decided to do a little recap video where I sit in a chair and go through the notes from my flip pad.
When I’m at the races, I always jot down notes as things happen so I remember them later when I have to write captions for photo reports or write a column or even ask a rider questions during interviews.
I can imagine being at home and not being able to be at the races and wanted to get caught up on how the racing went. It is very time consuming to do a full photo report so pointing the camera at myself and blabbing about the notes in my book is definitely the quickest and easiest way for me to get a lot of information out.
I actually thought the one I did today was going to come in under 15 minutes, and I was shocked when I went to upload it to YouTube only to see that it was 27! Sorry about that.
I’ll keep doing these things but I promise to do my best to shorten them down a little. Maybe they help cure your insomnia, I don’t know.
Here’s the one I did today for the Gopher Dunes round:
What did you think of the racing this weekend? Congratulations to the home team. The Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing guys took both wins. In fact, they won every moto!
Dylan Wright came into this one just 2 points down on #121 Marshal Weltin of the Sky Racing International Motorsports Husqvarna team.
Dylan left with the red plate and heads to the track at Sand Del Lee that sits, literally, 30 seconds from his parents’ house where he grew up! He knows this place well, and it’s going to be pretty tough to wrestle the points lead away from him at this track.
He went back and forth for the lead a couple times just to keep it interesting for the fans.
Mike Alessi was on fire this week. We’ve seen him do very well here before, but this was next level stuff.
He took a little while to get around #16 Cole Thompson in moto 1, but he absolutely crushed everyone in moto 2.
This display of sand skill is something most of us were expecting to see from multi-time champ and sand God, #2 Matt Goerke. Unfortunately, Matt had one of those days every rider would like to forget. It’s also one of those days that every one of us has gone through or is about to go through. It’s just part of the game.
Mechanical DNF’s in both motos have dug Matt a gaping hole in the points chase. He was nursing that broken finger but then had bike issues be what sent him to the sidelines. He’ll regroup and do what he always does: put it in the past and go for wins.
Alessi was coming off some health issues and then had a pretty hard crash the Thursday a week before the race, so he probably wasn’t 100%, himself!
If that was less than 100, yikes!
Every summer there are rides that you remember, and this is definitely going to be one of them.
Round 1 of the Women’s East MX Nationals took place, too, and there was some exciting racing at the front! I’m not going to get into too much detail here because the Monday Morning Coffee is already late and I want to post the 2nd moto video ASAP.
Word on the street was that there were pink slips up for grabs in the FXR Pre Mix race.
Apparently, whoever won between Justin Roney and Ryan Gauld got the other’s bike!
When I asked Justin about it on the starting line, he simply said, “This bike is worth more than anything Gauld owns!” So, no, he didn’t think they were going through with this bet.
Good thing, too, because Ryan ended up getting the better of him.
The win went to #218 Nathan Bles who sarcastically put on some red plate graphics and took some ribbing for it.
He also admitted on the stage that he even started training more seriously for the racing.
OK, guys, I hope that gave you something to read while you are at work or having brunch. I apologize for this week’s lateness, but I had a 2.5-hour drive to do this morning and I also had to drop the DMX Van off with Josh Snider of the CTR Club MX Redemption Racing Yamaha team so he can replace a wheel bearing/hub before the van heads east again. Thanks, Josh.
Have a great week, everyone. I’ll get some things from the weekend up as soon as I can. Everyone else is lounging on the beach, but I’ll just look out the window, periodically…