Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
Good Monday morning. I’m not going to open this by saying that I can’t believe it’s over. I’m not going to start by saying how much I’m going to miss everyone. I’m not going to talk about how fast the time went. I’m not going to tell you that it was the best summer of racing I’ve ever seen. I’m not going to describe how much fun I had crisscrossing Canada once again. I’m not even going to tell you how it feels like round 1 just happened like a week ago. I’m going to start by asking where I left my snow shovel!
It’s over. The 2105 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals are a thing of the past. They are something that exist only in our memories.
OK, I lied. I’m, going to tell you all of those things. You wanna know how to make a summer disappear in the snap of your fingers? Follow the motocross tour. Man, it seems like I was just driving 60kph on a mountain highway with my life in my hands during a 2am rain storm heading through the mountains of Montana as the tires on my brand new Dodge Van went bald due to a bent tie rod the van was sold to me with tried to kill me, and yet here I am talking about the season as a thing of the past. It’s weird.
I didn’t stay late after the races ended yesterday afternoon at Walton Raceway. I shot video of young Joey Crown to document his first day racing the Pro/Am class. I headed back over to the amateur pits to see if I could grab an interview to narrate the racing footage, but they had already packed up and headed back to Michigan. After taping our DMX Canadian Weekly Wrap-Up Show with Andy White, at least 2 hours had past since the final wave of the checkered flag so they were probably already getting hassled at the border.
Anyway, the fact that he went out and won the second moto will allow the footage to stand on its own! But I won’t be able to get to that until…oh, maybe until after I look at some of the photos from ULVERTON! Yes, driving back and forth from Walton everyday meant that I didn’t even have a chance to do a photo report from Ulverton. That race, too, is a thing of the past and I’m not sure how much value we’d get from an actual photo report at this point, but I will at least throw up a bunch of photos from the best jump of the summer.
Wanna know what happened at Walton Sunday? I couldn’t hear you, but I’ll tell you anyway. Here’s a close look at how the actual motos went:
MX2 Moto 1
Jeremy Medaglia spoke out on social media about how he felt the 250 2-stroke didn’t belong in the MX2 class and so I think he went into these last couple rounds with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He channeled that energy into a very nice first moto holeshot. Down in the first corner were Cole Martinez, Blake Savage, Morgan Burger, and Nate Haas (who lit up the Youth class all week at the Parts Canada TransCan). When the leaders came back into my sight, the ‘new guy’ #457 Darian Sanayei [I joked with Jeff McConkey that I thought the correct pronunciation was ‘Sanjay Gupta‘ and he completed the joke and said, “Ya, but the Gupta is silent.”] in the lead with first-time Pro moto racer 335 Joey Crown in tow.
As they either jumped or ‘manualed’ their way through the 9 Commandments section, Medaglia was pressuring Crown into the sweeper corner before the mechanics’ area. Joey was in the rut that started wide and cut in, while Jeremy’s rut started on the inside and ended up in the same real estate as the other. Bang! They came together and it was the rider battling for 2nd overall in the championship that hit the ground. Crown motored away with a look over his right shoulder.
By the second lap, Jimmy Decotis was out front with Sanayei and Crown chasing.Having a great first moto was #62 Bobby Piazza who was running way up in 4th place.
On the third lap, Decotis was starting to gap the field with Sanayei…wait, Crown is down! Joey fell and got up again quickly. Then came Shawn Maffenbeier, Piazza and a charging Kaven Benoit.
At the half, it was Decotis with Benoit closing slightly in second then a gap back to Sanayei, Maffenbeier, Martinez, and now Dylan Wright. They had gapped Piazza who had a big lead over the next group of Martinez, Jess Pettis, and Crown. They were well up on Savage, who was making his way up, Liam O’Farrell, Intermediate JC Bujold, Nathan Bles, Brad Nauditt, and now Haas.
Then Maffenbeier slid out entering the 9 Commandments and gave up a few places as Wright was closing on him. The battle between Savage, Bujold, Pettis, and Haas was a good one!
With 2 laps to go, Decotis was safe out front of Benoit who had a comfortable gap over Wright, then Sanayei, Maffenbeier, Martinez, Piazza with Crown closing, Pettis alone, then the Savage Bujold, O’Farrell, Haas freight train.
The top three at the flag were Decotis, Benoit and Wright before a gap back to Sanayei and Maffenbeier.
MX1 Moto 1
Into the first corner it looked like Tyler Medaglia, Matt Goerke, and Colton Facciotti to me (These latter two were only 13 points apart for the championship). Down in turn one were Brett Metcalfe and Cade Clason! These are two pieces of the top 6 puzzle week in, week out.
When the pack came back around to the 9 Commandments section where I was standing, it was Medaglia, Facciotti, Cole Thompson, and Goerke. Coming around way back in last place was local Hayden Halstead not having a good moto.
Things got a little scary in the second lap as Bobby Kiniry went down just after a blind jump. He abandoned his bike and ran up the jump to warn others of the situation just as Matthew Davenport was cresting the jump and went headlong into Kiniry’s bike and yard-saled (He would go on to finish with what might actually be a broken thumb!) Apparently, it all happened so fast that the flagger just didn’t have time to stop the crash from occurring.
The top 4 had already gapped Kyle Swanson who was having a ‘lights out’ moto up in 5th with Davey Fraser also impressing behind him. Then came Franklin Nogueras, Seth Rarick, Jay Burke, and Drew Roberts in 10th.
By lap 4, Facciotti was out front with a gap over Thompson, Goerke, and Medaglia. Swanson was alone in 5th ahead of Nogueras and Rarick who had some room over Fraser, Roberts, and Cody Van Buskirk.
I didn’t see Metcalfe up in the top 10 until…wait, here he is. Lap 6: Facciotti out front of Thompson and Goerke who had gapped Medaglia, then Swanson, Nogueras and Rarick. Metcalfe and Clason were now up to the big pack challenging for 8th that included Fraser, Metcalfe, Riley Brough, Clason, Burke, Kyle Keast, and Dylan Schmoke.
At the half, Facciotti had a slight lead over Goerke and Thompson. Medaglia ran alone again in 4th way ahead of Swanson who had space over Nogueras ahead of Rarick trying to hold off Metty. There was then a huge gap back to a great fight between Brough, Keast, Fraser, Shawn Robinson, Burke, Jacob Williamson, Clason, Van Buskirk, and Keylan Meston.
At the checkered flag, Facciotti had a safe lead over Goerke then a gap to Thompson. They were well ahead of Medaglia in 4th who was even farther ahead of Metcalfe in 5th. Swanson came next with a gap over Nogueras, Rarick then Brough and Schmoke in 10th.
MX2 Moto 2
I think I had the start of the second moto as Martinez over Benoit, Crown and Medaglia. When they came around to complete their first lap, it was Crown who had made the pass for the lead with Martinez and Benoit in tow.
By the 4th lap, it was Sanayei now up behind Crown then Benoit. The 3 had a gap over Maffenbeier, Decotis, Martinez, Savage, Wright, Kyle Biro, Pettis, and O’Farrell. They had some space over the next group of Taylor Arsenault, Piazza, Austin Dodd, Burger, Medaglia, Bles, Macus Nilsen, Westen Wrozyna, Nauditt, and Jeremy Pronovost in 21st.
By the 7th lap, Crown was comfortable out front with Benoit safe in 2nd, Sanayei in 3rd then Maffenbeier. They had a large lead over the Martinez/Savage battle then Wright in 7th. The fight for 16th between Nauditt, Dodd, Nilsen, Wrozyna, Bles and Pronovost was a good one. Behind them came Bujold and Haas.
Late in the moto, Benoit was in first place after Crown fell and managed to get two fingers in one glove finger. He said it would have taken too long to try and fix it so he rode that way the rest of the moto. They had gapped Sanayei and Maffenebeier who in turn had a gap over Wright and Martinez. Savage rode alone in 7th ahead of a good battle between Decotis and Pettis who were in front of the Medaglia/O’Farrell fight.
Then it was Benoit’s turn to fall on the last lap allowing Crown to take the win. Kaven recovered to save 2nd place ahead of Maffenbeier and Sanayei.
MX2 Top 10:
1. 1 Kaven Benoit KTM 2-2
2. 335 Joey Crown KAW 8-1
3. 105 Jimmy Decotis YAM 1-9
4. 14 Shawn Maffenbeier YAM 5-3
5. 457 Darian Sanayei KAW 4-4
6. 20 Dylan Wright YAM 3-5
7. 134 Cole Martinez KAW 6-6
8. 762 Blake Savage YAM 10-7
9. 39 Jess Pettis YAM 9-8
10. 22 Liam O’Farrell KTM 12-11
MX1 Moto 2
The top 4 players got out to the early lead in the start of the final MX1 moto of the year. As they jumped the tunnel in the next straight and headed into the rutted left turn, Facciotti and Goerke came together and went down in a heap. I’ve seen some video, and after Goerke lifted his bike from Facciotti’s, he appears to pull the old ‘accidently-on-purpose reach for the kill switch‘ move on Colton. It only lasts a split second and I think we can write it off as a momentary loss of clarity, but it’s all there in the video. Classic championship-battle stuff right there! The result was that the top 2 in the championship were left in last place trying to pass as many as they could to go for a title. It was intense!
At the end of the first lap, Metcalfe was out front with Thompson and Kiniry in tow. They had some space over Clason, Fraser, Rarick, Van Buskirk, Medaglia, Tyler Rayner, Swanson, Keast, Nogueras, and then Facciotti back in 13th with Goerke back in about 17th.
Thompson took the led on the 3rd lap as Metcalfe, Kiniry, Clason, Medaglia were ahead of a nice battle between Rarick and Fraser.
By the 6th, Thompson had a gap over Metcalfe who had a solid lead over the tight battle that included Medaglia, Kiniry and now Facciotti who had made quick work of the rest. Clason was riding alone, as usual, in 6th with a gap back to Goerke who was closing fast. Behind them, Rarick, Fraser, Swanson, and Nogueras were in a fight of their own ahead of another between Van Buskirk, Keast, and Burke.
Metcalfe was back out front at the half with Thompson looking for a way through lappers who seemed to affect him more than the leader. Facciotti was charging back in 3rd but running out of time with Medaglia behind him, then a gap to Kiniry and Goerke in 6th with Clason behind him. There was a huge gap back to the Rarick/Swanson/Nogueras fight. Then a big gap back to Burke who had gotten around both Keast and Nogueras.
On the last lap, it was Metcalfe and Thompson, then Facciotti alone, then Medaglia alone, the Goerke…alone.
MX1 Top 10:
1. 1 Colton Facciotti HON 1-3
2. 148 Cole Thompson KTM 3-2
3. 123 Brett Metcalfe KAW 5-1
4. 101 Matt Goerke YAM 2-5
5. 3 Tyler Medaglia HSK 4-4
6. 24 Kyle Swanson YAM 6-8
7. 978 Franklin Nogueras SUZ 7-9
8. 17 Seth Rarick YAM 8-10
9. 761 Cade Clason KTM 12-7
10. 43 Jay Burke YAM 11-11
In the end, Benoit had already won the title in Ulverton and Goerke did enough to secure the MX1 title. The ‘King of Walton‘ sword went to Colton Facciotti for what I’m told is the 4th time!
#302 Jared Petruska headed to Utah to gain some experience and check another race off his bucket list. Here’s a look at the Canadian’s results:
Congratulations for heading down there and lining up.
OK, if I don’t get at the photos soon, I’m at risk of having another ‘Ulverton Incident.’ I hope that was enough to get you through a cup of coffee on this 31-degree day here in southwestern Ontario. I also hope the party went late into the night and someone knows where Ryan Lockhart is. Thanks for a really nice hospitality set up, Rockstar Energy. They had enough pizza and ‘beverages’ for a small town…but I bet there’s nothing left of the beverages, at least.
Next stop for the #dmxvan is the Ironman National in Indiana this coming weekend to close out the Pro season. If you’re not heading there to check out a bunch of Canadians trying to line up for the motos then be sure to head over to Madoc, Ontario, for their annual MMRS Madoc National where Jeff McConkey will try to tell you he’s the defending ‘Legends Class’ champion when he was totally DQ’d for breaking the clearly-stated rules of the event. I also think he’ll be trying to run #1 on his bike. Please let him have it with mockery in my absence. They offer up a whole bunch of cash for both the men’s and women’s classes, so go try to get you some!
Thanks for reading, and have a great week.