Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
Good Monday Morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend and managed to get out to a track or a trail somewhere. How are you drinking your cup this morning? Regular? Black? Well, I thought I’d check out some stats on that, and here’s what I found out:
I’m one of the 65%, how about you?
Anyway, now that the stats are out of the way, let’s talk about some moto. Gopher Dunes in Courtland, Ontario, played host to the second Southwestern Ontario Parts Canada TransCan Grand National Championship Qualifier yesterday. When I woke up, the thermometer was trying to tell me it was barely above zero. That couldn’t be right, could it?!
I hopped into the trusty DMX Van and made the 50-minute drive from London to Courtland (after grabbing a Tim Horton’s breakfast, of course) to check out some amateur moto action.
As I pulled onto the property, I immediately recognized the yellow Sprinter van that could only be the re-done Medaglia rig. I lurked behind the van until it came to a stop and the occupants got out. It was none other than Jeremy Medaglia and his new mechanic, Adam Turner, from Nova Scotia.
The two were completing some testing on his Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing 250F and were going to be on the back track at some point during the day. Jeremy wouldn’t be lining up, but it would be a great opportunity to check them out working on the race bike. They mentioned that teammate, #2 Colton Facciotti, was also there and was going to be lining up to race the Open Pro class.
I drove a few more feet and saw the KTM Canada Sprinter Van with bikes #11 and #4 pitted next to it. What was going on here? Was there a secret National going on I hadn’t heard about?! It was great to see Steph LeBlanc again and meet Kaven Benoit‘s new mechanic, Mat. He definitely knows his stuff and will help the 2-time MX2 champ finish races in the MX1 class.
#4 Cole Thompson had his KTM Thor Racing 250F race bike there to shake down in race conditions. It was going to be cool to see Cole rip a 250 outdoors again.
Next on my short drive into the pits I saw the #15 Big Steel Box Fly Redemption Racing KTM 250F of Shawn Maffenbeier. Not far away was a number I didn’t actually recognize until I saw the style of the rider on the track. #56 is Shawn’s Redemption Racing MX1 teammate, Nathan Bles.
Other Pros who were getting some early-season race condition practice were #31 Zeb Dennis, #37 Drew Roberts, #38 Jay Burke, #68 Taylor Ciampichini, #77 Justin Roney, and #955 Dylan Langlois. This was lining up to be a great day of Pro racing!
I won’t go into much detail on the racing, as I’ll have a photo report posted up a little later today. Instead, I’ll let Dave ‘Airtime’ Bell sum it up without saying a word…
You’ll notice a DNS beside #4 Cole Thompson’s name for the second Open Pro moto. He also competed in the Under 30 class and late in the second moto, while he was chasing Benoit, he tucked the front end in the section after the big table top jump. He went down hard and stayed down for a little while before getting up and walking back to his pit.
I spoke to him a little later and he said he was fine. I joked when I asked if he’d looped out and broke the back fender and his brother Kyle was quick to reply that he’d actually broken his front fender. I thought he was joking until I saw Steph pushing the bike back from washing it off without a front fender.
Anyway, he said he’s fine but it was enough to keep him out of the final Open Pro moto. I will say his bike had a nice deep growl to it and I’d have to think Cole is going to be tough to beat this summer in the MX2 class.
Oh, and were you one of the people wondering if ‘The Rookie’ could ride a 450? Well, I think Kaven laid that to rest when he went undefeated in a very competitive field yesterday. It was only a pre-season race that could be argued means nothing, but you could see he’s gotten very comfortable on this big bike already. He’s worked hard to put on some muscle to be able to keep the powerful 450 on track late in the motos and so you may want to change you Fantasy picks. Over a full season of racing, Kaven will be in the mix more than many give him credit.
Like I said, stay tuned for a photo report later here on the site.
Complete results can be found on the AMO website, HERE.
After few months of speculation, the Davi Millsaps announcement has been made official. The 2006 SX Lites East champion is coming to race in Canada for the 2016 season. I headed over to the Racer X Vault and looked Davi up. Here are his official stats:
This guy finished 2nd overall in Supercross as recently as 2012 and 2013! What do you think this means for the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals MX1 class? Can we take those impressive stats and assume he’s a shoe-in for the national champion position? I don’t know if we can.
Many have come before him with visions of cake-walking their way to a title up here and come up short. However, have we ever had a rider with this AMA Pro pedigree up here? I don’t think we have. This is as close to getting Ryan Villopoto or Ryan Dungey (or any other fast guy named Ryan) up here and it’s huge for the series and fans!
Let’s have a quick look at the contenders’ names in the MX1 class:
#1 Matt Goerke
#2 Colton Facciotti
#3 Brett Metcalfe
#5 Tyler Medaglia
#6 Cade Clason
#55 Vince Friese
#118 Davi Millsaps
#800 Mike Alessi
#11 Kaven Benoit
That’s 9 extremely fast riders. Who do you slot in to round out that top 10?
Are you traveling the Rockstar MX Nationals this summer and staying out on the road? Well, Popkum will be open for traveling Pro’s with free parking, camping, and riding again this year. Check out this Press Release:
Have a great week. We’ve got Saskatchewan’s Shawn Maffenbeier here in my hometown of London, Ontario, for the week, so I’m going to have to take him out for a few road rides, starting this afternoon. However, the forecast is for the wind to pick up. I hope he doesn’t mind if I sit in his draft the whole time!