Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
You know this Monday Morning Coffee has to start with an emotional farewell to the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals. Yes, it’s hard to believe we’ve gone through all ten rounds again, already. I remember just a few hours ago (not really) when we were all wondering if Davi Millsaps would have what it takes to finish a 10-round outdoor season, let alone win one. Well, we now have our answer…he does.
I had never said two words to him before this season. Actually, that’s not entirely true. He made a ‘mysterious’ appearance at the Team KTM photo shoot out in California when we were there with Kaven Benoit and Cole Thompson. At that point, we weren’t allowed to say anything or take and photos of Davi chatting with JSR and the rest of us as we watched the two Canadian riders do laps at the KTM practice track.
I knew he looked fit, and we talked quite a bit about cycling and things like that. He kept making reference to the fact that he hadn’t competed in a full outdoor motocross season in a few years, so there was a little bit of room for doubt. To make a long story short, Davi was the class of the MX1 field this season.
One of the shining lights in the MX1 class was the emergence of rookie 450 rider, Kaven Benoit. Coming into the season, not many had Kaven picked for greatness in his first year in the premier class, and I’m not really sure why. Why wouldn’t he take his two MX2 titles and transfer them into top rides in the big bike class? Well, he would and he did. Kaven finished 3rd overall in the MX1 class and was the top Canadian rider in the class.
What was also very interesting was the performance of Tyler Medaglia these past few weeks. He made the move to the Husqvarna 450 a few rounds ago and his results started getting better each time. He was actually the top-finishing Canadian at the final round yesterday at RJ’s in Barrie, Ontario, going 2-2 for 2nd overall. And he was injured going in!
In the MX2 class, I don’t really think anyone was surprised that Cole Thompson was the guy to beat all summer. He came into the season as a guy who has threatened to win the MX1 class, so you knew he was going to be tough. I think the only reason people questioned him was due to the fact that his ultra-smooth style maybe lends itself to the power of the 450 as opposed to the wide open style of the 250 class. Well, we now have our answer to that one too. He can ride a 250.
Here’s a look at the results and overall point standings:
Women’s East Nationals
Who was going to come in and take the title away from young Eve Brodeur was the question heading into this year’s Women’s East Nationals. There was talk that Jessica Patterson may show up for either a round or two or the entire season. I think that was the only way Eve would have been looking at a rear fender other than those of lapped riders this year.
She came in and showed everyone why she is now the 3-time Women’s East Champion. That’s some pretty rarefied air. Unfortunately for the fans, Eve won’t be at the Parts Canada TransCan this week as they’ll take a short break from the intensity of racing before hitting the final few rounds of WMX competition south of the border.
Kennedy Lutz is going to be at Walton this year so who will force her to give more than 75% effort? I hope the rest of the girls have been training hard and working on their corner speed because Kennedy is coming in off her 3rd overall at Loretta’s in the Women’s 14+ Amateur class and she also competed in the 450C motos. She will not be easy to beat…
So, I’m sitting under our Scott EZ Up at RJ’s this weekend and a guy starts getting closer and looks like he might be heading straight toward me. Yep, he was. Who could this be? Am I in trouble? What did I say in one of my previous silly Monday Morning Coffee columns?
Him: “Hey, Billy Rainford, right?”
Me: “Maybe. Who’s asking?”
Him: “I remember you from the Hully Gully racing days back in the 1980’s”
Wait a second, this is starting to make sense.
Him: “We both raced Can Am’s back in 1984.”
Me: “You mean the year they “Unleashed a Storm?” (dripping with sarcasm)
Him: “Ya. My name is Kenny Bland.”
Boom! It all came back to me in a horrible flash. I still say that Can Am owes me a year of my life for that ‘sofa on wheels’ they tried to pass off as a competitive motocross bike back then. Di you know that the 125 came in the same frame as the 500 and so the pipe actually touched the frame straight from the factory? And guess what a vibrating 2-stroke pipe does to metal when it touches it? Yes, it breaks it! Again and again!
Now, the only Kenny Bland story I had was the one when me and my dad drove all the way to Barrie to get the bike worked on a welded. There was a local fast guy there who was going to lead us to the local practice track for some riding. You’ve probably noticed it on the west side of the 400 as you head into Barrie going north.
Anyway, we park the vehicles and get set to ride. There’s a little bit of a ride in on some single track that gets you to the track. Up and over a hill and around a blind corner, Kenny smashes head on into another guy coming the opposite way. Bam! They both go down in a heap. Kenny’s hand is bleeding but that doesn’t stop him from walking over…to help the other guy? Nope. To jump up and down on his bike! Haha it was classic!
As soon as I said the first two words of that memory, Kenny remembered. We both laughed. Great to see you again, Kenny. Sounds like you’re still involved in the sport training the future stars of the sport. Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself. Oh, and I’m sorry this Coffee is a little late.
Get Well Soon, Jessy Nelson
OK, I’m sorry this was late. I hope you can sleep tonight after having such a late coffee. It’s time to start working on all the content from this past weekend at the final round. Please chack back later for all kinds of stuff from RJ’s. Oh, and we’ll see you all Tuesday at the Parts Canada TransCan at Walton Raceway! I will have Team Canada raffle tickets for sale. Please stop me at the track if you’d like to support the team.