Monday Morning Coffee

By Billy Rainford

Monday Morning with Bigwave

Annd we’re back! After a weekend off from action in the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals, we were back in action at the famed track in Courtland, Ontario, known as Gopher Dunes. Just saying those two words together is probably enough to give ex-racers nightmares for a week.

Known as the ‘Toughest Track in Canada,’ The Dunes is the round in the series that marks the halfway point and gives us the most stories at the end of the day. Although the weather actually went easy on everyone this year, the track itself was one to be remembered…and talked about in therapy.

We all know what to expect when we head to the sand track that sits in the middle of a flat field near the sandy shores of Lake Erie, but this year it went to another level. To quote Nigel Tufnel, 2017 Gopher Dunes went to 11 (Google it, Bowker!).

In fact, at the end of the day, the story going around the pits was that when track owner Derek Schuster asked #377 Christophe Pourcel what he thought of the track, Christophe simply said, “The track is shit…it’s garbage” and walked away.

It sounds like #377 Christophe Pourcel was NOT a fan of the Gopher Dunes track | Bigwave photo

I got this information secondhand and wasn’t able to get in touch with Derek himself this morning to confirm the quote, but I’m guessing it’s not far off, if not exact.

OK, I get it. Most people will agree that Gopher Dunes is a tough track, but the conditions this year took it to the next level. I walked the entire thing many times over Sunday and I can tell you that you could literally lose a small car in some of the bomb holes!

Everyone we spoke to at the end of the day said they fell at least 3 times per moto. Some said they lost count! I asked Tyler Medaglia what he thought of it this year and he said, straight up, “It was the toughest track I have ever ridden, period!

So, what was so different this year?

The Pro Section along the trees at the far end of the track was left to fester over the year and was already in rough shape when the riders hit it for the first time during first practice. It was relentless and gave riders a sneak peek into the future. When they made the tight bowl turn left at the end of the section, they were greeted with bomb holes the size you’ve probably never seen before. It was rough!

Yes, they touched the track up during the breaks, but they really just filled in the holes to give riders the illusion of smoothness. One lap and the fresh sand was pushed aside and riders were back to standing, hanging on tight, leaning back, and praying for the strength to make another lap.

It definitely became a test of survival. As a media guy, I think it’s great. Most riders I spoke with knew they were in for a tough day and simply accepted that. You get through the day the best you can and try not to do too much damage to their points chase.

I’ve only interviewed Christophe once at Kamloops and I found it to be really enjoyable. You know what you’re going to get from him…the truth. He doesn’t sugar coat anything or look for the politically correct way to say things. Like I always said about interviewing Davi Millsaps last season, “If you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask him the question.”

Whenever someone tries to hype up a question, assuming Christophe is going to get all revved up about a situation, he simply says something like, “Well, that’s racing.” He’s never phased by anything that happens on the track; he’s seen pretty much all of it over his career.

So, when I heard that he told Derek the track was shit, I’m ready to believe it. I will do my best to speak with both of them to get some real quote for us. Watch for that when I come up for air after getting some content from the weekend up on the site. It’s a process…

Round 5 Gopher Dunes – 7/9/2017
COURTLAND  

MX 2 – Overall Finish Positions  View Laptimes
View Points for this Class Points for this class
Overall Nbr Name Heat Semi Moto 1 Moto 2 Points Earned
 1st  #12 Yamaha  SHAWN MAFFENBEIER
SWIFT CURRENT, SK
 1st
Heat 1
 – 1st 2nd 57
 2nd  #1 KTM  COLE THOMPSON
BRIGDEN, ON
 3rd
Heat 1
 – 3rd 1st 55
 3rd  #14 Honda  DYLAN WRIGHT
OTTAWA, ON
 2nd
Heat 1
 – 2nd 4th 50
 4th  #787 KTM  JOSH OSBY
VALPRAISIO, IN
 5th
Heat 1
 – 4th 3rd 48
 5th  #338 Kawasaki  RYAN SURRATT
CORONA, CA
 12th
Heat 1
 – 5th 6th 41
 6th  #33 Yamaha  CASEY KEAST
KELOWNA, BC
 6th
Heat 1
 – 7th 7th 38
 7th  #21 Husqvarna  DAVEY FRASER
HALIFAX, NS
 8th
Heat 1
 – 11th 9th 32
 8th  #384 Yamaha  JEREMY PRONOVOST
ST-PHILIPPE, QC
 13th
Heat 1
 – 10th 11th 31
 9th  #807 KTM  DREW ROBERTS
ALVINSTON, ON
 17th
Heat 1
 – 13th 13th 26
 10th  #266 Yamaha  CHRISTOPER FORTIER
QUEBEC CITY, 
 19th
Heat 1
 – 14th 14th 24
 11th  #59 Yamaha  DJ BURMEY
WINNIPEG, MB
 36th
Heat 1
 – 17th 12th 23
 12th  #100 Kawasaki  JACOB HAYES
GREENSBOUROGH, NC
 4th
Heat 1
 – 38th 5th 21
 13th  #52 Yamaha  JOEY PAUL
LAVALTRIE, QC
 38th
Heat 1
 – 16th 15th 21
 14th  #35 Kawasaki  JASON BENNY
JOLIETTE, QC
 29th
Heat 1
 – 12th 19th 21
 15th  #184 KTM  TANNER WARD
 7th
Heat 1
 – 24th 8th 20
 16th  #19 Yamaha  HAYDEN HALSTEAD
WATERFORD, ON
 9th
Heat 1
 – 6th 28th 20
 17th  #34 KTM  VINCENT LAUZON
BLAINVILLE, QC
 33rd
Heat 1
 – 18th 16th 18
 18th  #25 KTM  TAYLOR ARSENAULT
PERTH, ON
 11th
Heat 1
 – 8th 32nd 18
 19th  #223 KTM  JONAH BRITTONS
PRINCE GEORGE, BC
 20th
Heat 1
 – 9th DNF 17
 20th  #742 KTM  JESSE KIRCHMEYER
ARCADE, NY
 10th
Heat 1
 – 32nd 10th 16
 21st  #24 Yamaha  RYAN LALONDE
VICTORIA, BC
 25th
Heat 1
 – 19th 17th 16
 22nd  #347 KTM  MICHAEL COMTOIS
VICTORIAVILLE, QC
 34th
Heat 1
 – 23rd 18th 11
 23rd  #74 Kawasaki  GUILLAUME ST CYR
VICTORIAVILLE, QC
 21st
Heat 1
 – 15th 30th 11
 24th  #781 Suzuki  ZACK ZAGER
MELBOURNE, ON
 37th
Heat 1
 – 22nd 22nd 8
 25th  #73 Kawasaki  SAMUEL LAVOIE
DEGELIS, QC
 45th
Heat 1
 2nd
Semi 1
20th 24th 8
 26th  #727 Yamaha  BRYAN CORMIER
QUEBEC CITY, QC
 35th
Heat 1
 – 21st 25th 6
 27th  #211 Yamaha  JACK WRIGHT
 16th
Heat 1
 – 34th 20th 6
 28th  #42 KTM  GABRIEL TREMBLAY
SAGUENCY, QC
 41st
Heat 1
 1st
Semi 1
36th 21st 5
 29th  #327 Yamaha  BRANDON GOURLAY
BEACHBURCH, ON
 30th
Heat 1
 – 28th 23rd 3
 30th  #317 Honda  COOPER LARCHE
WOODSTOCK, ON
 24th
Heat 1
 – 25th DNF 1
 31st  #164 Yamaha  MITCH GOHEEN
OSHAWA, ON
 28th
Heat 1
 – 30th 26th 0
 32nd  #110 Yamaha  BROCK KELLY
AJAX, ON
 22nd
Heat 1
 – 27th 27th 0
 33rd  #133 KTM  JEAN-OLIVIER GOULET
 18th
Heat 1
 – 35th 29th 0
 34th  #130 Husqvarna  WILLIAM CRETE
BLAINVILLE, QC
 15th
Heat 1
 – 29th 31st 0
 35th  #437 Honda  KYLE KING
BOWMANVILLE, ON
 27th
Heat 1
 – 31st 33rd 0
 36th  #194 Yamaha  KEIN DENZLER
GARRETTSVILLE, OH
 26th
Heat 1
 – 26th 34th 0
 37th  #651 Kawasaki  ANTHONY LUNGHI
 32nd
Heat 1
 – 33rd DNF 0
 38th  #213 Yamaha  TOMMY DALLAIRE
LATERRIERE, QC
 23rd
Heat 1
 – 37th DNF 0
 39th  #777 Yamaha  BRENDAN SIPPLE
 31st
Heat 1
 – 39th DNF 0
 40th  #165 Yamaha  MATT KLANN
HOWELL, MI
 14th
Heat 1
 – 40th DNF 0
MX 2 – Points
Place – Name
Number – Hometown
6/4/2017
Finish
6/11/2017
Finish
6/18/2017
Finish
6/25/2017
Finish
7/9/2017
Finish
Total Points
1st – COLE THOMPSON
#1 – BRIGDEN, ON
2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 279
2nd – SHAWN MAFFENBEIER
#12 – SWIFT CURRENT, SK
1st 14th 1st 6th 1st 239 (-40)
2nd – JOSH OSBY
#787 – VALPRAISIO, IN
3rd 5th 3rd 2nd 4th 239 (-40)
4th – RYAN SURRATT
#338 – CORONA, CA
6th 4th 5th 4th 5th 210 (-69)
5th – DYLAN WRIGHT
#14 – OTTAWA, ON
10th 6th 12th 3rd 3rd 193 (-86)
6th – CASEY KEAST
#33 – KELOWNA, BC
12th 10th 11th 13th 6th 160 (-119)
7th – JACOB HAYES
#100 – GREENSBOUROGH, NC
5th 3rd 4th 37th 12th 155 (-124)
8th – JESSE PETTIS
#16 – PRINCE GEORGE, BC
4th 2nd 14th 15th 148 (-131)
9th – DAVEY FRASER
#21 – HALIFAX, NS
13th 13th 13th 8th 7th 147 (-132)
9th – CHRISTOPER FORTIER
#266 – QUEBEC CITY, 
14th 12th 10th 7th 10th 147 (-132)
11th – HAYDEN HALSTEAD
#19 – WATERFORD, ON
11th 8th 9th 12th 16th 145 (-134)
12th – TAYLOR ARSENAULT
#25 – PERTH, ON
7th 7th 15th 11th 18th 138 (-141)
13th – TALLON LA FOUNTAINE
#47 – REDLANDS, CA
8th 9th 6th 106 (-173)
14th – JARED PETRUSKA
#119 – CALGARY, AB
18th 17th 7th 9th 96 (-183)
15th – JONAH BRITTONS
#223 – PRINCE GEORGE, BC
23rd 19th 19th 5th 19th 91 (-188)
16th – RYAN LALONDE
#24 – VICTORIA, BC
16th 15th 16th 21st 21st 87 (-192)
17th – DJ BURMEY
#59 – WINNIPEG, MB
19th 18th 17th 18th 11th 82 (-197)
18th – KEIN DENZLER
#194 – GARRETTSVILLE, OH
20th 8th 10th 36th 75 (-204)
19th – DREW ROBERTS
#807 – ALVINSTON, ON
20th 24th 17th 9th 62 (-217)
20th – GERAN STAPLETON
#614 – MELBORNE, AU
9th 11th 38th 61 (-218)
MX 1 – Overall Finish Positions  View Laptimes
View Points for this Class Points for this class
Overall Nbr Name Heat Semi Moto 1 Moto 2 Points Earned
 1st  #5 Kawasaki  MIKE ALESSI
VICTORVILLE, CA
 1st
Heat 1
 – 3rd 1st 55
 2nd  #2 Yamaha  MATT GOERKE
PANAMA CITY, FL
 2nd
Heat 1
 – 2nd 3rd 52
 3rd  #6 Honda  TYLER MEDAGLIA
TURO, NS
 4th
Heat 1
 – 5th 2nd 48
 4th  #10 Honda  COLTON FACCIOTTI
ALYMER, ON
 3rd
Heat 1
 – 1st 8th 48
 5th  #377 Husqvarna  CHRISTOPHE POURCEL
MARSELLE, FR
 7th
Heat 1
 – 6th 4th 43
 6th  #38 Yamaha  TIM TREMBLAY
DRUMMONDVILLE, QC
 6th
Heat 1
 – 9th 5th 38
 7th  #7 KTM  CADE CLASON
CHESTERFIELD, SC
 9th
Heat 1
 – 7th 7th 38
 8th  #262 Suzuki  JESSE WENTLAND
ELKRIVER, MN
 12th
Heat 1
 – 10th 9th 33
 9th  #8 Yamaha  KEYLAN MESTON
CALGARY, AB
 13th
Heat 1
 – 12th 10th 30
 10th  #77 Honda  NATHAN BLES
BAYFIELD, ON
 11th
Heat 1
 – 11th 12th 29
 11th  #904 KTM  JARETT PESCI
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, MI
 32nd
Heat 1
 – 13th 11th 28
 12th  #56 Kawasaki  BROCK LEITNER
SUMMERLAND, BC
 17th
Heat 1
 – 14th 13th 25
 13th  #108 Kawasaki  DILLAN EPSTEIN
THOUSAND OAKS, CA
 8th
Heat 1
 – 4th 25th 24
 14th  #195 Kawasaki  SCOTT CHAMPION
MARYETTA, CA
 15th
Heat 1
 – 16th 15th 21
 15th  #3 KTM  KAVEN BENOIT
BON CONSEIL, QC
 5th
Heat 1
 – 34th 6th 20
 16th  #111 Honda  KYLE CHISHOLM
ST.PETERSBURG, FL
 10th
Heat 1
 – 8th 34th 18
 17th  #40 Honda  TAYLOR CIAMMPICHINI
BARRIE, ON
 21st
Heat 1
 – 18th 17th 17
 18th  #41 Yamaha  MICHAEL FOWLER
BEECH CREEK, PA
 34th
Heat 1
 – 22nd 14th 16
 19th  #44 Honda  JASON BURKE
BURLINGTON, ON
 23rd
Heat 1
 – 23rd 16th 13
 20th  #57 Honda  DEREK OUIMET
FREELTON, ON
 31st
Heat 1
 – 21st 18th 13
 21st  #32 KTM  ERIC JEFFERY
BOWMANVILLE, ON
 22nd
Heat 1
 – 15th 24th 13
 22nd  #659 Yamaha  JUSTIN FREUND
 18th
Heat 1
 – 17th 27th 9
 23rd  #719 Kawasaki  YANICK BOUCHER
HEARST, ON
 38th
Heat 1
 – 40th 19th 7
 24th  #29 Honda  JEAN CHRISTOPHE BUJOLD
ST-HUBERT, QC
 20th
Heat 1
 – 19th 28th 7
 25th  #657 Honda  JUSTIN WOLF
FRANKLIN, WI
 24th
Heat 1
 – 24th 21st 7
 26th  #501 Yamaha  RYAN MILLAR
MIAMI, SK
 37th
Heat 1
 – 26th 20th 6
 27th  #424 Honda  JONATHAN MAYZAK
MURRELLS INLET, SC
 16th
Heat 1
 – 20th 33rd 6
 28th  #936 Honda  JOSH PHILBRICK
OCONOMOWOC, WI
 28th
Heat 1
 – 36th 22nd 4
 29th  #136 Honda  DEREK HAMM
SPRINGFIELD, ON
 39th
Heat 1
 4th
Semi 1
28th 23rd 3
 30th  #538 Yamaha  ADDISON EMORY
OWASSO, OK
 25th
Heat 1
 – 25th 26th 1
 31st  #526 Husqvarna  PARKER EALES
MAPLE RIDGE, BC
 35th
Heat 1
 – 32nd 29th 0
 32nd  #204 Honda  JUSTIN RONEY
LONDON, ON
 19th
Heat 1
 – 27th 30th 0
 33rd  #430 Honda  DANIEL AYOTTE
CLIO, MI
 29th
Heat 1
 – 33rd 31st 0
 34th  #295 Yamaha  JOSH MANN
TEESWATER, ON
 36th
Heat 1
 – 29th 32nd 0
 35th  #75 Honda  DYLAN KIRCHNER
SAN ANTONIO, TX
 40th
Heat 1
 1st
Semi 1
30th 35th 0
 36th  #300 KTM  KURTIS MANDERSCHEID
MAQUOKETA, IA
 27th
Heat 1
 – 31st DNF 0
 37th  #630 Yamaha  RJ MARNOCH
 26th
Heat 1
 – 35th DNF 0
 38th  #170 Yamaha  SETH GREEN
MASON, MI
 30th
Heat 1
 – 37th DNF 0
 39th  #817 Suzuki  MAX DARLING
GREEN COVE SPRINGS, FL
 33rd
Heat 1
 – 39th DNF 0
 40th  #562 Yamaha  LANE GAGNE
DUMMER, NH
 47th
Heat 1
 2nd
Semi 1
38th DNF 0
MX 1 
Place – Name
Number – Hometown
6/4/2017
Finish
6/11/2017
Finish
6/18/2017
Finish
6/25/2017
Finish
7/9/2017
Finish
Total Points
1st – MATT GOERKE
#2 – PANAMA CITY, FL
5th 2nd 1st 3rd 2nd 264
2nd – CHRISTOPHE POURCEL
#377 – MARSELLE, FR
1st 1st 5th 1st 5th 255 (-9)
3rd – COLTON FACCIOTTI
#10 – ALYMER, ON
4th 3rd 3rd 8th 4th 233 (-31)
4th – MIKE ALESSI
#5 – VICTORVILLE, CA
8th 5th 6th 2nd 1st 229 (-35)
5th – TYLER MEDAGLIA
#6 – TURO, NS
3rd 6th 4th 4th 3rd 228 (-36)
6th – DILLAN EPSTEIN
#108 – THOUSAND OAKS, CA
2nd 4th 2nd 5th 13th 214 (-50)
7th – CADE CLASON
#7 – CHESTERFIELD, SC
9th 10th 9th 7th 7th 175 (-89)
8th – KYLE CHISHOLM
#111 – ST.PETERSBURG, FL
7th 7th 7th 6th 16th 171 (-93)
9th – TIM TREMBLAY
#38 – DRUMMONDVILLE, QC
18th 8th 8th 9th 6th 159 (-105)
10th – KEYLAN MESTON
#8 – CALGARY, AB
10th 12th 17th 10th 9th 139 (-125)
11th – NATHAN BLES
#77 – BAYFIELD, ON
11th 11th 19th 11th 10th 133 (-131)
12th – SCOTT CHAMPION
#195 – MARYETTA, CA
13th 9th 10th 18th 14th 123 (-141)
13th – BROCK LEITNER
#56 – SUMMERLAND, BC
14th 15th 14th 13th 12th 112 (-152)
14th – RYAN MILLAR
#501 – MIAMI, SK
16th 20th 13th 15th 26th 82 (-182)
15th – JEAN CHRISTOPHE BUJOLD
#29 – ST-HUBERT, QC
17th 17th 15th 17th 24th 75 (-189)
16th – MICHAEL FOWLER
#41 – BEECH CREEK, PA
15th 21st 18th 16th 18th 74 (-190)
17th – KYLE SWANSON
#20 – SAN ANTONIO, TX
19th 11th 12th 70 (-194)
18th – KAVEN BENOIT
#3 – BON CONSEIL, QC
6th 15th 59 (-205)
19th – GRAHAM SCOTT
#72 – VICTORIA, BC
12th 14th 46 (-218)
20th – JEREMY MEDAGLIA
#58 – KEMPTVILLE, ON
19th 16th 20th 44 (-220)

There were a lot of new riders to watch this past weekend at Gopher Dunes, too. One in particular was young #184 Tanner Ward. As part of the ‘Fab 3’ riders, Tanner was the only one not getting ready for Loretta Lynn’s so he was fine to line up in the MX2 Pro/Am class.

#184 Tanner Ward made his debut in the MX2 Pro/Am class and showed he has the speed to run with the established riders | Bigwave photo

Tanner qualified 7th fastest as an Intermediate and looked to be ready for a great debut. He was running alone in 5th place throughout the first moto until just a couple laps left to go. He got out of shape and crashed hard. He got a ride back to the pits and rested before the second moto.

In that 2nd moto, he held his own and rode to an impressive 8th place. Their plan is to hit the entire eastern swing of the nationals, so watch for him to keep impressing us as we head to Notre Dame du Bon Conseil this coming weekend.


I want to also wish #653 Mike Beaudin who took a horrible crash over the finish line jump during MX2 qualifying Sunday. He came up short and got launched over and onto his head. It was a tense few minutes as the medics got him stabilized and ready for transfer to London.

Mike underwent some serious back surgery yesterday and now has 10 screws in his back and a few rods. He’s in remarkably good spirits but the prognosis isn’t great at this point. He says he’s got no feeling from the waist down but is staying positive for that to improve over time.

He’s here in London and is allowed visitors, so we’ll head over there later this afternoon to check in on him.


 

#1 Eve Brodeur and #44 Kennedy Lutz go head to head at Gopher Dunes | Bigwave photo

The Women’s East MX Nationals battle we’ve been waiting for took place Saturday at Gopher Dunes. It was round 1 and there was more excitement heading into this one than any we’ve seen before. #1 Eve Brodeur is the 3-time and defending Women’s East champ and #44 Kennedy Lutz is the rider looking to put an end to her run.

Here is a video showing some of the action from the second moto. Watch for a photo report later here on the site.


OK, it’s time to get to work on the Highlight Video from yesterday. I hope this got you through another cup to get the week started. Have a great week, everyone.

See you at the races…