Monday Morning Coffee – Maggiora Edition | Shot Race Gear/Two Wheel Motorsports
By Billy Rainford
Wow, where do I even start after a weekend like that?! The beginning? No, not here. I’ll save that for a much more in depth photo report when I get home. For starters, thank you very much to Kourtney Lloyd and the entire group that made up the 2016 edition of Team Canada Motocross of Nations.
There are those who question the importance of attending the MXON. Well, if you have to ask why we would go through the trouble to be at the biggest event our sport has then you probably have a lot of questions about life in general. “Why do we drink water?”
Seriously, getting the chance to race for your country is the biggest honour a racer can have – it’s huge! You are never more proud to be Canadian then when you are away from it. It’s true. Next time you travel and someone asks where you’re from, take a moment to notice the sense of pride you get when you tell them, “I’m Canadian.”
Going into this event, there were really no expectations on us. Of course, making it to the A Mains is goal #1. To make it to the line to compete against the top 20 nations in the world is a big deal. There have been years when we’ve traveled almost around the world and not made it to the big show and it really sucked. This year was different.
This brings me back to the original question/concern – Why is attending the MXON important?
When people don’t think outside the box or look at the bigger picture, we lose focus. Everything we do on a world stage in motocross trickles down. There were more people talking about Canada Sunday than I have ever seen at an event before. Some people came up to me and sarcastically asked, “What’s a Canada?” Most were more serious and simply commented about how well we did – Kaven almost led…twice!
Now, fast forward to a time when maybe we are trying to promote a series in Canada, or race, or anything to do with Canadian moto. People all over the world know who we are and how competitive our series must be. Maybe some will consider coming to compete and maybe companies will give serious thought to getting involved at a financial level. It really does matter.
Steve Matthes said he interviewed 8-time World Champion, Antonio Cairoli, and he took the time to congratulate the team and mentioned how impressed he was with Kaven’s performance. That matters.
We walked into the after party here in Arona, Italy, draped in Canada flags, and people were quick to congratulate everyone on the great weekend. People who have never uttered the word ‘Canada’ now had it top of mind. That matters.
There were 85, 000 people there over the weekend (Youthstream stat). When Canada did well, they all noticed. Amid the chainsaws, horns, and screams, the word ‘Canada’ was yelled over the sound system many, many times. It’s a big deal.
Ask anyone involved with the team this year if they think it was worth being here and they will tell you it is. This is an event we need to attend every year, no exceptions. This event is important for the development of the sport in Canada at the amateur level, and it’s important for the future of our Pro series, too.
OK, let’s have a look at some results:
Moto 1 – MXGP/MX2
Moto 2 – MX2/Open
Moto 3 – MXGP/Open
Final Nation Standings
MXGP Class – Kaven Benoit
#112 Kaven Benoit shocked a lot of people with his great performances in Italy. He had everyone talking. Heck, he was battling with an 8-time World Champion! He said didn’t get the greatest starts during the Rockstar MX Nationals back home but they were sure clicking here in Italy. I had my video camera focused of Shawn near the outside, thinking they were closer together. Halfway through the start shot, Kaven enters and exits the screen hanging off the back of his KTM out at the front of the pack! It was cool. He rounded the first turn in 2nd place in the first moto on the heals of the leader. James Lissimore couldn’t help high-fiving each other.
Kaven finished 8-12.
MX2 Class – Shawn Maffenbeier
#113 Shawn Maffenbeier was the only rider on the team racing the MXON for the first time. I just overheard him telling Team Manager Kourtney Lloyd that no matter how you try to calm yourself down for this event, it’s still a big race. He mentioned that Tyler Medaglia told him it’s a “heavy race.” All the riders are taking it easy today and planning a few days of rest and relaxation in and around Italy.
Shawn had a couple issues with puffs of blue smoke from his KTM. Josh Snider took the motor apart and made sure everything was as it should be. It was. They think it must have been the strange fuel they used that was causing it. The bike ran fine, it was just a little concerning seeing the odd puff.
In his first moto, Shawn got squeezed out in turn two and found himself facing the wrong way. He got squirted off the track and took off in last place with a lot of work to do.
Shawn finished 25-32.
Open Class – Tyler Medaglia
#114 Tyler Medaglia was competing in his 5th MXON for Team Canada. He is quick to mention that no matter how many times you line up at the MXON, you still get nervous and it feels like the first time – that says a lot.
Tyler crashed hard in qualifying and pushed himself to a 15th place finish. He got out to a pretty good start in one of his motos but on one of the steep, off-camber corners, he leaned into the unforgiving ruts and bent his chain guide. This caused the chain to come off and had Tyler scrambling to get back in the race. When it did it a second time and he saw there was no getting it fixed in time to have a decent finish, he pulled off the track for fear it might come off on one of the huge jumps of steep downhills.
Tyler finished 18-35.
I shot an entire video chasing the team around all day. I will get to work on putting it together as soon as we return to Canada Tuesday. Thanks for a great time and congratulations to Kourtney and the team for doing is all so proud over here.
The craziest moment of the weekend came after #6 Jason Anderson killed it in the MX2/Open moto. He crossed the finish line with a big gap on Jeffrey Herlings in second (Herlings fell) and slowed down to celebrate the victory with both arms raised in the air. Well, the next rider didn’t know he had slowed down and jumped the finish as he always would and landed on the left side and head of Jason. Jason went to the ground and off the track in a heap and people ran, screaming.
The medical staff was on him immediately and had him stretchered and removed as fast as possible. We were all worried it could be very serious, but I was told he gave the crowd a ‘thumbs up’ as he left.
Racer X is reporting Jason will be fine:
“My first race went pretty well from the get go. I got the holeshot and started pulling away from the field. Midway through the race Herlings caught up and we had a pretty good battle for a couple of laps before he went down,” Anderson said in the press release. “After that I was just coasting to the finish to get the win. I was really excited to cross the line first but right after that I felt another bike landing on me. We’ve got everything checked out and I’m going to be OK. It’s just a bit of a bummer I couldn’t get out there in the last moto to help Team USA battle for the win.”
We even saw his #6 Husqvarna rolled toward the starting line for the final moto! Of course, he didn’t race and so it put a bunch of pressure on Team USA’s MXGP rider, #4 Cooper Webb.
Here are the MXGP.com highlights of the event:
OK, have a great week, everyone. This has been an amazing experience here in Italy. Congratulations, Team Canada. We’ll see you next year in California!