Monday Morning Coffee…on a Tuesday
By Billy Rainford
With the past couple days being spent mostly in the rental car and on a plane, I wasn’t able to get to the Monday Morning Coffee column in time this week. We just attended the biggest motocross event on the yearly calendar and it really irked me not to have time to write anything about it in this, my weekly opinion column.
Let’s have a look at the results for Team Canada at Matterley Basin in Winchester, England:
Colton Facciotti MXGP – 34-25
Shawn Maffenbeier MX2 – 30-27
Tyler Medaglia Open – 16-21
Team Canada finished in 13th spot overall as a country. To be honest, when Team Manager Kourtney Lloyd told me as we walked back to the pits that they’d finished 13th, I didn’t actually believe her. None of the riders finished 13th, and 5 of the 6 finishes were past 20th.
I think this result tells the story of just how challenging the racing was at this year’s event. 4 of our 6 motos were 25th or lower! That means a lot of teams struggled with consistency in the English mud. It was tough, folks.
Yes, you can look at the results sheets and be disappointed with what you see in black and white. What you can’t do is question the effort of our riders and our team.
I can understand some of the reactions from fans across Canada, as I read them at the airport on the way home. We are better than those results, but what you can’t do is sit at home and blast our team’s effort from the safety of your own laptop or cell phone when you don’t know the full story.
Most of you reading this or following along with the results as they came in from England are or were motocross racers – we’ve all seen our fair share of racing and results. We are all too familiar with what can and will happen on race day. MX can be a love hate relationship at times.
Yes, you can look at the results sheets and be disappointed with what you see in black and white. What you can’t do is question the effort of our riders and our team. Things happen on race days. Even more things happen when you line up the top riders from around the globe who are all fighting for their respective country’s pride and colours. It’s just different.
This fact is why it is just so damn impressive when you see a team like France go on a 4-year run of titles. Almost everything has to go your way to win a single title at the MXON, let alone 4!
The only things I do collect are the MXON media bibs I get at these things. That should tell you something.
Our guys had their struggles at the 2017 event.
Colton Facciotti had a top 12 start in the first moto and then went down hard and slammed his arm and tweaked his neck. He was in considerable pain. We all know he’s capable of running up in the top 10 in this field. He’s also from the west coast and so he’s got tons of experience in the muddy conditions. Unfortunately, the 4-time Canadian champ didn’t have a good day and was forced to ride through the pain and go as fast as he could. Nobody has to tell him he’s better than the 34-25 results show.
Shawn Maffenbeier had to start from 30th gate pick on the outside against the 450 riders. Like a bunch or riders, he really struggled with vision and actually pulled in 3 times for goggles in moto 1. Shawn tried the old ‘let riders go ahead and shoot for the inside in turn 1’ move in moto 2. It looked like it may work OK until Thomas Covington ended up on top of him and the both went down. Shawn rounded turn 1 back in about last place. It was tough.
Tyler Medaglia is a fighter and did everything he could to keep moving forward in both motos. Unfortunately, he would make a bunch of passes and then make an uncharacteristic mistake in the tough conditions and go down. He fell a bunch of times and had to play catch up all day. He’s good in these types of conditions, but against 39 other riders who are also great in them, it was difficult to finish up where he should have been.
So ya, Team Canada could have done better. We had the riders to do that. Like I said earlier, everything has to go just right at this event to get the results you think you deserve, just ask Team USA.
I’ve had the opportunity to be at a bunch of these races and I will continue to do so. You can sit at home and take pot shots at the results, but if you are a true fan and actually take the time to see what’s going on on that day, you’ll hold your head high and wear the maple leaf proudly, regardless of what the results sheets say.
I’m also not here to be a ‘homer’ or a Team Canada sycophant. I would call any rider out who went out there and didn’t give it 100%. That’s not what happened here, so don’t think that it is. As a fan, you can be disappointed, just make sure it’s for the right reason.
I’m not one to collect motocross memorabilia. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to know that I’m in the moto business at all, if you were to walk into our house. The only things I do collect are the MXON media bibs I get at these things. That should tell you something.
Next year, the event is being held at Red Budd in Buchanan, Michigan. If you’ve never been to one of these before, start making plans now.
Youthstream Announces Future Monster Energy Motocross of Nations and MXGP Events
MATTERLEY BASIN (Great Britain), 01 October 2017 – This morning at the 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations presented by Fiat Professional a press conference was held to announce the exciting new venues for the MXGP Calendar and the 2018 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations. Youthstream President Giuseppe Luongo, FIM President Vito Ippolito, Red Bud Co-Owner Amy Ritchie and Vice President of H&H Protection Group George Zhou were on stage to take part in this awaited announcement.
Perhaps the most exciting is the announcement that the 2018 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations will be held at the popular Red Bud Circuit in the United States. The track is known as one of the best and most American tracks in the country as it annually hosts professional racing around the patriotic 4th of July holiday. Located in Buchanan, Michigan the Red Bud circuit will bring the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations into the heart of America.
The 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship season will also see several new venues that emphasize the true worldwide MXGP championship which includes the MXGP of Spain at the new venue of Red Sand in Castellón and a new stop at the Afyon Motorsport Center in Turkey for both 2018 and 2019 with the full support of Turkish Motorcyling Federation (TMF).
Also a second round in Indonesia has been announced thanks to the increase of the interest of MXGP from the country, thus in 2018 MXGP will be back in Indonesia at the Pangkal Pinang site and in Semarang, on the North coast of Java Island 460 Kilometers from the country’s capital, Jakarta.
Not only were the 2018 MXGP venues presented but a stop in China for 2019 is foreseen as well. The 2 MXGP events in Indonesia along with the addition of the MXGP of China in 2019 will pair perfectly with the growing interest of MXGP in Asia.
Also it was announced that the MXGP of Portugal in Agueda and the MXGP of Czech Republic in Loket have been renewed.
Youthstream President Giuseppe Luongo stated: “MXGP continues to explode worldwide. The 2017 season was no less than exceptional from all points of view and there are increasingly more and more countries interested in our sport, which is evident through MXGP’s social media where every day there are new countries showing enthusiasm towards MXGP. Youthstream is delighted to welcome Turkey and a 2nd MXGP in Indonesia to the MXGP circus in 2018, and it is great to be having Red Sand as the Spanish venue and to have renewed agreements with Loket and Portugal. The Motocross of Nations 2018 will be heading back to USA at the distinguished site of Red Bud. On top of that, 2019 will see China added to the list of MXGP destinations. MXGP organizers are committed to organize great and unique events and all together we are working hard to see Motocross flourish around the globe. We extend our sincere thanks to all MXGP organizers for the trust they give us.”
FIM President Vito Ippolito continued: “It is really a pleasure from the FIM side to see how motocross is growing, also outside of Europe and traditional countries, in particular Asia is a part of the world with more opportunity. It is a good to see that there are many countries interested in motocross within Asia but also that Youthstream is doing a very good job to establish GP’s in Asia.”
Red Bud Co-Owner Amy Ritchie said: “Red Bud is looking forward to hosting the world, we are really excited to see Youthstream and MXSports working together and it is going to be a great environment and a great team.”
Vice President of H&H Sports Protection Group George Zhou concluded: “We are proud to finalize our contract with Youthstream, behind this there is of course a lot of work to do but we think that we will have a successful result and we believe that the next growing market will be Asia especially China.”
Have you ever actually driven in England? I’d been there before but was never the one behind the stearing wheel. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t as easy as simply reversing everything. That sounds pretty easy on paper, but putting it into practice is very un-nerving. I drove over a thouand miles this past week, all on the wrong side of the roads that were barely wide enough for 1 car, let alone 2! I literally felt like I was about to have a head on collision every 5 seconds…for 5 days straight! My nerves are shot.
One person actually rolled their rental car and another couple drove 1 kilometre and decided it was best to take public transit and returned theirs. Pulling out and making a right turn into traffic is such a mind-bender that I can’t even describe it to you. I think I’m going to take a day or two to relax from the driving alone.
OK, now that I’m actually caught up on my sleep, it’s time to get at all this content I generated all week. I’ve got some pretty serious leg surgery scheduled for this Friday, so, like it or not, there’s going to be a lot of typed content heading your way over the next couple months as I recoop from my High Tibial Osteotomy (Google it, Bowker!…if you dare).