2010 Nationals - MX2 Preview
Photos by James Lissimore
We're only days away from the opening round of the 2010 Monster Energy CMRC Nationals and I don't know about you but I'm excited to get this show going! With the series almost upon us I figured it would be a good time to take a look at the main protagonists in this year's Championship. I enlisted the help of Chris Pomeroy to come up with a preview of who to look for when things kick off this weekend at Whispering Pines Raceway in Kamloops, British Columbia. Here they are, based on their numbers, the riders who should be at the front end of the MX2 pack in the 2010 season. As we all know in Canadian motocross though, I'm sure we'll have a surprise rider or two emerge during the course of the season.
#1 Teddy Maier:
After five seasons of racing in Canada, everything finally came together last year for the fast, Iowa native. After Dean Wilson's departure from the series after round three he emerged as the one to beat while battling defending champ, Eric Nye, right to the end. He returns for 2010 with the same Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki team that delivered him to the title and will be looking to start his title defense off on the right foot with a win at his sponsor's home track.
#5 Tyler Medaglia:
To say this summer is huge for Tyler is an understatement. For 2010, Tyler will be under the powerful Blackfoot Yamaha tent and back in the MX2 class. Tyler is the model pro, he works hard, he respect’s himself and everyone around him and he is super fast. This summer Tyler will finally have the best equipment under him and although he had to drop back down to the MX2 class, this move might just be the one that gives Tyler a long awaited Championship.
#12 Eric Nye:
One thing you can count on this weekend in Kamloops is Eric Nye to come out swinging. The 2008 MX2 Champion, Nye had some bad luck last year that cost him valuable points. For 2010, Nye will again be riding on the Royal Distributing KTM team, armed with a familiar bike new mechanic Ryan Lockhart, Nye is one of the MX2 Championship favourites in 2010.
#15 Kerim Fitz-Gerald:
This super fast South African is back again in 2010. Coming off his best year ever in 2009 which saw Kerim score two moto wins in the final two rounds, when the gate drops in Kamloops he should be full of confidence. Kerim has gone through a pretty steep learning curve the past couple of seasons he has been racing the Canadian Nationals, this hard working, likable rider just keeps getting better and better. If he can get off to a quick start this summer, he will no doubt be in the Championship mix when the series reaches the final round in Walton.
#16 Kyle Beaton:
Kyle Beaton's 2009 National season didn't exactly go according to plan. Coming into the first round armed with a potent Blackfoot Yamaha, Canada's most exciting rider looked poised to finally capitalize on all the promise he has shown since turning pro at age 14 but merely 200 feet into the first moto his championship hopes were gone after being taken out in a first turn crash and injuring his hand. Struggling with the injury, he soldiered on through the season and finally scored a moto win at the Sand Del Lee round and another at the series finally at Walton.
Brushing off the painful memories of his outdoor campaign, KD Beets rebounded to take the MX2 win at the prestigious Montreal Supercross before claiming another Nex-Trax Canadian Arenacross Championship this winter. Given a second chance with the Blackfoot team, Beaton will be coming to Kamloops looking for redemption. If he gets on a roll he could be hard to stop.
#17 Jeremy Medaglia:
Last summer, Jeremy started his season in the MX1 class. His results were decent but it was obvious that his heart was still in the MX2 class. Jeremy’s strong but lightweight frame makes him an ideal little bike rider, he has a tremendous work ethic and very strong will to succeed. Sometimes that strong will makes him a little impatient on the track and that leads to mistakes. Jeremy is riding KTM’s this summer and if this “good kid” can add a little consistency into his program, he might just be the MX2 champion in 2010.
#18 Kyle McGlynn:
2009 saw the Grand Prairie, Alberta native jump up to the factory Royal Distributing KTM team and what a transformation it was. After a solid winter of training in Southern California, McGlynn showed up at Kamloops fit and ready to deliver, riding to fourth overall in the first two rounds. He even won his first national at the muddy Ste. Thecle round and was sitting third in the points before injuring his shoulder at Sand Del Lee. For 2010, McGlynn returns with the same team and an extra year of experience so keep your eyes out for the 18 at Whispering Pines.
#21 Parker Allison:
Is it just me or do the Allison twins go out of their way to mess with people? Not only do the fast, identical pair usual finish near each other on the track but for 2009, Parker finished a solid ninth overall and earned National number 21, which just happened to be Jared's 2009 number. How confusing is that? I wonder if they ever switch gear and bikes, no one would notice. Keep your eyes peeled for the #21 Yamaha....and remember it's Parker.....not Jared.
#26 Jared Allison:
And to no one's surprise, the next rider on our list is Jared Allison. The other half of the Alberta superduo, Jared is back for another season as a member of the Blackfoot Yamaha support team with his brother, Parker. With his twin bro always there to push him, plus younger brother, Bryton, coming up fast, I'm sure we're going to see a hungry Jared at Kamloops, ready to make the jump to the next level.
#27 Kaven Benoit:
The next guy on our list didn't even show up to a national till round four at Morden, Manitoba. What a debut it was as Kaven lead both motos before finishing fifth overall. He remained a consistent top ten guy for the rest of the year and then had his biggest ride to date when he scored a second place finish behind Kyle Beaton at the Montreal Supercross. For 2010 Benoit has made the jump to a Duroy Racing backed KTM after several years on Kawasaki's. Will the brand change allow him to make the next step? We'll find out soon enough.
#29 Spencer Knowles:
Spencer Knowles had an up and down rookie season in 2009. He started things off in the top ten, struggled a bit mid season and finished things back off with a pair of top tens at the final two rounds. For 2010, Knowles has made big changes, signing with the Leading Edge Kawasaki team and enlisting 3-time Champ, Dusty Klatt as his coach and training partner. With the same bike as the reigning champ, Luc “Frenchie” Caouette spinning the wrenches and Klatt in his corner, Knowles has all the pieces to be successful this season. We will find out soon enough if he can put them all to good use.
#76 Shawn Rife:
I don't know much about the most recent signing to the Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki team but I did some digging around. He has raced in Canada twice before, finishing 7th overall in MX2 at Sand Del Lee in 2008 while riding as an Intermediate and he raced Walton last year. It shows he qualified 7th quickest in MX1 so he's definitely no slouch in the speed department but something must have happened in the race as he wend DNF -14.
I asked fellow Ohio native and two-time Canadian champ, Michael Willard, about him when I was in St. Louis and he thinks Rife has a good shot of winning the Championship so that's a good endorsement. His reputation though is definitely someone who's fast but crashes a lot. He will definitely be a wild card this summer.