2011 Monster Energy CMRC Nationals - MX1 Preview
Photos by James Lissimore
With the kick off of the 2011 Monster Energy CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals only days away we thought we'd put together a look at some of the top riders that you'll be seeing in action this weekend. Here are the riders that will be taking to the track on Sunday morning with the hopes of being the first to take the checkered flag in 2011.
Number 1 – Dusty Klatt – Red Bull/Fox Racing/Blackfoot Yamaha
2010 CMRC MX1 Champion(3 wins – Calgary, Ste Julie, Moncton)
2 time MX1, 2 time MX2 West Champion
Finally, after finishing second the past two years, 2006 Canadian champ, Dusty Klatt, was able to capitalize on the departure of his teammate, Colton Facciotti, from the series after a second bad crash at Ste Julie to take the 2010 MX1 title. It was a story of redemption for Klatt, as he himself faced plenty of adversity after failing to finish either moto at Edmonton and had to overcome a serious points deficit to claim his second MX1 title. The good news for Klatt fans was that for the first time since returning to Canada after his US racing adventure and with changes in his personal life, signs of the old dominant Klatt that won three straight Canadian titles(2 MX2 West, 1 MX1) began to surface, as shown by his dominant first moto at Ste Julie when he won by a minute.
Now the question will be, can he keep the momentum going and defend the title, something he never had a chance to do in 2006? He needs to prove that he can beat Facciotti straight up, and with his relatively hometown race of Nanaimo back on the schedule Klatt will be eager to prove early on that he's worthy of the Number One plate.
Number 10 - Colton Facciotti – Red Bull/Fox Racing/Blackfoot Yamaha
10th overall 2010 CMRC MX1 Championship(4 wins – won every race he finished)
2 time Canadian MX1 Champion
The most dominant Canadian rider of the past few years, two time Canadian champ, Colton Facciotti, would likely like to forget that his 2010 season happened. After coming out of the gate with four straight moto finishes it was looking like more of the status quo for the defending champ till disaster struck at round three at Calgary, Alberta's Wild Rose Raceway. Facciotti crashed hard while leading the race and was knocked unconscious. He would come back to tough out two more overall wins at Morden and Gopher Dunes before crashing again at Ste Julie to end his outdoor season.
The good news for Facciotti is that he won every moto he finished so as long as he can stay healthy, the title is more than likely his to lose. And, according to our poll here on the site, it would seem that most of you readers agree with that assessment.
Number 3 – Bobby Kiniry – Rockstar/OTSFF Suzuki
3rd overall 2010 CMRC MX1 Championship(1 win - Walton)
30th overall 2011 AMA Supercross Championship(best finish 16th(St Louis))
One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, New York native Kiniry is coming into his third season here in Canada and with two consecutive third place finishes in the series, is always a threat for the podium. Last year he found himself leading the points after Facciotti's Calgary crash and Klatt's Edmonton mechanical troubles but unfortunately, crashes and mechanical troubles of his own dropped him down to third by season's end. Kiniry ended things on a high note though, as he took his first overall win in the Canadian series by taking the coveted "King of Walton" sword at the final round.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Kiniry has been working hard all winter and with several solid finishes in the ultra competitive 450 class in Supercross this past season he no doubt will bring that confidence into the opening round in Kamloops.
|Sean Bowker photo|
4th overall 2010 CMRC MX1 Championship(Best finish 3rd overall – Sand Del Lee)
MxdN team member(12th overall MX3)
Kyle Keast is, for the first time, on a factory team in Canada. The long-time privateer hero did ride for the OTSFF Suzuki team a few years ago with disastrous results but this year, Keast is in the big truck. With KTM Canada’s direct involvement with HQ in Austria and the USA, Keast has support that he’s never had before going into 2011.
The big question is, can he adapt to the new machine and a team structure? Early returns look good as Keast managed to beat Facciotti at a Gopher Dunes provincial race a couple weeks back but I’d be careful too judge much on that, Keast is as at home in the sand as a crab and he could probably top ten on a Bultaco. No, the real test is coming up this weekend, that’s where we’re going to see if the support and the bike suits him. Keast has to break through to that top three level every weekend if he wants to take that next step. Otherwise, he will just be a solid top-five guy the way he’s going now. Nothing wrong with that, but maybe this is what he needed to get into the mix. One thing’s for sure- he’ll give it his all.
|Mason Phillips returns to the KTM brand that he won the muddy 2009 Ste. Thecle national on.|
Number 6 – Mason Phillips
6th overall 2010 CMRC MX1 Championship (best finish 4th – Edmonton)
won 2009 Ste Thecle National
The friendly New Zealand native has become a regular on the Canadian National circuit in the last few seasons. After riding for Josh Snider's Redemption Racing team last season, Phillips has joined the
12 – Teddy Maier – Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki
2nd overall 2010 CMRC MX2 Championship(1 win – Edmonton)
2009 CMRC MX2 Champion
2nd 2010 Montreal Supercross
Teddy Maier probably doesn’t get the respect that he deserves but he’s also probably ok with that. The quiet, unassuming Maier isn’t one that attracts a lot of attention but he’s fast, he’s fit and he works hard. Almost a two-time 250F champion, Maier has one crown under his belt and takes it to the 450 class where we’re going to see what he’s got against the big boys.
A technical rider on the smallish side, the Leading Edge Kawasaki rider is a bit of a wild card going into this weekend. Some I talk to say that he’s going to be top three and challenge for wins and others seem to think there will be a learning curve and he’s not on the Facciotti/Klatt/Kiniry level.
The truth is probably somewhere in between, Maier will have his good weekends and some weekends he’d rather forget. Look for him to do well this weekend, in Morden and Calgary. All good tracks for the kid from Iowa. Give him a year to get the feel of the class and he’ll be better in 2012.
Number 101 - Matt Goerke – Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki
17th overall 2010 AMA Motocross Championship(best finish 3rd overall – Southwick)
won 2009 Southwick AMA National
15th 2010 Indy Supercross
Matt Goerke is as much of a wild card as his teammate Maier is. Badly injured in supercross this year, Goerke isn’t coming into the series at 100%. It’s tough enough to come up to a different country, new tracks and new way of doing things healthy, never mind being a bit jacked up. Matt’s a good guy who is a little different from your average motocrosser. He’s going to start off slow in my opinion but he’ll get things figured out and he’s one of the best sand riders in North America. He’s got an AMA national win under his belt on a Yamaha a couple of years ago and that folks, is a bigger win than anyone he’s lining up against has so he has that to stoke his fire. I’m telling you guys now, watch out for Goerke at Sand Del Lee and Gopher Dunes.
A title in his first year? I don’t think so but if he enjoys himself and stays injury-free, he’ll be a top three guy most weekends and if he comes back in 2012, maybe a title is in his future.
Number 62 - Michael Willard – Royal Distributing/Thor/Dragon Fuels/KTM Canada
2 time Canadian MX2 East Champion
Michael Willard makes his full-time return to Canada and continues his long history with the KTM team. Anyone who has followed Willard's Canadian career knows the Ohio native has some serious skills on a bike. Earlier in the season when KTM's Andy White was looking for a 350 candidate, he said, "I need a little guy who can really twist the throttle... there's one guy who comes to mind right away..." A few weeks later Willard had inked a deal and was gearing up for his return to Canada. We caught up with him then and you can hear his thoughts by clicking here. As we've seen in the U.S, the 350 is still a work in progress, but also a bike that is capable of results. If White's throttle twisting theory is correct, you should see Willard in the mix. He's got the skills and he knows how to win championships, as his two MX2 East titles prove.
Other riders to look for:
Number 23 - Shawn Maffenbeier - Yamalube/Schrader's Yamaha
This Saskatchewan native may just be the next big thing to come out of the prairie province since Canadian champ Blair Morgan. Not afraid of a little hard work, Maffenbeier has been focusing on his fitness and his riding this winter in California with PerformX trainer Todd Schumlick. We caught up with Shawn a few months before the Nationals and you can read the full interview here. After finishing 12th in the MX1 class in 2010, Shawn is looking for bigger and better things in 2011.
Number 40 - Jay Burke - Jay Burke Racing Honda
This popular Ontario rider has faced his share of challenges in the last two seasons. Making his full-time return after a serious injury in 2009, Burke honestly seems to like working hard and being at the track. With a slew of dedicated sponsors behind him, Burke is poised to be the comeback story of 2011. To get Jay's take on the 2011 season, click here.
Yamalube/Blackfootdirect.com/Troy Lee Designs Yamaha
The Allison brothers have made the leap to the big bike class for 2011 with the support of Yamalube/Blackfootdirect.com Yamaha. After completing their first full year in University, it's tough to say how Jared and Parker will fare. After finishing 5th (Jared) and 6th (Parker) in the MX2 Series last season, will they have what it takes to book some top 10 finishes in the big bike class? It's tough to say ... with more time spent studying than in the saddle... we'll have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, both Jared and Parker are harder workers with natural talent to spare, and with the backing of Team Allison, it's hard to bet against them. They know the tracks, have a great support network, and a great work ethic. You could see some breakout rides for Jared and Parker in 2011.
Number 29 - Brock Hoyer - Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki
Newlywed and Williams Lake BC native Brock Hoyer once again returns to the Leading Edge lineup. A favourite on the West Coast, Hoyer brings some BC credibility to the dealership based team. He started off strong in Kamloops last year and know the track well. Hoyer has the speed to run top 10 consistently, but has been knocking on the door of a top five finish for a while now.. Will this be his year? Hard to say, but you know he'll be cracking jokes and smiling ear to ear regardless, which is probably part of why his name crops up on the Leading Edge roster again...
Number 109 - Iain Hayden - Rockstar/OTSFF Suzuki
One of the most stylish Canadian riders on a bike, the new Motopark owner and newly crowned Snowcross champ hasn't had time to focus on a full season of Canadian motocross in several years. When we talked to Hayden earlier this year, he said he felt he had some unfinished business in the world of Canadian moto and with the help of long term team manager Andre Laurin, he's getting another shot at doing just that. While he may not have had a ton of two-wheeled seat time this winter, he's definitely been in race mode, albeit on snow. He's a hard worker, in good shape, and already has his race face on... it should be interesting to see where he stacks up.
Number 774 - Robby Marshall - Royal Distributing/Thor/Dragon Fuels/KTM Canada
Robbie Marshall is from the Northeast and he’ll be on KTM this year. Marshall’s had some good rides here and there in the AMA nationals and I’m not sure how he’ll do up in Canada. He’s a good sand rider for sure and he seems to do well on the natural tracks. We’ll see how he adapts to the tracks up north.
Number 103 - Cole Siebler - PerformX Kawasaki
Making his return to the Canadian Nationals after a season off with injuries, Cole Siebler is looking to pick up where he left off in 2009: On the podium. Fresh from racing both AMA Arenacross and Supercross rounds this winter, with wins in the AX series, Siebler has his race face on and his confidence is high. Healed up and ready to go, the National #103 will be in the mix, and possibly on the podium all season long.