Photo Report | Canadian National AX Tour | Sarnia Round 1

Photos and Captions By Billy Rainford

Round 1 of the Canadian National AX Tour went off this past Saturday night at the Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia, Ontario. This is the second year of the AX Tour north of the border and if the racing at the front is anything like it was last season between series winner Jacob Hayes and Cole Thompson, we’re in for 5 rounds of entertaining racing.

Cole Thompson Jacob Hayes

Who will step up to replace the 2015 battle between Cole Thompson (left) and Jacob Hayes? | Bigwave photo

With 1 round now in the books, it appears the battle (in the first couple rounds, at least) will be between 3 riders: Colton Facciotti, Chris Blose, and Steven Mages.

I was up in the booth above the track working with Chris Pomeroy and guest co-host, Chris Morgan, on the Valvoline AX Tour LIVE broadcast, so my photos are from amateur racing during the day and Pro practice at 2pm.

Here’s a look at some of the racing action.

20161008 Carter Ward

In the youngest class of the day, it was #48 Carter Ward who got out front early. Yes, that’s Tanner’s little bro. He won the 51 (4-8) class.

20161008 Hazen

#90 Landrey Hazen was the Girls (9-13) rider to beat all day. She also gave Chloe Metcalfe (on her 250 2-stroke) fits in the Women 12+ class.

20161008- Chloe Metcalfe

Chloe won the Women’s 12+ class, but it was down to the wire!

20161008 Chloe Metcalfe

They crossed the finish line this close in the second moto. Hazen raced the Women All Stars in the night show and won it.

20161008 Amelia Matchett

#425 Amelia Matchett took 3rd.

20161008 Jake Tricco

#527 Jake Tricco in the Schoolboy class on the big bike.


20161008 Jake Tricco

He was the top rider in the Supermini class.


20161008- Cameron Wrozyna

But #79 Cameron Wrozyna is another rider to keep an eye on. He finished 2nd in Supermini and then won the 85cc All Stars race later that night.



#76 Ben Kongmany took the 50cc class right from the drop of the gate. He won the 50cc All Stars class in the night show.


20161008 Luke Tricco

It was #52 Luke Tricco’s first Arenacross on the new 150 4-stroke. It will take a bit longer for him to get used to the difference and he came up short on the finish line double, but was OK. He finished 2nd in the All Stars race.


Young #22 Hunter Scott has also made the switch. Unfortunately, he stalled the bike while leading and let the other riders get past on the last lap.

20161008 Sam Gaynor

#28 Sam Gaynor is looking great as a full-time big bike rider. He won AX Lites Junior and finished 2nd in AX Junior in the afternoon program. He came back to win the Junior Lites All Stars class in the night show.

20161008- Amyotte

#114 Quinn Amyotte powers down the start straight. He took 3rd in Junior All Stars and won the Schoolboy class.


An Intermediate moto blasts off the line.

20161008 Duncan MacLeod

#411 Duncan MacLeod. He finished 8th in AX Intermediate (2-9).


Some top Intermediate riders hit turn 1. That’s #115 Riley Heinrichs, #424 Austin Watling, #46 Marco Cannella, and #184 Tanner Ward.


Ward got out to the early lead in this moto but went down.

20161008 Kyle Brown

We keep talking about the ‘Fab 3’ but #14 Kyle Brown is hoping to make it a foursome this year in the competitive Intermediate classes. He won the Youth class and the Intermediate All Stars main event.

20161008- Belanger

#615 Belanger made the trip from Quebec with Karl Normand and found himself out front early in a Youth moto. He won the AX Junior class.

20161008- Belanger

He was handling the pressure well until he messed up and dropped back.

20161008- Riley Heinrichs

Riley Heinrichs is still nursing a very sore ankle and wasn’t really expecting to be on the track this week. He finished 3-DNS in AX Intermediate and 3-9 in AX Lites Intermediate.


#295 Josh Mann looking in full control over the big finish line double. He finished 6th (4-5) in AX Intermediate.

20161008 Tanner Ward

Tanner Ward was focused mostly on the night show but had some great motos in the afternoon.

20161008 Austin Watling

Same thing went for #424 Austin Watling.


He had a scary moment when he bounced off Cannella…


And high-sided off #413 Brett Husak…


And went to the ground.

20161008- Austin Watling

He was OK but the bike needed some attention, so he just rode off the track.

Full AMATEUR RESULTS can be found HERE.

Now, let’s move on the the PRO ACTION:

20161008 Timothy Patterson

#33 Timothy Patterson rounded out the field in both AX Pro and AX Pro Lites main events.

20161008- Stephen Anderson

#396 Stephen Anderson lined up for his first Pro Arenacross on his Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha 450 he won at RJ’s. He finished 7th in his heat and missed the main.

20161008 Justin Roney

#77 Justin Roney has made the move over to Alpinestars gear. He finished 13th in the AX Lites Pro main event.

20161008 Michael Smith

American rider #955 Michael Smith finished 10th in AX Pro and 12th in AX Pro Lites. He wasn’t happy with the track or the dirt and tweeted, “I hate Canada.’ Seems a little harsh.

20161008 Tanner ward

#184 Tanner Ward took 11th in the AX Pro Lites main.

20161008 Seth Green

#17 Seth Green (you heard me) finished 12th in AX Pro and 10th in Lites.

20161008 Marco Cannella

#46 Marco Cannella finished 7th in both the Lites main and the Clash for Cash.

20161008 Bennet Amyotte

#614 Bennet Amyotte finished 9th in the Open main and 12th in the Clash.

20161008 Austin Haught

#864 Austin Haught took 8th in Open and 11th in the Clash.

20161008 Kyle Swanson

#313 Kyle Swanson looked aggressive all day. He finished 6-8-10 (Open, Lites, Clash).

20161008 Westen Wrozyna

#34 Westen Wrozyna was 5-4-9.

20161008 Westen Wrozyna

Which is extremely impressive after this earlier crash.

20161008- Austin Watling

#424 Austin Watling finished the night show 5th in Lites and 8th in the Clash.

20161008 Brock Leitner

#5 Brock Leitner finished 11-9-6.

20161008 Logan Karnow

#471 Logan Karnow is preparing for East Supercross. He finished the night with 7-6-5 mains.

20161008 Karl Normand

#701 Karl Normand sat 3rd in the Clash for most of the race. He finished the day 4th in both the AX Pro and Clash.

20161008- Chris Blose

#101 Chris Blose was dominant in the first 2 mains, winning them both. He ran 2nd for most of the Clash until getting passed for 3rd on the final lap. 1-1-3 for Blose.

20161008- Steven Mages

#12 Steven Mages was also on the box for all 3 mains. He took a long time to get around Normand in the Clash and had to chase Blose down late. 3-3-2 for Mages.

20161008 Colton Facciotti

#2 Colton Facciotti led the Clash from the drop of the gate. He kept grabbing great starts from the outside gate and ran his 450 in the final race. 2-2-1 for a very successful night.

20161008 Colton Facciotti

Colton looked great after not lining up for an Arenacross in quite some time.

So now we head east on the 401 and north on the 400 to the Molson Centre in Barrie, Ontario, for round 2. I think the biggest question remains: Who is going to race all 5 rounds? So far, none of the top 3 riders has committed publicly to all of them. The winner of this series may be the rider who is consistently near the front, but races all 5 rounds. Who will that be?

There is also the Parts Canada ‘Triple Crown’ to consider. Will anyone step up and win the final 3 (Moose Jaw, Penticton, Calgary) rounds to go after the $25,000 prize up for grabs? Jacob Hayes did it last season.



All 3 of these top finishers will be in Barrie, so who is your money on to lead the points after we leave the shores of Lake Simcoe? National #8 Kyle Keast has let it be known that he will be at round 2 to make things interesting.

We’ll be there to cover all the action again so be sure to check in with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for all the action. Also, don’t miss a second of the action LIVE on the Valvoline AX Tour Live Broadcast, starting at 7pm again this Saturday. Andy White will be back in the booth beside me and Chris Pomeroy for all the colour commentary and knowledge, with Ryan Gauld down on the floor. Be sure do download the FREE Conx2Share App and come along for the ride!

vavoline-axtour-liveCanadian AX Tour | Round 1 | RESULTS

Hiawatha Horse Park

Sarnia, Ontario

Saturday, October 8, 2016

AX Pro (10 Laps)

1. 101 Chris Blose YAM

2. 2 Colton Facciotti HON

3. 12 Steven Mages KAW

4. 701 Karl Normand KTM

5. 34 Westen Wrozyna KAW

6. 313 Kyle Swanson KAW

7. 471 Logan Karnow HON

8. 864 Austin Haught YAM

9. 614 Bennet Amyotte YAM

10. 955 Michael Smith KAW

11. 5 Brock Leitner KAW

12. 17 Seth Green YAM

13. 33 Timothy Patterson YAM


AX Lites (10 Laps)

1. 101 Chris Blose YAM

2. 2 Colton Facciotti HON

3. 12 Steven Mages KAW

4. 34 Westen Wrozyna KAW

5. 424 Austin Watling HON

6. 471 Logan Karnow HON

7. 46 Marco Cannella YAM

8. 313 Kyle Swanson KAW

9. 5 Brock Leitner KAW

10. 17 Seth Green YAM

11. 184 Tanner Ward KTM

12. 955 Michael Smith KAW

13. 77 Justin Roney HON

14. 559 Jake Jones YAM

15. 33 Timothy Patterson YAM


Clash for Cash (20 Laps)

1. 2 Colton Facciotti HON

2. 12 Steven Mages KAW

3. 101 Chris Blose YAM

4. 707 Karl Normand KTM

5. 471 Logan Karnow HON

6.  5 Brock Leitner KAW

7. 46 Marco Cannella YAM

8. 424 Austin Watling HON

9. 34 Westen Wrozyna KAW

10. 313 Kyle Swanson KAW

11. 864 Austin Haught YAM

12. 614 Bennet Amyotte YAM