Photo Report | Pleasant Valley National | Freedom Cycle
By Billy Rainford
The Rockstar Energy MX Nationals were back at Pleasant Valley in Truro, Nova Scotia, this past Sunday. After a full day of amateur racing on Saturday, the track was prepped and ready to go for the Pro riders. Numbers were a little lower than we’ve seen at the other rounds, so it meant that everyone who signed up was in the motos.
Both Zack Zager and Ryan Lalonde lined up for all 4 motos. They were pretty tired at the end of the day, but they made it…sort of!
The weather was perfect and there looked to be quite a few people lining the fences. Riders had mixed feelings about the track, but as they say, everyone had to race it.
Here’s a look at the racing action.
I can’t believe we’re talking about the defending champ #1 Cole Thompson first this week. Cole smashed his throttle thumb last week in a crash and tried really hard to make it work to salvage some points as the points leader.
Then he headed off the track and headed over to the mechanics area…
…picked up Steve Beattie and headed back to the pits. He will have surgery to repair his thumb but it means he is out of action for the rest of the season.
#192 is Intermediate rider Ethan Ouellette all the way from Campbell River, BC. He gets the ‘Lantern Rouge’ for this round. 34-DNS gave him 38th.
Quebec rider #917 Felix Beaudin ripping up the manure on his 250 2-stroke. He finished 36th (32-DNF).
Local hotshot Intermediate rider #150 Brett Young finished 29-27 for 30th.
#259 Hayden Dennis is from right here in Truro. His 31-23 motos gave him 27th.
#384 Jeremy Pronovost has had some bad luck lately and it continued this week. After he had a solid first moto up in 11th a front flat took him out of the second. He was 20th.
#787 Josh Osby’s day went from bad to worse. He hit Dylan Wright in the first moto, went down and took a long time to get going again. He struggled and made it up to 8th.
In the second moto, he was leading as Dylan closed in on him. The two came together in the air over the finish line jump, sending Josh off the side of the track and into a fence and speaker box. He was taken to the hospital where it was found he’d lacerated his liver. He’s out for the season.
Ontario’s #211 Jack Wright had his best day so far. 18-15 gave him 15th overall.
#807 Drew Roberts had a great day in the mX2 class and broke into the the top 10 in moto 2. His 16th in moto 1 gave him 13th.
There are some sounds that keep you up at night. This panic rev from #35 Jason Benny haunts me as I type this. He saved it and continues to do well. He was 10th with 12-11 motos.
#33 Casey Keast frustrated himself on the slippery track in the first moto and fought for his 13th. He rebounded in the second and took 8th for 9th overall.
#12 Shawn Maffenbeier left the track with the red plate, but he didn’t make it easy on himself. He won the first moto by over 10 seconds and then had some bike issues in the second. His mechanic, Cale Foster, told him to unplug the temperature sensor and he got back underway, finishing 24th for 8th overall.
It seems no matter what #21 Davey Fraser does lately he’s going to finish 7th. This week, his 15-5 combo put him there.
#184 Tanner Ward continues to impress an Intermediate rider.
He grabbed the first moto holeshot and led the first lap. He finished 5-6 for 5th.
#338 Ryan Surratt chased #637 Bobby Piazza in the first moto but couldn’t make the pass for 6th stick. Ryan was 4th (7-4) and Bobby was 6th (6-7).
#14 Dylan Wright pushed hard in both motos and challenged for wins. His 3-3 motos gave him 3rd overall.
#100 Jacob Hayes has the speed to win lately and fought hard for his 2nd overall this week. He went 4-2 and sits 6th in the series.
What can you say about the performance of #16 Jess Pettis who was back less than 3 weeks after collarbone surgery.
He finished 2-1 and took his first moto win and overall. Congratulations, Jess.
MX2 Podium: Jess Pettis (2-1), Jacob Hayes (4-2), Dylan Wright (3-3).
The track is on Mitch Cooke’s dad’s property and Mitch was going to race if he qualified in the top 10. He was 13th and too tired after qualifying and decided to sit it out.
#44 Jason Burke didn’t have the weekend he was hoping for. A mechanical issue kept him from finishing the first moto or even lining up for the second.
#734 Tyler Rayner was back in action this past weekend. He lined up a=on the very inside gate and joked that if he came out in the top 10, I’d know how it worked out. He was 10th on lap 1 and finished 22nd after crashing hard over the finish line jump. He didn’t line up for moto 2.
#781 Zack Zager lined up for all 4 motos this week. He finished 37th in MX2 (didn’t finish moto 2) and 26th (24-23) IN MX1.
#122 Devin Sleigh is from St. John, NB and finished 20th (23-17).
#8 Keylan Meston really should have had his career best finish this week. He pulled the moto 1 holeshot and hung on for 6th. Unfortunately, bike issues in moto 2 took him out of action on lap 8. He started dead last but was moving up when it happened. 6-DNF gave him 17th.
With Cade Clason at home and Josh Osby injured, #32 Eric Jeffery was left to fly the Redemption Racing flag. He finished 16-14 for 15th.
#24 Ryan Lalonde decided to do all 4 motos too. He said the 2nd MX2 moto was his toughest and finished 14th (14-12) in MX2 and 13th (13-15) in MX1.
#41 Michael Fowler had his best finish to date. 12-11 put him up in 11th.
#56 Brock Leitner had his breakout race last year at PV and did it again this year. His 11-10 motos put him 10th.
#38 Tim Tremblay just quietly gets his work done out there on the track. He has been riding alone a lot in the top 10 and finished 8-7 for 8th overall just ahead of #77 Nathan Bles.
#10 Colton Facciotti was trying to forget last year at PV and then crashed hard just after the first turn in moto 1 and it could have been much worse. He remounted and pushed his way up to 9th. He fell early in the second moto and finished 5th for 7th.
#377 Christophe Pourcel wasn’t shy about expressing his thoughts on the track. He rode smoothly to 4-3 motos but was penalized 5 spots for going to his pit after moto 2 instead of to the podium/impound. 4-8 gave him 6th.
#6 Tyler Medaglia lives just 1 minute from the track. He rode to 2 consistent motos and finished 5th (5-4).
#111 Kyle Chisholm finished 7th in moto 1 and then raced hard up to 4th place in moto 2 for 4th overall.
#5 Mike Alessi grabbed the early lead in moto 1 until he was passed by #108 Dillan Epstein. He grabbed a huge holeshot in the second and led for a while until his front tire went flat. He managed to ride the flat to 7th in moto 2 for 3rd.
#2 Matt Goerke passed his way into 3rd in the first moto. He worked his way around a couple riders in the 2nd to finish just 2 seconds off the lead for 2nd overall.
#108 Dillan Epstein finally put a 1-1 day together at PV. He qualified first and then went out and did it.
He’s popular with the fans and they were happy to see him take the win.
MX1 podium: Dillan Epstein (1-1), Matt Goerke (3-2), Mike Alessi (2-6). (Christophe Pourcel’s mechanic, Damon, is shown here in 2nd before the 5-place penalty was assessed)
Michael Fowler and his uneven starting rocks say, “See you at the races…”