Photo Report|Pleasant Valley National|Presented by Freedom Cycle
Photos and Captions by Billy Rainford
The Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals returned to Pleasant Valley in Truro, Nova Scotia, for the first time since 2002. Trivia question: Who won the 125 and 250 class at the 2002 Pleasant Valley National?
The races returned for their first of two rounds in the Maritimes. The track looked beautiful – freshly cut grass, white fences, lots of fans, and dark chocolate brown soil. There were some concerns expressed by the riders about the width of the track and some of the perceived safety hazards, like fence posts. The track was widened in areas and fence posts removed and the racing went on.
Here’s a closer look at the racing action from Pleasant Valley, Sunday, July24th.
There was a pretty thick layer of fog that greeted the riders early Sunday morning. The forecast threatened thunderstorms, so this was an ominous start to the day.
Head Referee, Paul Kingsley, went over all the usual information at the riders’ meeting. The crowd wasn’t as sparse as this shot makes it look, although neither class required qualifiers.
BC rider, #45 Brock Leitner, was back in action after serving an injury time out. He also lined up in both classes.
Mitch Cooke is from…right here! He was the promoter and racer this weekend.
#11 Kaven Benoit stands on a grassy knoll and takes in the meeting.
It heated up very quickly and the mist was pretty cool in the early morning.
Even someone with as many starts and holeshots as #800 Mike Alessi gets pre-race nerves. Let’s get to the racing action.
With 38 riders signed up for MX2, #141 Eve Brodeur made the motos. She looked solid but I think she spent more time trying not to get in the way than racing at the level she’s capable of. 35-31 put her 34th.
#79 Tommy Dallaire finished 25th in moto 1 but then crashed hard when #18 Brad Nauditt was lapping him on the final lap of moto 2. They both hit the ground but it was Tommy who earned a trip to the hospital. At this time, we’re just guessing at his injuries, so we’ll wait until we hear something concrete. Hopefully, he’s OK.
#471 Logan Karnow is better than his 16-21 motos for 19th show. He’ll just have to wait another week to prove it.
#114 Josh Clark returned to racing at Pleasant Valley. He had hopes of battling for a top 5, but after crashing in the first turn in moto 1 and then pulling the holeshot in the 2nd only to suffer a rear flat, that was impossible. 11-33 put him 18th.
We may see him again before the summer is over.
It was a rough weekend for the Arsenaults. Top Intermediate #127 Connor crashed Saturday and broke his hand. It will keep him out of competing for top spot at the Walton TransCan. #53 Taylor battled hard in moto 1 for 12th but then a 6″ nail in his rear tire on the sight lap sent him back to the pits with a 2-minute hold. Jay Burke whipped a new one on in 30 seconds but he got out 3/4 of a lap down. 12-27 put him back in 17th.
Once again, top Intermediate rider was #771 Cedric Moore. He finished 14th with 15-14 motos.
#42 JC Bujold had another solid weekend. As we move forward, watch for him to keep moving up in the standings. His 17-12 motos gave him 13th.
#35 Hayden Halstead ate a lot of roost chasing Westen Wrozyna and Ryan Lalonde in the 2nd moto. 14-11 12th. By the way, there’s a lot of manure mixed in so I hope his mouth was closed!
#69 Ryeley Gallup was down in turn 1 of the first moto with Clark. He fought back to 13th and then had a solid 8th in the second for 11th overall.
#18 Brad Nauditt was up in the mix in the first moto, taking 7th. He was in 7th again in the second chasing Davey Fraser. That’s when he got together with Dallaire and went down. He finished 13th for 10th overall.
#34 Westen Wrozyna finished 10-10 for 9th. He was in pretty serious battles the entire day.
It was #171 Ryan Lalonde who finished just ahead of Wrozyna in the 2nd moto. He’s been having a solid summer and finished 9-9 for 8th overall.
#36 Davey Fraser was the main object of the crowd’s cheers on Sunday. They went nuts for him. He ended up all alone in 6th in the first moto and then chased Westen around in the 2nd. 6-7 for 7th.
#101 Mark Worth battled Nauditt hard for most of the 1st moto. A better start in the second helped him to 5th for 6th overall (8-5).
Mark Worth chasing Brad Nauditt.
#20 Jess Pettis was up at the front in the first and finished 4th. He ended up alone in 6th in the second and finished 5th overall.
#17 Dylan Wright really wanted a win this weekend and was chasing hard for the lead when he went over the bars. It took him some time to get around Dakota Alix in the second and then he set his sights on leader, Cole Thompson. His 5-2 motos gave him 4th.
#15 Shawn Maffenbeier grabbed the first moto Royal Distributing holeshot sideways. He also led the 2nd early and then came together in the air with Dakota Alix. He finished 2-4 for 3rd.
#164 Dakota Alix had troubles early in moto 1 and came back to 3rd. He got up into 2nd in the 2nd moto and closed on Thompson for a while before Wright got by. His 3-3 motos gave him 2nd.
#4 Cole Thompson dominated with 1-1 motos. It took him a while to get out front in the first but got there quickly in the 2nd. He felt it was payback for his Ulverton problems.
1-1 for 1st place and a 72-point lead the standings.
MX2 Podium: Cole Thompson (1-1), Dakota Alix (3-3), Shawn Maffenbeier (2-4).
The enthusiastic Truro crowd.
The fans were looking forward to seeing local hero, #258 Mitch Cooke, race the MX1 class. Unfortunately, a hard crash on the first lap of qualifying left him with a separated left shoulder and he decided to focus on his promoter’s duties.
#38 Jay Burke is having a blast on the road with his family. He finished 18th overall with 20-15 motos.
#21 Kyle Swanson was set to have a great weekend after finished up in 9th in moto 1. Unfortunately, a rear flat dashed his chances in the 2nd and he ended up 27th for 17th overall.
#68 Taylor Ciampichini had a great first moto, finishing way up in 13th. His 21st in the second gave him 16th.
You know something’s wrong when you see #2 Colton Facciotti this early in a photo report. After crashing 40 feet out of the gate in the first, he charged from last to 7th. After the first turn and finish line jump in the second, he crashed and then got run over. He was helped off the track and was favouring his left leg and shoulder. We’ll let you know what the prognosis is as soon as we know it.
#352 Alix Harvill had a great weekend and he was super-pumped when he crossed the line. His 12-14 motos gave him a solid 12th.
#45 Brock Leitner is back from a shoulder injury and decided to race both classes. He had troubles in the first MX2 class and then didn’t line up for the second. However, he had a most impressive day in the 450 class! After getting 16th in the first, he rode to a very solid 10th in the second for 11th overall.
How about that 9th place second moto for #27 Shawn Robinson?! He finished 15th in the first after coming from the back and took 10th on the day.
#19 Morgan Burger was also set for a good weekend. Unfortunately, he suffered a rear flat in the second while up in 6th and still managed an 11th. 11-11 gave him 9th.
#28 Keylan Meston had another solid weekend. He finished 10-8 for 8th and held Alessi off for a while in the 2nd.
#800 Mike Alessi said he rode well but that the results don’t show it. He came from last place in both motos and finished 8-7 for 7th.
#6 Cade Clason had an interesting battle with Benoit in the first moto when they took turns falling and giving each other the spot. He was up with the top riders and looked comfortable. His 6-6 gave him 6th.
#11 Kaven Benoit finished a relatively quiet 5-5 for 5th after charging from the back in the first moto. Watch for him to look for a podium the next couple weeks.
#1 Matt Goerke is never happy unless he wins. He was way at the back of the pack early in the 2nd and made it all the way up to 4th. He rode hard but ended up just off the podium in 4th with 3-4 motos.
#5 Tyler Medaglia used his home track knowledge to get himself up on the podium. He rode great and had the partisan crowd glued to the fences (and beyond…) His 4-3 motos gave him a very satisfying 3rd overall.
#3 Brett Metcalfe finished 2nd overall yet again this weekend. He said he had a great time battling Tyler and finished 2-2 for 2nd.
On a track that gave everyone traction fits, #118 Davi Millsaps still seemed to be able to go wherever he wanted. Be sure to get to the track when the Nationals come near your city – you should really take this opportunity to see him ride.
Davi consistently made this little step up look easy (only the top few were doing it). He’s starting to feel healthy again so don’t look for him to let up anytime soon. 1-1 for first and a 35-point lead over Metcalfe.
Tyler Medaglia was thrilled to make the podium in front of his adopted home crowd.
MX1 Podium: Davi Millsaps (1-1), Brett Metcalfe (2-2), Tyler Medaglia (4-3).
We’re 2 hours down the road in Moncton this week at Riverglade. See you at the races…