Photo Report|Rockstar MX Nationals|Ulverton Round 6
By Billy Rainford
The traveling circus that is the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals brought its thrills and spills to the province of Quebec this past week and the small, picturesque town of Ulverton. Ulverton is just south of Drummondville which is about 45 minutes east of Montreal. Drummondville is one of three Quebec cities that lays claim to the invention of poutine. If you were there this weekend, did you get yourself some? Me neither, but I bet it’s delicious!
Anyway, the track sits on a hillside with the River running through it at the bottom. If you’ve never been to this round, you owe it to yourself to get there and experience the most beautiful track we have on the circuit combined with some of the most enthusiastic fans you will see north of the border.
Here’s a closer look at some of the racing action from our first of two stops in Quebec.
“Hmm, I wonder how the races went?” Well, sit back and we’ll tell you…
#18 Brad Nauditt had his debut ride on the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team in Ulverton.
We spoke with him at the end of the day and he said this near crash at the bottom of one of the steep downhills kind of threw him off for the day.
The hills claimed some victims on Amateur Day.
As far as I know, #781 Zack Zager was the only rider to race all 4 motos Sunday. He finished 37th in MX2 (31-37) and 30th in MX1 (30-29).
#471 PRMX Strikt Racing Kawasaki rider Logan Karnow has top 10 speed but had some transmission trouble after a rare front sprocket broke on him. He had to laugh at the end of the day when we asked him how he did, “DNF-DNS…aweome.”
#727 Dave Blanchet jumped into the series in his home province. He had to put on a charge from the back in the first moto and finished 25th overall (20-35).
I kept wondering who #199 was out there. He was way up in 11th in the first moto but had some troubles on lap 9 and finished 19-22 for 20th.
#100 Samuel Lavoie was the top Intermediate rider of the round. He finished 18th (22-18).
We look forward to this jump in practice every year. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided the track looked a little dry. #447 DJ Burmey still had some fun. The Winnipeg rider finished 17th (14-32). He was up in 13th in the second late in the moto before he he had his difficulties. He has top 15 speed, for sure.
#101 Mark Worth would like a do-over at Ulverton. He was up in the front in moto 1 , finishing 6th, but then lost control and went through a fence. I heard the locals jumped in to help get him untangled. He finished well back in 23rd for 14th overall.
#42 JC Bujold put on a come-from-behind clinic in the first moto. He was dead last and came back to 14th by the checkered flag! 13-14 put him 13th.
#53 Taylor Arsenault is back full-time and was solid up in 12th (15-12).
#35 Hayden Halstead ended up riding alone a lot Sunday. He had a solid day with 11-7 motos to round out the top 10.
We saw #34 Westen Wrozyna walking around early with a box full of head parts and were a little worried. However, he had two solid motos (8-9) for 9th overall. I think he’ll pass on Loretta’s and stay north, but we’ll see.
#69 Ryeley Gallup made the trip east from Alberta and the decision is proving to be a good one! He put in two more solid motos and finished up in 8th (9-8).
After a weekend he’s trying to forget at Gopher Dunes, the smile was back on #36 Davey Fraser’s face…obviously. He buzzed his Husky 250 2-stroke around to 7th place (10-6).
#20 Jess Pettis expects to be fighting for podiums, so he wasn’t thrilled with his 6th place (5-10). They had troubles starting the race bike for the 2nd moto and he was forced to pull his practice bike out of the trailer.
We mentioned #18 Brad Nauditt at the start. He regrouped after his near catastrophe and finished 5th with 7-5 motos.
#164 Dakota Alix is known as a great starter and took the 2nd moto Royal Distributing Holeshot Award. He ended up alone in 4th in the 1st and then ended up miles ahead of the 5th place rider for 4th overall after the adjustment to Cole Thompson.
#4 Cole Thompson is definitely the rider to beat in the MX2 class. In hindsight, I’m sure he’s wishing he’d spun around to the right or harder to the left when he re-entered the track. He won both motos but was docked 3 spots in the 2nd for his off-track excursion. 1-4 gave him 3rd overall. He still holds the red plate.
#15 Shawn Maffenbeier led the first moto early and was up in the mix all day. He finished 2-2 for 2nd overall.
#17 Dylan Wright took his first overall of his career for the MX101 FXR Yamaha team with 3-1 motos. He really won the crowd over on the stage with his fluent French interview answers, too.
#164 Dakota Alix receiving his Royal Distributing Holeshot Award for the 2nd moto.
MX2 Podium: Dylan Wright, Shawn Maffenbeier, Cole Thompson (after the adjustment).
#27 Shawn Robinson was this week’s victim of a red cross violation. He went from 12th to 22nd in the first moto. After a mid-pack start in the second, Shawn’s day was done after 2 laps. He’s scored a 37th and lost some points.
#562 Lane Gagne was the 2nd Gagne to race over the weekend. His sister Brittany finished 2nd the day before on the reverse number. Lane was 27th (29-25).
#78 Michael Fowler was fighting for a spot in the top 3 for whips during practice. He’ll miss the next round for a wedding and finished 17th (20-16).
#57 Tim Tremblay came off some notoriety at his first-ever AMA pro race the weekend before at Southwick and entered the MX1 class in Ulverton. He was up inside the top 10 in the first when something happened and he began just rolling around for 18th. He came back for the second and finished a solid 8th for 13th overall.
#21 Kyle Swanson showed up with some slick new graphics and became an instant hit by going huge on the jump out of the valley. 12-13 put him 12th.
#26 Riley Brough had a solid day and chased his traveling buddy, Morgan Burger, around the entire first moto. 11-12 for 11th.
#28 Keylan Meston is the kind of rider Bob Hannah would appreciate – he works hard, does his races, and never makes excuses. He ended up alone in 9th in moto 1 and then took 11th in the 2nd for 10th.
I think #19 Morgan Burger looks forward to this jump as much as I do. He makes throwing his 450 off the edge into oblivion look like nothing. His consistent 10-10 moto (he didn’t move up or down much at all) gave him 9th.
#5 Tyler Medaglia was on the 2017 Husqvarna 450 in Ulverton. With some more testing, watch for him to move up the rankings as we head to his neck of the woods this coming week and next. 8-7 gave him 8th.
#6 Cade Clason decided to set his bike up with a paddle tire to go after the holeshot. It worked and he got out front in moto 1 and kept the pace of the top riders for a long time. His 7-6 motos gave him 7th.
Cade makes a trip to the stage for his first moto Royal Distributing Holeshot Award cash.
#800 Mike Alessi was having fun early on in practice. He described his day as a little off and finished 6th overall (5-5).
We all want to ask #2 Colton Facciotti if anything is wrong, but we’re too scared. I guess we’re just used to see him fighting for wins every weekend. He finished up with 6-4 motos for 5th overall.
#118 Davi Millsaps had a tough one in Ulverton. His hands were hamburger and he’s still nursing his rib injury. He still managed to lead the first 14 laps of moto 1 and then slowed up in the second and took 8th for 4th overall.
Everyone is impressed with how the ‘The Rookie’ #11 Kaven Benoit is doing this season in MX1. He was the obvious crowd favourite (his dad did the announcing) and finished on the podium for the Quebec fans with 4-3 motos.
#3 Brett Metcalfe got out to the early lead in the 2nd moto and didn’t look back. Apparently, the team has been continuing to test this summer and it’s starting to really show. His 3-1 motos gave him 2nd overall.He compared Ulverton to Glen Helen.
Brett’s teammate, #1 Matt Goerke, is starting to come on strong too. He said he couldn’t go with Metcalfe in the 2nd and surely knew he had the overall anyway. 1-2 gave him the win and got him a little closer to Millsaps out front in the standings.
MX1 Podium: Matt Goerke, Brett Metcalfe, Kaven Benoit.
Davi says, “See you at the races…”
Next round: Saturday, July 24th at Pleasant Valley in Truro, Nova Scotia.