Supercross Round 1 | What Did We Learn?

By Billy Rainford

We’re now 1 round into the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown Series Supercross at Gopher Dunes. The racing, as always, was great at the front of the pack. Let’s have a quick look at some of the things we learned from a hot and humid day in Courtland, Ontario.

The Track

Kudos to Derek Schuster and the gang for designing a pretty good SX track! I spoke to Kevin Thompson early in the day. He’s seen a lot of Supercross tracks in his day and he came right out and said that Derek deserves a lot of praise for building a good track like this. Of course, his son, Cole Thompson, is the smoothest rider you’re ever going to see on a trick SX track, so he may be a little biased.

The track had 6 lanes and they set it up so that the amateurs would ride on the west side of it throughout the day and the Pro riders would then ride that plus a more technical (big) portion of the track on the east side.

#22 Tyler Gibbs hitting the sand section. | Bigwave photo

The track was made from a clay base with one sand section thrown in to keep things interesting. As in AMA Supercross, the riders probably didn’t love it but we loved it for shooting photos!

The track did start breaking down and there were some square edges that developed that kept riders on their toes. I joked with #2 Marshal Weltin that it was like Carlsbad in 1982. I don’t think he could appreciate the reference as he added that it was like Elsinore on a Wednesday. Fair enough, I’m old.

You could see that many of our riders just haven’t had the opportunity to ride a SX track much. Riders who came up through the Future West Moto Arenacross Championships out in Chilliwack, BC definitely had an advantage.

There was a 6-whoop section out of a corner that led riders to a triple that sent them higher than most had likely ever been before. Many riders were forced to turn it into a double/single when the whoops put them sideways.

Riders who excelled in the whoops during qualifying were displeased to see that they were cutting them down for the night program. In hindsight, it surely made for better racing with a little more parody throughout the field.

The amateur section proved to be tricky at the higher speed of the Pro riders and there were a couple different ways to get through the two rhythms sections.

Let’s have a look at the two Pro classes.


The 250 class saw many riders who had little-to-no Supercross experience. If you’ve ever tried to ride one, it can be a very daunting experience as you get used to the peaked-out jumps that seem to send you to the moon.

Here are the results:

250 Podium: Marco Cannella 2-1, Tyler Gibbs 1-2, Guillaume St Cyr 3-4. | Bigwave photo
250 PRO   View Laptimes   
Overall Nbr   Name Moto 1 Moto 2 Points Earned
 1st   #46  Yamaha  MARCO CANNELLA
2nd 1st 47
1st 2nd 47
3rd 4th 38
 4th   #157  Kawasaki  DARIAN SANAYEI
8th 3rd 33
 5th   #30  KTM  JAKE PICCOLO
4th 6th 33
 6th   #84  Honda  TANNER WARD
6th 5th 31
 7th   #19  Yamaha  QUINN AMYOTTE
5th 7th 30
 8th   #50  Yamaha  JULIEN BENEK
7th 8th 27
 9th   #28  GASGAS  SAM GAYNOR
9th 9th 24
 10th   #18  Honda  RYDER MCNABB
12th 10th 20
11th 11th 20
 12th   #39  Yamaha  DANIEL ELMORE
10th 12th 20

#46 Marco Cannella just took his first-ever Pro race overall after trading wins with #22 Tyler Gibbs. Marco came into the 2021 season as maybe the odds-on favourite to win. However, he wasn’t able to make it happen and winning the SX portion of this series would really help turn his (and team owner Kevin Tyler‘s) season around.

The team has lost both 450 riders, #3 Shawn Maffenbeier to a knee and #10 Keylan Meston to some sort of energy/focus-draining problem that he is still trying to get to the bottom of.

#46 Marco Cannella. | Bigwave photo

Marco went 2-1 to Tyler’s 1-2 for a tie in points but put the MX101 FXR Yamaha rider on the top step ahead of the PRMX Wossner GasGas rider from BC.

#22 Tyler Gibbs. | Bigwave photo
#25 Guillaume St Cyr. | Bigwave photo

Gibbs won Main #1 from wire to wire with #25 Guillaume St Cyr up in 2nd place for most of the race. Guillaume got loose in the far amateur section early in the race and ended up actually skimming the rhythm section like Cooper Webb did a couple years ago in AMA Supercross. My jaw was dropped and I didn’t point my camera.

#157 Darien Sanayei. | Bigwave photo

#157 Darien Sanayei looked like a different rider in the two Mains. He finished 8-3 for 4th overall but will be a rider to watch as we move forward.

#30 Jake Piccolo. | Bigwave photo

#30 Jake Piccolo was up in the mix in both Mains but, like a few others, will have to limit the mistakes if he wants to chase this title.

#84 Tanner Ward. | Bigwave photo

#84 Tanner Ward looked really good but found himself on the ground. He’s one of the riders that could snag a win before we’re finished.

#19 Quinn Amyotte. | Bigwave photo

#19 Quinn Amyotte got put in the B practice and qualifier and stood out. He was a rider we were impressed with, as he looks to keep improving quickly.

#50 Julien Benek. | Bigwave photo

#50 Julien Benek was easily the fastest rider in the whoops and his dad, Oliver Benek, was definitely not happy when they cut them down for the Mains. Julien will need a good start to go with the leaders.

#28 Sam Gaynor. | Bigwave photo

#28 Sam Gaynor was a consistent 9-9 for 9th but I’m sure he’s not happy with that. I didn’t see him hit the ground but let’s see if he can grab a start and run the pace of the podium riders.

#18 Ryder McNabb. | Bigwave photo

#18 Ryder McNabb found himself on the ground hard in the whoops in Main #1. He also went down again in the 2nd Main, hurting his chances at redemption. He’s young and you can see he’s not as comfortable in SX as he is in MX. Let’s see if he can regroup and get the track figured out today.

#212 Sebastien Racine. | Bigwave photo

#212 Sebastien Racine wasn’t even sure if he was going to race SX this season. He also lacks experience in SX but they left his Intermediate plates on and decided to ride it and gain some. He had some troubles but I doubt it will take long for him to start excelling.

#39 Daniel Elmore. | Bigwave photo

#39 Daniel Elmore looked pretty solid but then crashed and found himself stuck under his bike waving for help. Let’s see if he can improve on his 10-12 for 12th today.


450 Podium: Cole Thompson 1-1, Marshal Weltin 3-2, Casey Keast 4-3. | Bigwave photo
450 PRO  View Laptimes   
Overall Nbr   Name Moto 1 Moto 2 Points Earned
1st 1st 50
 2nd   #2  Kawasaki  MARSHAL WELTIN
3rd 2nd 42
4th 3rd 38
 4th   #11  Husqvarna  DAVEY FRASER
5th 5th 32
 5th   #9  Honda  DYLAN WRIGHT
2nd 12th 31
 6th   #38  Husqvarna  YANICK BOUCHER
8th 6th 28
 7th   #33  Yamaha  TOMMY DALLAIRE
7th 7th 28
 8th   #31  Honda  PARKER EALES
6th 8th 28
 9th   #100  Yamaha  WESTEN WROZYNA
12th 4th 27
 10th   #26  GASGAS  RYAN DERRY
9th 9th 24
 11th   #192  Kawasaki  ETHAN OUELLETTE
11th 10th 21
 12th   #751  Yamaha  DONNY TURNER
10th 11th 21

What can we saw other than I don’t think anyone has anything for defending SX champ, #1 Cole Thompson. He’s just so good at this type of racing that it made me ask him, again, if we could ever see him racing 450 SX sown south. He said that ship has sailed.

#1 Cole Thompson. | Bigwave photo

Try as everyone might, nobody has the pace to run with Cole.

#2 Marshal Weltin. | Bigwave photo

#2 Marshal Weltin said he was riding a little timid. He’s the rider who we’ll have to lean on to make this any kind of race for this title. It won’t be easy, but you know he won’t stop trying.

#32 Casey Keast. | Bigwave photo

It was great to see #32 Casey Keast land on the podium. He’s from BC and has a ton of experience on indoor-style tracks. He should be the rider continuing to fight for 3rd spot on the podium, moving forward.

#11 Davey Fraser. | Bigwave photo

#11 Davey Fraser just keeps going and going. A race date snafu saw Davey alone in his pit but that didn’t stop him from banging bars with some of the youngsters. 5-5 is a good performance for Davey, I’d say.

#9 Dylan Wright. | Bigwave photo

I didn’t see the actual crash, but this was the end result of #9 Dylan Wright‘s crash in a rhythm section. He looked to have everyone else covered but Thompson, but we were all looking forward to seeing if he could show #1 a wheel and make this a good battle. He went to get checked out last night and his dad told me, “He’s OK.” Hopefully, he’s good and we see him back on the track soon.

#38 Yanick Boucher. | Bigwave photo

I shouldn’t jump the gun but I’m seeing #38 Yanick Boucher as a likely candidate for our Most Improved Award for SX. He’s starting to look more and more comfortable out there. His 8-6 leaves him some room for improvement.

#33 Tommy Dallaire. | Bigwave photo

#33 Tommy Dallaire was a consistent 7-7 out there on Friday. He’s going to have company in that place today, I’ll bet, so it will be fun to keep an eye on some of these battles.

#31 Parker Eales. | Bigwave photo

#31 Parker Eales picked up where he left off in MX and went down in turn 1. He pushed his way up to 8th at the flag and his 6-8 put him 8th. With a good start, he’ll be up a few places.

#100 Westen Wrozyna. | Bigwave photo

#100 Westen Wrozyna has a bunch of experience in SX just not on a 450. He was a great choice to fill-in on the MX101 team and will be in the battle for 3rd or 4th today. He had a mechanical in Main #1 and came back for 4th in #2 for 9th.

#26 Ryan Derry. | Bigwave photo

#26 Ryan Derry won our Most Improved Award last SX season. He looked smooth out there but his back has been sore and he’s really struggling right now. If he can make it through today, he should be better next week.

#192 Ethan Ouellette. | Bigwave photo

#192 Ethan Ouellette finished 11-10 for 11th overall. Watch for him to keep getting more and more comfortable on the 450 out there.

#751 Donald Turner. | Bigwave photo

I don’t think it matters where #751 Donald Turner finishes, he’s going to have a huge smile on his face, regardless. 10-11 put him 12th.

We’re back at it today. See you at the races…