Walton National Photo Report
Photos and Captions by Billy Rainford
The 10th and final round of the 2015 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals is in the books. We’ve gone from coast to coast and witnessed some of the best racing action we’ve ever seen in Canada. Although the MX2 title was decided in Ulverton, the MX1 class came down to a dogfight between Matt Goerke and Colton Facciotti. Here’s a closer look at some of what we saw.
Here’s how the day started for medic Ron Cameron. And you thought only the riders were dealing with injuries!
One of the top stories heading into the day was young Joey Crown lining up to race MX2 Sunday. He’s had one heck of an amateur career and he had us all wondering how he’d do in this field.
The one section everyone was talking about was the ‘9 Commandments’ roller section. Here’s JSR grabbing some video of the faster riders going through it during practice.
All week long during the Parts Canada TransCan, #511 Nate Haas was the guy to watch hit the rollers. He lined up Sunday in MX2 and didn’t finish as high as we thought he would. He was down in the first turn of moto 1 and his 13-19 put him 17th.
Redemption Racing Fly Dragon KTM’s Alex Jeffery has been the top Intermediate on several occasions but his 23-27 for 28th didn’t get it done in Walton. However, a delicious lunch under their tent warrants an appearance in this report. Thanks, guys!
Honda Canada Motovan Oakley rider #456 JC Bujold wasn’t the top Intermediate this week either. He was on his way to it after an 11th in the first moto, but trouble early in the second left him back in 22nd for 18th. Watch out for him next year!
#10 Redemption Racing Fly Dragon KTM rider Nathan Bles ducks some roost on his way to 15-17 16th place.
After a very trying week at the TransCan, Intermediate rider #561 Kyle Biro put together a solid Sunday and finished 17-13 for 14th and top yellow-plated rider honours.
#21 Honda Canada TLD GDR’s Jeremy Medaglia grabbed the first moto holeshot and was going for a pass on Joey Crown on the second lap. The two came together when 2 lines became one and Jeremy went down hard. He came back to 18th after falling again and then his 10th in the second put him back in 12th place and 19 points back of Decotis for 3rd in the championship.
#62 Bobby Piazza had a really solid first moto, running up in 3rd for a while. His 7-20 put him 11th.
Orange Motorsports Scott KTM 250 2-stroke rider #22 Liam O’Farrell was in some of the big battles Sunday. 12-11 gave him the final spot in the top 10.
Vernon Motorsports Thor Yamaha rider #39 Jess Pettis has been very impressive this summer. His 9-8 to finish the season put him in 9th overall and surely on the list for more factory support in 2016.
Devil’s Lake MX Answr Yamaha rider #762 Blake Savage was down in the first turn of the first moto with Martinez, Burger, and Haas. He came back to 10th and then his 7th in the second put him 8th.
#135 Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki’s Cole Martinez wasn’t exactly thrilled with how his season north of the border went. He was also down in turn one and then came back to 6-6 motos for 7th overall.He’s got the speed to battle for the championship.
#20 Canada’s Motorcycle FXR Yamaha rider Dylan Wright worked his way into 3rd spot in the 1st moto and then had to do the same to get 5th on the second. He took 6th overall.
Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki brought young #457 Darian Sanayei to Walton and he was impressive right from the get-go and he grabbed the early lead in the 2nd. 4-4 motos put him 5th.
Here’s what young Sanayei looks like as he collects his Royal Distributing holeshot cheque. There are rumours he may be off to Europe for 2016.
We know Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha’s #14 Shawn Maffenbeier is fast at Walton; he’s won in the past. He slid out heading into the 9 Commandments while running 3rd in the 1st but salvaged a 5th. He had a great battle with Sanayei late in the second and was able to grab 3rd for 4th overall.
#105 Jimmy Decotis put his Canada’s Motorcycle FXR Yamaha out front on the 2nd lap of the first moto and didn’t look back. He was up in 5th in the second but then some troubles kept him from charging forward and his 9th gave him 3rd overall but second in the championship.
I had #335 MCR Thor Kawasaki rider Joey Crown picked for the overall Sunday. He was up in 3rd in the first and charging but fell and dropped back to 8th at the flag. He came back to win the second after an exciting last lap that saw both him and #1 Kaven Benoit fall and exchange the lead.
His 8-1 gave him 2nd overall in his first race against the Pros here in Canada. His 2nd moto fall forced 2 fingers into 1 slot in his gloves and he had to finish like that. It looked uncomfortable.
#1 Royal Distributing Fox Racing KTM Canada rider Kaven Benoit didn’t have to win Sunday, but just try telling him that! He was in the fight all day and capped the season off with a 2-2 for the overall.
Here he is being introduced as the 2-time MX2 national champion to a warm welcome from the Walton crowd.
MX2 2015 overall podium: Kaven Benoit (568), Jimmy Decotis (470), Jeremy Medaglia (451).
You won’t see Kaven on a 250 at the nationals anymore. It’s on to the MX1 class for 2016.
Jimmy Decotis with the final champagne spray of the MX2 season.
This start seemed an appropriate way to cap off the season in MX1 – the top 3 contenders bar to bar.
#53 PR-MX Kawasaki’s Davey Fraser was up in 6th again early in the first moto. He was in a fierce 10-rider battle with Riley Brough, Kyle Keast, Shawn Robinson, Jay Burke, Hayden Halstead, Jacob Williamson, Cade Clason, Cody Van Buskirk, and Keylan Meston halfway through the first. He was up in 5th early in the 2nd but troubles put him way back. 19-34 for 23rd.
McKee FXR Yamaha’s #36 Hayden Halstead didn’t make things easy on himself at the final round. 30-20 put him 24th.
#55 TLD Yamaha rider Keylan Meston was in the battle for 10th overall in the series. He had a solid 14th in the first but then a flat forced a 35th in the second for 21st overall and 13th on the season.
Xtreme Toys rider #72 Drew Roberts had a pretty solid east. His 16-19 gave him 16th overall.
#7 Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry doesn’t give up. He crashed in the 1st moto over a jump and ran up the back of it to warn riders of his bike in the middle of the track. He fought hard for 24th. He was up in 3rd in the second and managed a 6th for 15th on the day.
#570 is Cody Van Buskirk. He was up as high as 7th in the second and his 17-12 gave him 14th.
Honda Canada TLD GDR’s #30 Kyle Keast was in that mix of 10 riders battling for positions. His 13-13 put him in 13th.
#42 RMX Black Pearl Honda’s Riley Brough looked really comfortable up in 9th place in the first moto. His 15th in the second put him 12th on the day.
Freedom Cycle FXR KTM’s #23 Dylan ‘They Don’t Read the Board’ Schmoke had to work his way forward in both motos. 10-14 gave him 11th.
Machine Racing FXR Yamaha rider #43 Jay Burke looked fast all week and it showed Sunday. His solid 11-11 gave him a very impressive 10th overall.
Redemption Racing Fly Dragon KTM rider #761 Cade Clason was in a dog fight with Kiniry in the points for 6th overall. He went down in the first turn of the 1st moto with Brett Metcalfe and worked his way up to 12th. 7th in the second put him 9th. We were told he gets 6th place (tied for points with Kiniry) due to his better moto finish during the season. #7 just looks right on Bobby anyway.
#17 Seth Rarick got great starts Sunday and was able to hold on to 2 top 10 moto scores. 8-10 put him up in 8th place.
The Walton track agreed with #972 Red Bull Fly Suzuki rider Franklin Nogueras. His 2 great motos of 7 and 9 gave him his best overall of 7th.
It was also great to see #24 Devil’s Lake MX Answr Yamaha’s Kyle Swanson finish on such a high note. He once again proved he’s a regular in the top 10 and finished 6-8 for 6th.
Parts Canada Thor Husqvarna Canada’s #3 Tyler Medaglia took the first moto holeshot and led for 2 laps. He was a bit off the pace of the top couple riders but finished 4-4 for 5th.
He was so alone in the first moto he must have thought he had the track to himself!
According to someone’s math, if Facciotti won both motos, Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke just had to do better than 3-4.
When he and Facciotti went down in the second turn of the 2nd moto, it made things pretty exciting. However, these two are so fast they were able to catch up to the single digits by the end of the moto. 2-5 gave Matt 4th on the day…
Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki’s #123 Brett Metcalfe had a pretty solid grasp on 3rd in the championship, but when he went down in the first turn of moto 1, it added some drama.
Like only a few of the riders can, he re-mounted and took 5th and then came back and won the 2nd after a great battle with Cole Thompson for 3rd on the day.
Royal Distributing Fox Racing KTM Canada’s #148 Cole Thompson is very fast at Walton Raceway; we’ve seen it in the past.
He was this close with Metcalfe for most of the second moto. 3-2 gave him 2nd overall, 1 point up on Metty for the day.
#1 Honda Canada TLD GDR’s Colton Facciotti came on strong to finish off the season.
His 1-3 motos gave him the overall again at Walton.
And his 4th ‘King of Walton’ sword.
2015 MX1 Overall Podium: Matt Goerke (527), Colton Facciotti (521), Brett Metcalfe (482).
Let’s enjoy the moment with them for a while…
Matt hits the stage to accept the plate from Rockstar Energy’s David Giancoulos.
That is the look of half part joy mixed with half part relief.
You hit a certain age and you know better than to waste all the champagne.
Take a couple weeks off, boys. You deserve it! No, wait…see some of you in Indiana for the Ironman National this Saturday!
And that, as they say, is that for the 2015 Canadian season. How can they charge the 2-time MX2 champ for a class of lemonade?! See you at the races…