McThoughts: Ottawa National
By Jeff McConkey
Round 6 went off on Saturday just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. It was very hot, and very humid, but that didn’t hold back the top racers from hanging it out and giving us some great racing. Kaven Benoit went 1-1 yet again, and looks to be on his way to his 2nd National Championship. There are still a few riders with a mathematical chance at winning, and they by no means have given up. Let’s take a look at the results and my thoughts:
1st Kaven Benoit (1-1) Kaven was damn-near perfect once again. He pulled both holeshots and led every lap en route to both moto victories. He and Jeremy Medaglia basically had a 28-minute sprint in moto 1 and Kaven came off looking like he had at least another 20 minutes in him. I really don’t know if he can be beaten in the East.
2nd Shawn Maffenbeier (4-2) Shawn looked really good in both motos. He kept Benoit fairly close in moto 2, and with decent starts, he looks like he can run the podium speed for the rest of the season.
3rd Jeremy Medaglia (2-4) Jeremy was glued to Benoit’s rear fender for the entire first moto, and they left the rest of the pack behind. After rounding the first corner of moto 2 around 30th, Jer put in a great charge to 4th. He needs to get better jumps off the gate so he doesn’t have to play catch up all moto. His moto 1 ride was his best of the season in my eyes.
4th Dylan Wright (3-7) Dylan had a good day in front of the home crowd. After a few more weekends like this, he could possibly finish the season in 4th overall.
5th Jimmy Decotis (12-3) ‘Jimmy D’ had a rough moto 1, as he got off to a bad start and looked to be fighting the bike. They made an adjustment to his SSS for moto 2 and he looked much better. This guy wants to win so bad for his team, I’m loving the heart and attitude.
6th Blake Savage (7-6) Pretty solid weekend for Blake considering how sick he was. He was holding it in from both ends and did a great job salvaging points. I expect to see him lead a few laps soon and land on the podium.
7th Liam O’Farrell (5-8) Liam is getting great starts and riding very well. I’d like to see this guy on a good 450 next season, he’d be in the top 10 every weekend. Maybe a good teammate for Tyler Medaglia on a Husky?
8th Morgan Burger (9-5) This is the best I think Morgan has looked all season to me. He was killing it 2nd moto, and his gear is always on point! Did you know Strict was Canadian? I didn’t.
9th Cole Martinez (6-12) Cole came back from injury early and rode well. He looked good moto 1, but may have gotten tired in moto 2. Nice to have him back.
10th Shawn Rife (8-13) It looks like Shawn’s 2 race deal is up. He looked very solid for a guy that hasn’t been racing. Hopefully, somebody picks him up, because on a good bike and team, this guy should be a podium contender every weekend.
Biggest Stud: Benoit and his KTM 250 2-stroke are my studs. They both just look so good this season.
Biggest Dud: I’m not calling Seth Rarick my dud, but I’m calling his bad luck my dud. This guy is fast and fit, but can’t catch a break. Most people would pack it in, but he’s still smiling and busting his ass which is nice to see.
Biggest Surprise: The 3 top French intermediates, Vincent Lauzon, J.C. Bujold, and Tommy Dallaire. And I wouldn’t say surprised, but more like impressed. The future looks good for these 3 young racers.
As always, we had some great battles at Round 6 at Sand Del Lee. The top 5 or so guys are really on it every weekend; you never really know who to put your money on. It seems like week after week we have a new guy step up and win a moto. Sand Del Lee was no different than the earlier rounds as the action was fantastic. Let’s have a look at the results and see my thoughts:
1st Brett Metcalfe (3-1) Brett looked really good at SDL. He needs a few 1-1 weekends if he wants to steal the red plate from Matt Goerke, he definitely has all of the tools.
2nd Matt Goerke (2-2) Goerke is riding very very well, and looks to be on his way to capturing his 2nd Canadian Championship. I honestly think it will take a DNF for him to give up the points lead.
3rd Colton Facciotti (1-4) Colton’s first moto ride was just awesome. The Colton of old was back and nobody could touch him. Moto 2 he couldn’t find a groove. He needs Metcalfe and Goerke to have some bad luck if he wants to keep that number 1 plate.
4th Cole Thompson (5-3) Another solid weekend for Cole. I’m waiting for him to find that groove where he goes 1-1 and takes off from the pack. He rides so smooth, it looks like he’s going slow at times. He is do for a 1-1.
5th Tyler Medaglia (4-5) Tyler gives you everything he has every time he is on the track. He looks really good on the Husky, but let’s be honest…this guy could get it done on anything he rides.
6th Bobby Kiniry (7-6) Bobby started the day on fire in qualifying, and finished off with 2 solid motos. Just like Medaglia, he gives it his all every time out.
7th Teddy Maier (6-7) Teddy has been a little quiet, but that’s not always a bad thing. I’m still waiting for everything to click and Teddy to turn up the speed and open everyone’s eyes.
8th Kyle Keast (10-8) Keast rode to a solid 8th overall. He’s big and strong and should finish around the top 10 each week.
9th Kyle Swanson (8-12) Kyle left the 250’s out West and jumped up to the 450 for the East. He prefers the smoother style of the 450 and looked pretty darn good. His effort at SDL earned him a spot on the Devil’s Lake MX Yamaha squad for the remainder of the season. Good job, Kyle!
10th John Dowd (9-13) Father Time has nothing on this guy. Turning 50 in a month, and he gets a solid top 10 overall. It’s pretty awesome to see John and his son Ryan racing the Nationals together.
Biggest Stud: I’m picking the top 5 of the class this week as my studs. It’s really great to see how talented they are, and how tight the racing it is. We aren’t the only ones to notice. There are a ton of top AMA pros inquiring about, and following our series. That’s pretty cool.
Biggest Dud: Some of the lappers are my duds. Yes, I understand that there will always be lappers, but a few of these guys would struggle in the B class.
Biggest Surprise: Drew Roberts is my surprise. This guy’s starts have been awesome lately and he is riding well.
Thanks for reading and see you at Deschambault.