McThoughts: Toronto 250 East SX
By Jeff McConkey
The 250 East riders came to Toronto this past weekend, and it was anyone’s game. Current points leader, #49 Martin Davalos, was not in Toronto due to personal “family reasons.” That meant that the red plate was going to a different rider for the first time this season. Heading into Toronto, we had a few riders capable of wins. There was Daytona winner Jeremy Martin, Daytona runner up Justin Hill, Malcolm Stewart, and Aaron Plessinger. All four riders had a legitimate shot at winning the race, and possibly leaving with the points lead. The night started off good for some and awful for others. Plessinger went down very hard in his heat and was forced to the LCQ. The other 3 had good heats and advanced straight into the main. That’s when it all went sideways. Off the start, all hell broke loose and 3 of the contenders were on the ground. What happened next was pretty impressive and made for a great race. Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts.
1st Justin Hill: Justin came in prepared and his speed was very impressive at the first 2 rounds. At round 3, Hill finally got the start he needed. Justin started 4th and quickly took over. Yes, I know his 3 main competitors were on the ground in corner one, but don’t kid yourself. Hill was would have won or placed 2nd at worst, he was riding that well. A win is a win and now Justin is only 2 points behind new red plate holder Jeremy Martin.
2nd Jeremy Martin: Jeremy was involved in that massive first turn crash, but I think the fact that he landed on a tuff block, definitely helped him. He then put on an amazing charge to finish 2nd. Jeremy didn’t freak out and rode great. He now heads into Detroit as the series leader. Jeremy knows how to manage a points lead outside, let’s see if he can indoors.
3rd Matt Bisceglia: Matt avoided the carnage and started 2nd. He may have had a little luck, but so did most of the others. He rode a great race and was rewarded with a podium. Extra points to Matt for showing up at the DMX after party with a pretty sweet Canada toque with pom pom and all.
4th Alex Frye: What a ride for the young rookie. He got a great start and rode like a veteran. He didn’t let the thoughts of a podium make him crack and he finished well.
5th Jesse Wentland: Jesse rode in Canada not long ago and looked pretty good. I was hoping to see him back to contend for a MX2 title, but a good 450 ride opened up, and the Canadian fans lost a beauty. Turns out, Jesse has some serious indoor skills as well and recorded a career best out of the back of a van. Congrats, Jesse, and keep up the hard work.
6th Malcolm Stewart: This guy has talent, speed, fitness and a ton of heart. Most guys would have been headed to the pits after the crash, and not many racers would pull in for not one, but 2 pit stops. Malcolm was beat up, but not out, busted his ass, and rode the wheels off of his Geico Honda on the way to a super-impressive 6th.
7th Benny Bloss: Benny went backwards a bit, but he still had a nice ride. This guy is super-tall, but still has nice style. Most guys that tall look like goons, but not this guy. I’m sure once he gets used to the pace a little more, he will run close to the top 5.
8th Gannon Audette: Nice to see Gannon get a good start and finish well. It seems like he was always hurt and maybe forgotten about. Not so much anymore. He looked good out there.
9th Paul Coates: Great finish for Coates. I didn’t really see him out there, but you have got to respect a top 10.
10th Arnaud Tonus: Tonus has had the speed, but unfortunately, he has had the bad luck as well. I’d like to see him get a great start and see if he can handle the pressure for 15 laps.
Biggest Stud: Malcolm Stewart is my stud. He rode his ass off and he’s a Blue Jays fan! And congrats to his team for the quick thinking by cutting the kill switch.
Biggest Dud: I’m not sure exactly who to blame, but someone in Martin Davalos’ camp really screwed up, big time.
Biggest Surprise: That first turn pile up was a surprise. You don’t usually see that many top guys down together.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in Detroit.