Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
Welp, that looks like it may have been the final Pro weekend of the outdoor season right there. The Rockstar Energy MX Nationals ended last week at Walton Raceway and the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships just wrapped-up their 12-round series for the second year at the Ironman MX track in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
First off, here’s a look at Saturday’s results:
As I’m sure you’re already aware, we had a strong contingent of Canadians racing at Ironman MX (Did people who finished the races get a free Timex watch? [Google it, Bowker!])
Their results were already posted on the site, but here they are again, in case you missed them:
#626 Shawn Robinson
Qualified 60th / 19th in the consolation race.
This was Shawn’s first kick at the big U.S. can. He told us in his podcast that he’d only had about 20 minutes seat time on the Honda 450 as he raced a KTM 450 all summer long. This track got so rough that it was tough to get a solid qualifying lap in with all the riders in the B qualifier. Shawn will use this as experience that he’ll be able to draw from the next time he lines up under such an intense spotlight.
During the consolation race, he and #330 Eric Jeffery were racing together like we were north of the border. It was fun to watch.
#330 Eric Jeffery
Qualified 56th / 17th in the consolation race.
Eric, too, had never lined up at an AMA National. He said in his podcast that he kept his expectations low and was just happy to get this experience. The track very wet for their qualifier and he was able to get the 56-fastest time on it.
He didn’t get the best start in the consolation race but moved forward and challenged Robinson for position. It was entertaining to watch but neither of them were able to make the main motos this time. He was inspired by the experience and would like to try again another time.
#141 Jeremy Medaglia
Qualified 53rd / Didn’t line up for consolation race.
According to Derek Schuster, Jeremy came into this race with a sore back suffered in his Walton crash the week before. Jeremy went out in qualifying and tried to do what he could but when he realized it was no use, he called it quits early and that was it for his day. He denied our podcast so we’ll have to speak with him in the near future to see how he’s doing.
#464 Kyle Keast
Qualified 30th / 27-25 28th overall
Kyle was quick to point out how rough the track was. If you know anything about ‘The Dozer,’ you know that carries some weight! He didn’t get great starts and found it difficult to move forward in a field with such depth. He had ‘Good Bye’ on his TLD pants up in Canada but not down in there. I asked him what it was like to actually get lapped in a race. He was quick to point out that he does get lapped on occasion but not like this! He was impressed and humbled by the speed of the top riders. He looked like he thoroughly enjoyed the experience and is ready for a little time off the bike to get back to his full-time job.
#926 Kaven Benoit
Qualified 31st / 19-18 20th overall
I hope the online coverage captured the size of some of the jumps on this track! After you made the right turn after this big uphill jump, riders were then faced with a massive triple that sent you over what had to look like a cliff from on top of the bike. It was big.
Kaven is a big-stage performer and had a lot of fun Saturday. As 2-time MX2 Canadian champ, he will be on the 450 next season. He said in his podcast that he expects to be in the top 3 – not to win, but be right there. Kaven had a great late-moto battle with Tyler Medaglia in the first moto. Kaven fell and Tyler got by. On the last lap they were wheel to wheel. When Tyler slipped up, Benoit made the pass and the two finished the moto close together.
Off the start of the second moto, Kaven found himself up in the top 5! Unfortunately, #11 Kyle Chisholm was down on the track off the start, forcing a red flag. He reset and again got a good start up in the top 10 or so. Kaven raced hard Saturday and somehow managed to find himself racing alone in that field for a large portion. He’s disappointed Canada isn’t going to France and said that this is a pretty nice replacement for that event.
#903 Tyler Medaglia
Qualified 5th / 20-13 16th overall
You qualify up in 5th place and you get to start where the big dogs start. How about this?! Right between the defending champ and the new champ! The jumps are so big that one over-jumped lading actually broke his rear fender and it continually slapped him in the back for the entire first moto.
Two things stick out about Tyler’s ride: He had to ride B practice and qualifiers. He was offered to bump a rider from the A group, but when he found out that rider was his brother, Jeremy, he stayed in the B class. Also, as he sat on the line waiting for first practice, he heard the announcer say that Legends rider, #10 Guy Cooper, was hitting the huge uphill triple the previous day, so he hit it on the second lap (you aren’t allowed on the first). He said he hit all the huge jumps right away so they didn’t get in his head. He also said that at 140 pounds, there’s no way his powerful Husky 450 couldn’t make all of them, so he went for them all.
His battle with Benoit late in the first was great to watch. In the second, he had #29 Andrew Short and Colton Facciotti ahead of him and in his sights for most of the moto. He was happy with his performance and said he will take some time off before hitting the woods for some enduro racing.
#495 Colton Facciotti
Qualified 22nd / 13-11 11th overall
Colton has lots of experience at these big events and is used to being top Canadian. He did it again Saturday even after tweaking his back during the first moto. The braking bumps were huge and the bike would come up and hit you when you least expected it. He received some treatment from the Asterisk medics and then had some chiropractic adjustment as well just to line up for the second moto.
He had a great start in the first and even managed to pass his way up into 2nd spot in the 3rd corner! It was pretty impressive in that field. He gritted his teeth and stayed up in the sharp end of the competition, chasing Short to the finish and keeping some very experienced riders behind him.
We wondered why, after such a great start from the far side of the gate in the first, that he would decide to go to the complete opposite side for the second. In his words, “Apparently, you need to be on time for the start down here.” He was a little late and so they gave him last gate pick. He got pushed way to the left and had to let off the gas early.
It was a great performance that had the announcers mentioning his and Canada’s name repeatedly on the PA. I think it was Jimmy Albertson who had the difficulty pronouncing ‘Facciotti’ but at least it was said!
No, we’re not preparing for the Monster Energy MXON in Ernée, France, next month, but many have said they would prefer we have a strong list of Canadians attend a big AMA National. Well, it just happened. Are you satisfied with the results? Do you feel we got the same or more exposure from this event than we would from the MXON? Did our riders benefit from this experience more? How about the cost vs. benefit?
I guess, in a perfect world, both would be on the calendar but we know budgets are usually stretched to their limits and getting to this race is just easier to manage. Our riders have many of the same issues with licensing etc., but the sheer magnitude of preparing for the MXON is so great that it basically chases away many of the qualified people who would possibly manage the team and take on the daunting task. It just isn’t going to happen in 2015, so off to the AMA we went…and it was AWESOME!
All of our guys were mentioned repeatedly over the PA. They talked about past championships and really gave them props for showing up. It was very positive. I know that team owners/managers talked about the possibility of going, but went into this pretty late and it was great that sponsors and personal supporters got behind the effort and got so many of our top guys down there.
It’s also great that the final round happens to be within driving distance of London, Ontario, so Emily and I were able to hop in the #dmxvan (which now has over 26,000kms on it in just 3 months) and be there to see and record it. I shot some video too and will get to that as soon as I hit ‘submit’ on this coffee break.
If you’re curious about how the AMA points etc. went down, Chase Stallo over at Racer X did all the so called ‘heavy lifting’ again and you can read about that HERE.
All I will say is that, aside from watching all the Canucks, the other headline was the 250 title race heading into the final round.
If you don’t get to the stage early, some guy named Simon Cudby gets up front and gets all the good shots. My plan is usually to stand over his shoulder so it looks like riders are looking into MY lens. I was to late on this day…no, wait, Jason sees me!
MMRS Madoc National
It’s too bad the MMRS Madoc National fell on the same day as Ironman MX because I didn’t get the chance to defend my Legends Class title. Oh well, it fell into good hands, as Sylvain Brodeur gets 12 months bragging rights as the title holder. Our own Jeff McConkey went in with high hopes but came away 3rd. We’ll have to let him give us the elbows-down play-by-play soon here on the site.
It looks like Cole Thompson and Eve Brodeur took home the lion’s share of the cash as winners of the Pro classes. Here’s a look at a couple results sheets. Full results can be found HERE.
PS Get well soon, Nick Jones. Like my old downhill skiing friend used to say, “You need to control your falls!” Ya, great advice. LOL
Now, Jeff will tell you these results are incorrect and we’ll have to take his word for it. He says he wasn’t using a transponder and so wasn’t scored, but perhaps he was DQ’d for the second year in a row? We’ll have to wait to hear if an official protest was filed with the MMRS…
OK, so what’s next, you ask? I guess the USGP out at Glen Helen September 20th and then the start of the now 2 Canadian Arenacross series.
The Arenacrosstour 2015 Canadian Arenacross Championships Presented by Royal Distributing start in London, Ontario, September 25-26 and the Future West Canadian Arenacross Championships start in Armstrong, BC October 2-3. We will be covering both series. The question is, which series are the riders doing?
OK, I need to get to work on the Ironman MX video and lots of other things for the site and you need to get back to your job! If anyone has a good story about how they sneak their work-day moto fix in, let us know. I bet there are some pretty funny stories out there! Tell us on our Facebook page.
Have a great week!