Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
Wow, just when you thought it was going to be a boring Monday…BAM!
This next Press Release may be enough to take you right through that cup of coffee in your hand. Give it a read and then we’ll talk:
Yep, we all knew this was a possibility and now it’s a reality: Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha will have both 2-time and defending MX1 champion Matt Goerke and 2013 MX1 champion Brett Metcalfe under the tent next summer. That’s pretty much like having Ross ‘Rollerball’ Pederson and JSR on the same team…if they were Canadian legends, that is.
A bit of a stretch, you say? Perhaps. But still, Goerke and Metcalfe on the same team? That’s a big deal and it will now cause a ripple effect in Canadian motocross.
Who does the Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki team go after to be competitive with these two? The top 2 Canadian riders, Royal Distributing Fox KTM Canada rider Cole Thompson and 4-time MX1 champion Honda Canada TLD GDR’s Colton Facciotti, are already spoken for. We know that the Monster team will search far and wide in search of riders of the same caliber, so we’ll have to wait a little while to see who they sign.
Also hidden in that Press Release is the fact that the team will be a ‘450 only’ effort in 2016. We know that was where the team was headed in 2015, but they have such a great relationship with Shawn Maffenbeier that they went one more year throwing money at making a 250 machine competitive.
We spoke to Shawn this morning as he was on his way back to Swift Current, SK after helping a friend build something in Manitoba. He answered on the first ring, so I think he was expecting a call after an announcement like that. He was also drinking a cup of coffee, so it just all came together nicely! We spoke mostly about hair (or our lack of it) but then we got around to talking about his 2016 racing plans.
He knew the Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha team was heading the 450-only direction and so he was already thinking about his options. Team Manager, André Laurin, immediately offer Shawn a 450 ride with the team but was also very supportive and helpful in helping Shawn consider what 250 options were out there.
At this point, Shawn is talking with the usual suspects, KTM, Kawasaki, and MX101, all of whom have interesting things planned for 2016. He wants to continue his progress in the MX2 class and that is the direction he will pursue for next year, and perhaps beyond.
Shawn would likely be the first pick for a team with a vacant 250 seat, so we’ll stay on top of this as things develop.
Monster Energy Cup
The Monster Energy Cup took place Saturday night at Sam Boyd Stadium in the suburbs of Las Vegas. I didn’t make it out to the event this year, but we had one Canadian there to cheer for – #21 Casey Keast from Kelowna, BC competed in his second Supermini class.
Casey had a very solid showing in 2014 when he got great starts and ran up in the mix. His 6-7 motos gave him 7th overall last year and none of the riders who finished ahead of him were returning in 2015. That must have had Casey feeling confident heading into this year’s event.
Unfortunately, if you watched the race live on the weekend, you didn’t see the #21 Yamaha up at the front early in either race and Casey was left battling from poor starts. He could only muster 14th overall after 11-18 motos. You know he wouldn’t be happy with those results, this being the last time we’ll probably see him on a Supermini.
I gave him a call this morning (11am my time/8am his time out west) and all I got was his outgoing message that goes, “Hey, you reached Casey. I’m probably out getting money right now. Leave a message.” I’m not 100% sure what that means but it must be nice. We’ll get in touch with him when he gets home from the bank to get his thoughts on the event.
The Joker Lane took another victim this year at the Monster Cup. Husqvarna rider #21 Jason Anderson was this year’s poster child for ‘Oops, I missed the Joker Lane!‘ Had he won the first race, his total would have been 5 compared to Ken Roczen‘s winning total of 6, but was he going to win that one? Had he finished 2nd in the first, his 5 would have tied Kenny’s but he still would have finished 2nd due to Roczen’s better final moto score. All in all, it was a costly mistake, but probably not one that cost him the $100 000 first place prize money…or was it?
He did grab all 3 holeshots and took home a brand new (almost after Stilez Robertson smashed ito it in the 2nd Supermini race) Toyota Tundra, so that was cool.
Yamaha Press Day at Motopark
It’s been a while, but I’m going to strap on the boots and ride a whole bunch of the 2016 line-up of off-road Yamahas tomorrow at Motopark. The weather is looking perfect so it should be a fun day of riding brand new bikes. Don’t worry, the opinion of the the new bikes will not be limited to what my rusty skills think, we will have FXR Yamaha rider Hayden Halstead there to actually put the bikes through the ringer. Our graphic designer and self-titled ‘sandwich maker,’ Dawn McClintock, will be along too.
Bikes being ridden will be:
Yamaha Canada will also have Parts Canada TransCan Alpinestars Bronze Boot winner, Nick Denniston, and Loretta Lynn’s Champion, Marco Cannella, there to ride the new bikes. It should be a fun-filled day of riding and bench racing. Watch for the coverage on the site as soon as we can.
Fly Lite Hydrogen Limited Edition Hi-Vis Racewear
East Coast Champions of Canadian AX Tour
Brigden, ON, (Wednesday, October 14th, 2015) – The Canadian National Arenacross Tour finished up their East Coast rounds this past weekend in Sarnia, ON titling all East Coast Champions. Before the Tour heads west, we want to acknowledge all of our riders who came out for the first four rounds making this an event for the books. Amateur riders finally got to experience the gnarliness of arenacross racing while our pros set the stage for more epic battles once hitting western soil. Penticton and Calgary will introduce new amateur riders to the series and welcome back our pros who are vying for the big money. It will be interesting to see what the last four rounds will bring to the Tour.
The Eastern Amateur nominees for the Race Tech Rising Star Awards go to #114 Quinn Amyotte, #327 Taylor Robinson, #17 Damon Luksys, and #22 Hunter Scott. These four individuals rode their hearts out and showed that with practice and determination, big things can happen. Watch out for these four who will, with no doubt, be riding pro one day and topping the podium.
East Coast Champions
50 4-6 Junior – Ben Kongmany
50 4-6 Open – Preston Masciangelo
50 5-6 Shaft – Carter Ward
50 7-8 Senior – Preston Masciangelo
65-85 Open Beg – Taylor Robinson
65 7-9 – Tanner Scott
65 10-11 – Hunter Scott
65 7-11 Open – Tanner Scott
85 12-15 – Taylor Robinson
85 9-11 – Hunter Scott
Supermini – Nick Cryer
Schoolboy 1 – Kyle Brown
Schoolboy 2 – Marco Cannella
AX Lites Beg – Brandon Caplar
AX Beg – Brandon Caplar
AX Lites Junior – Austin Watling
AX Junior – Austin Watling
AX Lites Intermediate – Marco Cannella
AX Intermediate – Jesse Arther
Youth Under 30 – Jesse Arther
Girls 9-13 – Alexandria Draggfy
Women 12+ – Chloe Metcalfe
Vet 30 – Joe Sylvester
Vet 40 – Todd Kendall
2016 Honda Ride Day at Gopher Dunes
Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it over to Gopher Dunes this past weekend. It sounds like it was a good day and the cold weather didn’t keep people from heading over to give some of the 2016 Hondas a ride.
“Just over 100 riders came to try out the bikes. It was cold and snowed for a bit during the last couple hours but didn’t stop the line-up of riders,” said GDR’s Derek Schuster.
OK, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and is on their way to vote! Who the heck do you vote for in this thing?! I guess if you’re asking yourself that this morning, maybe you should just stay home? Is it time for a change? Is this change better? Are there any viable options? Which option is best for moto? Did I leave the iron on? All these are questions you need to ask yourself. Have a great week and thanks for reading. Now get back to work, the boss/teacher has their eye on you!
Oh, before I go…
Who here is between 6′ and 6’5″ and needs a comfortable rocket ship of a bike to get ready for the 2016 season? You? Well then you should really email me. This 2015 Scott Solace is XL/58cm. It is full carbon, Ultegra-equipped, and has hydraulic disc brakes. The combination of flexible and stiff carbon makes it comfortable yet responsive…and that’s beneficial to your garden! $2499.99 takes it!