Monday Morning Coffee
By Billy Rainford
You know those days at work when you are so busy you aren’t even sure if you’ll have time for your normal coffee break? Well, sometimes the actual coffee break is that busy too! I’m currently typing this from the comfort of the beautiful clubhouse/classroom/gym/kitchen/rec room at GPF in Cairo, Georgia.
That all sounds great, but there are so many Canadian riders here this year that I can’t get out to the track fast enough! Fortunately, they don’t usually ride here until 11am (sometimes earlier, but not usually) so I have a little it of time to sum up what’s been going on the past few days of this extremely busy time of year.
I was just downstairs in the gym (just wandering, not doing anything) and ran into this guy…
It’s supposed to be 76/22 here today and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Josh Woods has been busy getting this place set up for what will be a busy week between the Atlanta SX and Daytona SX this coming Saturday. Lots of the riders here will also be competing at the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross Sunday and Monday following the Pro races Saturday. I counted at least 10 riders who are here that will be racing!
OK, let me try to tell you who all is here:
Colton Facciotti, Jeremy Medaglia, Joey Crown, Marco Cannella, Austin Watling, Mitch Goheen, Brad Williams, Jake and Luke Tricco, The entire Cemovic Family, and Jess Pettis apparently gets here tonight. I got here late yesterday afternoon so I’m sure I’ve missed a few. I’ll know more once the riding starts here in a little while.
I can already hear the riders tearing up MTF across the fence. I’ll take a wander over there later this afternoon, too, as the parking lot over there was pretty full when I drove in yesterday.
I won’t say too much here as Jeff will have his ‘McThoughts‘ column later today here on the site, but, wow, what a night of racing! Heading into round 1 of the 250 East, we didn’t really know who was going to be fastest. Sure, we had an idea but you never know until after qualifying and a gates drop.
#49 Martin Davalos actually made that look very easy, I thought. Had #50 Malcolm Stewart not crashed, it may have been a different story, but he did and it wasn’t. Martin looked really good.
Canadian #418 Dave Blanchet lined up in the 250 class after not getting his 450 license. The entire PR-MX Strikt Racing team worked very hard to get his 250 ready for Saturday. Dave started off slowly but then put in some very solid laps. In the end, he was just 1/2 a second short of making the top 40 and missed the night show, but he looked good out there on his fast laps.
They now have something to build on for this week in Daytona. The hybrid course at the Speedway may not be an easier place for him to make the top 40, but if he heads out in free practice and can get used to the track quickly, he could have a very good night.
Either way, we’ll all be watching and cheering for him.
In the 450 class, well, you’ve all seen and heard about it by now. Unfortunately, the tricky rhythm section after the first turn took out Andrew Short, Phil Nicoletti, and Wil Hahn on the fist lap. I was standing right there and it looked pretty scary when it happened. I don’t normally do ‘Crash and Burn’ shots, but since everyone was relatively OK, I figured this was acceptable.
In the end, Wil Hahn was left with a broken right collarbone, Phil Nicoletti is nursing a knee, and Andrew Short took a very hard hit to the head and had a hot bike lying on his for a while. We’ll be sure to post full injury reports as soon as we see them.
The battle at the front was another one for the books. #25 Marvin Musquin lead teammate #1 Ryan Dungey the entire race and it looked like Marvin had the speed to make this one stick. However, on the last lap, they were coming up to lap #7 James Stewart and Marvin got out of control in the tricky section after the whoops and Dungey got by for the win.
We’ve all looked at the replay but they may not have shown a few sections before ‘the incident’ on TV. James knew they were coming a few corners earlier and really shouldn’t have been a factor through the whoops after the finish line jump. Yes, he held his line but, in hindsight, I’m sure he’d agree they should have been racing alone ahead of him before that section.
I guess the problem is that since James was very late to be lapped, he wasn’t going that much slower than the leaders and so it’s different than riders who are lapped on lap 6. We’ll have to wait and see what they all have to say now that the dust has settled. Ryan Dungey went on to win and Marvin Musquin held on for 2nd, even after going off the track. #22 Chad Reed had an impressive ride behind them for 3rd.
I can’t wait for Daytona, and I’m looking forward to McThoughts for this discussion…
JC Bujold is Back on the Bike
I just noticed on Facebook that Quebec rider, #456 JC Bujold, is back on his bike after recovering from that broken femur.
From his FB page:
Great news, JC.
Arenacross UK Comes to an End
That’s a wrap for Canadian Kieran Doherty who was over in the UK racing his first series in the Pro Lites class. He’s been podcasting about the entire experience but I just checked and he hasn’t had time to do his final episode yet. We’ll post it up on the site as soon as we see it.
Congratulations on lining up over there, Kieran. Those memories will last a lifetime!
Well, there is so much more to talk about, but I can hear bike being warmed up already outside the clubhouse here at GPF. Be sure to check in later. I’m off to get my butt trackside where it belongs! Thanks for reading and have a great week.