By Billy Rainford

What day is it? It’s Monday? OK, I guess I’m in the right place. After three full days in the heat and humidity at Gopher Dunes, you could tell me anything and I’d be ready to believe it.

Three days, you ask? Yes. We headed there early on Friday to get our Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada 2021 FC350 media bike set up for our upcoming video project with Greg Poisson that will shed more light on Mental Health Awareness.

Julien Perrier from Addikt Graphics set us up with some beautiful graphics and Steve Beattie helped us get a slightly stiffer rear shock spring installed in the WP Suspension. The bike looks amazing and will now handle Greg’s non-Schoolboy frame. Can I say that?

I didn’t really have to do anything while I was there on Friday, but just being out there all day in that heat started off what was going to be a very busy couple days on a wobbly foot.

I did head out for a nice road bike cycle with a few guys. The roads southwest of the track are pretty good for riding. Most traffic stays on Highway 59 and the other main routes, so the backroads are pretty deserted and make for some pretty safe cycling.

Ethan Ouellette on his insane bike was the first to agree to a pre-race day ride. Bryan Cormier, his buddy, Marco, Hayden Halstead, and Marco Cannella made up our peleton.

It’s always good to get out and spin the legs before a busy weekend, but these young kids only know one speed, so I was a little concerned with the pace they wanted to hit. Hayden, Marco, and I stayed off the rear and kept things very light. I think it was the right move. Thanks for the ride, guys.

Speaking of cycling, anyone who is hanging out in the London area between now and Walton, fire me a message if you’d like to get out for a pedal on either the roads or the trails.

Lets’ talk a little about the racing at Round 1:

250 Class

250 Podium: Jess Pettis (1-1-1), Marshal Weltin (2-2-4), Marco Cannella (3-5-2). (Marshal had gone back to the pits so we didn’t get a podium shot)

We all knew that the rider to beat was going to be former 250 class champ, #15 Jess Pettis. The question was who was going to be nipping at his heals.

Most people I spoke with thought that role would belong to #19 Marshal Weltin on his new team, and we were all right.

Jess and Marshal set out on a blistering pace out front and were definitely the guys to watch for the win.

They have very different styles out on the Gopher Dunes track. Jess looked to be in complete control at that pace while Marshal tended to look a little more “effortful” out there.

Unfortunately for Marshal, that aggressive riding style put him on the ground a few times over the 3-moto format and he was forced to settle for 2nd place behind Jess. But don’t worry, this battle is far from over.

Like we said in our pre-season podcast, the biggest question seems to remain, “Who will round out the podium?

We all knew Marco Cannella and Tanner Ward were going to be ready to keep marching toward a title, and they made good strides in that goal.

The final moto of the weekend was just brutal on the riders. I felt bad enough walking around the track snapping photos and shooting video clips. I can’t even imagine what that last one was like on that track in that heat.

Jess went 1-1-1 and took the round win. Normal points are scored for each moto and then the usual round points are handed out at the end of the 3rd.

Second place went to Marshal who, like I said, made it tough on himself by going down a few times.

3rd place was where the action was.

Marco and Tanner tied for the position with 58 points each. Tanner had the spot clinched after Marshal went down and put the #18 up into 2nd place. Unfortunately, the heat was hitting him hard and he started to make mistakes and it looked like he could “bonk” at any time.

Marco went by when Tanner fell before the finish line near the very end of the race.

Tanner said afterward that he doesn’t even remember the last lap! If you’ve ever been there yourself, you know exactly how he was feeling. Actually, I bet there are a few riders out there who wouldn’t mind being told what the hell happened on the final couple laps!

He recovered pretty quickly, and was most upset with all of us hovering over him trying to help. I once woke up in a canoe filled with ice water, being dunked by medics, so I just wanted to get in there and let him know what to expect.

Anyway, I’ll just leave the recap there and head on to the 450 class.

250 Pro – Overall Finish Positions  View Laptimes   View Points for this Class Points for this class
Overall Nbr   Name Moto 1 Moto 2 Moto 3 Points Earned
 1st   #15  KTM  JESS PETTIS
1st 1st 1st 75
 2nd   #19  Kawasaki  MARSHAL WELTIN
2nd 2nd 4th 62
 3rd   #46  Yamaha  MARCO CANNELLA
3rd 5th 2nd 58
 4th   #18  Honda  TANNER WARD
4th 3rd 3rd 58
 5th   #123  Kawasaki  RYAN SURRATT
5th 4th 5th 50
 6th   #30  Yamaha  HAYDEN HALSTEAD
6th 7th 8th 42
 7th   #21  KTM  QUINN AMYOTTE
7th 8th 7th 41
 8th   #41  KTM  JEREMY MCKIE
10th 9th 6th 38
 9th   #377  Yamaha  DANIEL ELMORE
11th 10th 11th 31
 10th   #32  Husqvarna  WILLIAM CRETE
9th 11th 15th 28
 11th   #164  Honda  RYDER MCNABB
25th 6th 9th 27
 12th   #381  KTM  JACOB PICCOLO
8th 23rd 13th 21
 13th   #17  Kawasaki  CHEYENNE HARMON
14th 14th 14th 21
 14th   #92  Kawasaki  RICHARD TAYLOR
26th 13th 10th 19
 15th   #325  Yamaha  TALLON UNGER
16th 15th 16th 16
 16th   #11  Husqvarna  DAVEY FRASER
18th 30th 12th 12
 17th   #71  KTM  DUNCAN MACLEOD
13th 17th 31st 12
 18th   #25  Yamaha  TYLER GIBBS
20th 12th 24th 10
 19th   #66  Yamaha  JAMIE POWELL
15th 34th 18th 9
 20th   #119  Honda  JARED PETRUSKA
12th 29th DNS 9
 21st   #65  Yamaha  ANTHONY SPADACCINI
22nd 16th 20th 6
 22nd   #437  Kawasaki  KYLE KING
23rd 20th 17th 5
 23rd   #118  Yamaha  CHRISTOPHER DA SILVA
17th 21st 21st 4
 24th   #223  Yamaha  AUSTIN JONES
19th 19th 28th 4
 25th   #511  KTM  JORDAN LEBEL
24th 18th 30th 3
 26th   #777  Yamaha  TYLER SHEWCHYK
21st 22nd 19th 2
 27th   #35  Husqvarna  ERIC JEFFERY
33rd 24th 22nd 0
 28th   #767  KTM  JUSTIN BARNHART
27th 28th 23rd 0
 29th   #141`  KTM  EVE BRODEUR
32nd 27th 25th 0
 30th   #338  KTM  JOSHUA MCGINNIS
31st 26th 26th 0
 31st   #154  Yamaha  TRAVIS FORD
28th 31st 27th 0
 32nd   #143  Honda  TAYLOR DELAROSBIL
29th 25th 29th 0
 33rd   #141  Kawasaki  LANDON MUTCH
 Napanee, ON 
37th 33rd 32nd 0
 34th   #211  Yamaha  WILLIAM COTE
35th 32nd DNS 0
 35th   #619  Yamaha  JAREK INANCSI
30th DNS DNS 0
 36th   #133  KTM  TYLER YATES
34th DNS DNS 0
 37th   #647  KTM  CALVIN BARNHART
36th DNS DNS 0
 DNS   #719  Kawasaki  DEVIN RAE
 DNS   #157  Husqvarna  WYATT WADDELL

450 Class

450 Podium: Dylan Wright (1-1-1), Phil Nicoletti (3-2-2), Matt Goerke (4-3-3).

There were lengthy discussions about how the 450 class would play out. Depending on who you spoke to, #9 Dylan Wright (the rookie in the 450 class) was either going to crash himself out of contention or possibly run the table.

The safe bet was on the two veterans in the class, defending Triple Crown champion, Phil Nicoletti, and Cole Thompson.

Cole was removed from the equation when he mysteriously started dropping back out of the battle for the win in the first moto on Saturday.

It was later revealed to me that Cole was throwing up in his helmet and was completely out of sorts. He’d suffered a nasty cut under his are and it had become infected.

He dropped back and then rode around the edge of the track, cutting abruptly to the finish line which earned him insult to injury with a 5-position docking for cutting the course.

16th is definitely not where he should have started the season!

He went to the hospital to get things sorted out and returned to the track Sunday morning to try again.

It only lasted a couple laps and he was forced to pull of the track and call it a day. Such a disappointment for the ultra-smooth and fast rider out of Brigden, Ontario.

I hope he gets it all sorted out in the coming days so he can come out swinging at Walton Raceway in a couple weeks. The chance to the MX title may have just gone away, but there are still W’s to accumulate.

Phil is a gritty rider from the USA who you know isn’t going to leave anything on the track. He’s a no-nonsense rider who usually lets his results do the talking for him.

After losing the first moto to the “new kid,” the team had to be looking for answers. In Pro Racing, you can never accept a loss. You need to keep your mental edge by looking for reasons. The last thing you want to admit to yourself is that someone else was better and faster than you.

But Dylan wasn’t finished on Saturday. He came back and won both motos on Sunday and proved to everyone that he’s the real deal in this class and that he’s here for on thing, the title.

Phil gave a good effort and the two of them had the entire east end of the track ahead of #2 Matt Goerke in 3rd place in that final, brutal moto. It was pretty amazing to watch, actually.

#5 Tyler Medaglia proved, once again, that he’s never to be underestimated. He was a solid 2nd in the first moto.

You always know he’s one of the fittest riders on the gate, so he can never be counted out on days like these.

Unfortunately, he caught his handlebar in the stomach and had a really hard time breathing in the final moto.

He was able to hold on for 5th, but it didn’t look very easy.

There were many other stories, but I’ll save those for another column.

450 Pro – Overall Finish Positions  View Laptimes   View Points for this Class Points for this class
Overall Nbr   Name Moto 1 Moto 2 Moto 3 Points Earned
 1st   #9  Honda  DYLAN WRIGHT
1st 1st 1st 75
 2nd   #54  Yamaha  PHIL NICOLETTI
3rd 2nd 2nd 64
 3rd   #2  Kawasaki  MATT GOERKE
4th 3rd 3rd 58
 4th   #5  Kawasaki  TYLER MEDAGLIA
2nd 4th 5th 56
 5th   #3  Yamaha  SHAWN MAFFENBEIER
6th 5th 4th 49
 6th   #28  Yamaha  SAM GAYNOR
5th 6th 6th 46
 7th   #64  KTM  LIAM O’FARRELL
8th 7th 7th 41
 8th   #26  Kawasaki  JOSH CARTWRIGHT
10th 9th 8th 36
 9th   #50  Yamaha  BOBBY PIAZZA
9th 10th 9th 35
 10th   #10  Husqvarna  KEYLAN MESTON
7th 8th 13th 35
 11th   #36  Honda  PARKER EALES
11th 12th 10th 30
 12th   #33  Husqvarna  YANICK BOUCHER
14th 13th 12th 24
 13th   #76  Yamaha  BRYAN CORMIER
 G0S2V0, QC 
18th 11th 11th 23
 14th   #136  Honda  DEREK HAMM
12th 14th 14th 23
 15th   #691  KTM  BLAIR NAUTA
13th 15th 18th 17
 16th   #43  Honda  RYAN DERRY
15th 16th 16th 16
 17th   #577  Kawasaki  MITCH REMPEL
DNS 18th 15th 9
 18th   #67  Yamaha  BROCK KELLY
33rd 17th 17th 8
 19th   #343  KTM  MAX FILIPEK
17th 19th 20th 7
 20th   #16  KTM  COLE THOMPSON
16th DNS DNS 5
 21st   #82  Honda  ZACK ZAGER
19th 20th 28th 3
 22nd   #156  Honda  COLE WILSON
32nd 22nd 19th 2
 23rd   #317  Honda  COOPER LARCHE
20th 30th DNS 1
 24th   #243  Yamaha  ERIC SCHILDT
23rd 21st 21st 0
 25th   #170  Yamaha  DAMON LUKSYS
21st 25th 22nd 0
 26th   #192  Kawasaki  ETHAN OUELLETTE
31st 24th 23rd 0
 27th   #57  Honda  DARIO ZECCA
22nd 23rd 24th 0
 28th   #128  Yamaha  ROBERT MITTLER
25th 27th 25th 0
 29th   #90  Honda  TRAVIS BARRETTE
27th 26th 26th 0
 30th   #171  Yamaha  DAVID KAHN
28th 28th 27th 0
 31st   #778  Husqvarna  T J MARTIN
26th 29th DNS 0
 32nd   #194  Yamaha  CODY MCKAGUE
29th 31st DNS 0
 33rd   #570  Yamaha  DARCY MEREDITH
30th 32nd DNS 0
 34th   #980  Yamaha  CHAD HUSSEY
24th DNS DNS 0
 DNS   #83  Yamaha  TOMMY DALLAIRE

OK, I see that it’s already noon here, and that’s my coffee cutoff! We’ve got lots more content to get up on the site. Greg and I did some Post-Race Chats where were talk about what happened from our perspective on the track.

I’m going to edit a couple voice-over videos of the actual racing action, so please stay tuned for those.



Have a great week, and thanks for checking us out. My cup is now empty, so back to the coffee pot I go.

Let me also thank the entire MRC/Jetwerx crew for working so hard to ensure we have a series to watch, compete in, and report on. It couldn’t have been easy. Also, to everyone who is at the races, keep doing what we’re doing, and we’ll get through this crazy summer.

FMX superstar Kassie Boone says, “See you at the races…