By Billy Rainford
What a weekend of racing that was at Walton Raceway! Walton One is in the books. I’ll move to point form to hit as many things as I can from this past few days.
- They’ve really got the facility looking nice. The newer pavilion building with the addition up front is really nice. We stood in there and watched some AMA Pro Motocross action while eating some delicious gelato. It looks great and gives you the sense that our sport may be headed in a good direction.
- I showed up for about 1 our on Friday to catch some of the Enduro racing. It looked like most people were having fun out there but I was a little surprised at how dusty the track was. The course utilized the MX track and it was incredibly dry. I don’t know if that’s the way these things usually are, so I won’t make any assumptions here.
- On Saturday morning it was clear early that they were leaving the track alone and not ripping it very deep or putting much water down on it. I was told it was on purpose to allow the smaller bikes an easier time getting around the track. It makes some sense but it made the track dangerously dusty for the rest of the classes. Riders were jumping the Natural Double on the first lap of races by braille!
- The wind was going from the track and through the Pro pits. Every rig and pit was covered in dust that I’m sure didn’t sit too well with most drivers and teams.
- I snapped dust from my socks inside Peter Derry‘s trailer while we enjoyed a cup of coffee and that didn’t sit too well with him. Sorry, guys.
- Numbers in some of the usually more popular classes were a little down from what I’d expected. Most classes had top riders at the front but I was surprised at how much room was left on many gates.
- 30B was like a National race! Intense action from the older boys.
- On Sunday, the track looked to be tilled and watered nicely, but maybe not ripped as deep as most riders were expecting.
- WMX went out for first practice and riders were coming off the track with very little muck on them or their bikes. This fact worried many Pro riders.
- I thought the track developed pretty nicely but the comment we were hearing a lot was that it got pretty one-lined.
- They were able to keep the dust in check, so that was a huge improvement from Saturday.
- There were quite a few fans watching on Sunday. It was a really nice change from what we’ve seen at the first 3 rounds of the series. I actually had to watch out for people as I rode my bike from place to place.
- I’m not a fan of the 3-moto format. As a racer, I’d hate to have to do an extra gate drop, and I’d want to be able to use all the hard work I’d put in to be ready for a racing season in longer motos. And as a fan, there’s too much math involved, as I see it. “OK, so he went 3-6 in the first 2 but now he’s leading this one…?“
- The 3-moto format also makes the program so tight that I had to walk away from the podium presentation before the FXR PreMix top 3 went up to accept their trophies and pose for a photo. I don’t have a photo of them and I know Jame Lissimore had to walk away too. It’s too bad because that was some great racing!
- Speaking of PreMix, it was more like we’ve come to expect this week. There were lots of former and current Pro riders out there having fun banging bars on the little bikes with the youngsters who were also out there.
- In WMX, hold on to your wigs and keys, we’ve got us a series, here. #1 Eve Brodeur and #49 Jamie Astudillo will be glued together every round so be sure to check it out. They traded wins and head to Gopher Dunes tied in points.
- Behind them, we should see some good fights between #3 Malia Garant and #2 Sarah-Kim Villeneuve (SKV) for the final spot on the podium.
- Where were all the WMX riders? We had pretty full gates out west and then only enough here to fill one side of the gate. There were only 16 riders. It didn’t make sense to me.
- In 250 Pro, #533 Josiah Natzke took the win with 1-1-4 motos. It’s great to have another fast rider to mix it up for podiums and wins the rest of this season. It was also great to see the big smile on team owner Julien Perrier‘s face. It only took 12 years!
- #46 Marco Cannella took a nasty fall as he tried to get around #33 Tyler Gibbs in the inside line after the finish line step up. He went flying but we’re told he’s going to be fine.
- The battle at the front of the 3rd 250 moto was amazing from the drop of the gate to the checkered flag. #229 Mitchell Harrison, #1 Jake Piccolo, and #64 Ryder McNabb were never farther away from each other than about a bike length!
- We’re wishing good news for #223 Austin Jones after he disappeared and ended up in the medics’ tent. Kevin Tyler said they were concerned about a possible femur injury.
- #146 Tanner Scott raced his first Pro National as an Intermediate with Pro plates and did well. He finished 12-11-11 for 11th overall and was in some great battles.
- I gave #40 Preston Masciangelo our Ryno Power Canada award for his performance in the 250 class. Keep an eye on the #40! He finished 8th (10-8-7).
- #316 Danny Perry out there is from Alaska! As I was heading to the MRC trailer to get results sheets, I saw the license plates and circled back to talk with them. The parents were in the front seat and I confirmed they were from Alaska. They will do Gopher Dunes as well before heading home. They were loaded up and headed out so I said I’d look for them next weekend. He’ll change to #315 in the 250 class next week. His younger brother will race Amateur Day.
- It was also cool to see #158 Tre Fierro here in Canada to race. They live in El Paso, Texas, and were up in this “area” to race RedBud but were on a 14-person waiting list so they decided to come to Walton. He’ll head to Southwick this weekend and then to Mexico to race their Nationals.
- In the 450 class, we were thinking that maybe the return of #16 Cole Thompson might mean a challenge for #1 Dylan Wright at the front. We were off and #5 Tyler Medaglia took 2nd place honours again (2-5-2).
- #84 Tanner Ward stayed with Dylan in the 2nd moto and looked really comfortable out there on the big bike. A ride like this should see him battling for podiums the rest of the series. He finished 4-2-4 for 4th overall.
- Speaking of Cole, he said his plan was to race Gopher Dunes this week on a 125 in the 250 class. What’s the over/under on this happening? Is he nuts?
- #328 Talan Hansen was here from Wisconsin and slept in the cab of his pick-up. I love this shit!
- It was also great to see #20 Logan Leitzel back up here and looking fast again (8-7-8 for 7th). He’s here with fellow Pennsylvania rider #49 Jamie Astudillo.
- #26 Westen Wrozyna crashed in the rollers early and separated his shoulder. They couldn’t get it back in place trackside so off they went to the hospital where he was drugged up for the procedure. Apparently, his first words when he came around were about having the bike ready for moto 2. Classic.
- #223 Adam Atkinson went down hard out of the rut before the Natural Double and was put on a back board. Fortunately, all the news is good and he’s going t be just fine. Tough day for riders with #223!
- #18 Parker Eales hit a downed #13 Daniel Elmore down the long straight after turn one in moto 3. Daniel slid out rather nicely but Parker took one hell of a ride that I caught on video (will post later). His left wrist definitely took the brunt of the impact so hopefully it’s not broken but we’ll see. Daniel caught back up to 10th! Nice.
- #21 Liam O’Farrell 9-9-7 for 8th. Come on! Liam, I’m giving you the Ryno Power award for the 450 class…again.
- Dylan Wright’s perfect season hopes are still alive and well as we head to his team’s track this week. I wonder if even Ross Pederson had a perfect Pro season in any of the 3 classes he’d race on a weekly basis?
I’ve got lots of content to get to from the weekend, so I hope everyone had a great Canada Day long weekend. See you this weekend at Gopher Dunes.
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