Photo Report|Rockstar Energy Nationals|RJ’s Round 10
By Billy Rainford
Photos by Tyler Spikman and Billy Rainford
The 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals have come to an end. We’ve gone from from coast to coast and then some! Yes, there were a few surprises along the way, but the riders who came out on top of the MX2 and MX2 really shouldn’t have shocked anyone. Cole Thompson and Davi Millsaps proved they were the ones to beat, all season long.
It was a breakout year for some and a season better left forgotten for others – that’s how motocross works and it’s why we love it so much.
Here’s a look at the 10th and final round from our return to RJ Motosport Park just north of Barrie, Ontario.
The 2016 season did not go as #101 Mark Worth would have liked. He crashed in turn 2 of the first moto, got sand in his eyes and wasn’t able to line up for the 2nd. 33 (DNF)-DNS for 39th. Ouch.
The same can be said for #42 JC Bujold’s RJ’s experience. He crashed hard in the first moto and then went off the track and hit a flagger in the second. He finished 32-34 for 37th overall.
#781 Zack Zager set out to do both classes again at RJ’s. He didn’t complete the MX1 class (DNF-DNS) and finished 27-26 for 31st in MX2.
I’m not sure what’s going on with #655 John John Pauk, but I remember him being much faster than this. He had a rough go in the first moto after this fall and took a DNF. He finished 22nd in the second for 26th overall.
#79 Tommy Dallaire is just happy to be back on the track after his scary crash at Pleasant Valley. He had a mechanical DNF in moto 1 then came back for 21st in the second for 24th overall.
The top yellow-plated Intermediate rider was #219 Kyle Miller from Orangeville, ON. He was 23rd (23-20).
#50 Alex Jeffery had a very solid 15th in the first moto. He had troubles in the second and took 33rd (22 overall).
It was cool to see #402 Brandon Hartranft racing our series at RJ’s. Unfortunately, he was unable to show his real ability when his motor started going away on him in the first moto. He decided to sit out moto 2. Watch for him to be at Walton next week on a freshened up Yamaha. 9-DNS put him 19th.
Young McCoy Brough finished out the season with 16-18 motos for 18th. He was honored at the CMRC awards banquet with the Top Rookie Award.
#199 Jason Benny has been quietly impressing me this season. He keeps getting solid results but goes relatively unnoticed. 22-11 gave him 15th overall. Maybe when people see the #199 and realize it’s not Travis Pastrana they look away?
#34 Westen Wrozyna has shown he has the speed to be a top rider. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get his bike re-started in the first moto and took a DNF. He came back for a solid 7th in the 2nd for 14th.
I sure hope #529 Broc Loftus has been keeping a journal! His trials and tribulations would make a compelling read. Yes, that’s him on an MX101 Yamaha 250F this week. He finished 17-13 for 13th overall.
#35 Hayden Halstead pulled off the Ironman at RJ’s. I heard he was going to roll the start and pull out of the first MX1 moto but then it went so well he decided to go full bore for all 4 motos. 19-10 gave him 12th in MX2 and 14-10 put him 13th in MX1. He gained a bunch of points.
Another rider who is quietly TCB is Victoria, BC’s #171 Ryan Lalonde. He finished 12-14 for 11th on the day and for the season.
#53 Taylor Arsenault is a rider to keep an eye on in the future. He had a solid 8th in moto 1 and then finished 16th in the 2nd for 10th overall.
The sun finally shone on #471 Logan Karnow. He’s had a rough go of it this season. He was 9th (11-12).
#904 Jarett Pesci had a few people scratching their heads as he rode up in the top 10. The Michigan rider finished 10-8 for 8th.
#36 Davey Fraser had another solid ride up in 7th (7-9).
#18 Brad Nauditt got out to the first moto holeshot and had a good day with 6-6 motos for 6th overall.
A 5th place (4-5) day is not what #15 Shawn Maffenbeier was hoping for, but with it he secured 2nd spot in the championship.
#164 Dakota Alix pulled the moto 2 holeshot and messed up a bit because he was in a tight battle with Nauditt and #20 Jess Pettis on lap 4 before riding by himself in 5th. 5-3 gave him 4th.
#20 Jess Pettis grabbed his first overall podium at RJ’s. 3-4 motos gave him 3rd spot.
#17 Dylan Wright has always been one of the most fun riders to watch ride. Throw in an intense battle for wins and you’ve really got something! He led the first race ahead of #4 Cole Thompson for several laps and on stage said he “thought it was a little bit of a dirty move,” referring to Cole’s pass on his late in the race. He had a great battle with Alix in the second. 2-2 gave him runner-up spot.
I’m not sure why but some people didn’t think #4 Cole Thompson would fare well in the hyperactive MX2 class. Cole managed to prove those doubters wrong and really dominated the class all summer. He capped off the season with a 1-1 score for the win. However, I don’t think he and Dylan will be exchanging Christmas cards this year…
Cole Thompson is your 2016 MX2 Champion.
MX2 season podium: Cole Thompson (570), Shawn Maffenbeier (464), Dylan Wright (449).
#45 Brock Leitner has been enjoying the MX1 class since he made the switch. He finished 18th in moto 1 but then took a DNF in the 2nd for 23rd. Watch for him under the big Monster Energy Kawasaki awning this weekend at Walton.
#68 Taylor Ciampichini is from Barrie and got to ride the vacant GDR Honda for this round. He finished with 27-14 motos for 20th overall.
#38 Jay Burke was one of the riders with some RJ’s experience. He finished 18th overall (23-16).
It was an off day for #118 Davi Millsaps, but it was OK because he only needed a few point s to get the MX1 title.
He over-jumped a jump in the first moto and jammed his wrist. He decided to sit out the second. Davi is you 2016 MX1 champion.
#21 Kyle Swanson said he could relax this week because he knew he had enough money to get back to Motopark. He had a solid day with 11-12 motos for 12th. He had a great battle with #19 Morgan Burger in the first.
#56 Nathan Bles was on Colton Facciotti’s race bike this week. He said he loved it and finished 11th (9-13).
#28 Keylan Meston closed out the season with a 10th overall (15-6). He had a really good second moto! He was awarded the Biggest Surprise Award at the CMRC Banquet.
Teddy Maier surprised a lot of people and showed up to race the big #10 for the final time. He wanted to “go out on my own terms.” He said he felt surprisingly good out there after so much time off and finished 9th (12-7).
#19 Morgan Burger had a good fight with Bles and #185 Max Tannenbaum in the first moto. He woulnd up 8th (10-8) and will run #9 again in 2017.
#185 Max Tannenbaum has gotten comfortable racing in Canada after just a few rounds. He finished a solid 7th (7-9).
#6 Cade Clason should have had a career day after his 4th place in moto 1. Unfortunately, he went down in the 2nd corner of moto 2 and set out way at the back of the pack. He beared down and charged all the way up to 11th to salvage 6th overall.
It was cool to see #57 Tim Tremblay get the full factory treatment on Brett Metcalfe’s bike. The team even rebuilt a set of forks before the second moto for him. 8-5 put him 5th and he finished 18th in points after only doing 3 rounds.
With some better ribs heading into the final round, #800 Mike Alessi may have been able to pass Metcalfe for 4th overall in points. He went 5-4 for 4th.
#11 Kaven Benoit had a great battle with Tyler Medaglia. He finished 3-3 for 3rd and 3rd on the season in his rookie year in the MX1 class. Not bad.
#5 Tyler Medaglia has been on fire the last few rounds! He seems to really like the Husky 450. He finished a very impressive 2-2 for 2nd overall. His number will drop to 6 in 2017.
#1 Matt Goerke qualified fastest and then went out and won both motos. He will be back for the next two summer. He will be #2 in 2017. Oh, ask him to sing some LMFAO for you…
MX1 season podium: Davi Millsaps (514), Matt Goerke (498), Kaven Benoit (426).
This is one way to make it into a photo report! #267 Travis Ouimet would like to say, “See you at the races…” but his mouth is too full of sand. Thanks for a great year, everyone. Off to Walton…