Rockstar Energy MX Nationals Schedule – Why We’ll be in Kamloops First
By Billy Rainford
When the 2015 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals schedule came out in late January, a lot of people wondered why we weren’t starting at the far left side of the country like we have in the past few years. Geographically and economically that seems to makes sense, but Canada isn’t like a lot of other countries. There is more to consider than the immediately obvious back-and-forth of the first three rounds.
Here’s a look at the schedule:
2015 ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MX NATIONALS – SERIES SCHEDULE
Sunday, May 31 Whispering Pines Raceway, Kamloops, British Columbia
Sunday, June 7 The Wastelands, Nanaimo, British Columbia
Sunday, June 14 Wild Rose MX Park, Calgary, Alberta
Sunday, June 21 Moto Valley Raceway, Regina, Saskatchewan
Sunday, July 12 Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario
Sunday, July 19 Sand Del Lee, Richmond, Ontario
Sunday, July 26 Motocross Deschambault, Deschambault, Quebec
Sunday, August 2 Riverglade MX Park, Moncton, New Brunswick
Sunday, August 9 Motocross Ulverton, Ulverton, Quebec
Sunday, August 16 Walton Raceway, Walton, Ontario
Jumping from the page immediately is the mileage required for the first three rounds. For those unfamiliar with Canadian geography, Kamloops sits in the Okanogan, 485 kilometres (just under 300 miles) east of The Wastelands track in Nanaimo, BC on Vancouver Island (more on that later). And yes, Calgary is 670 kilometres (just over 400 miles) east of Kamloops.
The total distance from Nanaimo to Calgary is approximately 1155 kilometres. Starting in Kamloops first and then going to Nanaimo on the west coast will add an extra 485k to the trip making it 1640.
As soon as the schedule came out, I contacted CMRC President Mark Stallybrass and commended him on the decision. What, you ask? Why would I jump so quickly on board? Let’s have a closer look…
Every winter we debate and ‘bench race’ about the upcoming season. Declarations like: “This will be the best, most-competitive season ever!” are often heard. And it’s usually been true lately. With the influx of talent from south of the border, doing well at our series gets more difficult every year. Historically, it’s been rare that a rider who has won a race in either AMA Supercros or the AMA Outdoors has committed to our championship. Things are different now.
To this point, we will have 2 and maybe 3 winners lined up in Canada this season: Matt Goerke, Brett Metcalfe, and Mike Alessi. OK, so we’ve established that there is unprecedented off-season hype heading into round 1 each spring. And then Nanaimo happens…
Please don’t take this as a slight on the Wastelands facility or their ability to put on a great show. It’s not them, it’s her.
Mother Nature is not kind to residents on the west coast in late May, early June. Hey, it’s a rainforest, don’t forget! Locals in the area will tell you not to put away your rubber boots or umbrella until mid-July. I lived there for 11 years, it’s true.
Average annual rainfall*:
Kamloops, BC: 269mm (11 inches)
Nanaimo, BC: 1145mm (45 inches)
Kamloops is not in a rain forest. Quite the opposite, Kamloops is a desert. After all the excitement and build-up heading into the first round, it was always a big risk of having it all spoiled by rain and mud that is most-assuredly to greet the teams, rigs, and new riders full of anticipation. This is why I backed the idea. Plus, I will be coming in from the east and it won’t be an extra centimetre of travel for me.
I think when they weighed out the pros and cons of the extra miles versus the almost guaranteed good weather May 31st in Kamloops, it was a no-brainer.
Most of the big rigs owned by Canadian teams will be coming in from the east too: Royal Distributing KTM, Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha, Honda Canada TLD GDR. Only the Monster Energy Thor Kawasaki rig should be out there at that time and they are based out of Kamloops, so it isn’t anything extra for them either.
When you think about it, only those racing the series from west of Kamloops will have any extra mileage put on them with this new schedule. Yes, there are a few, but it definitely does not make up the majority.
In my opinion, if people are willing to pay the $6.35 per foot for a 70-foot tractor trailer on BC Ferries over to Nanaimo, they won’t complain about this. Oh, and it’s an extra $16.90 per person. That’s $461.40 for a rig and one person one way. Ouch!
Agree or disagree, we’ll see you in Kamloops at the end of May!