Walton National Prep Day | Photos

Photos and Words by Billy Rainford

If you have to ask me how it felt to be at a track watching riders rip up Walton Raceway as if it were prepped for a Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Tour MX National you haven’t been paying attention.

Just leaving the house with a destination is cause for celebration these days, but driving an hour north of London to Canadian Amateur Motocross Shangri-La was over the top!

As soon as I turned onto the property my heart rate went up and and I started going over camera settings and angles in my head.

Mel Lee was her usual cheerful self at the gate and gave me a welcome that made me feel…welcome.

I can’t speak for Brett Lee, but Mel Lee seemed happy to see me!

I didn’t really know what to expect when Brett got in touch with me to explain what they had planned. I understood that Barry Hetherington and the Walton crew were going to water and till the track up as if they were hosting a National that day, but I didn’t know if that meant the Pro riders would come.

Fortunately, a quick circuit of the pits gave me my answer – they built it and the people came!

I pulled up to my usual spot to park right up in the middle of the action and got to work saying a long-awaited hello to riders and families I had expected to see many times before this late into the season.

Everyone looked to be giving each other the appropriate amount of COVID-19 space and things appeared to go smoothly.

Ron Cameron and Jamie were there to make sure everyone was had the best care available, if needed. He even offered to take lap times, but I was already on my way out the gate at that point. Lots going on at my place lately…

You could feel the excitement in the air as everyone left their homes and headed to a track to ride their bikes with people. It sounds crazy to act like it’s a big deal, but after what we’ve all been through the past few months, it is!

There were top Pro riders shaking things down with their new set ups, Intermediates looking to make a splash when the racing starts, as well as Supermini and 65cc riders doing the same.

Here are a few shots from the day:

Track days are the best days!
#158 Nathan Snelgrove is a little ripper on the move. He crashed on this big step up earlier in the day and scraped up his face, but didn’t let it bother him. That’s the kind of attitude you just can’t teach.
It’s a big jump on a little bike!
#96 Crayden Dillon getting up and over it.
Young #138 Dylan Rempel has changed colours and looked good.
#112 Holmes is a young TM rider working with Jay Thompson at MX Schools in Brigden.
#667 Thomas Munro continues to be a young rider to keep an eye on.
“How have your past few months been, Brett?”
#701 Michael King still loves being at the track.

Here are a few shots of the Natural Double:

It was great to see #424 Austin Watling having fun on a bike again. He was his regular smooth and fast self and it was really good to see the “Fab 3” back together! Jeff McConkey would have approved.
#317 Cooper Larche.
Hayden Halstead had a really cool summer planned before all this virus stuff happened. Hopefully, he still gets a chance to head south this summer.
#734 Tyler Rayner is never short on style.
There’s really no mistaking the crouch position of Quinn Amyotte.
You can look as hard as you like, but you won’t find a better group of moto people than right here. #43 Ryan Derry and #57 Dario Zecca are teammates for this summer…if we can ever get going.
Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha guys, Steve Simms and Risi George AKA “Greasy Jungle.”
#295 Keenan Peterson cruises by as Barry keeps the track in Pro National condi
#16 Cole Thompson was methodical with his track time and looked as fast and smooth as he always does.
#18 Leith Ness heading into the 9 Commandments.
#27 Hayden Halstead said he had no interest in scrubbing that other super-fast section but the step-up was fine to throw it sideways.
I’m really looking forward to watching #9 Dylan Wright in the 450 class this year!
#164 Wyatt Kerr is looking forward to ripping up the Intermediate class this season.
Cole Thompson was one of the few rider hugging the inside line approaching the 9 Commandments and still ripping them to bits.
#46 Marco Cannella was also looking good and is ready for racing to start, where he should be a top 5 guys every time.
2019 ‘Rookie of the Year’ #28 Sam Gaynor will be looking to keep moving his way up deeper inside the top 10 in 2020.
#75 Lindsey Bradley was one of the WMX riders putting in some laps.
The sound of this Suzuki 250 2-stroke was extra crispy.
Eric Schildt looking ahead to the tunnel jump.
Tanner Ward is ready to represent his new team this season.
#57 Dario Zecca.
Kyle Snelgrove was at least as happy as everyone else to be back at the track.

I took lots more photos, so I’ll post a few more up on our Instagram page.

Thanks for a great day at the track, everyone.