Monday, 29 August 2011

Canadians at Southwick 2011

With the 2011 Canadian motocross series finished with, some of Canada's best riders decided to make the trip down to the USA for round 10 of the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross championships.

These riders included 3 time (2008, 2009 and 2011) MX1 National champ Colton Facciotti, 2 time (2010 and 2011) MX2 National champ Tyler Medaglia, multi-national winner Jeremy Medaglia and top 5 MX2 rider Kaven Benoit.

Facciotti and Tyler Medaglia would be riding their Canadian Blackfoot team race bikes, Benoit would be riding his Royal Distributing KTM Canada bike and Jeremy Medaglia would be riding for the US-based Dragon Fuels KTM team.

In qualifying, Colton was able to take his #361 YZ450F to 11th fastest in the 450 A group practice, and 15th overall. Tyler Medaglia was able to slot his #95 YZ250F into the 13th spot overall in 250 qualifying while Jeremy qualified 34th on his #281 250SXF. Keven Benoit was suffering some ankle problems and was unable to qualify his #626 250SXF for the motos.

450 class

In the U.S, the 450 class runs first at most of the rounds, so Colton was up first. As the pack of 40 roared off the gate, Facciotti was able to be one of the first couple of riders into the first turn. Unfortunately, he got pushed a little wide and came out just outside the top 10.

By the end of the first lap, Facciotti was able to work his way into 9th and moved up another spot just a couple of laps later. From there he engaged in a battle with factory Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer for the 7th spot. After a few laps of cat-and-mouse, Colton came out on top of that battle and began to set his sights on Red Bull KTM rider Mike Alessi.

On lap 11, Honda's Justin Barcia, who was running 3rd at the time, dropped out of the race, bumping Facciotti up to 6th. Just 2 laps later, Two Two Motorsport's rider Chad Reed dropped out of the race as well, allowing Facciotti to sit in the top 5 for the first time in his AMA pro career.

As the laps clicked off, Facciotti was able to close the gap to Alessi in 4th a little, but would come up a few seconds short at the finish. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic ride, one that had a lot of people talking in the pits.

Between the motos, a heavy rain had fallen, making the sandy Southwick track very wet. Despite many hopes that the wet weather would help the Canadian's, it was not to be for Facciotti, as he was forced out of moto 2 with a broken shifter.

Colton's 5-DNF scores would allow him to finish 11th overall.

250 class

As the ultra-competitve 250 class took off for its first moto, Jeremy Medaglia got the better start of the two Canadians, as he finished the first lap in 17th. His older brother Tyler wasn't as fortunate as he was back a few spots in 22nd.

By the time the first couple of laps had been completed, Jeremy was still in 17th, while Tyler had moved up to 18th and was looking for a way around his younger sibling. The two battled hard and after a handful of laps, Tyler was finally able to get around.

With the confidence of moving up from a bad start, Tyler continued to work his way forward, eventually finding his way into 12th. Jeremy wasn't so lucky. With 2 laps to go he was running in 14th when a couple of late mistakes dropped him to 16th at the finish. Still a very solid moto for both brothers.

In moto 2, the track was much more wet than it was the first time around, and this time it was Tyler grabbing the better start, rounding the first lap in 21st with Jeremy hot on his heels in 22nd.

Once again, the brothers stuck close together as they battled their way into the top 20. Around the halfway mark, Tyler was finally able to put a litte distance between himself and Jeremy. Tyler ran strong in 19th with Jeremy 21st. Both riders had improved upon their starting positions, always a good sign.

As the race wore on and track conditions got worse, things started to go a little more in favour of Tyler as he found himself in 15th. Things weren't going as well for Jeremy, who had dropped back a bit after a few mistakes late in the race. Eventually Tyler would hold on to 15th, his 12-15 motos good enough to finish 13th overall. Jeremy would ultimately not finish the moto and end up in 29th place. His 16-29 motos gave him 21st overall.

Overall, it was mostly a positive day for the Canadian riders and their fans at Southwick, as they all showed they have the speed and desire to compete at the highest level. And, in the case of Colton Facciotti, things could get a lot more interesting in a hurry. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Get prepared for the 2011 Monster Energy Nationals finale in Walton

Another season of Canadian motocross has come and gone, just one round stands in the way. This weekend, Walton Raceway in Walton, Ontario will host the 9th and final round of the 2011 CMRC Monster Energy Motocross Nationals. In order to get prepared, I've assembled this page of links to race reports and full results from the first 8 rounds.

Round 1: Whispering Pines Raceway, Kamloops, British Columbia

Round 2: The Wastelands, Nanaimo, British Columbia

Round 3: Wild Rose MX Park, Calgary, Alberta

Round 4: Shadow Valley Raceway, Morden, Manitoba

Round 5: Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario

Round 6: Circuit de Ste. Julie, Ste. Julie, Quebec

Round 7: Riverglade MX Park, Moncton, New Brunswick

Round 8: Sand Del Lee, Richmond, Ontario

Friday, 5 August 2011

2011 Monster Energy Nationals Round 7: Riverglade

The 2011 Monster Energy Motocross nationals rolled into Moncton, New Brunswick for the 7th round of the series at the pituresque Riverglade MX Park. The weather was hot, as was the racing action as the championships begin to enter the home-stretch.

MX2 saw some great battles between Kaven Benoit and his KTM, Tyler Sjoberg and Austin Politelli and their Kawasakis, and Tyler Medaglia on his Yamaha. In moto 1, it was Benoit who was victorious over Politelli, Sjoberg and Medaglia. Politelli took the early lead over Benoit, while Sjoberg ran 3rd. Points leader and defending champ Tyler Medaglia was back in 5th early. As the race neared halfway, Politelli ran into some heavy lappers, making it difficult for him to hold off Benoit. Benoit pushed hard, eventually making the pass and just a couple of laps later, Sjoberg was able to get by for 2nd. All the while, Tyler Medaglia was closing in to make it a 4 way fight for the lead as they had seperated themselves considerably from the rest of the pack. Lappers were heavy, and made the going difficult for the front-runners. Shortly before the 2 lap board came out, Politelli was able to re-pass his teammate Sjoberg and claim 2nd place for good.

In the second moto, it was first moto winner Kaven Benoit out front first, with Sjoberg, Politelli and Tyler Medaglia once again in the top 4. Medaglia was quick to pass Politelli and the top 3 of Benoit, Sjoberg and Medaglia proceeded to put on quite a battle for the moto win. Sjoberg and Medaglia were each able to get around Benoit within a couple laps of each other, but Benoit wasn't about to give up, as he re-passed Medaglia just a couple of laps later. This allowed Sjoberg to begin opening up a slight gap in the lead, as well as Politelli to close-in a little, re-entering the battle for the podium. Despite his best efforts, Benoit was unable to hold Medaglia behind him any longer, as the champ took 2nd place back once more. By this time, Sjoberg had opened a 9 second lead. Medaglia began a charge as Sjoberg worked his way through the lapped riders. At the finish, Medaglia was able to get the lead down to less than 2 seconds, but his battle with Benoit proved costly as it wasn't enough.

Sjoberg would take the overall win with 3-1 scores while Benoit would mirror that with 1-3 for 2nd overall. Tyler Medaglia took the final podium spot with his 4-2 effort.

MX1 saw some amazing battles between defending series champ, Dusty Klatt and his Blackfoot Red Bull Yamaha teammate, Colton Facciotti. In moto 1, Facciotti grabbed the holeshot with Klatt on his heels. The two immediately began putting distance on early 3rd place runner, Suzuki's Bobby Kiniry. The two Yamaha riders raced wheel-to-wheel, scrubbing and whipping over nearly every obstacle on the track. Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawsaki riders Teddy Maier and Matt Goerke hooked up together to work their way through the top 10 in an assault on 3rd place Kiniry. As the leaders continued to push the pace, it became too much for Facciotti, who made a mistake and handed the lead over to Klatt. Kiniry was also able to get by for 2nd, though Facciotti was quick to re-take the position. Out front, Klatt found himself with a massive lead and he was able to back it down and work his way safely through the lappers. As the halfway point of the race was reached, Matt Goerke had caught Kiniry for the final podium spot. Goerke was making the best of his sub-par start and putting in a great ride. Likewise was Teddy Maier, who was able to claw his way up to 5th at the finish, just behind Kiniry in 4th.

Moto 2 featured another Colton Facciotti holeshot, and once again, Dusty Klatt was sitting solidly in 2nd place. This time, though, Klatt didn't want to wait for a Facciotti mistake and made a pass to put himself into the lead. Much like the first moto, the #1 and the #10 bike began to gap the field at an alarming rate. Bobby Kiniry found himself in 3rd, while Teddy Maier had gotten a slightly better start than he did in moto 1, working his way to 5th fairly quickly. Unfortunately, 3rd place finisher from moto 1, Matt Goerke, went down after the first few laps, and had his already banged-up arm ran over by a number of other riders. Goerke would be forced to pull out of the moto. Back up front, Klatt continued to lead, barely a second ahead of Facciotti for the most part, while they continued to put seconds a lap on 3rd place Kiniry and 4th place Maier. As the two continued to battle over the lead, Maier joined Kiniry in a battle for the final podium spot. Eventually, the Kawasaki-mounted Maier would make a pass on the Suzuki-mounted Kiniry and hold on for 3rd. Despite finishing only just over a second behind, Facciotti would be forced to settle for another 2nd place, losing just his second overall win of the season, this time to Klatt.

Klatt would claim first overall with 1-1 motos, while Facciotti kept a stranglehold on his championship lead with a solid 2-2 day. Maier would take the final podium spot with a 5-3 score.