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.

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