What should have been a first overall for Matt Goerke at Round 4 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals on Sunday in Regina, SK, turned into a third overall when a rock derailed his chain, effectively dropping him from first place to sixth at the end of moto two.
The team Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha ace had already won the first MX1 moto and was what appeared to be well on his way to winning the second. Two corners before the finish line, however, a small rock totally changed the outcome of the race.
Fortunately, Goerke managed to get the chain back on the sprockets and continue the short distance to the finish line. But not before five riders flew past him, including archrival in the points Christophe Pourcel, Mike Alessi, Dillan Epstein, Tyler Medaglia and Kyle Chisholm.
The start of moto one saw Goerke in second place, following leader of the pack Pourcel closely till the end of lap one, when he stuck a rapid-fire pass on the former World Champion. From that point on, Pourcel was the only rider able to stick with Goerke as the Florida native flew over the rough and gnarly Moto Valley Raceway track as if on a rocket.
Alessi snared the holeshot of moto two, with Goerke in second, Cade Clason in third, Pourcel fourth and Kyle Chisholm rounding out the top five. Although Alessi would build up as much as a five-second lead, Goerke kept him well within his crosshairs. After a raging battle that lasted some three laps, Goerke whipped past Alessi to grab the lead on lap nine.
Goerke was soon joined by Pourcel on lap eleven, as the Frenchman had also managed to make a pass on Alessi. With some four laps left in the moto, Goerke twisted the throttle of his potent YZ450F to keep Pourcel at least two seconds behind him. Then, on the final lap, with the finish line two corners away, Goerke was betrayed by the rock. It was a disappointing ending to a great day of racing. When all was said and done, Goerke, who had a seven-point lead going into Moto Valley Raceway, left Regina tied for first place with Pourcel.
“I thought I rode good today, my bike worked awesome, and it looked like it was going to be two perfect motos. Then I get a rock derail my chain and it was all she wrote. Well, it could have been worse than finishing sixth, I could have been last,” Goerke said. “Third overall on the podium is okay, but a bit bittersweet considering I missed out on a clean sweep. We’ll come back in two weeks at Gopher and see if I can pick up the thread there and get some redemption”
Goerke’s teammate Tim Tremblay moved up one notch in the points from tenth to ninth after another consistent ride that saw the Quebecer wrap up the day with ninth overall, thanks to 9-9 moto results.
At the start of the first moto, Tremblay found himself going into turn one in fifth place. With the likes of Alessi in his rear wheel, Tremblay slipped to sixth place before the end of the first lap. Over the course of the race, he seesawed between that position and eighth, only to be relegated to ninth on the last lap. In the second moto, Tremblay was in seventh place as the freight train dove into turn one. Five laps later he was holding down ninth, a position he would defend till the end to ensure his top ten finish status for the day.
“This weekend was a tough one to swallow but we are very happy with the progress we made on the bikes over the off season. We have made great advancements with our bikes on the harder pack tracks, which we have struggled on in the past. We had a very unfortunate incident this weekend with Matt, after winning the first moto and holding off a charging Pourcel he looked to have moto two wrapped up,” team manager Steve Simms said. “He rode two flawless motos with great speed. Tim put in two solid motos, despite the fact that he jammed his wrist early in moto one. But he dug deep both motos and finished the west strong. Both riders and the team are looking forward to the east swing.”
With blue skies and a breezy high of 21°C (70°F), Mother Nature, as she had done at the previous three western rounds, again arranged for great racing weather.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals take a two-week break before kicking off the eastern leg of the points chase on Sunday, July 9th at Gopher Dunes in Courtland, ON.
MX1 Overall Results: Round 4
MX1 points after 4 of 10 Rounds
1. Matt Goerke (USA) 212 pts
10. Keylan Meston (CAN) 109
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