This week’s Gate Drop is once again brought to you by the fine people at Honda Canada Racing. With the upcoming release of the all new 2017 CRF450, Honda is looking to get back to the very top of this sport in the MX1 class. With a long history of winning races and championships, Honda Canada has prided itself on having the best riders riding the best equipment. We at MXP Magazine are very proud to have Honda Canada Racing as a presenting sponsor of this Monday Gate Drop.
Good day and welcome to another edition of the Monday Gate Drop presented by Honda Canada Racing. I hope everyone had a great week and hopefully all the kids out there made it through their first week at school. Although it was some time ago, I remember the first week at school being very difficult as not only was I coming off a long summer of racing, but also the adjustment to sitting still in a classroom was really tough. Athletes of all ages love to be in motion, which is what separates us from everyone else. While sitting at a desk in a classroom might be enjoyable for some people for us motocross riders, few things could be worse. I think the best thing energetic motocross students can do (and I give this advice to my son all the time) is to get involved in as many things as possible while you’re at school. Whether it be sports teams, clubs or learning to play a musical instrument, the busier you are the more enjoyable your school years will be. That is my advice for this week.
I really don’t enjoy doing this but I want to begin by paying respect to one of the godfathers of Canadian FMX. As many of you may know by now, legendary Canadian freestyle rider Paul Smith passed away on Thursday when one of his jumps went terribly wrong and he crashed. I don’t know all of the details so I don’t want to speculate, but apparently Paul was attempting a routine back flip in California that resulted in him crashing hard. When efforts to revive him failed, one of the most well liked riders in FMX was pronounced dead. Paul was not a young buck at this sport, in fact at 49 years of age he was obviously very experienced and a true icon in this industry. I had only met Paul once, but even in our short conversation it was easy to see not only the passion that he had for riding dirt bikes, but also what a nice guy he was. Paul had that personality that everyone liked and that is one reason why he was so popular in FMX and why he was able to still be involved at his age. Like so many of this sport’s athletes who leave us too soon, Paul Smith will be missed. RIP Paul from one of your moto brothers! If you would like to help Paul’s family then you can make a donation at: https://www.r2rfund.com/campaign/29/paul-smith-s-wife-amber
This past weekend another one of our Canadian heroes was competing at the most recent rounds of the 2016 GNCC series in Unadilla, NY. Tyler Medaglia, who in the past few seasons has been very competitive in the GNCC races, got off to a slow start in Unadilla and had to push his bike for a bit. However, after realizing that his fuel line had come off, Tyler got back into the 3 hour race and was able to charge back to 10th. Tyler has made no secret of his love of these events so look for him to be at a few more rounds before the series ends next month in Indiana. Speaking of Tyler Medaglia, look for a great James Lissimore composed story on Tyler’s long career in the upcoming issue of MXP Magazine.
Moving on now to the 2016 Canadian National AX Tour, which was supposed to begin on October 1 in Montreal, well, late last week we received word the that series will not be visiting Montreal, and it will now begin in Sarnia on October 8th. In talking with series president Justin Thompson this morning about this change, he didn’t seem too concerned and said that they will look at going to Montreal again in 2017. Last year the event in Sarnia was the best attended of the series so look for it to be even bigger this time around. With a slightly bigger track than a normal AX and the massive grandstand area, this location is the perfect place to kick off this incredible series. For more information, please visit www.arenacrosstour.ca.
If anyone is interested, I will be conducting an AX riding school for riders of all ages on the Oct 1st and 2nd weekend at my private SX track in Shelburne, ON. Please email me at email@example.com if you’d like a little help with your indoor riding skills prior to the beginning of the 2016 AX Tour Series. Tomorrow I will be heading down to Gopher Dunes to try out their brand new AX track that has been built. Top pros like Matt Goerke, Colton Facciotti and Cole Thompson have already been riding it last week and it looks like a lot of fun. Look for a report right here on mxpmag.com on Wednesday where I’ll give you my impression of Derek Schuster’s latest creation.
Although it wasn’t greatly attended, the final round of the 2016 MXGP series took place yesterday at Glen Helen Raceway in California. This as you know was the second MXGP in a row in the USA with last week’s race being in Charlotte, NC. The racing yesterday looked great as the regular GP riders battled a few of the top Americans. In the MX2 class, it was the 2016 Champion Jeffrey Herlings who showed why he was so successful this year as he took both moto wins at Glen Helen. In the MX1 class, it was once again Eli Tomac who dominated the MXGP riders by taking both moto wins. In Moto 2, Tomac had the crowd on its feet as he charged from outside of the top ten to catch and pass race leader Antonio Cairoli, who I’m sure thought he had the race in the bag. Tomac has really showed some serious speed in the past two weekends and it really makes me wonder just how fast Ken Roczen must be. All summer Roczen had speed over Tomac and everyone else in the 450 class, so if Tomac is able to dominate the MXGP riders then Roczen would be even further out front. That is some pretty mind boggling speed if you ask me. After a long comeback season of SX and the outdoor nationals, I’m quite sure that Eli Tomac is looking forward to a well-deserved vacation.
Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week ahead and please ride safe if you’re heading to the track. Congratulations to all of the winners yesterday at the CMRC race at Moto Park. We are now into the incredible fall racing season where the tracks are amazing and the weather is usually perfect for riding. By all accounts Moto Park was in absolute perfect condition yesterday. See you all at the races and wish me luck as I attempt to ride some AX tomorrow for the first time in a few years.