This weeks Monday Gate Drop is once again brought to you by the fine people at Honda Canada Racing. With their lead rider Colton Facciotti already training for the 2017 season, Honda Canada and the GDR Fox Racing Team is very excited for what lies ahead. We at MXP Magazine are very proud to have the backing of Honda Canada and we wish them luck on the race track in the future.
Good morning and welcome to the final Monday Gate Drop of 2016! Since next Monday is Boxing Day I will not be doing an official Monday column. I will be back to work on Tuesday the 27th, so I’m sure I’ll be able to put something together on that day, kind of like this week. I have to apologize for my tardiness this week as yesterday I had to fly to Montreal to visit the fine folks at KTM Canada and Husqvarna Canada. It was a fun day, but it was also a long day as I was up at 4am and didn’t get to bed until after midnight.
For those of you that don’t follow my daily activities, last week my family and I spent the week in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We staying at the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa (they gave us an upgrade to the Master Suite so I told them I’d give them a plug). This family friendly resort was everything we could’ve asked for, and more. With multiple activities for adults and kids, we certainly got lucky when we picked this hotel for our vacation. With Puerto Vallarta being on the West Coast of Mexico, every day around 6pm it’s all about the sunsets. This daily sight gets everyone’s attention, and once you witness one, you cannot wait for the next one. I guess the fact you take the time every day to watch the sun go down means that you’re on a relaxing vacation. Anyway, we had a great time, and while it was nice to return home, coming back to full-on winter is never fun. However, as they say, in like a lion, out like a lamb!
So with Canadian moto on a brief hiatus at the moment, we turn our attention to the much anticipated, fast approaching Anaheim SX. Opening day in any sport is incredible, and for our beloved sport, Anaheim 1 is no different. With new riders, new teams and now a new timed night show format, every SX fan on the planet can’t wait for the gate to drop. It will be hard to bet against Ken Roczen or last year’s champion Ryan Dungey, however the first round almost always brings with it a surprise winner. With all of the championship contenders usually easing their way into the long series, the door is wide open at Round 1. Of course, the other way of thinking is for riders to try to make hay while the sun shines. A few early series podiums and all of a sudden a rider can get some valuable points in the bank.
So who is your pick for the opening round at Angel Stadium? Although I’d love to see Chad Reed win the opening round, as well as the series, I honestly don’t believe that either will happen, so I’ll probably go with Trey Canard, Marvin Musquin, or maybe even Cooper Webb. I know that’s three riders, but it’s always so tough to predict a winner at A1. I will be heading down to Anaheim on January 6th for the weekend so look for live reports from the biggest race of the year, both on and off the track.
To close out my 2016 Honda Canada Racing Gate Drops, I thought I’d go back to each round of the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals and pick a photo that tells a story from that race. From the opening round in Kamloops to the final round in Barrie, here are ten of James Lissimore’s best photos from the 2016 nationals. Also, don’t forget about our 2017 Toronto SX ticket giveaway contest which closes on Wednesday. All you have to do is tell us how many Canadian pro MX1 titles Honda has won since 2000 and who the riders are that won them. All you have to do is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and your name will be entered in the draw which takes place on December 23rd. Thanks to Honda Canada Racing, we have two pairs to give away. So good luck and of course, Merry Christmas to everyone out there. I hope all of you have a safe and joyful Christmas weekend!