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.
Hello and good day! Yes, it’s Monday once again and it’s time to begin yet another week. I know it may not feel like it but spring is definitely in the air! Even though the East Coast is getting inundated with snow, and Ontario received about half a foot yesterday (I’m sure Quebec is getting that snow today), our days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer as it works its way north. With the Toronto Motorcycle Show coming this weekend, and then the Toronto Supercross just two short weeks after that, riding season must be just around the corner. Actually, when I say riding season, I obviously mean our much anticipated spring riding season. If you live in Southern Ontario and you feel like doing some riding this Sunday, then head over to the first ever Grand Prix de Snow, which is being held at the Mohawk Inn near Campbellville, ON. This fun event is being presented by Husqvarna Canada and is organized by Lawrence Hacking. The weather looks great for the weekend, so come out and enjoy a fun day of riding and winter activities. Here are all of the details:
GRAND PRIX DE SNOW ROUGH SCHEDULE
Sign In / Registration: 9 – 12pm
Open Ride / Practice: 9 – 12pm
Riders Meeting: 11am
Lunch: 12-1pm Extreme cold weather motorcycler Oliver Solaro will be doing a talk on winter camping tips during lunch!
Fun Races: Snow Track, Snow Tow 1 – 4pm
Announce Winners / Prizes / Trophies: 4-6pm
Fireworks / Pack up and go home: 6pm
TYPES OF RIDING AT GPDS
SNOW TRACK – Similar to the Grass Track at Grand Prix de Mud. Size and shape of track will depend on weather conditions. Bike classes TBD. Open ride / practice all morning until 12 for early registrants.
SNOW TOW – Pull a buddy on an inner tube / sled drag style – no studded tires. Great for people without a bike who want to have some fun and get out there and get pulled by some.
SINGLE TRACK THROUGH WOODS – We will have single track trail through the woods open all day for open riding.
MINI OVAL – We’ll have a mini oval for kids that will be open all day.
TRIALS – There will be some Trials action throughout the day if you want to bring your Trials bike out.
There is a gas station within a minute walk of the hotel if you are not bringing your own gas.
We’ll have the BBQ going all day with Coffee, Hot Chocolate and drinks but the Mohawk Chop House will be open all day and serving their full menu if you want to get out of the cold and eat there.
OLIVER SOLARO WINTER CAMPING TALK
Ever wanted to brave the elements and do some winter camping? Experienced extreme weather motorcyclist Oliver Solaro will give you some tips on falling asleep with snow and subzero temperatures to contend with! We encourage you to check out some of his Brokentooth Project “One Man’s 8,000km Journey To Fort Severn by Motorcycle…In Winter” It is really unbelievable…like really unbelievable.
First come first served Husqvarna Demo Bikes
COLD WEATHER / DRESSING APPROPRIATELY
The event will take place outside so we encourage all participants to dress accordingly. There will be a fire outside to warm up by and the Mohawk Chop House will be open if you want to sit inside for a bit and warm up with a drink or food.
While we’re hoping for a good amount of snow but you never know with our Southern Ontario weather. When we were there last, there was half a foot of snow on the ground so lets hope for another foot or two! The Grand Prix will happen regardless of weather and we’re looking forward to a snowy (or muddy) good time!
We’ll have lots of great prizes from our generous sponsors! Great stuff from Husqvarna Motorcycles, Biltwell Inc., Red Wing Boots, Roland Sands Design, Deus Ex Machina, Brixton, Stance Socks, Joe Rocket, Speed and Strength, Treadwell Clothing, Moto Revere, Town Barber, Fast Times Magazine. There are prizes for participants and spectators.
If you’re interested in coming out the night before or don’t want to get up early to drive in, there are rooms available at the Mohawk Inn. Great if you’re from out of town and coming in for the Motorcycle Show that weekend. Their contact info is below.
WHERE IS IT / HOW TO GET THERE
The Grand Prix de Snow will be held at the Mohawk Inn 9230 Guelph Line, Campbellville, ON, L0P 1B0 which is literally just off the 401. Their contact info is email@example.com (905) 854-2277
By now I’m sure that everyone has seen the main events from Dallas and you all have your opinions on what went on. I’m not sure what was going on in big D, but a lot of our top stars sure had a rough night inside Cowboy’s Stadium. I’m assuming it’s been fairly dry in the Dallas area as the soil looked even worse than it normally does. Whether it was the slippery dirt, the altered schedule, or the track design, I’m guessing there were a lot of sore riders on Sunday morning.
The dirt is what it is in the Dallas area so there isn’t much they can do with it. If the weather has been dry, then it’s almost a foregone conclusion what the soil will be like. In years past we’ve seen the dirt be a little tackier and more forgiving for the riders. If you think back to 2012 when Chad Reed had that massive crash while chasing down Ryan Villopoto, the track was rutted and tacky that year. On Saturday, the dirt looked awful and the racing reflected that. The track also appeared to be very compact in its design. There was the short start straight, the dangerous triple right out of a corner, the switch back sections after that triple, and then again after the finish. With the limited traction, these sections were extremely difficult and passing was affected. The riders were obviously frustrated as they struggled to find speed. When you have that many crashes on a track that really isn’t technical, usually it’s because the riders are a little frustrated and they’re trying to push too hard.
Finally, what is with these afternoon start times? We saw it in Oakland last weekend and then again in Dallas. This time, though, the conditions looked absolutely dangerous with the bright, late afternoon Texas sun shining through the glass at the one end of the stadium. This is not the first time the series has visited the home of the Dallas Cowboys, so I’m surprised that the powers to be wouldn’t anticipate this problem. It’s one thing for the riders to ride practice during conditions like that as they can slow down if needed. However, in a race situation no one is slowing down, and that is when it becomes dangerous. Thankfully, no one crashed because of the blinding sun, and by the time the gate dropped for the main events, it was night time. But, that is when the fun got started.
Everyone had to feel sorry for Shane McElrath as he had the 250SX main event in the bag until his bike malfunctioned. The win would’ve given McElrath the points lead as the 250SX West class now heads into a long break. Instead, Justin Hill took home his fourth win in a row and now has a sizable points lead. Now we put the 250SX West series on hold while the east boys kick off their series this weekend in Minneapolis. Our own Cole Thompson will not be making the trip to round one this weekend, however he will be at round two in Atlanta, and then at every other 250SX east round. With the confidence that Cole has now from winning the MX2 Championship last summer, along with his incredible God given SX skills, I cannot wait to see him race in a few weeks in Toronto!
Fans in Dallas also got to witness a little bit of history as Marvin Musquin got his very first 450SX win of his career. With Tomac having problems and Dungey getting off to a bad start in the main event, the door was wide open for Musquin to take his first win. His win was also the first by a French rider since 2002 when David Vuillemin won in Indianapolis. I find that Musquin and Vuillemin have similar riding styles that are both a little on the awkward side, but I guess it works and that’s all that matters. It will be interesting to see if this win will make Musquin a real threat to win every weekend now. In the past we’ve seen riders win once and then go on a serious roll. With Ryan Dungey currently playing it safe with the red plate, the door is wide open for some more aggressive riders to step up and win races.
Well, that is it for me this week. In other Toronto SX news, I found out last week that there is also a major International conference in town on that same weekend. This would explain why hotel rooms are so expensive for March 3rd and 4th. Even on hotwire.com a room for Saturday night is over $200. Hopefully everyone involved with SX has already booked their rooms for this exciting weekend. I hope everyone has a great week, and I’m looking forward to seeing some members of our motocross family this weekend at the Toronto Motorcycle Show. Please travel safe and stay warm!