As the summer of 2016 rolls on, Honda Canada Racing has been tearing up the race tracks right across Canada. Whether it’s young Austin Watling in the amateur ranks or Colton Facciotti in the pro class, Honda has been at the front of the pack. In the 1990s it was Carl Vaillancourt and Marco Dube who rode a Honda to their Championships. From 2001 to 2006, it was Blackfoot Honda’s Jean Sebastien Roy and Dusty Klatt who reaped the rewards of riding red. Fast forward to 2016, it is the Honda Canada Fox GDR Racing Team of Colton Facciotti and Jeremy Medaglia looking to add to Honda’s rich history of success on the track. We would like to welcome Honda Canada as a proud new supporter of this Monday Gate Drop column. If you want to see all of Honda’s line up for 2016, just log onto www.motorcycle.honda.ca.
What a weekend it was at the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals presented by Motovan. After a very tough round last weekend at Gopher Dunes, the series moved east to Quebec for Round 6. The track in Ulverton is very rich with history as its been around since the beginning of time. Over the years we’ve watched legendary Quebec riders Carl Vaillancourt, Marco Dube, and of course JSR race on this awesome track. The Ulverton circuit itself is a real throwback natural beauty with massive elevation changes and sandy soil, and while it is a little rocky in some sections and difficult to water, almost all the riders love racing there.
Yesterday we watched two Yamaha riders take victories in the MX2 and MX1 classes. Dylan Wright, who was coming off the best overall finish of his young career last weekend, was on fire all day in Ulverton. When Cole Thompson was penalized near the end of Moto 2 for not re-entering the track quickly enough, Dylan was awarded the moto win and the overall. Other than a few miscues out west, Dylan has been riding very well in 2016 and definitely deserved an overall win this summer. Thompson, who was relegated to third overall, obviously wasn’t happy with what had happened, but he still holds the red plate and will take a massive points lead into Round 7.
In the MX1 class it was Matt Goerke taking his second overall win in as many weeks. His teammate, Brett Metcalfe, also appears to be rounding into form as he won the final moto of the day for the second week in a row. With points leader Davi Millsaps, apparently suffering from a bad case of blisters, could only muster an 8th place in Moto 2. So far after four motos in the east Millsaps has zero moto wins, and to me this is very puzzling. In both first motos last weekend and again yesterday, he was leading the race only to make a rare error and go down both times. During the first four rounds out west we didn’t have one inkling of a mistake from the star KTM rider, however, as the tracks have gotten rougher and the humidity stronger, the errors have been coming. Heading into Round 7 this coming weekend, Millsaps still has a 25 point lead over Goerke and Metcalfe, but I have to think that the two Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha riders are like sharks in the water, and they smell orange blood. With these final four rounds being on tough tracks, with the chance of very hot temperatures and also very long travel schedules for the riders coming from California, folks, I would say that we finally have a series in the MX1 class. For the second year in row, it will more than likely go down the final round in Barrie.
So enough of my words for this week. Let’s allow a collection of James Lissimore’s photos from yesterday to tell the rest of the story. As I mentioned, the series now keeps moving east for Round 7 as it will revisit Pleasant Valley Raceway in beautiful Truro, NS. This track hasn’t been on the schedule since 2002 when we watched JSR and Blair Morgan battle for the win in the MX1 class. This is also the hometown of Tyler Medaglia so look for him to do whatever it takes to get a moto win. I have never been to the Halifax area so I’m looking forward to taking in some of the local sights, and of course to watch the racing on Sunday. Have a great week and let’s take a look at some of the cool photos James Lissimore took in Ulverton.