With the 2017 Monster Energy MXON fast approaching, Team Canada is only days away from departing for jolly old England. Our team of Colton Facciotti, Tyler Medaglia and Shawn Maffenbeier are fit and ready to take on the world’s best riders on Britain’s Matterley Basin track.
On Monday morning Team Canada will all be together for the first time, and then they will begin their final preparations for the following weekend’s big race. After picking the riders up at the famous Heathrow Airport on Monday, our Team Canada crew will make their way south to their rented house to relax and to quickly get themselves aclimatized to their new surroundings. On Tuesday they will head to a rented practice track to test their machines and get their blood flowing. Wednesday will no doubt be all about having fun and doing some sightseeing of the local area. With the track being close to Southhampton there will be a lot to see, both new and old. Southhampton sits on England’s south shore and it’s the Port where the RMS Titanic left for her first and final voyage in 1912, and it was also home to the factory that built the famous Spitfire fighter plane of WW2. As will most of England, there will be an endless amount of very cool things to see as they relax on Wednesday. Thursday will be all about testing again on a local practice track, then on Friday it will be time to head to the Matterley Basin track to get set-up for the big weekend.
With months of planning and a year under her belt, Team Canada Manager Kourtney will no doubt be feeling a little more relaxed next week than she was one year ago. There still may be a few last minute hiccups, but for the most part the work and the planning is already complete. There are three very experienced riders on the team again, and all three are currently at the top of their game. Colton Facciotti won three of the final four MX1 motos last month in the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals, Tyler Medaglia is coming off not only a solid summer, but also a great showing in France two weeks ago at the ISDE. The third rider on the team, Shawn Maffenbeier, is fresh off his first ever MX2 Canadian Championship this season so his confidence and race craft has never been higher. Also, all three riders have raced at this event overseas before so they all know how it works and what to expect. If they can get comfortable on the Matterley Basin track, and of course nail their starts all weekend, our team has top ten and maybe even top five potential. I expect Colton to have one of the best rides of his career, Maffenbeier is set up for a breakthrough International ride, and Tyler Medaglia will be ready to step up and do whatever is needed to ensure Team Canada has the success it deserves.
Of course, it won’t be easy, nothing is at this level of racing. Before and after the gate drop at this event there are so many variables in play. First off is that I believe the MXGP riders know this track much better than last year in Italy. They will know where the lines are, what the soil is like, and just the general layout of the facility from the moment they drive in the gate. At a high stress event like the MXON, the more things that are familiar the better it can be for the riders. Finally, the race is in England and everyone knows that the weather can be wet and miserable. Right now the forecast is calling for rain all weekend during the event, but who knows if that will change between now and then. With our talented group of riders, Team Canada is capable of anything in England as they battle the world’s best riders. Regardless of how our team finishes, they will be cheered on by all of Canada as the Maple Leaf will be flying high next weekend. Go Canada Go!!