While my weekend was good, it was certainly a little less exciting than last weekend where I spent four days in sunny Anaheim, California. Did anyone catch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics on Friday? I thought they were okay but there is no way this Olympics is going to be as exciting as Vancouver was four years ago. Those three weeks were just awesome to watch. Also, I have a sneaky suspicion that the Canadian men’s hockey team is in really tough in the next few weeks.
Speaking of British Columbia, the next to last rounds of the Kawasaki Canadian Arenacross Championships took place in Chilliwack this past weekend and by all accounts things turned a little old school. When I was on Brent Worrall’s BC Moto Show last week we spoke about racing AX back in the 1990s and just how rough it was. I can remember getting taken out on more than one occasion, plus taking a rider or two out a few times myself. Although all the riders back then hung out a little bit, there weren’t a lot of close friendships in those days. Fast forward to the here and now and while you do still see some bumping on the track, it’s nowhere close to what it was years ago.
Well, that was until this weekend in Chilliwack where things got nasty by the sounds of it. Now I wasn’t there and I hate to speculate on events I don’t see directly, but if all the riders in BC came into Rounds nine and ten as buddies, they certainly didn’t leave that way. I will leave it to Brent Worrall to explain what happened in his weekly AX report later today. From what I heard it all started with one aggressive move on the track and it escalated to the pits. When you have a group of fast and aggressive riders racing in close proximity to each other, all chasing the same prize, you’re bound to have things boil over eventually. Hopefully everyone has worked out their differences and the final round in March will provide some great and clean racing.
The big winners of the weekend in Chilliwack were the Medaglia brothers as Tyler and Jeremy combined to win all of the main events on Friday and Saturday. This is the first time in the series that they’ve been able to do this, and it definitely sets them up very well for the final round in March and for the 2014 season. This series has lived up to everything it was supposed to be so far. We’ve seen great racing, big crowds, tons of off-track entertainment, and thanks to all of the Canadian moto media, the coverage has been better than ever. It has also made these cold winter months go by a little quicker knowing that there is some racing happening on Canadian soil.
Now on to the heartbreak of the weekend in San Diego, California: After winning twice in the first five rounds of the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross Series, Chad Reed came into Saturday night as the odds on favourite to win once again. On a track that, through the screen of my television at least, looked a little tough to find your rhythm on, a lot of riders struggled throughout the night and a lot of mistakes were made. During the 450 main event, after a few small battles in the first few laps, all the top riders seemed to settle into a pace that would get them safely to the finish line. On the final lap, Reed had caught back up to Ken Roczen and was in the process of making one last attempt at passing the young German before the chequered flag. Unfortunately for Reed, he clipped Roczen’s rear wheel while blitzing through the whoops. Not only did he hit the ground hard, but he landed right in the face of the jump at the end of the section.
As James Stewart was celebrating his first win of 2014, Reed was left thriving in pain with multiple injuries, including a broken collarbone, a broken scapula and a broken T1 vertebrae. This is a huge blow for not only Reed and his team but for the entire series as his success in 2014 was the biggest storyline so far. Who knows what the immediate future holds for Reed. As of last night he tweeted that he might be able to race in Dallas this coming weekend, but that seems like a huge long shot considering the list of injuries he has. However, this is Chad Reed and in the past he’s certainly demonstrated a massive tolerance for pain. I guess we’ll all see on Saturday in Texas.
Either way it was great to see James Stewart take the win in San Diego. He has definitely been working hard. Judging by his reaction after the main event, the win meant so much to him. Between Reed, Dean Wilson, Jason Anderson and now James Stewart, we’ve seen some pretty meaningful victories so far this year. With the East Lites series beginning this weekend in Dallas, let’s hope we see some more riders celebrating some more big wins. Canadian Cole Thompson will be lining up on his Rockstar Energy KTM so I know all of Canada will be cheering for him. Good luck Cole from all of us at MXP and everyone right across this great country.
So that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week and don’t forget this Friday is Valentine’s Day. Also, this coming Thursday evening I will be conducting a riding school at the Chesterman Indoor Track in Tillsonburg, Ontario. There are a few spots still open so if you’re interested, please contact me at email@example.com. Thank you for reading this week’s Gate Drop, and let’s all hope that Chad Reed can get back to racing as soon as possible.