I guess it’s only fitting that we start the 2012 Monster Energy Motocross Nationals the way we finished in 2011; a full s&%$ show of bad weather and technical issues.
I’m not sure what we’ve done to Mother Nature to annoy her so much that when we need the weather to cooperate, she decides to just stick it to us like the red headed step child. The stage was set for an opening round full of excitement, new possibilities with all the new team changes, rider swapping, live timing and scoring. Instead it was a nightmare that you wished you never had. The only thing missing was Freddy Krueger himself showing up and giving us all a five finger slash across the face. It was a tough day for the fans, the racers, the staff, and the mechanics; just about everyone was over this sport by the time the final moto finished. Such a shame the series had to start this way, but as they say “It’s the way she goes.”
Even with the horrible weather, the show must go on. That it did, but many issues reared their ugly heads and will no doubt leave a sour taste in many mouths. I don’t really want to get into it all, but to have so many problems happen at round one is a slap to the face of the parties involved. Some were out of the control of the staff but many could have been avoided with better planning. Still everyone worked their butts off so the day still managed to make it. The racing did show us that this series is going to be a good one for 2012. Once the gate dropped in each moto, excitement filled the air and many questions were answered about who would be the riders to watch this year. The one good thing that came from the weekend was the MXP MotoXradio show ran for well over 9 hours without any major issues. Just under 500 people tuned in to Koster and myself as we brought lap by lap action into the homes of the people that couldn’t attend (which was a smart move considering the weather). As I said there was plenty of action during the races for us to banter back and forth about. A few surprises but for the most part the heavy favourites rose to the top.
Coming into round one it was the MX1 class that seemed to be drawing so much of the extra attention. Nearly every rider except Matt Goerke and Shawn Maffenbeier were on a new bike and team. Sometimes change is bad and sometimes change is good. It seemed to be pretty good for all the riders that made the switch to a new bike or team other than Dusty Klatt and Tyler Medaglia, who both rode well but did not finish in the spots most thought they would. Monster Energy Leading Edge rider Matt Goerke dominated both motos in my eyes. He controlled the start by grabbing both Royal Distributing holeshots and only lost the lead for less than a lap (the end of moto one when he went for new goggles and Facciotti slipped by with two to go) in both motos. In the press conference on Saturday Matt was very confident in saying he came here to win and was going to make it happen. Well, he did just that and in a very impressive fashion considering the condition of the race track. Matt showed up to round one and showed he means business this year. Royal Distributing KTM Red Bull Fox Champion Colton Facciotti rode well. It could have been a bad day for the champ but he soldiered through the elements for 2nd overall and put himself in a good position for the championship. As he said in the TV interview after moto one, “you can’t win the title on the first day, but you can sure lose it easily when it’s like this.” He was pretty happy to come away with good points, especially after his bike drank water near the end of moto one and nearly caused a DNF. Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha Motovan.com rider Bobby Kiniry grabbed the third spot with 3-3 motos and a solid effort. He was so blind after moto one from the mud spray that he had to hit the medics up for a full eye cleansing. Both he and Keast didn’t pull in for goggles causing them both to look like they had an allergic reaction. Blood shot eyes big time!! Machine Racing’s Kyle Keast would get his best ever result with a fourth for the day. Team GDR TLD Honda Tyler Medaglia took 5th. The biggest surprise of the weekend in MX1 was Tyler Villopoto. This kid was all heart and showed that if you thought he was just going to be a flop, you were wrong. There was no way I thought he would have finished that well. I figured he would have given up like so many other Americans that have come to Canada. Good on ya kid and looking forward to seeing what you got when the conditions are a little better.
In MX2 I would say there were no surprises at all. Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki riders Teddy Maier and Kyle Beaton showed that the preseason hype surrounding them was no wrong. Under the Royal Distributing KTM Red Bull Fox tent Jeremy Medaglia, who won moto one with ease in the slop, lived up to his expectations. Moto two didn’t go so well as he and Topher Ingalls came together and a small shoving match ensued causing Jeremy to cross the line in 12th and 4th O/A for the day. The Allison family are probably the nicest people at the race track. So when you see the effort and solid finish by Jared Allison to get on the podium, you are just pumped as a fan. The kid rode great and was ecstatic to start the series off this way. The hard luck award has to go to Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha Motovan.com’s Richard Grey. He had solid top five races going. In moto one, his tire came clear off the rim. Then in moto two while running 5th, he crashed on the last lap and scored a 10th. He showed he belongs with the top crew but a little bad luck is the reason his results look dismal.
Big shout out to the teams and mechanics on this day. No doubt the teams chewed up a big part of their budgets. As for the mechanic, well, most the time you guys have a thankless job. So from me, thanks for keeping those racers going out there!! Cheers to you all.
So we have one down and eight to go. Even with all the issues, the bad weather and some angry racers, the day still managed to finish. The series now heads to Kamloops for the first Saturday national in the history of the sport in Canada. After having such a great Saturday with the media crawl and press conference then to have Sunday be such a struggle is tough to swallow for anybody involved in the event side of things. It will get better; we will be better and work harder to ensure these issues are just small. We will move forward to make it all better is still the goal.