This week’s MXP Q and A is brought to by the motocross loving people at Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd.
Q: With riding and racing beginning this month all across Canada, this week’s Q and A pertains to our early season races. Dan wants to know the worst conditions I’ve ever encountered while racing in April.
A: First off Dan, thank you for your question. I have to really dip into my memory bank for this one as it’s been a long time since I’ve tried to race in this usually wet month. I would have to say that two races stand out in my mind; one was because of cold and one was because of snow.
For the first race of 1992, all of us Ontario racers showed up at Moto Park ready to begin our season. Unfortunately, the temperatures had dipped well below zero the night before and the Moto Park track was frozen solid. Since the forecast had only predicted that the high for the day was going to be 5c, I figured the race would be cancelled since the ground would never thaw enough.
However, I remember Carl Bastedo was emphatic that by noon the track would be perfect for racing. Well, Carl was right and by mid-morning the bikes were on the track and conditions were improving. Figuring the day was going to be a write off, I didn’t even ride practice so my first time on the track was the first lap of my first moto. Ironically, I grabbed the holeshot and won on a perfect Moto Park track. It was so cold that morning that I never would’ve guessed that the track would be not just ride-able but in such great condition halfway through the day.
The second race I remember was a little more important as far as money and points were concerned. In 1997, the first round of the Ontario Provincial Championships was scheduled for early April at RJ Motosport Park near Barrie. Since a few of us Pro riders had traveled to Michigan the night before to race the Pontiac SX, when we arrived the next morning at RJ’s, we were tired, a little grumpy and not too excited to race as there was half a foot of snow on the track.
As the morning went on and the temperature rose a tiny bit, the snow did begin to melt, but on that day the quad riders were our best friends as they were sent out first to turn things up and make the track somewhat decent. I will never forget the sight of those poor quad riders on the track with snow flying everywhere, their goggles iced up and their hands frozen.
Eventually, the track did come around and the conditions were pretty good, except for the cold! It was one of those days when if it wasn’t such an important race most of us would’ve went home. If I remember correctly, my diesel box van ran all day and I only came out of it to race and then I went right back in it to keep warm.
Dan, thank you for your question and I hope we don’t have to experience those tough conditions again. Please keep the questions coming as I really enjoy taking the time to answer them. You can email me at email@example.com and maybe next week your question will get answered.