By Danny Brault
Before we get into things, I want to give a quick nod to the Quebec Nationals coming up. That region produces some amazing talent on the track, owns some of the best tracks in Canada and knows how to get people excited for racing. If you’re an amateur and you think you’re fast, get your butt to Quebec and race their best at the Eastern Canadian Amateur National. It’s not Walton and I think it would be an interesting show seeing more Anglophones visiting the event.
That being said, I’d like to share a quick note about the upcoming Deshambault National on July 24th to 26th (the track is located approx. 30 minutes from Quebec City, or 2.5 hours northeast of Montreal):
Welcome to the 3rd Annual Eastern Canadian Amateur National (ECAN) that will be held at the Deschambault Motocross facility nearby Quebec city on July 24th – 26th.
Over $20,000 in purse, trophies, Yamaha Factory Ride as well as the KTM contingencies. This event is the biggest race in eastern Canada and will be followed by the Rockstar Energy Drink National on Sunday. More details available on our website at http://motocrossdeschambault.com/competitions/national-amateur-ecan/
Let’s be honest here. Sure, we’re going to Gopher Dunes this weekend and the next six and final rounds feature sand tracks, but regardless of what type of soil is on the course, it’s going to be the same guys taking holeshots, leading laps and kissing babies.
That’s not to say Royal Distributing KTM Fox Racing’s Tyler Medaglia won’t be in more contention; he will, he’s won races at Gopher Dunes and the next round is at the track he grew up on, along with his younger brother, Jeremy. Both Medaglia brothers will most likely up the ante this weekend and going forward, but in Tyler’s case, I hate to say it … but I have to .. it’s hard to see anyone really putting it to Mike Alessi or Colton Facciotti. We’re four rounds deep, 8 motos, rocks, sand, ruts, mud and rain, and consistently it’s been these two shepherding the 450 pack.
I hope Tyler wins. I hope Kyle Keast wins too, but again, even in the beach, fast guys are still fast guys and both Colton and Mike have ridden Gopher Dunes. That being said, Gopher’s always known for being the ‘wild card’ of the series and changes things up in an instant. KTM’s Cole Thompson comes to mind, who last year was leading his first race until bingo-bango, he’s off the track and back to the showers. Banging around on those big 450s for 35 minutes is a workout, to say the least. It leads to 35 guys flopping around like wounded seagulls and 5 guys battling back and forth, and the guy with the least amount of frig ups takes the win. Keast has been the hometown hero every year since 2006, but he always gets bitten by the ‘Sand Monster’, trading wins for podiums (which in its own right is pretty darn good).
What about Josh Hill, you say? Couldn’t he bring down the alien arms of Colton and Rambo focus of Alessi? Yes, at Moncton or Walton, but when chatting with him a week ago, he said he liked sand but hadn’t ridden it in a while. I’ve heard other Americans say this, I think Eric Nye did one year, and then they get there and realize it’s nothing like the sand they’ve ridden unless they’ve been to some wild European tracks and backyard nellie nobody knows about. Gopher Dunes sand is deep, deep sand and doesn’t have a bottom. It keeps going and so does your energy level, very quickly, if you’re a skinny fat man who is slow like me. Oh, wait, back to the Yanks who thought Gopher was nothing but a chicken wang … remember in 2007 when OTSFF Suzuki brought up Kyle Partridge and he ragged on the slow Canadians and then didn’t do jack ____ ? Ron Ashley’s been known to make some good picks but that wasn’t one of them. Again, don’t Gopher … it’s like Southwick but not the same.
Poor, poor Kyle Chisholm. An okay western swing leaves him without a whole lot of attention going into the Eastern rounds. The Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha rider is fast and rides hard but so far his results are not where he, the team or anyone probably expects them to be. But don’t get down, get up, because Kyle knows sand AND he’s raced Gopher Dunes twice, battling with the likes of Michael Willard for MX2 glory. Chisholm is from Florida and rides sand all day long. Couple that with his Gopher experience and fire to get the results going, I think we see a ‘new’ Chisholm in the East. Maybe not to Colt or Mike’s level, but Kyle can ride sand and we have 4 out of the next 6 races in the soft stuff. Would be nice to see the friendly, 2007 MX2 Champ adding to the large mass of podium contenders.
Maybe it could be a banner weekend for Yamaha at Gopher, with Chisholm liking sand and his teammate Bobby Kiniry having adjusted much better to the loosey goosey Gopher track, and then Machine Racing Yamaha’s Kyle Keast busting out his national game-face for the first time this season. The big, burly construction worker has had his nose buried in blue prints and welding gear for the last six months and hasn’t been able to ride or train like he’d like. Not many excuses from the everyman hero of motocross, but he’s not shy to say he’s going into Gopher looking to win even without more than a dozen hours on his YZ450F. It really wouldn’t surprise me if he does land on the podium; he did last year and just meshes with that track. Sand Del Lee should be good for him too, but then’s he’s skipping Moncton and back for Ulverton, which is another sand track he should enjoy.
Look for a great honest interview with Keast in the next issue of MXP. He’s quite candid at times, but is serious about building his business to a certain degree and then taking off for two years to really chase the title. He doesn’t care if no one will give him dough; Keast is going to manage the business and save a little icing for his past time.
Even though he’s my buddy and I don’t doubt his heart and will to make it happen, I don’t see Keaster holding back the charge of Alessi and Facciotti either.
Alessi might have had a tough go in muddy Regina, but he still took fourth and is only 9 points back of Facciotti. From here on out these two need to be perfect and minimize every point loss when things do go astray. Both are seasoned pros now and know what it takes to rundown a full national campaign.
Regardless of the conditions, a fast guy goes fast and with what we’ve seen so far, it’s going to be everyone versus Alessi and Facciotti. Who’s going to be the first to put a chink in their armour?