ROUND 3 – CALGARY NATIONAL PREVIEW
Round 3 of the CMRC sanctioned 2017 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan will take place this weekend at the Wild Rose MX Park in Calgary, Alberta. The Wild Rose MX Park is located just outside of downtown Calgary, and is one of the best tracks in the country. The track is hard packed with some differing soil conditions, as well as significant elevation changes. With the City of Calgary as the backdrop, the Wild Rose MX Park is one of the favourite stops on the circuit for both riders and fans.
As the riders and teams begin the summer’s long trip east, they have a little time to reflect on how the West Coast races played out for them, as well as the opportunity to look forward to the rest of the series. The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals is ten rounds of bar banging action that travels coast to coast before crowning its champions. Although the series cannot be won in the first two rounds, riders can certainly put themselves out of contention or dig themselves into a hole in which only race wins can take them out.
If the first two rounds are any indication of what race fans are in store for this summer, Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel of France will have a lot of new fans by the end of the series. Pourcel’s second moto pass on Matt Goerke for the win at the finish line last weekend was truly spectacular, which left even the most seasoned moto fans shaking their heads. Christophe’s riding style is so smooth that at times leaves you thinking that he might not be trying as hard as some of his competitors. His last lap charge to take the win in Round 2 showed us that he is in this thing to win it, and the talented Frenchman will hang on to the red plate going into Round 3 this weekend.
Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel and Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha Racing’s Matt Goerke battling in Round 2.
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha Racing’s Matt Goerke may have led more laps last weekend in Prince George but had to settle for second place by less than a bike length at the finish line. Goerke’s fitness was put to the test in Round 1 where he was suffering with the flu, and he praised his doctors for getting him into shape for the second round. Matt earned his first moto win of 2017 last weekend and jumped into second place in the series standings, only 7 points out of the lead. Look for the talented American to improve upon his sixth-place finish in Calgary from last season.
Trophy’s for the winners were these Timber Kings wood carvings and proved very popular.
Sitting in third position in the series standings is Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Dillan Epstein, who followed up his second-place finish at the opening round by finishing a solid fourth in Round 2. Dillan has not finished a moto outside the top 5 this season and will be looking to get back on the podium this weekend in Calgary.
Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Colton Facciotti earned his first podium of 2017 last weekend and comes into Calgary fourth in the series standings, only 1 point back of third. Last season, Facciotti came into Calgary with the red plate on his bike, but lost it after finishing seventh. Colton must be feeling very good about the start to his season and it won’t be long until we see the four-time Champion battling for the lead.
Rounding out the top 5 in the series standings is Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Racing’s Tyler Medaglia. Medaglia followed up his first-round podium performance with a sixth last weekend at Blackwater, and will be looking to improve upon his eighth-place finish last year in Calgary.
The Blackwater MX Track was a first-time venue on the National Circuit and provided some exciting racing action.
Look for Calgary native Cycle Works Yamaha’s Keylan Meston to bounce back in his hometown race after finishing outside of the top 10 last weekend. Meston was tenth last year in Calgary and currently sits ninth in the series standings.
KTM Canada Thor Racing Cole Thompson’s performance last weekend reminded us of why he has the #1 plate on his motorcycle. Thompson swept both motos in Prince George, took over the red plate, and kept his podium streak alive, which now has the talented Canadian finishing on the box in his last twelve MX2 races. If the competition wants to stop Cole from winning back to back championships they are going to have to not let him get too far ahead in the points standings, which may prove difficult this weekend on a track he went 1-1 on in 2016.
With the added pressure of racing in his hometown last weekend, MX101 FXR Yamaha’s Jess Pettis rode brilliantly finishing second overall, his career best, after leading the majority of the second moto. Pettis leaves the west coast second in the series, only 8 points behind Thompson, and must be happy about being the fastest qualifier at the first two rounds. Without the added pressure of racing at home, look for Jess to improve upon his sixth-place finish in Calgary last year.
MX101 FXR Yamaha’s Shawn Maffenbeier going after KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson.
Redemption Racing’s Josh Osby followed up his podium finish at the opening round with a fifth in Prince George and sits third in the series standings. Osby’s starts in Round 2 were not as good as they were in the opener, but look for the series rookie to be running up front soon, just like he did at Round 1.
Race fans knew it wouldn‘t take long for Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki‘s Jacob Hayes to make his appearance on the podium, and after finishing 5-3 last weekend in Prince George he did just that. Hayes sits fourth in the standings as the series leaves the west coast, and is only 4 points back of Osby. Expect Jacob to improve each weekend as he gets more comfortable on his race bike, and don’t be surprised if he is on the box again this weekend.
MX2 Pilots getting ready for the second Moto at Round 2 in Prince George.
After coming into Round 2 with the red plate as he did in 2016, MX101 FXR Yamaha’s Shawn Maffenbeier will not have it on his motorcycle in Calgary this weekend. Maffenbeier worked his way into the lead in last weekend’s first moto, only to make a small mistake and hand the win to his biggest rival Thompson. Shawn then suffered misfortune in Moto 2 when he hit a rock and broke his motorcycle, forcing him to retire. “Maff” has shown tremendous speed in the first two rounds and has been much better than his fifth place, as the standings show.
The Blackwater MX Track got super rough as the day wore on but still provided a lot of good lines.
Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright’s first moto woes continued in Round 2 when again he found himself near last place after the first lap. Wright charged back to finish eleventh in the first moto, and after posting a fifth in Moto 2 was sixth overall for the day.
This weekend’s weather forecast looks great, and with the Wild Rose MX Park so close to downtown Calgary, a large crowd is expected. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets you can buy them online easily at www.mxnationals.ca/tickets. If you are in another part of the country and are unable to attend the race, you can see all the action live by downloading the free Conx2share app or logging on to www.conx2share.com and live stream every moto on either your mobile phone or computer.
MX1 Point Standings 2017 after 2 Rounds
1. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 112
2. Matt Goerke (Yam) 105
3. Dillan Epstein (Kaw) 97
4. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 96
5. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 89
6. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 80
7. Kyle Chisholm (Hon) 75
8. Cade Clason (KTM) 65
9. Keylan Meston (Yam) 60
10. Nathan Bles (Hon) 58
MX2 Point Standings 2017 after 2 Rounds
1. Cole Thompson (KTM) 110
2. Jess Pettis (Yam) 102
3. Josh Osby (KTM) 93
4. Jacob Hayes (Kaw) 89
5. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 85
6. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 83
7. Taylor Arsenault (KTM) 70
8. Tallon Lafountaine (KTM) 68
9. Dylan Wright (Hon) 66
10. Hayden Halstead (Yam) 65
Links and social media:
Event info: www.mxnationals.ca/event-info/
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