The first of two stops in the Maritimes is this weekend’s Round 7 of the 2017 CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan at Pleasant Valley Motorsport Park in Truro, Nova Scotia. The Pleasant Valley race track returned to the national schedule last year after being absent since 2002. The last two winners in the MX1 class there were Davi Millsaps and Canadian racing legend Jean Sebastien Roy.
The race track in Pleasant Valley is fast and technical with off cambered corners, and loamy soil that will get very rough as the day progresses. Last year’s start was a tight, short, left hand turn that has been changed to a long sweeping turn. The track has been widened for 2017, and the riders and teams will use what they learned in 2016 to come here better prepared this year knowing that with the tight points race in each class, making mistakes or having a bad moto now can put an end to their championship hopes.
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke comes into Round 7 as the points leader as he looks to capture his third National Title. Goerke has just one overall win in 2017 but has had the red plate on his motorcycle since that victory at Round 3 in Calgary. Matt has been very consistent this year and only finished off the podium at the season opener. He was fourth in 2016 at Pleasant Valley.
Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke comes into Round 7 with the red plate.
Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel sits second in the series standings and is only 8 points behind Goerke. Pourcel has three wins in 2017 and is the only rider in the class to have more than one overall win this year. Christophe is coming off a second overall last weekend where he won the final moto of the day but was only able to gain 1 point on the series leader.
Last year, Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Colton Facciotti crashed in the first corner during both motos at Pleasant Valley, and after that second moto crash was done for the season. Facciotti sits third in the championship hunt, 28 points back of the leader, and was the overall winner last weekend. With two wins in his last four motos, Colton is carrying a lot of momentum into Round 7, plus the announcement this week of his selection to Team Canada for the Motocross Des Nations this fall can only boost his confidence coming into this weekend.
Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi and Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel battling at Round 6.
Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi is another rider who will be happy the first turn at Pleasant Valley has been changed for this year after going down in both motos there in 2016 and finishing seventh overall. Alessi is fourth in the series standings and has been getting better at each round including coming from last place to finish seventh in last weekend’s second moto after finding himself off the track and deep in the woods on the first lap. Look for Mike to be up front this weekend and pushing hard as he goes for his second win of the season.
Racing in his hometown this weekend is Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Tyler Medaglia who lives only minutes from the Pleasant Valley track. Medaglia came to this race in 2016 and grabbed his first podium of the year, finishing third, but in 2017 has already been on the podium twice. Medaglia has only finished outside the top 5 once, and that was a sixth place at Round 2. Tyler sits fifth in the MX1 standings and will be using the energy of his hometown fans this weekend as he goes after the win.
Rounding out the top 10 are Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Dillan Epstein in sixth, Royal Distributing Redemption Racing’s Cade Clason in in seventh, Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Kyle Chisolm in eighth, Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Tim Tremblay in ninth, and Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Nathan Bles in tenth.
Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team’s Tyler Medaglia lives only minutes from the Pleasant Valley track.
KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson is coming off his worst finish in the last two seasons and put an end to his podium streak at last weekend’s race. Thompson went into Round 6 with a 40-point series lead, but after having his thumb pop out of place during a first moto crash, he saw his lead evaporate and is now only 2 points ahead of Shawn Maffenbeier going into Round 7. Cole had a 64-point lead in the series coming into Pleasant Valley in 2016 and swept both motos, but is questionable this weekend with the thumb injury, as he continues to try to earn back-to-back championships.
What a difference a week makes is what MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Shawn Maffenbeier must be thinking as he now sits only 2 points behind Thompson with four rounds left in the series. Maffenbeier has been the best in the class this season and has four wins in the first six rounds, but cannot afford to make any more mistakes if he is to win this title. Shawn was third overall at Pleasant Valley in 2016, and with one eye on Thompson’s red plate must keep the other on Josh Osby who sits third in the Championship only 7 points back of Maff.
Redemption Racing KTM’s Josh Osby got his first career moto win in last weekend’s opening moto before being penalized for a red cross flag violation, then ended up in sixth. Osby didn’t let that bother him and came out and won the second moto, and is now only 9 points back of series leader Thompson. With last weekend’s performance, Josh has a lot of momentum coming into Round 7 and has a legitimate shot at becoming the 2017 MX2 Champion if he can keep the ball rolling this weekend.
After six rounds, Nut Up Industries Kawasaki’s Ryan Surratt sits fourth in the series standings and has six holeshots to his credit. Surratt gets quicker at each round and posted the fastest lap of the race during last weekend’s second moto, the first time this season he has had the fastest lap. Ryan has been very consistent all season and has finished in the top 5 at all but one round, where he was sixth, but is still looking to be standing on the podium at the end of the series in 2017.
MX101 FXR Yamaha Team’s Shawn Maffenbeier is only 2 points behind Thompson in the series standings.
After getting off to a rough start in the first three rounds, Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing’s Dylan Wright has turned his season around and has now finished on the podium in each of the last three rounds, including a second overall last weekend. Wright finished fourth at Pleasant Valley in 2016 and sits fifth in the series standings, and is still trying to earn his first win of the season.
The first six rounds of the 2017 CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan have seen huge crowds, and as the series moves to the Maritimes this weekend to Pleasant Valley Motorsport Park in Truro, Nova Scotia, it looks like this trend will continue. 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 to live stream every moto on either your mobile phone or computer.
Redemption Racing KTM’s Josh Osby got his first career moto win last weekend in Quebec.
MX1 Point Standings 2017 after 6 Rounds
1. Matt Goerke (Yam) 316
2. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 308
3. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 288
4. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 269
5. Tyler Medaglia (Hon) 267
6. Dillan Epstein (Kaw) 249
7. Cade Clason (KTM) 213
8. Kyle Chisholm (Hon) 210
9. Tim Tremblay (Yam) 195
10. Nathan Bles (Hon) 162
MX2 Point Standings 2017 after 6 Rounds
1. Cole Thompson (KTM) 298
2. Shawn Maffenbeier (Yam) 296
3. Josh Osby (KTM) 289
4. Ryan Surratt (Kaw) 258
5. Dylan Wright (Hon) 245
6. Casey Keast (Yam) 198
7. Jacob Hayes (Kaw) 186
8. Davey Fraser (Hus) 181
9. Hayden Halstead (Yam) 176
10. Jess Pettis (Yam) 148
Links and social media:
Event info: www.mxnationals.ca/event-info/