As we head into Round 8 of the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals in beautiful Moncton, NB, fans can no doubt expect the same action that we’ve been seeing all season. Since the opening round in Nanaimo more than two months ago, each moto has brought something a little different to the series. The world class riders that have been following the series have raced tooth and nail in search of that one little edge that will put them ahead of their competition. From the furthest reaches of the west coast of Canada, the 2014 series has wound itself east and now we find ourselves racing on the opposite side of the this vast country.
Last weekend in Quebec we once again saw some jaw dropping excitement in both classes. In the MX2 class, the French fans erupted numerous times as their hometown darling, Kaven Benoit, rocketed into the lead in both motos and never looked back. Behind him was a freight train of riders battling to try and keep Benoit somewhat in sight. One stand out in both motos was likeable Liam O’Farrell who came to us via South Africa almost a decade ago. Liam is one of those riders who has always been fast and fit. Somewhat quiet off the track, Liam is an individual who has always let his riding do most of the talking. Well, at Round 7 he had everyone talking as he rode to amazing 2-2 moto finishes and second overall for the day in the MX2 class. This was his best finish ever in Canada and no one has deserved it more as over the years Liam has represented the international flavour of this series very well.
In the MX1 class, it has definitely come down to a two horse race for the 2014 championship as Colton Facciotti and his American rival Mike Alessi will no doubt battle right down to the final moto of the year at Walton Raceway. Through this series, these two riders haven’t been too far apart on the track, and while out west Alessi seemed to have a slight advantage, Colton seems to have found his groove in the last few weeks and is making a great case for why he should be our 2014 MX1 Champion. His high level of riding was certainly evident in the second moto last weekend in Quebec.
After crashing on the first lap of moto one and having to charge through the pack to an impressive fourth, Colton came out swinging in moto two. Right out of the gate he seemed motivated to make up for his frustrating first moto finish as he grabbed a second place start. With Alessi right on his red rear fender, fans were excited with the thought of an epic battle. However, Colton had other ideas!
On lap three Colton took a quick look over his shoulder, almost to give his main competitor notice that he was about to disappear. Using a line in the split lane rhythm section that no one else had even seen, Colton was on fire. Lap after lap Colton jumped across the lanes to avoid the deep ruts that had formed. It was a brilliant line and it certainly exemplified the type of cerebral riding that we’ve seen all season from the three time Canadian Champion. Within a few laps Colton was gone and then it was Alessi’s turn to look up and wonder where Colt45 had gone.
So with six motos left in the MX1 series and a 27 point lead for Facciotti, the 2014 championship is still up for grabs. Behind this duo is a fierce battle for third in the MX1 points between Tyler Medaglia, Josh Hill and Teddy Maier. These three have been at each other’s side since the opening moto of the series, and if history is any guide, the battle for third will also go down to the final moto at Walton as it did last year.
However, before that happens everyone has to race this weekend in Moncton, NB. This is one of the most storied tracks of the series and over the years has always provided a perfect backdrop for racing. So let’s get ready for some lobster, the Klatt-a-pult and some good old east coast hospitality as the gate gets ready to drop on Round 8 of the 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals.