For this week’s Yamaha Motor Canada Behind the Lens, we go back to the beautiful east coast and Round 7 of the 2017 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals in Truro, NS. Heading into Round 7, both the MX2 and MX1 classes were about to be dramatically altered for the rest of the series. In the MX2 class, points leader Cole Thompson was coming into Truro with a broken thumb that he suffered the week prior at MX Bon Conseil and the possibility of his 2017 championship hopes being dashed. Cole tried to ride practice at Round 7, but pulled off early, collected his things and headed to the airport for the agonizing flight home.
In the MX1 class, Matt Goerke arrived at Pleasant Valley MX Park with a slim points lead over his arch rival Christophe Pourcel. With slippery track conditions expected in Truro, many felt that it would suit Pourcel to a tee and he would most likely dominate both motos. After the two 35-minute motos, Pourcel was left shaking his head as he struggled to a sixth overall on the slightly awkward east coast track, while the eventual MX1 Champion, Matt Goerke, overcame bad starts to battle to a very impressive second overall. It was an odd day in Truro, to say the least, and one that would change the course of the remainder of the series.
However, aside from all of the crashes and uncharacteristic results, Nut Up Kawasaki rider Dillan Epstein had a day that I’m sure he will never forget. After winning two motos earlier in the MX1 series, Epstein came into Round 7 having struggled for the past few races. But for whatever reason, the Truro track and Epstein really seemed to gel, and he went on to win both motos. Lap after lap as the Pleasant Valley track deteriorated into a dusty, slippery mess, Epstein refused to let any of this phase him as he ran away and hid from his MX1 competitors. Just in case there was a shred of doubt prior to Round 7, Dillan Epstein let everyone know that day that he will be a championship contender in 2018 if he decides to return to Canada. This James Lissimore photo was taken just as Epstein crossed the Pleasant Valley finish line after winning the second MX1 moto.