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2016 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals Round Eight Moncton Race Preview

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By Stephen St. Pierre

The eighth round of the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan goes this weekend at Riverglade MX Park in Moncton, New Brunswick. The stop in Moncton is the second of two Maritime races in 2016, before the series moves back to Central Canada for the last two rounds. The Riverglade track is hard packed and rocky, with rich, red east coast soil, which provides good traction but gets clumpy after it is freshly tilled. The corners develop inside and outside ruts and the clumpy nature of the soil is enough to throw you off your line as you are setting up for the turn.
After letting his opponents gain a little ground over the last two weeks in the series standings, KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Davi Millsaps was back last weekend doing what we got used to seeing him do on the west coast, during the first few rounds of the series and that is winning races in a dominating fashion. Millsaps had been set back by a couple of injuries and was not able to practice during the week, over the last few rounds and it was showing.  Davi got back to practice before last weekend and again was completely dominant, finishing 1-1 at Round 7. It will be very interesting to see how he deals with his comfortable 35-point lead over the next few rounds and maybe the only person that can beat Davi is the man himself.
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Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Brett Metcalfe now has a streak going, after finishing second three weeks in a row. During this time, Metcalfe gained some ground on the series leader and passed his teammate in the standings, moving into second place. Brett had the second of his two DNFs last year during the first moto in Moncton, which really brought his title chase to an end. Look for Metty to be on the gas this weekend and go for his first overall win of the season, while he looks to keep Millsaps in his sights, as the series enters the last few rounds.
Last year in Moncton, Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Matt Goerke kept his championship quest alive when he was able to put the chain back on his bike after it derailed during the first moto. Goerke came back in the second moto, grabbing the win and his 5-1 moto finishes put him on the podium. Matt sits 37 points back of the series lead and knows he is still in contention, but must start winning motos this weekend if he wants to repeat as champion.
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Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi must have good memories from the last time he raced in Moncton, when he swept both motos there in 2014. In the last three weeks Alessi has fallen back two positions in the standings and now sits fourth, 61 points off the lead. Mike was forced to come from behind in both motos last weekend, after being involved in first turn crashes and we know it won’t be long until one of the best starters in the sport grabs another holeshot.
Sitting fifth in the standings and 82 points back is the top Canadian, Honda Canada Racing Fox GDR’s Colton Facciotti, who won the overall last year in Moncton. Facciotti is questionable for Round 7, after going down hard in both motos last weekend and being unable to finish Moto 2. Although Colton’s quest for his fifth National title is not out of reach, it might be out of his hands.
Nova Scotia resident, Parts Canada Husqvarnas Tyler Medaglia had a lot of fans cheering for him last weekend in Moncton and used the crowd’s energy and his knowledge of his hometown track, to get onto the podium for the first time in 2016. Last year, Medaglia finished fourth in Moncton and will have a lot of fans cheering for him again this weekend.
The decision to move KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson to MX2 Class for the 2016 season was probably not an easy one, as the talented rider had great success while racing MX1, including finishing second overall on a 450 last year in Moncton. KTM Team Manager and Canadian Racing legend Jean Sebastian Roy was probably a key player in that decision, which is looking like it might lead to two National titles in one season, a first for Team Orange. Thompson has been very dominant all season and has a comfortable 74 point lead in the standings. It looks like the only one who can beat Cole right know is Cole himself.
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Redemption Racing Big Steel Box KTM’s Shawn Maffenbeier has been very consistent all year and has only finished off the podium twice. Depending on how things go in Round 8, Maffenbeier, who sits second in the standings, might come out of Moncton as the only rider in the class that will still have a chance to win the title.  Shawn was third overall last year at Moncton and needs to find the winning touch, like he did at the season opener.
The only other rider outside of the top 2 to have an overall race win this year is MX101 FXR Yamaha’s Dylan Wright, after he notched the first victory of his career at Round 6 in Ulverton. Wright sat out the race in Moncton last year, after crashing hard while practicing the week of the event. Dylan sits in third position for the series. Although his championship hopes are dwindling, he must feel that finishing runner up is still a possibility.
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Since joining the Honda Canada Racing Fox GDR Team, Brad Nauditt has been adapting to his new machine. After finishing fifth in Round 6, Nauditt was on his way to another good result before colliding violently with a lapped rider, on the last lap of the second moto last weekend. Brad sits fourth in the standings. He finished on the podium in Moncton in 2013 and was sixth last year. With more seat time on the bike he should have a better result this weekend.
After getting off to a slow start on the West Coast, MX101 FXR Yamaha’s Jess Pettis has finished sixth overall three times. He notched his best result of the season, with his first top 5 finish last weekend. He also broke into the top 5 in the standings; he finished seventh last year at Riverglade.
Since joining the series in the east, KTM/Factory Connection/Fox’s Dakota Alix has only raced three rounds and has finished third, fourth and second overall. Alix is looking to keep the ball rolling and it won’t be long until this talented, young American finishes on the top of the box.
Riverglade MX Park in Moncton will be the eighth of ten rounds of the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan, before new champions are crowned. Maritime race fans are very excited about having the opportunity to have two weekends of racing in the east this year. If you haven’t already purchased your tickets you can buy them online easily at the website. 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 and live stream every moto on your mobile phone or computer.
MX1 Point Standings 2016
1. Davi Millsaps (KTM) 379        
2. Brett Metcalfe (Yam) 344
3. Matt Goerke (Yam) 342
4. Mike Alessi (Kaw) 318
5. Colton Facciotti (Hon) 297        
6. Kaven Benoit (KTM) 267
7. Cade Clason (KTM) 262
8. Tyler Medaglia (Hus) 259
9. Keylan Meston (Yam) 214
10. Morgan Burger (Yam) 213
MX2 Point Standings 2016
1. Cole Thompson (KTM) 403
2. Shawn Maffenbeier (KTM) 329
3. Dylan Wright (Yam) 290
4. Brad Nauditt (Hon) 262
5. Jess Pettis (Yam) 240
6. Mark Worth (Kaw) 239
7. Ryeley Gallup (KTM) 189
8. Hayden Halstead (Yam) 178
9. Davey Fraser (Hus) 165
10. Brandon Leith (Kaw) 162
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