2017 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals – MX1 Season Preview

This season will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan. Coming off a record setting series in 2016, race fans can expect to see more exciting racing this season. The series will get underway on June 4th in Kamloops, BC and spend the next few months traveling coast to coast for 10 rounds of adrenaline filled action, before crowning new champions at the season finale at RJ Motosport Park, in Barrie, Ontario on August 13th. The series will visit two new circuits this year as the Blackwater MX Track, a natural terrain track laid out on the side of a mountain in Prince George, BC, will host the second round and Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil, near Drummondville, QC will host Round 6.

The 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals was dominated by the KTM Canada Thor Racing team as they won championships in both classes. American superstar Davi Millsaps spent his summer in Canada and had his hands full on route to his first MX1 Championship, and Canadian Cole Thompson dominated the MX2 class, while elevating the competition in the process.  Riders and their race teams have been working all winter putting together the pieces required to finish on the podium, win races and battle for the championship in 2017.

Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel of France will be lining up in the MX1 class this season.

The Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan is the highest level of professional racing in Canada, and the ability of the series to attract world class foreign riders will continue in 2017. Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel of France will be lining up to compete in MX1 class this season, and comes to Canada with the most successful resume of any rider ever to compete in the National Championship.  Pourcel won two Supercross Lites titles, an FIM MX2 World title, multiple wins in the elite MXGP class, and has 19 AMA wins. The 28-year-old Frenchman has also had some very serious injuries during his career, but continues to be incredibly fast and has every intention of winning the MX1 Championship in Canada this summer.

American Matt Goerke will be back on his Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha for his third season of competition in Canada. Goerke won the championship in 2015 and was second in 2016, picking up three wins last year. Matt is certainly one of the favourites coming into 2017, and stayed sharp by competing in the US Arenacross series this past winter.

Matt Goerke won the Championship in 2015 and finished second overall in 2016.

Following back to back MX2 titles, KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Kaven Benoit finished third overall and captured his first MX1 win in 2016 as a rookie. Benoit stood on the podium four times, and if not for mechanical issues in Regina and Nanaimo could have been a title contender. Kaven was the top Canadian in the series and comes into 2017 with his eyes on the title. After having a career-best performance during the Motocross des Nations last fall in Italy, Kaven suffered a broken ankle during an off-season race, however he is now fully healed and has jumpstarted his season by racing in the first round of the US Nationals.

KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Kaven Benoit finished third overall as a rookie in 2016.

Monster Energy Alpinestar Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi has been competing in Canada each summer since 2014, when he finished second in the MX1 class, and will be returning this summer. Alessi will have something to prove this season as 2016 was the first time since coming to Canada that the likeable American did not win an overall.  Mike finished fifth in 2016, competed in the US Supercross series this past winter, and returns to Canada intent on winning the title.

Monster Energy Alpinestar Kawasaki’s Mike Alessi has been competing in Canada since 2014.

Four-time Champion, Honda Canada Racing Fox GDR’s Colton Facciotti will have the #10 on his race bike this season, after injuring himself last summer during Round 8 and not finishing the series. Facciotti also relinquished the crown of top Canadian to Benoit, and will be looking to grab his fifth title, proving that he is still the man to beat in this country. Colton trained down south this winter, and will come into the series well prepared and in good form on a race bike and team that he has a lot of confidence.

Four-time National MX1 Champion Honda Canada Racing Fox GDR’s Colton Facciotti.

Truro, Nova Scotia’s Tyler Medaglia finished sixth in last year’s championship after coming on strong and grabbing two podiums in the last four rounds. In 2017, Tyler will be aboard a Honda on the newly formed Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team. Tyler is a two-time MX2 Champion and has competed for his country five times at the Motocross des Nations. He will surely be rejuvenated this season with his new team.

Tyler Medaglia will be aboard a Honda on the Royal Distributing Motovan Piller’s Race Team.

Joining Medaglia at the Motovan Piller’s Race Team are American Kyle Chisholm and Canada’s Nathan Bles. Chisholm is no stranger to racing in Canada and finished 5th in the MX1 class in 2014, which included a win. Bles has multiple top 10 finishes in both classes at the National level and won the inaugural CSRA Canadian Snow Bike Championship this past winter.
Replacing Australian Brett Metcalfe at Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha is Quebecer Tim Tremblay. Tremblay is well known to Canadian race fans and notched two top five finishes in MX1 class last season, while competing in only three races. Tim has had tremedous success in snocross over the years, and finished second this winter in the Open Pro class.

Kyle Chisholm finished 5th in the MX1 class in 2014.

Redemption Racing will again support South Carolina’s Cade Clason, who has finished seventh overall in each of the last two seasons in Canada, with a number of top fives, but is still looking for his first podium finish. Canadian Keylan Meston will be sporting a single digit on his number plate this year, after finishing eighth in the series in 2016. The talented Calgarian will be back on a Yamaha under the RM Motorsports tent.

MX2 Season Preview

The MX2 class is the breeding ground for up and coming talent and throughout its history has been mostly dominated by young Canadian racers. Dusty Klatt, the Medaglia Brothers and Kaven Benoit are just a few of the Canadian racers who have had success racing MX2, before graduating to the elite class.  KTM has dominated the class for the last three seasons, with Benoit winning the title in 2014 and 2015, and his teammate Cole Thompson taking the Championship last year. This season, Thompson will be looking to repeat as Champion, as the rest of the MX2 riders hope to make their own mark in the class.

KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson will be seeking his second MX2 title.

Coming off a record setting championship season where he won 7 of 10 races in 2016 and never finished off the podium, KTM Canada Thor Racing’s Cole Thompson will be seeking his second MX2 title this year at the tender age of 23. Thompson raced selected 250 supercross events this winter while training at the Millsaps Training Facility in Georgia, and has been looking super smooth and comfortable on his KTM. After crashing at the Indianapolis round, he decided to focus on the upcoming outdoor series, but flew to Costa Rica for the second time this off-season and picked up a few more wins. After signing a contract extension at the end of last season, the MX2 class favourite Thompson is making the most of his time with the Austrian manufacturer KTM, while they become a dominant force in the sport around the world.

Saskatchewan’s Shawn Maffenbeier has been winning Nationals since 2013 and is coming off his best season ever where he finished second to Thompson, after starting the year with a victory at last year’s season opener in Kamloops. This year, Maff is switching back to Yamaha after joining the MX101 FXR team for 2017 and feels that he has found those few missing pieces from last year. Shawn was very strong in the west last year, and is a legitimate title contender, but will have to carry that across the country this summer if he wants to win the MX2 title. Rejuvenated by his new team and representing his country last fall at the Motocross des Nations, Shawn could be the biggest challenge to Thompson this summer.

Shawn Maffenbeier is switching back to Yamaha after joining the MX101 FXR team for 2017.

After having a breakout season in 2016 where he won the first moto of the year and later got his first overall win, 19-year-old Dylan Wright has changed teams for 2017, joining Honda Canada Racing Fox GDR for the next two years. Wright proved last year that he could beat Thompson straight up and is coming into this season as a true title contender. Dylan spent most of the winter training in California, and will have to be better in the west this season if he wants to be in the title chase when the series moves east to the tracks where he has had his greatest success.

Dylan Wright has changed teams for 2017, joining Honda Canada Racing Fox GDR.

Coming off his best season to date, and back with the MX101 FXR Yamaha Team, Jess Pettis is bringing a lot of momentum with him into the 2017 series, after grabbing his first podium at last year’s final round and then capturing an arenacross title this winter. Pettis had an up and down start last season, finishing third in the opening moto of the year, then suffering a mechanical issue in the second moto, and crashing hard at Round 2 after posting the fastest lap in practice. Jess is from Prince George, BC, which will play host to Round 2 this year, and will be looking forward to showing his hometown fans that he has what it takes to compete for the title.

Jess Pettis is bringing a lot of momentum with him into the 2017 series.

North Carolina’s Jacob Hayes will be back with the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki team competing in MX2 class in 2017. Hayes suffered a season ending injury during the first moto of last season after coming into the series as a title contender. Jacob is one of the top arenacross riders in the world and is no stranger to Canada, having won the Canadian National Arenacross tour in 2015. Hayes also finished second overall in the 2015 AMA Arenacross tour and third in 2016, winning ten events in the process. With his indoor skills well proven, he looks forward to lining up in 2017 to showcase his outdoor abilities.

Jacob Hayes will be back with the Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki team in 2017.

Up and coming Canadians Davey Fraser, Hayden Halstead, Casey Keast, and Ryley Gallup cracked the MX2 top ten in 2016, and will all be looking to improve this year and trying to make it into the top five. These young guns have the ability to reach that next level and will continue in 2017 to lay the foundation to become future contenders for the MX2 title.

The series will get underway on June 4th in Kamloops, BC and spend the summer crossing the country before crowning a new champion at RJ Motosport Park in Barrie, Ontario on August 13th. Canadian race fans will be better able to stay on top of the action in 2017 as the MX1 series will air weekly on TSN, and the MX2 class will air on Fox Sports Racing. Live streaming video of every moto will again be available this season for free on the Conx2share app, and online at www.conx2share.com.


Sunday, June 4                  Whispering Pines Raceway, Kamloops, British Columbia
Sunday, June 11                Blackwater MX Track, Prince George, British Columbia
Sunday, June 18                Wild Rose MX Park, Calgary, Alberta
Sunday, June 25                Moto Valley Raceway, Regina, Saskatchewan
Sunday, July 9                    Gopher Dunes, Courtland, Ontario
Sunday, July 16                  Motocross Bon Conseil, Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil, Quebec
Sunday, July 23                  Pleasant Valley Motorsport Park, Truro, Nova Scotia
Sunday, July 30                  Riverglade MX Park, Moncton, New Brunswick
Sunday, August 6               Motocross Deschambault, Deschambault, Quebec
Sunday, August 13             RJ Motosport Park, Barrie, Ontario

Links and social media:

Web:                 www.mxnationals.ca
Event info:          http://www.mxnationals.ca/event-info/
Tickets:             http://www.mxnationals.ca/tickets/
Facebook:          www.facebook.com/CMRCMX
Twitter:               @CMRCRacing
Instagram:          https://www.instagram.com/cmrcmx/
YouTube:            https://www.youtube.com/user/cmrcracing
Live Streaming:   www.conx2share.com Twitter – @Conx2share

About Rockstar:

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About Stallybrass Promotions Inc. (SPI):

SPI established the CMRC sanctioned Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals in 1993, successfully executing the series to become a world-renowned championship tour attracting top competitors from numerous countries. SPI is the Executive Producer of the outdoor motocross television coverage that receives exposure domestically on TSN, Fox Sports Racing and RDS2, and in the United States on MAVTV. The company’s continued commitment is to raise the level of professional motocross racing in Canada with the intention of attracting new riders, fans and sponsors to our great sport.