Good day, and welcome to another edition of the Yamaha Motor Canada Monday Gate Drop. This week’s Gate Drop is brought to you by the all-new 2022 YZ85LW. This new model from the Blu Cru features a 16” rear wheel and a 19” front wheel which allows the YZ85LW to bridge the gap perfectly between the YZ85 and the YZ125. This new bike is available now in Yamaha dealerships right across Canada.
Let’s begin with the biggest news from this past week and that is Dylan Wright’s march towards greatness in the MXGP Series in Italy. We’ve all watched with bated breath as little by little Dylan’s results have improved since he joined the series a week ago. At his first round last Sunday he was obviously nervous and he struggled a little with his bike set-up, his starts, and the pace of the riders in the MXGP class. At his second round on Wednesday, his bike was better, his starts were a little better, and he was able to get a sniff of the top ten in at least one moto. I think we can all relate to this as it doesn’t matter what class you ride we’ve all experienced the process where we get better and better with each race. Then, once our mind, body, and bike all get in sync we find the confidence needed to succeed. This has been the case with Dylan during the past week and yesterday he was able to put it all together and finish inside the top ten. His 9-10 moto finish at the MXGP of Garda will go down as one of the best performances by a Canadian rider on the world stage. We all knew he could do it and in talking to Dylan last night, he believes that he can do even better this coming weekend when the MXGP’s move to the Mantova track for its final two rounds.
So what does this mean for Dylan Wright moving forward? Well, that is a good question and one that I think we’ll know the answer to sooner than later. My honest feeling is that unless things go completely sideways in the final two MXGP’s we’ve seen the last of Dylan Wright in Canada for at least the next few years. There is no doubt in my mind that a lot of people have taken notice of his riding during the past week and since the MXGP Series loves International riders, Dylan Wright is the perfect fit right now for one of the teams. Dylan doesn’t race quietly as whenever he’s on a race track it’s hard to miss him. His hard-charging and determined style is reminiscent of Bob Hannah, Damon Bradshaw, or one of our older Canadian moto icons Ross Pederson. Also, Dylan’s ability to focus on the task at hand and not be distracted by his surroundings makes him a perfect candidate to have a successful MXGP career. I mean, look at what he’s accomplished during the past ten days. He left his home and fiance to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, only with the knowledge that he had a bike and team waiting for him. He moved into an apartment by himself and in a matter of days he not only adapted successfully to a new country, but he also entered a couple of big dirt bike races and finished quite well. For anyone who has flown overseas, you know it can take a few days and sometimes longer to adjust and feel comfortable. When you throw into the equation that you also have to compete against some of the world’s best riders on their home turf, it most certainly can be a daunting task. However, I’ve said this before but Dylan really does have the perfect mentality for an adventure like this as he doesn’t need everything to be perfect to find success.
Dylan is of course already under contract for 2022 with the GDR Fox Honda Team so if he did get an offer from an MXGP Team there would need to be some serious conversations. Also, who knows what type of money there is right now in the MXGP if you don’t have a top-level ride? As the two-time 450 Champion here and the top rider in the Triple Crown Series Dylan will be able to max out on the money available in Canada with purse and bonus money. But is that better in the long term? Considering Dylan isn’t even 25 years old yet his best years are still to come! Regardless of what happens, I think it’s a win/win for Dylan Wright and Canadian motocross. His speed is not only the product of his own making but it’s also because he’s had a great series here to hone his skills as well as a great team to support him. Whenever a Canadian rider, pro or amateur, has a good result outside of his country we should all celebrate as athletes are always products of their environment.
Speaking of Canadian riders, a couple of others are also making some news today. Jess Pettis is currently down in Florida getting ready to begin his Supercross training at Baker’s Factory. As you may remember, Jess was there a year ago training and by accounts, he had a great time. This time around he is in a much better place both physically and mentally so Jess will no doubt find success. With just over two months to go before the opening round of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Series the riders will be beginning their boot camps this week. Like last year, I will be speaking to Jess weekly to see how his training is going in Florida.
Also, Eve Brodeur announced this morning that she has signed with the GASGAS/COBEQUID MOUNTAIN SPORTS/CALLUS RACE TEAM for 2022. This is exciting news as Eve has been a KTM rider since we all can remember. Good luck to Eve and her new team as they prepare for next season. Finally, this past weekend Shelby Turner clinched the USA Endurocross Championship in Denver. Shelby had an almost perfect series winning five of the six rounds in the Women’s class. Congratulations to Shelby and the entire KTM Canada/ FXR Racing Team.
Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great first week of November and I hope all of the kids (and adults) had a fun Halloween yesterday. Also, congratulations to all of the riders who competed in the 2021 AMO Racing True North OPC Series. This well-attended series wrapped up this past weekend in the rain at Gopher Dunes. What a year it’s been in Southwestern Ontario for amateur racing. Ryan Gauld and his AMO Racing crew went above and beyond this year to both build on the success of last season and to make 2021 even better. So thank you to Gauldy and his staff, and also to all of the series sponsors, the tracks, and of course to all of the racers and their families who all contributed to an incredible 2021 race season in Ontario! Have a great week and thank you for reading.