With our usual wordsmith, Brent Worrall, busy with other commitments this week, I will be your Friday Flight pilot on this final Friday of August. As it has been the last few weeks, Friday Flight is once again brought to you by Big Steel Box. We all know how valuable Big Steel Box has been over the past few years getting riders to and from the Parts Canada TransCan. Companies like this help keep our sport going, so if you can, please support them anyway possible. Please bear with me as I try and fill in for Brent Worrall the best I can.
So as we all saw last weekend in Crawfordsville, IN, our Canadian contingent went down to the final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Nationals and did pretty well. Led by this country’s fastest rider, Colton Facciotti, our riders that qualified in the 450 class all rode very well and in the process made Canada beam with pride. To me, this sense of pride couldn’t have come at a better time as this week the FIM released the list of entries to the 2015 MXON, and of course, we weren’t on it. While it’s always sad to see a list like this without our name, over the years this event has become so enthralled in politics from all angles that this year in particular really doesn’t bother me that we’re staying home. With the money needed to attend the MXON when it’s overseas and the hoops that need to be jumped through to get a team there, I think that until the MXON comes back to this side of the Atlantic in 2017, our money might be better spent doing what the boys did last weekend in Indiana. Maybe if we took the next two seasons and just prepared and focused on the 2017 MXON in Glen Helen, we might be able to go there and get the results that our riders and country deserve.
This is not to suggest to for a minute that Team Canada wasn’t prepared last year, or that they didn’t all ride well. However, the MXON seems like such a one-off event that it’s easy for more things to go wrong than right. To pack up and travel to this event when it’s deep inside Europe, and more than a month after our season ends, is a very tough and obviously expensive task. In 2017, we can send our riders to California weeks in advance to prepare for Glen Helen, and more than likely they will be practicing and getting comfortable with some of the riders they’ll be facing on race day. I don’t know, call me crazy but Glen Helen in two years seems like the perfect scenario for Team Canada to pull off that elusive but well deserved top five finish.
Until then, I’m sure there will be many more opportunities to cheer enthusiastically for our riders as they travel to the USA to compete. Also, with Iain Hayden’s plan of sending a team of amateurs overseas each summer to the World JR GP, we’ll get to quench our thirst for International competition as well. Finally, maybe by 2017 there will be a person or group in place that the CMA is willing to work with again, or just maybe by 2017 it won’t matter as the entire process will be run differently. I kind of like the latter as politics and old school thinking plays much too large a role in this event. To sum this all up before we bring this Friday Flight in for landing (I love that I get to use airplane metaphors in Brent’s column), at the end of the day I’d love to read Team Canada’s name on the list of 2015 MXON entries as much as anyone does. However, I don’t need to see them compete in France next month to prove that we have some of the best riders on the planet. After watching the likes of Colton Facciotti, Cole Thompson, Tyler Medaglia, Kyle Keast, Kaven Benoit, Dylan Wright and Jeremy Medaglia all summer, I know that our guys can compete with any country in the world. Rather than being upset because we don’t see our names on a watered down (with all due respect to the riders going to France, a lot of top riders won’t be there) entry list, let’s just be proud of what we do have and let’s prepare for when it makes perfect sense to be in attendance, 2017 at Glen Helen Raceway.