This weeks Monday Gate Drop is once again presented by the awesome people at DeCal Works. If you need a set of custom graphics or one of their brand new seat covers, go and check out their website at www.decalmx.com. Within minutes you can design your very own set of custom graphics for your new or used bike.
Good day to everyone and Happy May! This is definitely my favourite month of the year as it’s not only my birthday month, it also seems to produce pretty nice weather sometimes. In Ontario, at least, we all got to enjoy some much needed sunshine and warm temperatures on both Saturday and Sunday. This beautiful weather made for some incredible riding whether you were at a race or just putting in laps at your favourite practice track.
As far as racing goes, one of Ontario’s premier facilities, Sand Del Lee, held their first event of 2015, and by all accounts it was a big success. I didn’t make the five hour trek to the Ottawa area but I spoke to a couple of riders who said that the track was mint as always (that’s the actual word they used). Fans at SDL also witnessed some pretty good racing in the pro class as our reigning MX2 champion Kaven Benoit traveled west from his home province of Quebec to battle with hometown hero Dylan Wright and the recently unretired Richard Grey. If Benoit and Wright’s riding on the weekend was any indication as to what might happen this summer, they’re definitely ready to go to for Kamloops.
Out in Kamloops, BC at the site for the opening round of the upcoming 2015 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan, there was a tremendous pro turnout with riders like Dylan Kaelin, Brad Nauditt, Brock Hoyer and Ryan Lockhart all taking to the track for the three moto ProAm format. It sounds as though Dylan Kaelin is on the gas. After spending a few months in California training with Kris Keefer, he’s riding better than ever. Our western correspondent and host of the weekly Canadian Moto Show, Brent Worrall, was on hand at Whispering Pines Raceway to witness all of the fun and he sent us this report.
“The Canadian Kawasaki Future West Moto South Series now has three rounds in the books as of this weekend’s action at Whispering Pines in Kamloops, BC. We are pumped to announce that Sunday we had 327 entries, the best to date this season. All classes were well supported by beautiful, clear sunny skies at the site of round one in just under a month’s time of the Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals presented by Motovan. Forwardly focussed on the nationals, a lot of riders came out to tune up on the Loops circuit this weekend and the Pro Am action did not disappoint. The three moto pro format were nine laps a piece that were contested by 22 riders. It was by the far the deepest, high end field we’ve seen here in British Columbia thus far in 2015. Devils Lake Yamaha rider Dylan Kaelin, who lined up with the highest national ranking of #8, did not let any of his backers down. Kaelin ran the table and looked very solid going 3 for 3 on a race track that he gets along with quite well. Dylan’s off-season training on and off the motorcycle has the Devil’s Lake rider poised to improve on his national number this season.
Going through the overall order I was super impressed with GA Checkpoint Yamaha’s Brad Nauditt as he managed a second overall going 4-2-2 on the 250F in the run-what-you-brung Pro Open. Nauditt has not lined up for an outdoor race in Canada since 2013, and if what I saw this weekend is any indication, he will be ready to make some noise on May 31st. To say Brad will consistently battle for top 5 finishes is not an unrealistic expectation as his speed was phenomenal on Sunday and his control and fitness looked solid. Williams Lake’s FXR, Spectra Power Sports, RMR Suspensions rider Brock Hoyer finished third overall on Sunday, and for a guy that has had all his seat time up until this weekend come in the snow, I was pretty impressed. Brock is a savvy veteran and will contend for top 10s in the Western rounds he rides this season.
Maple Ridge Motorsports’ Ryan Lockhart capped off a very busy week in his professional life with solid 3-4-5 moto scores for fourth overall. Ryan also hosted another successful Future West Motocross School at the Pines on Friday afternoon that was well attended once again. I love to see the effort Ryan puts in and I often wonder at the end of a long week how he has anything left in the tank to pound out the motos the way he does. Fifth overall went to a hard charging Jared Petruska who went 11-5-6 for the 5th place finish, and looked strong and comfortable by the end of the third moto. Many other contenders and players on Sunday battled hard to round out the overall top 10 and all showed flashes of what we can expect to see for the upcoming nationals. Keylan Meston, Matt Davenport, Todd Minnie, Dylan Delaplace, Alexandre Morin and Greg Small rounded out the top 10 and all brought their own unique, hard charging dynamic to the table on Sunday on a ruggedly rough race track.
The Future West Moto South series takes a couple of weeks off and resumes May 23rd in Williams Lake followed by round five at the Pines in Kamloops, BC the day before the 2015 national series commences. A big thanks to Future West and the GKMA for allowing me to occupy my space in the tower on Sunday with the microphone in my hand. Remember racers, those ANQ points you earned today, make sure you get signed up for the WCAN and Parts Canada Walton Trans Can and Lets Go Racing”.
Thanks Airmail for that in depth report from the West coast. It sounds as though the opening round of the nationals in Kamloops on May 31st is shaping up nicely as it usually does this time of year. One rider who is definitely going to come into the opening round on the mend is Rockstar Energy Drink OTSFF Yamaha rider Matt Goerke who had a crash Friday night at the final round of the 2015 Amsoil AX Series and broke his collarbone. He underwent surgery on the weekend. Although he will miss a great deal of outdoor training during the next few weeks, he plans to be at Kamloops ready to go. Goerke is a gifted sand rider so even if he’s been off the bike for some time he may be able to sneak through round one and still get on the podium, however the real trouble may be at the next few rounds as bike set up is even more important. I know that may sound like a strange statement as you’d think bike set up would be more important at the rough Whispering Pines track. Well, for most riders it might be, however for sand specialists like Goerke they can take an ill handling motorcycle, change up their lines, miss a few bumps and still get the job done. I guess we’ll see what happens.
So as the riders prepare for the summer of racing here in Canada, the riders of the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series closed the curtain on their season this past weekend in Las Vegas. After a few battles in both main events we once again saw a KTM Orange Brigade sweep as Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin took home the victories. The 2015 season was definitely a strange one in Supercross. Not only did was the absence of James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto quite noticeable, but the resurgence of Ryan Dungey was pretty incredible. Early on Dungey took this series from Ken Roczen and never looked back. Week after week Dungey remained aggressive and took chances that he hasn’t in the past. When your only flaw is riding around opening ceremonies each Saturday night without a helmet on (I don’t understand why he’s allowed to do that), you know you’ve had a pretty good season.
Another rider we saw take his riding to another level was Cole Seely who took home Rookie of the Year honors in 2015. Seely is a perfect example of what can happen when you prepare yourself properly and surround yourself with good people. All year Seely has had Jeff Ward by his side helping guide him through the ups and downs of a Supercross season. Whatever Wardy has been telling Seely it’s obviously working as he had a great season. Now that SX is over the riders have two short weeks to prepare for round one of the Lucas Oil Outdoor MX Series at Hangtown. With a confident Dungey, a healthy Ken Roczen, an aggressive Eli Tomac and a very fit and experienced Chad Reed, the outdoor series may top the 2015 SX series as far as excitement goes.
Also this past weekend in Las Vegas was the final round of the Amateur Arenacross Championships. It was great to see Brantford, Ontario’s Preston Masciangelo take home National Titles in the 50cc 4-8 class as well as the 50cc 7-8 class. With wins last year at the KTMJRSX races in Toronto and at the Monster Cup, as well as a 2014 Parts Canada TransCan title, it’s been quite a year for the Cobra rider. It’s very rare in this sport that you see a young rider like Preston have skills indoors that exceed their outdoors speed. Usually it’s the other way around, however Preston has mastered his SX/AX riding and I think this will serve him well as he gets older. As it’s been proven time and time again over the years, it’s a lot easier to learn how to ride on rough outdoor tracks than it is to learn how to ride SX. Congratulations to Preston and his family!
So that is it for me this week. I hope everyone has a great week and a safe time riding their dirt bike. The Quebec AX Championships kick off this coming weekend and Ryan Lockhart is coming all the way from BC to compete. Racing an AX is always a good time and I’m sure Newf will enjoy his few days in Quebec. Ride safe and we’ll see you at the track!