This week’s Monday Gate Drop is brought to you by the awesome people at DeCal Works. These days everyone wants to look good and nothing says style like a new set of custom graphics. All you have to do is log on to www.decalmx.com and within minutes you can design and order your very own set of graphics. Thanks to Decal Works for all of their support and their continuing commitment to Canadian motocross.
Even though I wasn’t able to make to Quebec this past weekend for Round 9 of the 2015 Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross Nationals presented by Motovan, I heard the battle for the lead in both classes was a barn burner. However, before I get into what went down at Ulverton, let’s talk about my adventure last week as I attended the press launch for the 2016 Husqvarna Motocross line-up. On Wednesday afternoon, a large amount of journalists from all over the globe gathered at the W Hotel in Washington, DC to get introduced to Husqvarna’s latest motocross creations. Right from the 125 two-stroke all the way up to the 450, these ‘New Era’ Husqvarna’s are on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. All of their new models are quite a bit lighter and designed to be more agile on the race track. As I said, Wednesday was the welcome dinner and then Thursday we were all bussed out to the famous track in Budds Creek for a day of riding and fun.
The bikes and the hospitality were incredible all day long, and when we weren’t riding, we all sat around and bench raced like it was our jobs. Although the temperatures were extremely hot and humid, all of the journalists enjoyed themselves on the new Husqvarnas. Look for a web recap of my day at Budds Creek as well as a full test story in the upcoming issue of MXP Magazine. Thank you to Victoria Hett and Husqvarna North America for making this unforgettable day possible.
So with me in DC at the Husqvarna launch, Brian Koster was sent to Mt. Morris to ride the new 2016 Kawasaki KX450F for their North American press launch. Koster was in moto heaven as he got to ride with legends like Nick Wey and the King, Jeremy McGrath, on another one of the USA’s most famous circuits. For two days Koster put the new Kawasaki through its paces and he came away amazed at just how good the 2016 KX450F is. Again, look for a complete test in the upcoming issue of MXP Magazine. So on to what happened in beautiful Ulverton, QC.
Before the men took to the track yesterday, first up was the final round of the CMRC Eastern Canadian Women’s Nationals on Saturday. So far this series has belonged to KTM rider Eve Brodeur, who in the first two rounds went undefeated. The likeable Brodeur came into Ulverton looking to keep her streak going in front of her home province fans. However, for the final round, the Canada’s Motorcycle FXR Yamaha Team brought up Jessica Patterson from the USA so instantly Eve had her hands full. When all was said and done on Saturday, Jessica won the battle with a double moto sweep, however it was Eve Brodeur who won the war as she took home her second championship in a row. This year we have certainly witnessed some pretty exciting racing on both coasts in the Women’s class. With Sara King winning out West and now Eve Brodeur winning again in the East, Women’s racing in Canada is very healthy indeed. Fans that attend the Parts Canada TransCan this week will get to watch a good old fashioned East vs. West battle for Canadian Women’s supremacy. This will definitely be one of the classes to watch at the TransCan.
Coming into the next to final round in Ulverton, it was almost a given that Kaven Benoit was going to clinch the MX2 class. Actually, before the motos even began, most felt like Benoit would glide through both motos in front of his hometown fans and continue his Eastern winning streak. Well, he did just that in Moto 1 as he again cruised to victory. However, in Moto 2, Honda Canada GDR Honda rider Jeremy Medaglia had other ideas and was determined to end Benoit’s win streak. With all of the bipartisan fans cheering on the sidelines, Benoit spent much of the moto looking for a way by the Honda rider. This time it was not to be as the determined Medaglia just simply refused to let Benoit by and rode off with the moto win and the overall for the day. Even though he hasn’t won a moto in the East, it has been very obvious that Medaglia has been getting better each and every weekend. Last weekend in Moncton I thought Jeremy was the fastest rider on the track, but a few small mistakes cost him any chance at the win. Well, this time around there were zero mistakes and he was able to take home one of the biggest wins of his career.
As for Benoit, with his second overall, he was able to clinch the MX2 championship and make it two in a row for the talented Quebec rider. For some reason Benoit and his KTM Team have taken a lot of heat for their choice to race the 250 two-stroke. There was talk that the bike was illegal and had an unfair advantage against the other less powerful 250 four-strokes. Well, Benoit’s bike is legal under the current rules, and at the end of the day I think it should be mentioned that maybe, just maybe, this bike isn’t quite the massive advantage that some people think it is. Yes, Benoit’s bike is fast and a little more durable than his four-stroke mounted competitors, but his bike is also very hard to ride and Benoit should be congratulated on just how well he’s ridden this summer. Next year I’m sure the rules will be adjusted and we may never see another two-stroke ridden this well and place on the top step of the podium. In Canada, with the way racing is set up in the MX2 class, I think this is sad. We’ll see what happens next year and beyond, but for arguments sake I think it was great to see Medaglia take home the win yesterday. I think it’s great that Canada is able to allow two-strokes to still compete at the Pro level. Folks, that is called seeing things from both sides.
Now, I’m not going to go into great detail about what happened yesterday in the MX1 class, simply because I wasn’t there to see it for myself. However, I will say that since Colton’s Facciotti’s runaway win in the first moto at Sand Del Lee, the Honda rider has been on fire. Each week he’s gotten better and better and his confidence has grown. With just two motos remaining in the MX1 series, Colton has his swagger back and appears to be riding better than he ever has. He is now only 13 points behind Matt Goerke in the chase for this championship, and at Walton Raceway anything can happen. Colton will still need some serious help if he hopes to win this title as Goerke can still just ride around in third this coming weekend to clinch his second Canadian title. However, all of the momentum is now with Facciotti and finally we will have a title fight at the final round. Even Brett Metcalfe has a mathematical shot at the MX1 title, although he needs a lot of help to get it done.
Colton’s effort this summer is proof that you should never give up, regardless of how a series begins. Because of his off-season injury, Colton came into 2015 not as prepared as he would’ve liked. But, he’s fought hard, he’s taken what each weekend has given him and he’s never given up. I’ve said this a few times in the past few weeks, but regardless of what happens this Sunday, 2015 has been Colton’s best year. Yes, on paper he may come up just short of winning this title, but on the track he’s done something he’s never been able to do before. And that’s stay healthy and stay in contention as a rider that is not in the points lead. Neither Matt Goerke nor Brett Metcalfe have seen Colton at his best; that was until yesterday when the Honda rider simply dominated both MX1 motos. This coming weekend at Walton Raceway is going to be the final round that everyone has been waiting for. It’s going to be a global battle with Canada vs. USA vs. Australia! Get your tickets soon and get your spot at the fence!
That is it for me this week. As mentioned, tomorrow is the beginning of the 2015 Parts Canada TransCan. I will be there all weekend providing updates and co-hosting Saturday’s live streaming show with Brent Worrall. This week is going to be incredible and I can’t wait to see everyone there beginning tomorrow. Please come and say hi and let’s enjoy this final weekend of the 2015 Nationals together. Have a great week and good luck to everyone who is racing.