By Brent Worrall
Photos by James Lissimore
It is hard to believe that the Future West Moto Canadian Arenacross series has officially reached the halfway mark with the conclusion of this past weekend’s great racing in Cloverdale, BC. Race fans, who showed up in the best numbers we have seen in years to have their voracious indoor Motocross action appetites satisfied, did not leave disappointed.
The fact that this weekend’s racing action would play out under a roof between four walls is where the similarities between Cloverdale and the opening rounds of Armstrong B.C. would end. The soft, deep rutted track conditions were polar opposites and would require riders to deploy every skill in their arsenal at all levels of racing to get the job done.
I think RMR Suspensions, No Limit Diamond Drilling, FXR, Yamaha rider Brock Hoyer, who had a nasty crash on Thursday night before the gate dropped for keeps on the weekend, said it best when he compared the track to an indoor Gopher Dunes, and said “It was just survival out there.” Yes, 15 laps at just over 20 seconds a lap was gruelling for even the best of riders in some of deepest, rutted conditions I have ever seen in Arenacross. In fact, in the timed Pro practice, I counted 16 different riders who made like earthworms diving headlong for a shot at a sample of some of BC’s finest arable soil.
Fridays night’s crowd was treated to an epic Valley Moto Sport Kawasaki Dash for Cash battle that had been highly hyped and publicized on Pulp MX. Yes, it was Maple Ridge Motorsports’ Ryan ‘The People’s Favourite’ Lockhart to lock horns with Cycle North Honda’s ‘The Seven Deuce Deuce’ Adam Enticknap. Lockhart got a jump to the first corner and kept Adam outside of him and executed the lap mistake-free like only the savviest of steel horse swordsman can. Randi’s Knight in shining Atlas Brace Armour kept those in the ‘People’s Favourite’ army loyal for at least another round; nice work Ryan.
When the gate dropped on Lites action Friday night, Monster Energy Leading Edge Kawasaki rider Teddy Maier would keep his perfect scorecard intact by cashing in on Cycle North Marine Yamaha rider Shawn Maffenbeier’s inability to successfully negotiate the most technical left-hander on the grandstand side of the race track. Maier, at this point, would pass Maffenbeier and collect the win relegating Maff to second. A solid ride by PR-MX.ca, Goldentyre, KTM two-Stroke rider Jake Anstett would grab 3rd to complete the podium.
The Pro Open would see talented No Limit Diamond Drilling, RMR, Ryno Power, Suzuki rider Ricky Dietrich negotiate a deteriorating race track to perfection, fending off a hard charging, Kawasaki mounted Teddy Maier for the victory. Shawn Maffenbeier, on the Cycle North Marine Yamaha, would finish 3rd.
Saturday’s action would see even more in attendance, and rather than try to put a number on what was a packed house, I will just say I did notice the ‘Fire Marshall’s’ eyebrows raised. The track had dried out a little but was still very technical, and I observed in Pro practice that a lot of the riders that had hit the matt the previous night had figured out that they needed to be selective as to where to push and where to maintain.
Saturday’s Valley Moto Sport Kawasaki Dash for Cash was an epic clash between Teddy Maier in Green and Jake Anstett in Purple. Sounds funny but the colourful JT Racing gear looked great. The colour of money did prevail however, as Teddy took home all $712 of the night’s always-entertaining launch for loonies loot. Jake Anstett would get his redemption in the Pro Lites main this evening by grabbing the Holeshot, which entitled him to a ‘Get out of Yard Sale Free’ card. Exiting the right hand first corner just behind Jake was a chain reaction spill that included two of the series’ title chases top 3; Maffenbier and Teddy Maier, who would not finish the event due to a seriously gashed arm. Anstett would be joined on the podium in 2nd by Leading Edge Motorsports Todd Minnie who would have his best moto at the top level since returning from his 10 year motocross racing hiatus. How many guys can say that, I’ve got nothing your turn? 3rd would go Cycle North Honda’s Ross Johnson who has had better weekends and will be better in Chilliwack, I promise! Brock Hoyer, who did finish in the 3rd position, was sent back two spots after his start was protested, but Brock was happy to be leaving in one piece and is also looking ahead to Chilliwack.
As I prepared to broadcast the Pro Open, I did not even give Kawasaki rider Teddy Maier an intro as there was no way I thought he would return from what I witnessed in the Lites main only feet in front of me! WRONG! Never sell the fortitude and heart of a motocrosser short. With the added incentive of what is on the line financially and how hard this kind of money is to come by in this sport, Teddy did what he had to do and got the job done. He took the holeshot in the moto and held off Shawn Maffenbeier’s early moto challenges, hanging on for the win. When I say hanging on it was in the most literal sense as Teddy admitted to numbness and an inability to use his clutch as he lacked sensation in his digits. Maff would take second on the Yamaha and newcomer to our series, Honda mounted Noah McConahay, would grab 3rd.
The title chases in the premier classes are very tight and the Future West tour is headed back to the 300,000 square ft. footprint Heritage Park facility for the final two rounds to finish up this season’s edition. Hope to see you all there!