Another round of national racing has unfolded at Gopher Dunes in Courtland, Ontario. If you have never raced The Dunes, do yourself a favour and take a few minutes to check out some videos of that track before you sign up to race. It has to be one of the toughest tracks on the circuit in Canada…actually in North America. This years track was much tighter and slower than in the past. I actually prefer the this layout from years past. I am not a fan of a sand track that is super tight. It ends up being a one line track and that’s no fun if you’re lapping riders or getting lapped. The best way to win at The Dunes is get a holeshot and just pin it! Jess Pettis was on fire this past weekend. He not only won both motos, he had both holeshots and the fastest lap time too. I don’t think there was any stopping this confident MX101 rider from Prince George, BC. To be honest I don’t think I have ever seen a rider dominate like that before. Maybe Matt Goerke a few years ago. Anyway, Pettis put on a clinic at Gopher Dunes and he looked like a Jr Herlings in the sand. The Royal Distributing/Yamaha/FXR team now has the points lead with 3 rounds to go in the series. Shawn Maffenbeier who had the red plate going into the round didn’t have the ride he was looking for. First moto was okay with a second place finish. Moto two started with a crash on lap one and then a few laps later a blown engine for Maffenbeier. That’s the first DNF for the factory Kawasaki team. Not what any team wants but it’s going to happen. GDR Honda rider Dylan Wright also had a rough weekend. I thought with his overall win the week before at Sand Del Lee, Dylan would be on the podium again. Crashes and removing your goggles will slow you down for sure.
I enjoyed watching the 450 class. The two OTSFF Yamaha riders were on it in moto one. Epstein and Goerke kept it super clean but battled to the very end. I am looking forward to watching that race on TV. It’s too bad Matt Goerke had some bike issues in moto two because you know that will hurt him for points. Colton looked good on his home track. I thought he might have a little more to give but he is one smart rider. I am guessing he backed it down as he is the points leader in the series. Tyler Medaglia was on a charge in the second moto. I was supper happy to see him win a moto. I really thought I we might see Cole Thompson up in the front at The Dunes. I remember when he rode for me a few years ago he was the fastest guy on the track. I hope Thompson can find that speed and get back up front where he belongs. Benoit is on a roll. He looked great in the first moto and in the second moto he had a little bad luck tangling with a lapper. Liam O’Farrell was back on the track. I was really happy to see him racing again. I was a little surprised to see he finished top 10 for the day. Surprised in a good way. Well done Liam!
Every year we see a few new faces at some of the east rounds due to the AMA having a weekend off. Ryan Dowd and his father John made the trip up. Its always good to see John racing in Canada. He was telling me this is really his first race of the year. He has been super busy with preparing the Southwick track for the national that happened a few weeks ago. His buddy Keith Johnson who raced for OTSFF and Diablo Honda a decade ago came back up to help Chris Canning who also raced Southwick. Chris was battling for seventh in the first moto until he fell over with a lap left in the race at the US national. This past weekend Chris battled for a 7th overall. Another rider that made it up was Luke Renzland on a Traders Yamaha 450. Luke had a pretty good weekend with a 6th overall. My supercross assistant Cade Clason had an up and down weekend. I thought he rode well for a guy that doesn’t like sand very much. I told Cade an 8th over all with the US riders in front of him was good in my books.
This coming weekend is an off weekend for the Canadian series. I think the riders and teams will appreciate a weekend to rebuild bikes and let the injuries heal up. The next round will be in Moncton, NB on July 28th. I enjoy flying out to this round. The people in the east coast are always very friendly and accommodating to the racing community that takes over when a national is in town. This is the weekend that Palms buys dinner! I can’t miss out on that. Have a good weekend see you at the races.