MXP: Hey Newf, let’s first talk about the WCAN last week. It appeared to be a massive success with strong entries and great racing. You wore many hats at this event, how was it from your perspective?
RL: Honestly it exceeded my expectations from the start to finish. It was a ton of work leading up to the event but the FW staff along with the track crew killed it. We had a little bit of everything thrown at us in terms of weather. The skies opened up on Friday and we had to cancel the last 5 moto’s and move them to Saturday but the track crew stayed up all night getting the track dialed. The racing was great from 50cc class to Plus 50 class. It seemed like everyone was happy and we had little to no injuries all week. Success is an understatement and I want to personally thank the whole Future West team, the Jet Werx crew, and every single rider who attended.
MXP: The gate dropped on the 2022 Triple Crown Series on Sunday. The GDR Honda Team had a solid weekend, as did the KTM and GASGAS Teams. Were you impressed with the racing overall on Sunday?
RL: Regardless the first rounds are always exciting. The track really set up well and there were a lot of passing opportunities which made for exciting first laps. The 450 motos were a bit of a sleeper as Wright and T-Dags kind of ran away with it, especially Moto 2 after Maff went down. The 250 class has some depth as the battle from third back to sixth was good and with McNabb /Piccolo both suffering bad starts it was fun to watch them come through the pack. If I was to rate it on a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 7. I think with Drumheller being a sprint moto round that will tighten things up.
MXP: You’ve raced a lot of opening rounds over the years and although they don’t make or break your season, they’re still important for your confidence. Did any riders surprise you with either how good they were or how bad they looked?
RL: Yes for sure there were a few standouts. In the 250 class, of course, Piccolo and Mcnabb are the class of the field but I was really impressed with Tyler Gibbs and Quinn Amyotte. Both looked like they put in the work over the winter and were ready to race. Zach Ufimzeff, Marcus Deausy, and Devyn Smith have all stepped up their game as well. It was a pretty stale opening round for Marco Cannella although he did have a podium going in moto 2 before his crash.
In the 450 class, Wright and Medagilia were the class of the field, especially after Maffenbeier’s moto two crash. But I was impressed with Daniel Elmore and Westen Wrozyna. The news didn’t drop until Monday that Pettis was still nursing an injury so that would explain the Mobius Wrist brace and 4-3 moto finishes. He will get better but needs time on the bike no question.
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