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The Monday Gate Drop Presented By Yamaha Motor Canada

Good day and happy May 1st! This is my favourite month of the year for a few reasons. Not only is it my birthday month, but each year it’s always the month when the weather finally gets consistently nice and it feels like spring has finally arrived. As they say, April showers brings May flowers! I hope everyone had a great weekend and hopefully you were able to go riding or spend some quality time with the family. My weekend was spent in a couple of hockey arenas watching our son go through his annual and sometimes stressful hockey try outs for next season. The weather was wet and cool in Ontario this past weekend so being indoors wasn’t such a bad thing. With hockey now in the rear view mirror we can officially turn our attention to racing and it all begins this coming weekend at Auburn Hills Raceway where Round 2 of the AMO OPC Series is taking place. The weather looks great for this weekend so we’re all getting excited for another season of racing.

One of the biggest news items that came down the wire last week was from Justin Bogle when he posted that he was injured in a practice crash out in California. Bogle posted some photos of his bruises as well as his incision mark where he had surgery to have a plate inserted in his arm. This all came as shocking news as he had recently started riding his new WLTN /Kawasaki/Seven Team KX250F. By all accounts, Bogle was extremely happy with his bike and was looking forward to this final month of training prior to the gate dropping on the opening round of the 2023 Triple Crown Series. Unfortunately, like we saw with Ryder McNabb a few weeks ago, accidents happen and all Bogle can do is stay on top of his off-the-bike training, and try to be as ready as he can be for Round 1. Bogle’s crash took place on or round April 14th so that gives him roughly seven weeks before the opening round in Edmonton. He most likely won’t have a lot of seat time but, he should be all healed up and ready to race by then. Again, like McNabb, these two title favourites may have to ease into the 250 MXTour Series, and then really show what they have once things head east. Injuries are never ideal, especially during this time of the year. However, sometimes as long as they’re not too serious, injuries and forced time off can relieve a rider of unwanted pressure and the over analyzing of the opening few rounds, Thus leaving them with just the sole goal of riding the best they can in the opening motos of the year, and as we’ve seen in the past, doing quite well. We’ll have to wait and see if this is the case with both Justin Bogle and Ryder McNabb.

Sadly, Cooper Webb is now out of the Monster Energy SX Series after his crash in Nashville.

Speaking of injuries to top riders; we saw a few this past weekend in Nashville.  Cooper Webb and Justin Barcia both went down hard and suffered SX series ending injuries. For Webb, his night didn’t last three corners as he crashed on the opening lap of his 450SX heat race.  He then unfortunately was hit in the back of his neck and head by Adam Cianciarulo, the incident wasn’t at all AC’s fault, he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and had nowhere to go. Regardless, Webb’s injuries were serious enough that he was transported to a local hospital, where he spent the remainder of Saturday evening. Webb announced yesterday that he suffered a concussion and will miss the final two rounds of the Monster Energy Supercross Series. Here is the full press release from Webb and his KTM Team.

MURRIETA, Calif. – Two-time 450SX champion Cooper Webb’s 2023 AMA Supercross Championship title challenge has come to an early ending following his crash at Nashville on Saturday, the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider now taking the time to recover from a concussion sustained in the incident.

Webb has thankfully been cleared of any additional major injuries following his exit in the opening Heat race of the night, however, the 27-year-old who won the premier class title with Red Bull KTM both in 2019 and 2021 will be absent from the upcoming final two rounds of the 2023 season.

Cooper Webb: “As many of you saw, I suffered a concussion last night in Nashville. I am thankful everything else has checked out okay. This will unfortunately put an end to my SX season. It hurts to have it end like this, but I can hold my head high knowing that I gave it my all.”

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager, Ian Harrison, echoed Webb’s sentiments, acknowledging that safety is paramount for the team’s riders, despite the disappointment of being ruled out of contention this late in the 17-round Supercross season.

Ian Harrison: “It’s definitely not the end to the 2023 Supercross Championship season that the team had hoped for, but we are very relieved that Cooper is okay after what had the potential to be a very nasty accident, as he was really going for it when he went down in a racing incident. Our riders’ health and safety are very important to the team, so knowing he is going to be okay is a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders. Obviously, we were really looking forward to taking the championship hunt all the way down to the final Supercross race in Salt Lake City, but unfortunately, that won’t be the case this year. It’s disappointing, but we will turn our focus towards our 250 riders’ final Supercross races of the season, as well as supporting Aaron Plessinger as he heals from his crash at the previous round in New Jersey, and get a jump start on preparing for the upcoming Pro Motocross Championship season.”

This season has marked a spectacular return to form for Webb riding the 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, securing nine podium finishes over the course of the opening 14 rounds, which included two 450SX Main Event victories in Tampa and Arlington, respectively. He entered Nashville ranked second in the standings, 11 points outside of the red plate prior to his fall.

The 2023 AMA Supercross Championship now heads to Denver, Colorado, for the penultimate round of the series this weekend, before the final round in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, May 13, will draw the curtains on this year’s championship.”

During the 450SX main event Justin Barcia took a hard crash injuring his shoulder and collarbone. Photo by Lexi Thompson

As for Justin Barcia. He had a big crash in the main event, and ended up breaking his collarbone as well as separating his shoulder. This was a devastating crash for Barica as he was coming off his first win of 2023 last weekend in New Jersey. This also means that Barcia’s outdoor season could be in jeopardy as it’s not known yet how long his injuries will take to heal. The Nashville track certainly claimed some victims this past weekend as even Jason Anderson had two big crashes; one crash in practice and then another in the night show. In my opinion, Anderson is a rider who cannot wait for this SX series to end, so he can hit the reset button, and come out swinging in the outdoor series. So Webb is out, Barcia is out, and that left the door open for Chase Sexton to take an easy win in the 450SX main event, and for points leader Eli Tomac to cruise to another solid second place. With two rounds remaining, Tomac has an 18-point lead over Sexton in the 450SX class, so unless something drastic happens this title will be going once again to Eli Tomac. Even if you’re a Cooper Webb fan, I think you can agree that throughout this series Tomac has been the fastest rider and deserves to win the Championship. It’s just unfortunate that we won’t see the title fight go down to the final main event of the year…or, if something happens to Tomac this weekend in Denver, maybe we will? This past weekend proved once again that in this sport you just never know!

It sure has been a great few seasons for the Lawrence Brothers. Photo by Lexi Thompson

On the bright side of things, the first Monster Energy Supercross Champion was crowned in Nashville as Hunter Lawrence secured the 250SX East title for 2023. Like his brother Jett, Hunter has been dominating so far in 2023 and it’s a pretty cool story that both will win SX titles this year. Jett and Cole Thompson and the rest of the 250SX West Series will be back at it this coming weekend in Denver, where it will be another afternoon start.

Just like in 1998 the Ontario Provincial Series is back at Auburn Hills this weekend.

Well, that is it for me this week. I hope everyone enjoys their first week of May, I know I’m going to. Stay tuned this week as I will sit down with Jess Pettis to find out how his off-season of training has gone. Jess is back in Quebec now, and this past weekend he and his teammate Kaven Benoit were practicing at the Deschambault track. Round 2 of the 2023 Future West MX Championships goes this weekend in Quesnel, BC, and as I said at the beginning of this column, Round 2 of the AMO OPC Series at Auburn Hills Raceway is also this weekend. Like Gopher Dunes two weeks ago, I’m sure there will be a solid turnout in the pro class. Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments, please email me at


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